Cal Volleyball Begins Spring Training Mar. 28

March 24, 2005

BERKELEY, CA - Hello Again Cal Volleyball Fans,

Here at Cal we are officially on Spring Break. What that means I get to catch up with news for our fans. It seems like all I have been doing since the last posting is individual training and going on the road for recruiting trips.

Well, the individual training phase is now over and we are going to be starting our team training on March 28 when the team returns to school. Our conditioning phase went extremely well with every member of our team getting stronger, faster and overall improving in every way. Alexis Kollias ranked as our Best Overall performer in the seven weeks and Ellen Orchard received the Most Improved award, with Am'ra Solomon coming in a close second. As I said before, everyone worked very hard, showed great desire and improvement.

We are really looking forward to getting back into the gym with the whole team. To help prepare for the 2005 season, we will be participating in four spring tournaments in April and May. They are all local, so the travel will be minimal, but the experience should help for next year. First will be the University of San Francisco tournament on April 9. All of these tournaments are 'Friendship' format and will run approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The next week, April 16, we visit Sacramento State. On April 30 we will be at Stanford and on May 7 at Santa Clara. These spring tournaments are important for our team since pre-season practice is so short. They also allow athletes that did not get much playing time in the fall to play and improve their competitive skills.

On another subject, Matt McShane and I participated in the selection of our new National and A-2 team at the March tryouts in Colorado Springs. Alicia Powers and Sam Carter also attended and gave their best efforts to make the team in a two day trial with some of the best college and post college athletes in the country. This was somewhat a reunion for Matt and myself. Matt coached at New Mexico with Lang Ping (Jenny to her American friends) and also helped her coach a professional team a few years ago. I've know Jenny for many years and both of us saw her a few times when we were on the National team staff and Jenny was the head coach for the Chinese National team. It was great to see her and know that USA volleyball is in such good hands. I know that Matt and I will be called upon to help in many ways in the future and we're looking forward to the opportunity.

Speaking of Matt, you probably already know about Matt McShane joining our staff. He is one of the best, if not THE BEST, in the business of coaching volleyball. Matt brings years of experience at all levels to the gym. He's coached collegiate, club, high performance, international and pro volleyball. Matt is one of the best teachers of the game and has the strongest left arm I have ever seen. I've known Matt for many years and worked closely with him for 15 months while we both served a tour of duty with our women's national team in 1997 and 1998. He will be a perfect compliment to our staff along with current assistant, Chris Bigelow.

Well, that's about all for now. Let me know if you would like to add anyone to my email list, or if you would like to be taken off.

Until next time,

Go BearsRich

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