No. 16 Cal Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Play Versus Arizona State and No. 14 Arizona

Sept. 21, 2004


Sept. 23 Arizona State, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA 7 p.m.Sept. 24 Arizona, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA 7 p.m.

BEAR NOTES: No. 16-ranked California (5-3) begins Pac-10 competition this week against Arizona State (5-3) Thursday and No. 14 Arizona (8-2) Friday at Haas Pavilion. Friday night's match between the Wildcats and the Golden Bears will be the battle of the Abernathy sisters from Antioch (Deer Valley High School) as Cal features senior outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy (83 kills, 3.46 kpg), and Arizona is led by junior outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy (145 kills, 4.53 kpg). Last season, the two teams split, with the Bears winning, 3-0, in Tucson and the Wildcats winning, 3-0, in Berkeley. Cal went 1-1 last weekend at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Invitational, losing to No. 7 Hawaii, 3-0, Friday night and topping UC Irvine, 3-0, Sunday at Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center. The Stan Sheriff Center is where the Bears fell to Georgia Tech, 3-1, in last year's NCAA Round of 16 match, Dec. 12, 2003. So far this season, Cal has only been involved in matches going three games. The Bears have won 15-straight games in their five wins, and have lost nine-straight games in their three losses.

PRESSEY AND LEFFALL SHINE IN HAWAII: Freshman outside hitter Angie Pressey and senior middle hitter Camille Leffall were impressive last weekend in Hawaii as both were selected to the Waikiki Beach Marriott Invitational All-Tournament Team. Pressey led Cal in kills in both matches, hitting .345 with 15 kills against Hawaii, and recording a career-high 18 kills with a .353 hitting percentage against UC Irvine. For the two matches, she averaged 5.5 kills per game, and for the season, leads the Bears with 4.47 kills per game (sixth in the Pac-10). Pressey is also seventh in the conference with 4.85 points per game (combining kills, serve aces and blocks). Leffall had stellar hitting percentages against the Rainbow Wahines and the Anteaters, as well. She hit .600 versus Hawaii with 13 kills and only one error in 20 attempts, and .500 against UC Irvine on nine kills with one error in 16 attempts. Leffall has a .402 hitting percentage on the year, which currently ranks third in the Pac-10, and has only nine hitting errors in 127 attempts. She is the Cal school record-holder with a .358 career hitting percentage.

OTHER KEY BEARS: Abernathy and junior Alicia Powers have also taken up some of the offensive slack from the departure of Mia Jerkov, Cal's two-time All-American who is staying in her native Croatia to play for her national team. Abernathy leads the Bears with 83 overall kills and currently has 948 career kills, only 19 kills shy of breaking into Cal's all-time Top 10 career kill list. Powers has probably been Cal's most consistent offensive threat with 74 kills, 3.08 kills per game and a .278 hitting percentage. She was selected to the 2004 Golden Bear Invitational All-Tournament Team. Sophomore setter Samantha Carter has 339 assists in eight matches and is averaging a Pac-10 leading 14.12 assists per game. As a freshman, Carter set a new school record with 1,555 single-season assists and was on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Sophomore libero Jillian Davis is another Bear leading the conference in a statistical category. Davis has a team-high 132 digs and is leading the Pac-10 with 5.50 digs per game.

CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Cal's No. 10 preseason ranking is only the fourth time in school history the Bears have been preseason ranked. Cal was ranked No. 24 at the start of last season, No. 12 in 1983 and No. 9 in 1989. The Bears finished with a No. 12 national ranking last year after falling to Georgia Tech, 3-1, in the NCAA Regional in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Bears have been ranked 53 times, including in all 17 weekly polls last season, reaching as high as a No. 5 ranking on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest Cal has ever been ranked at the end of a season was 10th in 1982.

IMPORTANT HOME DATES: Oct. 31 vs. Stanford, the Bears host Bay Area rival Stanford Cardinal in 'The Big Spike.' Nov. 4 vs. USC, Cal hosts two-time defending national champion USC. The Bears were the only team to take the undefeated Trojans to five games last season.

HEAD COACH RICH FELLER: Rich Feller (86-70, .551 at Cal; career 385-237, .619) is in his sixth season at Cal. He was named both 2003 Pacific Region Co-Coach of the Year and 2003 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Feller came to the Bears after a stint as assistant coach for the USA National Team (1997-98) and 14 years as head coach at Colorado State (1983-96), where he led the Rams to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Top 25 national rankings.

CAL VERSUS ARIZONA STATE AND ARIZONA: The Bears have a 13-27 all-time record against Arizona State (5-3 in 2004, 9-18 in 2003). Cal defeated the Sun Devils in the last meeting, 3-1, Nov. 1, 2003 at Cal. Arizona State is coached by Brad Saindon (Second year at ASU) and are led by 5-10 sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton (104 kills, 3.71 kpg). Cal has an 8-30 all-time record against No. 14 Arizona (8-2 in 2004, 17-15 in 2003). The Bears lost to the Wildcats in the last meeting, 3-0, Oct. 31, 2003, at Cal. Arizona is coached by David Rubio (13th year at UA) and is led by 5-11 junior outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy (145 kills, 4.53 kpg). Abernathy is the younger sister of the Bears' Gabrielle Abernathy.

BEARS HAVE TOUGH 2004 SCHEDULE: Competing in what is arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the nation - the Pac-10, the Bears' 2004 schedule includes 10 teams ranked in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Poll. Cal will take on No. 2 USC, No. 3 Washington, No. 10 UCLA, No. 12 Stanford and No. 14 Arizona in league play. The Bears also face some extremely talented foes in non-conference action. Cal defeated then-No. 14 Kansas State, 3-0, Sept. 3 in Houston, and fell to now No. 8 UC Santa Barbara Sept. 10 and No. 11 Texas A&M Sept. 11 at the Golden Bear Invitational in Haas Pavilion. Following the Golden Bear Invitational, Cal lost at seventh-ranked Hawaii Sept. 17 and will visit No. 17 Santa Clara Sept. 28. The Bears defeated four teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 last season (No. 13 Washington Sept. 26, No. 14 Santa Clara Oct. 8, No. 4 Stanford Oct. 11, at No. 10 Washington Oct. 24). The Bears were the only team to take two-time defending national champion USC to five games last season, coming back from a 2-0 deficit before falling to the Trojans, 15-13, in game five at Haas Pavilion Oct. 18.

CAL PLAYERS AMONG ACTIVE PAC-10 CAREER LEADERS: The Bears have three players; Leffall, Abernathy and Carter, who are among the Top-10 Pac-10 active career leaders. Leffall, a senior middle blocker, has the most career total blocks (343) of any current conference player. Abernathy, a senior outside hitter, has the seventh-most career kills (948). Carter, who is only a sophomore, already has 1,894 assists, which is the second-most career assists behind UCLA's senior setter Krystal McFarland's 2,716 assists. Leffall is currently sixth on the Cal all-time total block list, and Carter is fifth on the Bears' all-time assist list.

BEARS ON TELEVISION: Cal will be on television three times this season. The Bears will be shown on Fox Sports Net Friday, Oct. 1 when Cal travels to Stanford, and Thursday, Nov. 4 when two-time defending national champion USC visits Haas Pavilion. Both the Cal-Stanford and USC-Cal matches will be shown on a delayed basis Saturday morning following the match with time TBA. The Bears will also be aired on CSTV live when CSTV Sunday Night Spikes: AVCA Match of the Week features Stanford at Cal, Sunday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

CAL IMPRESSIVE IN 2003: In 2003, the Bears' 25-7 record was the best winning percentage (.781) in school history. Cal recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1981-83. The Bears qualified for the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Cal made its second consecutive NCAA appearance - seventh overall. The 2003 Bears' volleyball team was the first Cal program to host a NCAA tournament event at Haas Pavilion. Cal started the season with a school-record 16-straight victories, and won a school-record 12 Pac-10 matches. The Bears defeated Stanford for the first time since 1982 before a record Cal volleyball crowd of 3,021. Cal earned its highest national volleyball ranking ever at No. 5 on Oct. 13, 2003, after defeating No. 14 Santa Clara and No. 4 Stanford in back-to-back five-game matches at Haas Pavilion.

DID YOU KNOW? The Golden Bears featured Holly McPeak, the 1987 National Freshman of the Year, who has played beach volleyball in the last three summer Olympics and won a bronze medal with partner Elaine Youngs at the 2004 Athens Games. Freshman outside hitter Angie Pressey's father, Paul, was a member of the 1985 NCAA champion men's basketball team at Villanova, and a former player coach and assistant for the Golden State Warriors from 1992-94. Pressey's mother, Elizabeth, played basketball at the University of Tulsa.

2004 University of California Volleyball Season HighsCareer highs in italics

TEAMKills 60 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Attempts 142 vs. UCSB, 9/10Hitting Pct. .328 vs UC Irvine, 9/19Assists 57 vs. two teamsService Aces 10 vs. UC Davis, 9/1Digs 62 at Houston, 9/5Block Solos 4 vs. Kansas State, 9/3Block Assists 20 at Houston, 9/5Team Blocks 13.0 at Houston, 9/5


GABRIELLE ABERNATHYKills 15 vs. two teamsAttempts 41 at Hawaii, 9/17Service Aces 3 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9/10Digs 9 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9/10Block Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 4 vs. Maryland, 9/4Total Blocks 5 vs. Maryland, 9/4

JENNA BROWNKills 10 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Attempts 23 vs. Texas A&M, 9/11Service Aces 1 vs. four teamsDigs 11 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Block Solos 1 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Block Assists 3 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 3 vs. two teams

SAMANTHA CARTERKills 9 at Houston, 9/5Attempts 16 at Houston, 9/5Assists 49 vs. two teamsService Aces 4 vs. UC Davis, 9/1Digs 11 at Houston, 9/5Block Solos 1 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 3 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Total Blocks 3 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19

AMANDA FOXKills 12 at Houston, 9/5Attempts 39 at Houston, 9/5Service Aces 1 vs. three teamsDigs 12 at Houston, 9/5Block Solos 2 at Houston, 9/5Block Assists 4 at Houston, 9/5Total Blocks 6 at Houston, 9/5

CAMILLE LEFFALLKills 13 at Hawaii, 9/17Attempts 23 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9/10Service Aces 0Digs 1 vs. two teamsBlock Solos 2 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 5 at Houston, 9/5Total Blocks 6 at Houston, 9/5

ALICIA POWERSKills 12 at Houston, 9/5Attempts 25 at Houston, 9/5Service Aces 2 vs. UC Davis, 9/1Digs 8 at Hawaii, 9/17Block Solos 1 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9/10Block Assists 5 vs. Maryland, 9/4Total Blocks 5 vs. Maryland, 9/4

ANGIE PRESSEYKills 18 vs. UC Irvine, 9/19Attempts 40 vs. UC Davis, 9/1Service Aces 0Digs 11 vs. two teamsBlock Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 2 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 3 vs. UC Davis, 9/1

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