No. 15 Cal Volleyball Battles No. 16 LSU in NCAA First Round

Nov. 27, 2006


Fri.Dec.1 Cal vs. LSU, Mott Gymnasium, San Luis Obispo,6 p.m.           Michigan at Cal Poly, 8 p.m.Sat.Dec. 2 NCAA Second Round, 7 p.m.

BEAR NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES: The 15th-ranked California women's volleyball team earned a school-record fifth straight NCAA Tournament bid Sunday when the NCAA selection committee paired the Golden Bears (20-9) with No. 16-ranked Louisiana State (26-5) in a first-round match played 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Mott Gymnasium on the campus of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. If the Bears, who received an at-large selection to the postseason, defeat the Tigers, they would play the winner of the Michigan (21-12)-No. 14-ranked Cal Poly (22-5) first-round match in the NCAA second round at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Cal started the 2006 season 11-0 and captured the Cal Molten Classic, the Florida International Invitational and the Golden Bear Invitational. Of Cal's nine losses this season, eight have come against teams ranked higher in the AVCA national poll. The Bears' 20 victories this season mark only the sixth time in school history Cal has captured 20 or more matches. Head coach Rich Feller now has an overall Cal record of 137-99 (.580 winning percentage) in eight years in Berkeley, including being selected the Pac-10 and Pacific Region Coach of the Year in 2003. Several Bears have had standout performances this year. Junior outside hitter Angie Pressey leads Cal with 446 kills and 4.46 kills per game, was tournament MVP of the Cal Molten Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational, and was the Aug. 28 Pac-10 Player of the Week. Senior setter Samantha Carter is Cal's all-time assist leader with 5,625 assists and is only the fifth Pac-10 player to ever reach 5,000 career assists. Senior libero Jillian Davis set a new Cal single-season digs record with 538 digs in 2005 and is now the school's all-time digs leader with 1,754 career digs. Junior middle hitter Ellen Orchard is hitting .305 and leads the Bears with 149 total blocks, the second-most single-season blocks in school history. Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Beck is second on the team with 117 blocks and third with 271 kills, while freshman standout Hana Cutura is second on the team with 352 kills and was Co-MVP with Pressey at the Cal Molten Classic, and was the MVP of the Florida International Invitational.

CAL'S POSTSEASON HISTORY: Cal volleyball will be competing in the NCAA postseason for the 10th time in school history and the fifth time in the last five years. In each of the past five seasons, the Bears have advanced to the NCAA second round, including a round of 16 appearance in Honolulu in 2003. Cal hosted the NCAA first and second rounds at Haas Pavilion in 2003 and 2004. Prior to the 2002 season, Cal's last NCAA visit was in 1989 when it defeated Florida State, 3-1, in Tallahassee, before falling to Texas, 3-0, in Austin. The Bears also participated in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament in 1982, 1983, 1987 and 1988, finishing tied for ninth in the nation three times (1982 out of 28 teams, 1983 out of 28 teams and 1989 out of 32 teams). Cal has an 8-9 all-time record in NCAA volleyball postseason play. The Bears competed in the 1981 AIAW National Championship as well, placing 10th out of 12 teams, and the 1991 NIVC, tying for fifth place out of 20 teams.

BEARS GATHER PAC-10 HONORS: The Bears had an impressive five players earn 2006 Pac-10 accolades, which were announced Monday. Angie Pressey was selected as a member of the All-Pac-10 team for the third year in a row - the first player in school history to be All-Pac-10 three straight years. Jillian Davis was selected Pac-10 honorable mention for the second time, and junior Ellen Orchard and sophomore Morgan Beck were named honorable mention All-Pac-10 for the first time in their careers. Hana Cutura was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team - the sixth straight year Cal has had a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Proving the Pac-10's strength, four of the Top 10 teams are from the Pac-10 (Stanford 2nd, Washington 3rd, UCLA 4th, USC 6th). The Bears' No. 17 preseason ranking was the sixth time the Bears had been preseason ranked, and the fourth time since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked 19th at the start of 2005, No. 10 in 2004, No. 24 in 2003, No. 9 in 1989 and No. 12 in 1983. The Bears have been ranked 95 times since 1982, reaching as high as No. 5 on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest ranking this season is 7th, and the highest season-ending ranking was 10th in 1982.

HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (137-99, .580 at Cal; career 436-266, .621) is in his eighth season in Berkeley. Feller won his 400th career match and 100th Cal contest last season and is the only coach in school history to lead the Bears to five consecutive NCAA appearances. In 2003, he was named Pacific Region Co-Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading Cal to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Feller was an assistant for the USA National Team from 1997-98, and head coach at Colorado State for 14 years (1983-96) prior to taking over the Bears' coaching reins in 1999.

CAL VERSUS NCAA OPPONENTS: Cal will play No. 16 LSU (26-5) for the first time since defeating the Tigers, 2-0, Nov. 4, 1983 at the UCLA NIVT Tournament. The Tigers, coached by Fran Flory (ninth year at LSU), are led by 6-1 freshman middle blocker Lauren DeGirolamo (332 kills, 3.05kpg, .329 hitting percentage). LSU earned an at-large berth after winning the SEC Western Division. The Tigers last defeated St. John's and Marquette, 3-0, at the SEC/Big East Challenge in Orlando, Fla. The Bears have a 2-0 all-time record versus Michigan (21-12), including topping the Wolverines, 3-0, in the 2003 NCAA second round, Dec. 6, 2003 at Haas Pavilion. Michigan, coached by Mark Rosen (eighth year at UM), is led by 6-0 junior outside hitter Katie Bruzdzinski (521 kills, 4.65kpg, .272 hitting percentage). The Wolverines were an at-large team out of the Big Ten and fell to Michigan State (3-0) and defeated Iowa (3-0) in its last two conference matches. Cal is 6-6 all-time versus host and No. 15 national seed Cal Poly (22-5). In the last meeting, the Bears defeated the Mustangs, 3-0, Sept. 13, 2003, in the championship match of the Golden Bear Invitational at Haas Pavilion. The last time Cal played Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, the Bears won, 3-1, Nov. 11, 1995. The Mustangs, coached by Jon Stevenson (second year at CP), are led by 6-1 sophomore outside hitter Kylie Atherstone (468 kills, 4.50kpg, .254 hitting percentage). Cal Poly, the automatic qualifier from the Big West Conference, last defeated Pacific and UC Davis, 3-0. Stevenson is the former coach of Saint Mary's, whose Gaels fell to the Bears, 3-0, in the 2003 NCAA first round, and defeated Cal, 3-2, in the NCAA second round in 2004 at Haas Pavilion. The Bears have a 6-9 record against the 2006 NCAA Tournament field.

IMPRESSIVE PRESSEY: Angie Pressey is the Bears' most decorated player. In 2004, Pressey became the first Cal player in history to be both an All-Pac-10 selection and a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Her Pac-10 Player of the Week distinction on Aug. 28 was the third of her career, after she finished the Cal Molten Classic with 47 kills, five aces, 14 digs and a .430 hitting percentage. She was named MVP of the Golden Bear Invitational with 38 kills, a .380 hitting percentage (38k, 8e, 79att) and 23 digs; earning all-tournament for the sixth consecutive time. Pressey has recorded 1,221 career kills, third-most among current Pac-10 players, and the 11th player in Cal history to record over 1,000 kills.

BEAR SENIOR RECORD-HOLDERS: As a freshman in 2003, Samantha Carter set the Cal single-season mark of 1,555 assists. She became the school's all-time assist leader last season and now has 5,625 career assists, only the fifth Pac-10 player to ever reach 5,000 career assists. Jillian Davis' 1,754 career digs is first on the Cal all-time list. Davis, a starter in 2003 as well, set the Cal single-season digs record (538) in 2005; and on Oct. 1, 2004, her 33 digs at Stanford was a Cal single-match record.

CUTURA SHINES: In what might be the most spectacular debut in Cal history, 6-3 freshman outside hitter Hana Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia) earned Co-MVP at the Cal Molten Classic, MVP honors at the Florida International Tournament, and all-tournament recognition at the Golden Bear Invitational. During the Cal Molten Classic, Cutura finished with 45 kills, four service aces, 19 digs and a .407 hitting percentage. The following week at Florida International, she recorded 39 kills with a .314 hitting percentage in the three matches, including 15 kills with no errors in 26 attempts (.577) in the tournament opener versus Xavier. Despite sitting out the home ASU and Arizona matches with a sore right foot, Cutura has 21 service aces, and is second on the team with 352 kills and 3.87 kills per game.

BECK AND ORCHARD CONTRIBUTIONS: Two more key returning starters for the 2006 Bears are 6-3 sophomore outside hitter Morgan Beck and 6-3 junior middle hitter Ellen Orchard. Beck was a member of the 2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team after finishing second on the team with 342 kills and 380.0 points. She had her best match last year against national champion Washington, tallying a career-high 19 kills on Oct. 7, 2005, at Haas Pavilion. This season, Beck earned all-tournament honors at the Golden Bear Invitational, recording 27 kills and a team-high 12 total blocks. She is second on the team with 117 total blocks, and third with 271 kills. Beck was impressive in the home series versus Oregon and Oregon State, Oct. 19-20, finishing with 26 kills, and a .381 hitting percentage and a career-high three service aces versus OSU. Orchard led the Bears with 129 blocks last season while hitting .266 and recording 234 kills. This was after coming off the bench as a freshman to record 14 kills to lead the Bears in their NCAA first-round victory over Pacific in 2004. This season, Orchard leads the team with 149 total blocks and a .305 hitting percentage. Her 149 blocks is already the second-most single-season blocks in school history.

CAL AMONG PAC-10 STAT LEADERS: In the Pac-10 stat rankings, Pressey is third in kills (446, 4.46pg) and fifth in points (506.5, 5.07pg) per game. Carter is third in assists per game (1,298, 13.24pg). Cutura is eighth in kills (352, 3.87pg) and ninth in points (410.0, 4.51pg) per game. Orchard is third in blocks per game (149, 1.49pg) and eighth in hitting percentage (.305). Finally, Davis is sixth in the Pac-10 in digs per game (492, 4.92pg) and Beck is eighth in blocks (117, 1.18pg). As a team, the Bears are third in the Pac-10 with 3.18 blocks per game and fifth in hitting percentage (.247), opponents hitting percentage (.164), assists (15.05pg), kills (16.31pg), and sixth in service aces (1.39pg).

DID YOU KNOW?: The Bears were televised five times this season (Sept. 30 versus Arizona on Comcast, Oct. 6 at Stanford on Fox, Nov. 10 versus UCLA on Fox, Nov. 11 versus USC on Comcast, Nov. 25 versus Washington on Comcast). Cal had seven players honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic: Samantha Carter, Vivian Cheung, Jillian Davis, Bryte Nielson, Angie Pressey, Natalie Smart and Am'ra Solomon. Pressey was also named CoSIDA District 8 third-team all-academic. The Golden Bears featured Holly McPeak, the 1987 National Freshman of the Year, and Lisa Arce, Cal teammates from 1987-89. Both went on to be standout beach volleyball players. Angie Pressey's father, Paul, is a former NBA player (Milwaukee, San Antonio, Golden State) and assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors from 1992-94. Hana Cutura's father, Zoran, is a former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia.

2006 University of California Volleyball Season Highs 11-27

TEAMKills 73 vs. UCLA, 11/10Attempts 186 vs. Oregon, 10/19Hitting Pct. .430 vs. Yale, 9/16Assists 69 vs. UCLA, 11/10Service Aces 11 vs. Oregon State, 10/20Digs 95 at Oregon, 11/17Block Solos 6 at USC,10/13;at ASU,10/28Block Assists 30atUSC,10/13;vs.UO,10/19Team Blocks 21.0 at USC, 10/13


Morgan BeckKills 16 at UCLA, 10/12Attempts 37 vs. Oregon, 10/19Service Aces 3 vs. Oregon State, 10/20Digs 14 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Assists 7 vs. three teamsTotal Blocks 8 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; vs. Oregon, 10/19

Samantha CarterKills 6 at Washington State, 9/22Attempts 14 at Washington State, 9/22Assists 65 at Arizona State, 10/28Service Aces 4 vs. Montana, 8/25; vs. Oregon, 10/19Digs 14 vs. ASU, 9/29; at Arizona, 10/27Block Solos 2 at USC, 10/13Block Assists 4 at UOP,9/14;vs.UA,9/30;vs.UCLA,11/10Total Blocks 4 vs. four teams

Vivian CheungService Aces 1 vs. Oregon, 10/19Digs 4 vs. Washington State, 11/24

Hana CuturaKills 28 at Oregon, 11/17Attempts 57 at Oregon, 10/13Service Aces 3 vs. three teamsDigs 10 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Block Solos 2 at USC, 10/13Block Assists 5 vs. Oregon, 10/19; at Oregon, 11/17Total Blocks 6 at Oregon, 11/17

Cat DaileyKills 19 vs. Arizona State, 9/29Attempts 56 vs. Arizona State, 9/29Service Aces 1 vs. six teamsDigs 17 vs. Arizona State, 9/29Block Solos 1 vs. Arizona State, 9/29Block Assists 3 vs. ASU, 9/29; vs. Arizona, 9/30Total Blocks 4 vs. Arizona State, 9/29

Jillian DavisService Aces 2 vs. four teamsDigs 29 vs. UCLA, 11/10

Kristen KathanKills 1 vs. UCLA, 11/10Attempts 1 vs. UCLA, 11/10Assists 3 vs. UCLA, 11/10Service Aces 2 vs. four teamsDigs 15 vs. UCLA, 11/10; vs. UW, 11/25Block Solos 0Block Assists 0Total Blocks 0

Ellen OrchardKills 16 at Arizona, 10/27Attempts 32 at Arizona, 10/27Service Aces 3 vs. Baylor, 8/26Digs 6 at Oregon, 11/17Block Solos 3 at Arizona State, 10/28Block Assists 9 vs. Arizona State, 9/29Total Blocks 9 vs. four teams

Angie PresseyKills 25 at Arizona State, 10/28Attempts 58 vs. UCLA, 11/10; vs. UW, 11/25Service Aces 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Digs 18 at USC, 10/13Block Solos 3 at Washington State, 9/22Block Assists 5 vs. ASU, 9/29; at USC, 10/13Total Blocks 6 at FIU, 9/2; vs. ASU, 9/29

Natalie SmartKills 12 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Attempts 18 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Service Aces 0Digs 2 vs. five teamsBlock Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 7 at USC, 10/13Total Blocks 7 at USC, 10/13

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