No. 4 Bears Host No. 6 Huskies and Cougars for Halloween Weekend

Oct. 28, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. -

Complete Oct. 28 California Volleyball Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

This Week:Haas Pavilion | Berkeley, Calif.

vs. Washington StateFriday, Oct. 31 - 7 p.m.Comcast SportsNet-California

vs. No. 6 WashingtonSunday, Nov. 2 - 1 p.m.

The No. 4-ranked California volleyball team looks to bounce back from just its second defeat of the season and protect its share of the top spot in the Pac-10 as it hosts Washington State and No. 6 Washington over the Halloween weekend at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears had their 13-match win streak snapped in a five-set loss to a No. 14-ranked USC team in Los Angeles and hope to begin a new streak as they enter the second half of the conference season. The Bears have not lost a match within the friendly confines of Haas Pavilion since Oct. 11, 2007, a school-record 16 straight victories.

THE FACTS: No. 4 Cal (18-2, 8-1 Pac-10) welcomes Washington State (7-13, 0-9 Pac-10) and No. 6 Washington (16-3, 7-2 Pac-10) to Haas Pavilion as it opens the second half of the Pac-10 conference schedule. The Bears take on the Cougars in a 7 p.m. match on Halloween night, Friday, Oct. 31. Comcast SportsNet-California will broadcast the match live with Roxy Bernstein calling the action and Krista Blunk providing color commentary. After a day off, the Bears return to the court to face the Huskies in a 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, matinee. Live statistics for both matches will be available via Gametracker links at Admission is free to both matches for all youth 12th grade and below with valid student identification.

COMCAST SPORTSNET-CALIFORNIA INFORMATION: Comcast SportsNet California is available throughout most of Northern California from Fresno to the Oregon border on basic cable packages, but only on digital cable in the Bay Area (channel 400). For all live Cal telecasts, Comcast also makes the feed available to Bay Area viewers on channel 99 for those who have Comcast's Standard Cable Package and a cable box. It will not be available with basic cable or without a cable box. For a channel directory for CSN-California in Northern California, please visit In addition, Comcast SportsNet California is available nationwide for satellite subscribers with a sports pack (channel 698 for DirecTV and channel 409 for the Dish Network). CSN-California shows more than a dozen live Cal events each year from football to volleyball to men's and women's basketball. The weekly Cal Sports Report airs each Thursday at 6 p.m. Be sure to check local listings each week for possible lineup changes. For questions regarding Comcast SportsNet California, contact your local cable provider or call 866-804-3504.

FREE FOR ALL: The remainder of Cal's home matches feature free admission for all youth 12th grade and below with valid student identification. The Bears welcome Washington State (Oct. 31) and Washington (Nov. 2) this weekend. Then, in mid-November, Cal plays host to rival Stanford (Nov. 14) for the second Big Spike of the season before closing out home matches against UCLA (Nov. 21) and USC (Nov. 22). The match against the Trojans is Senior Night and will be broadcast live by Fox Sports Net.

LAST WEEK: The Bears held their No. 4 ranking after splitting matches on the road in Los Angeles where they endured 10 grueling sets. Cal claimed a 3-2 victory over 10th-ranked UCLA (30-28, 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13) as several players set career and season-high marks. Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon broke a four-year old record as she recorded a career-high 18 kills and 49 attacks (4e, .286). Junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley also enjoyed a career night as she registered her best numbers for kills, with 15, and attacks, with 25. Junior outside Hana Cutura had her sixth double-double of the season by pouring in 18 kills of her own and adding a career-high 19 digs. Junior libero Kristen Kathan led all players with a season-high 23 digs as the Bears came away with a school-record eighth consecutive victory in Pac-10 play. Less than 24 hours later, Cal played another five-set match, this time falling 3-2 to 14th-ranked USC (25-22, 16-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-13) at Galen Center. The Women of Troy out-blocked the Bears 18.0-5.0 and forced Cal into 13 hitting errors (14k, 42att, .024) in the fourth set to mount their comeback. Cutura had her seventh double-double of the season as she led all players with 20 kills and 17 digs. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari had a career-high 15 kills (3e, 22att, .545) and Solomon came on strong again with 16 kills (2r, 32att, .438) but the Trojans just had too much down the stretch, and snapped Cal's 13-match win streak.

WASHINGTON STATE NOTES: The Cougars (7-13, 0-9 Pac-10) come to Berkeley in search of their first conference win. Washington State has lost all but one set in conference play including three to the Bears in the Palouse and are currently on a nine-match losing streak. The last time the teams faced off, Cal took a 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 26-24) victory in Pullman, Wash. The Cougars are led by junior outside hitter Jackie Albright, who averages 2.52 kps (156k, 71e, 545att, .156) and is second on the team in digs with a 2.69 dps average. Senior middle blocker Emily Rooney has 158 kills (2.36 kps) and leads the team in service aces with 12. Although Washington State is last among Pac-10 teams in six statistical categories, the Cougars are tied for third in digs per set, putting up an average of 14.77 dps. Junior libero Kelly Hyder is fourth in the conference, averaging 4.20 digs per set. The Bears are 29-22 all-time against the Cougars and have emerged victorious in the last 11 meetings.

NO. 6 WASHINGTON NOTES: The Huskies (16-3, 7-2 Pac-10) have won five straight matches after falling in 3-0 losses at home to Cal (Oct. 3) and Stanford (Oct. 5). Washington has proven that it can win under pressure, bringing a 5-1 record in five-set matches to Haas. However, it's either feast or famine for the Huskies as they have also compiled an 11-2 record in 3-0 matches. Washington is third in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage and assists but has yet to play in a four-set match this season. The Huskies are led by sophomore outside hitter Becky Perry, who has a 3.72 kps (160k, 59e, 371att, .272) and senior All-American middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick's .424 (2nd in the Pac-10) attack percentage (130k, 30e, 236att) and 1.21 blocks per set. Sophomore setter Jenna Hagglund is second in the Pac-10 in assists with 12.01 aps and junior libero Tamari Miyashiro is second in the conference in digs with 4.87 dps. Redshirt junior Jill Collymore leads the Pac-10 with a 0.45 service aces per set average and averages 3.03 kps. The Bears are 22-28 all-time against the Huskies but have won two of the last three meetings.

POLL POSITION: Cal's No. 5 preseason ranking in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll marked the eighth time in school history that the Bears were ranked to open a season; the sixth since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. The Bears were ranked No. 12 at the start of 2007, No. 17 to open 2006, No. 19 in 2005, No. 10 in 2004 and No. 24 in 2003. Cal's two other preseason rankings came in 1989 (No. 9) and 1983 (No. 12). Setting a program-best mark in 2007, the Bears finished the season in the No. 4 spot after reaching the NCAA national semifinal, where they fell 3-0 to eventual NCAA champion Penn State. Cal's current No. 4 ranking and during the week of Sept. 8-15, 2008, is the highest regular season ranking the team has received. Since 1982, the Bears have been ranked a total of 124 times.

BEARS IN TV LAND: Cal will appear live in five televised matches this season. Comcast SportsNet California haunts the Haas sidelines on Halloween night (Oct. 31) as the Bears take on Washington State and will show Cal's match against Stanford in the Big Spike on Nov. 14 (7 p.m.). USC's visit to Berkeley on Nov. 22 will be carried by Fox Sports Net (5 p.m. PT) immediately following the Cal vs. Stanford football game. Cal appeared on CSN-California on Oct. 10 against Arizona State and on Fox Sports Net on Oct. 19 at Stanford. In addition, Cal appeared in a local telecast on the road at Washington Oct. 3. Cal is 3-0 in televised matches this season.

SUPER STREAKS: Cal's streak of 29 straight sets without a loss between Sept. 14 and Oct. 19 set a new school record, breaking the old record of 27 held by the 2002 squad. The Bears also had the second-longest match winning streak in school history this season, winning 13 consecutive matches between Sept. 13 and Oct. 24. In addition, the Bears set a new school record by winning eight consecutive Pac-10 matches. Cal still owns one active streak as it has won 16 consecutive matches (dating back to Oct. 11, 2007) at Haas Pavilion, also a new school record.

THE PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE: Cal will once again compete in what is arguably the toughest women's collegiate volleyball conference, the Pac-10. Six teams ranked in the most recent CBS/AVCA top 25 poll reside in the Pac-10 with all six in the top 12. Cal tops the list at No. 4 with 2007 NCAA runner-up Stanford right behind at No. 5. The rivals are followed by No. 6 Washington and No. 7 Oregon. UCLA sits at No. 9 and USC holds down the No. 12 position. Oregon State made its first appearance in the polls since 1996 several weeks ago and Arizona made its first appearance in the top 25 two weeks ago. Both have since exited the poll. With Cal Poly (No. 27), and Minnesota (No. 13) also cracking the lineup, and St. John's holding a position earlier this year, the Bears have the opportunity to face at least 15 top-25 ranked opponents before the season is over.

DIG FOR THE CURE: During the month of October, Pac-10 volleyball teams joined forces to help raise awareness about breast cancer during home matches. Among the promotional events, teams wore pink accessories, used pink game balls for the matches and tossed pink mini volleyballs into the stands. The Bears held Dig for the Cure on Oct. 10 when it hosted Arizona State at Haas Pavilion. On the road, Cal also participated in 'Pink' matches when it visited Stanford (Oct. 19), UCLA (Oct. 24), and USC (Oct. 25).

BEARS IN THE PAC-10 RANKS: Cal is in the top five in five statistical categories in the Pac-10. The Bears lead the conference in assists (14.01 aps) and kills (15.06 kps). Cal is second in both hitting percentage (.310) and opponent hitting percentage (.168). Finally, the Bears are fifth in service aces (1.24 saps) and sixth in blocks (2.47 bps). Individually, junior outside hitter Hana Cutura leads the conference in kills (4.43 kps) and points (5.07 pps). She is also third in service aces (0.37 saps). Junior libero Kristen Kathan is seventh in digs (4.15 dps) and sophomore setter Carli Lloyd leads all players in assists with 12.03 aps. Three Bears hold top-10 spots in hitting percentage led by freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari (.419) who is third in the conference; junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is seventh (.354) and Cutura is eighth (.334). On the other side of the net, Wiley is ninth in blocks per set with a 1.08 bps average.

NATIONAL N' THEM: The Bears hold several distinctions among the country's top teams including the top mark in assists with 14.01 aps. As a byproduct, the Bears rank second in the country in kills with 15.06 kps. Valparaiso leads all teams with a 15.13 kps average. Cal's .310 hitting percentage ranks fourth in the country behind Pac-10 leader, Stanford (.317) and NCAA leader, Penn State at No. 1 (.394). Defensively, the Bears are averaging 2.47 bps, 41st among NCAA division I teams; one of seven Pac-10 teams in the top 45 in that statistical category. Individually, sophomore setter Carli Lloyd is second in the country with 12.03 aps and junior outside Hana Cutura is 11th nationally in kills at 4.43 kps.

CAPTAIN CRUNCH: Cal will benefit from the leadership of three captains this season. Seniors Kat Reilly, Morgan Beck and Am'ra Solomon each holds the roll of co-team captain for 2008. Reilly brings her experience as the president of the Cal Student-Athlete Advisory Council to the court while Beck carries three years of on-court familiarity. Solomon's passion for the game and the team are apparent when she takes the court, often leading the team in cheers.

OUTSIDE INFLUENCE: The Bears returned several weapons at the outside hitter position from a squad that made an appearance in the NCAA semifinal, including All-American junior Hana Cutura. Cutura leads the team in total kills with 297 (93e, 611att, .334) and kills per set (4.43 kps). She also does her share of work on defense, picking up 172 digs thus far (2.57 dps). Senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck has logged 95 kills (2.32 kps) and 28 total blocks (0.68 bps) after earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention in 2007. Senior Am'ra Solomon has put down 174 kills (2.95 kps, second on the team) with a .311 attack percentage (45e, 415att). Solomon netted 80 kills (2.58 kps) a year ago in limited action. The Bears also added the services of freshman Tarah Murrey (142k, 67e, 335att, .224) to the lineup this season.

FRESH FACES: The Bears welcome five newcomers to the team this year. Topping the list is phenom outside hitter Tarah Murrey. Murrey comes to Cal as one of 2007's most highly sought-after high school recruits in the country. Her impressive resume includes Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 honors and recognition as the 2008 Gatorade California Player of the Year. Also a Fab 50 selection, freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari looks to step in and battle for immediate playing time. Joining Murrey and Hawari in the freshman class are setter/defensive specialist Ashley Roe, setter Kristin Obermeyer and defensive specialist/libero Katherine Gorman.

HOME, SWEET, HOME: There's no place like home and these Bears don't come to Haas Pavilion to hibernate. Cal has successfully defended its home court advantage in the past 16 matches; a school-record run that dates back to a 3-2 win over Washington on Oct. 11, 2007. The previous longest home winning streak lasted 13 matches from Oct. 28, 2005 through Oct. 19, 2006.

1,000K CLUB: Two Golden Bears have surpassed the 1,000 kill mark in their careers. Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura was the first to do so, hitting the 1,000 kill milestone on the head against Central Connecticut State Sept. 19 at the Crowne Plaza Volleyball Classic in Fullerton, Calif. Cutura is ninth in all-time career kills at Cal with 1,174 and will likely threaten the seventh-place position before the season is over. Senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck got her 1,000th kill against Oregon State Sept. 28. Beck now has 1,008 career kills and holds the ninth-place spot all-time at Cal in total blocks with 324.

#1: SETTING THE SCENE: Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd is averaging 12.03 aps (818 assists), tops in the Pac-10, but more importantly, she has the Bears on top of the conference with a 14.01 aps mark (second nationally). A 2007 Pac-10 All-Freshman selection, Lloyd posted 1,550 assists (12.81 dps) last year, and earned NCAA Wisconsin Regional all-tournament team status for her impressive postseason play. In addition to setting her teammates up, Lloyd also put down 93 kills and added 111 total blocks as a freshman. Lloyd broke the 2,000 assist mark against Oregon on Sept. 26, becoming just the sixth player in Cal history to break that plateau. Her 2,368 assists is already good for fifth among all-time career leaders at Cal. Lloyd's stellar play netted her all-tournament honors in all four of Cal's preseason tourney's including two MVP awards (Cal Molten Classic and Golden Bear Invitational), Pac-10 Player of the Week award twice and most recently, an AVCA National Player of the Week honor.

#1: CALIFORNIA GLADIATOR: Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd credits her athleticism to the training she received from uncle and coach, Galen Tomlinson. Tomlinson, a former volleyball coach at Fallbrook Union High School, is better known in some circles as Turbo from the 1980's television series, 'American Gladiators.'

#1: TRIPLE PLAY: Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week on Oct. 20, for her efforts in a 3-1 victory against Stanford, Oct. 19. She was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season for the week of Oct. 13-19, after earning honors for the week of Aug. 23-Aug. 31. In addition, Lloyd received the Cal Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week award to complete a trifecta of awards and honors. She is the first Cal player since Angie Pressey to receive Pac-10 (Aug. 28, 2006) and the first player since Mia Jerkov (2003) to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice in one season.

#2: DIGGING DEEP: Junior defensive specialist/libero Kristen Kathan sits in seventh place among Pac-10 players in digs per set with 4.15 dps (282 in 68 sets). Last year, Kathan registered the ninth-best single-season mark for digs at Cal as a sophomore with 414 (3.70 dps). Kathan had a career-high 29 digs at USC, Oct. 26, and her digs per set average was good for ninth-best among Pac-10 players last season. This season, Kathan put up a season-high 23 balls twice, last at UCLA, Oct. 24, and logged her 700th career dig against Oregon State Sept. 28.

#3: NATIONAL BECKONING: Senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck spent the 2008 spring semester away from the Berkeley campus to be with the USA Women's Indoor Volleyball team in Colorado Springs, Colo. Along with since-departed Angie Pressey, Beck trained with the team under the direction of head coach 'Jenny' Lang Ping. This summer, the USA Women's Indoor Volleyball team won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

#4: SISTER, SISTER: Freshman outside hitter Tarah Murrey comes from a family of athletes, one of which is older sister, Brittney. The elder Murrey is the starting setter for UC Riverside. Cal faced the Highlanders in what became a family affair at Haas Pavilion on Sept. 6 in the Golden Bear Invitational. Youth beat out experience as Cal's Murrey helped the Bears to a 3-0 win to close out the tournament crown.

#7: ROE, ROE, ROE YOUR BOAT: Freshman setter/defensive specialist Ashley Roe lists writing poetry and lyrics among her favorite off-court activities. She can often be heard singing or rapping ad-lib lyrics to familiar melodies. She has appeared in three matches for the Bears, logging a service ace on her first collegiate play against Minnesota (Sept. 12) and logged her first career assist on a kill from Hana Cutura against Central Connecticut State Sept. 19.

#8: ADVENTURES WITH AM'RA: Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon will be authoring a photo-journal during each of Cal's road trips this season. The pictorial essays are a behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 Golden Bears and will receive updates the Monday following each road trip. Solomon celebrated her second road-trip of the year with a spot on the Crowne Plaza All-Tournament team. Be sure to check the volleyball home page on for the latest shots off of Am'ra's camera.

#8: SHE AM WHAT SHE AM: Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon has been quietly becoming one of the Bears' go-to players on the outside. Her 2.95 kills per set are good for second on the team behind Pac-10 leader junior Hana Cutura. Solomon's sure hand has netted her a .311 attack percentage (174k, 45e, 415att). She set new career highs in both kills and attacks at UCLA Oct. 24, with 18 kills and 49 attacks. She also set career high numbers in digs and blocks this season, playing in a heavily saturated front row.

#9: OBI WAN KENOBERMEYER: Freshman setter Kristin Obermeyer might not be able to play any Jedi mind-tricks on opponents but she has the resume to prove her academic aptitude as one of the valedictorians at Westmont High School in Campbell, Calif. She has appeared in three matches for Cal and had her first assist against DePaul Sept. 6; she later logged a career-high five assists against Central Connecticut State Sept. 19 at the Crowne Plaza Volleyball Classic in Fullerton, Calif.

#10: MIDDLE METTLE: In her final season with the Bears, senior middle hitter Kat Reilly will serve as one of three team captains. Reilly appeared in just 85 sets last year, protecting her knee after recovering from an injury sustained as a freshman. Last season, Reilly logged 147 kills and hit for .325 (44e, 317att), the sixth-best single season output by a Bear. She also ranked second on the team a year ago with a 1.36 bps average, putting up a total of 116 blocks. This season, Reilly has logged 22 kills (0.73 kps) in limited time (14e, 74att, .108) and 23 total blocks (0.83 bps).

#10: PRESIDENTIAL PRECEDENCE: Senior middle hitter Kat Reilly serves as president of the Cal Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC is a collaboration of student-athletes representing all intercollegiate teams competing for the University of California, Berkeley. The mission of SAAC is to bring the student-athlete community together; provide feedback to the athletic administration on proposed conference and NCAA legislation; foster student-athlete welfare; create relationships between student-athletes and the community by organizing community service efforts and raising funds for various causes; and to become a sounding board for the athletic administration by generating a student-athlete voice where concerns are addressed.

#14: TEXAS TWO-STEP: The Cal roster will once again feature two players from the great state of Texas. With the departure of Ellen Orchard (Houston, Texas), the Bears added another middle hitter in freshman Shannon Hawari to the lineup. Hawari arrives in Berkeley from Plano, Texas, a former player at Plano West High School. Hawari joins senior Kat Reilly, who comes from Plano East High School.

#14: NO HAWARIAN ISLAND VACATION: Freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari has worked her way into the California starting lineup, logging 84 kills on 167 attacks with just 14 errors all season. Her .419 attack percentage is third-best among all Pac-10 players. She has also racked up a total of 48 blocks (0.92 bps), second on the team. Hawari had a breakout match at USC Oct. 25 where she tallied a career-high 15 kills on 22 attacks. When she does decide to take a break, she would like to vacation to Paris, France.

#17: STORMIN' GORMANS: Freshman defensive specialist/libero Katherine Gorman's older brother Richard is a junior designated hitter on the Cal baseball team. With 14 home volleyball matches and 30 home baseball games, Golden Bear sports will be a family affair for the Gorman household. Gorman has appeared in 11 of Cal's matches this year, recording her first digs in a match at Cal State Fullerton Sept. 20 and a career-high three digs at USC on Oct. 25.

#21: WILD AND WILEY: Junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is attacking at a .354 clip (141k, 43e, 277att). She put up a career-high 15 kills and 25 attacks at UCLA Oct. 24 and posted a career-high three solo blocks against UC Riverside Sept. 6. She has also recorded a career-high eight total blocks twice this season, first against San Francisco Sept. 20 and again against Oregon Sept. 26. The first service aces of Wiley's career came against Arizona (Oct. 11) and Arizona State (Oct. 10) this season. Wiley had Cal's eighth-best single season output for hitting percentage in 2007, registering a mark of .307 (85k, 30e, 179att). As a sophomore, Wiley shared time in the middle with since-departed Ellen Orchard and senior Kat Reilly but still managed to average 1.52 kps and put up 74 total blocks (1.32 bps).

#26: PASSING ON PIROUETTES: Hailing from Zagreb, Croatia, junior outside hitter Hana Cutura wasn't always the menacing volleyball force the Bears have come to know. The 6-4 outside hitter used to be a ballet dancer as a young girl but her natural gift for volleyball eventually shoved Nutcracker dreams aside. Last year, Cutura's play in the postseason earned her honors as the NCAA Wisconsin Regional MVP, an achievement her parents are quite proud of. Cutura's father, Zoran is a former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia while her mother, Gordana, is a former member of the Croatian National Volleyball team.

#26: SUPER HANA: Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura leads the Pac-10 in kills per set with a 4.43 kps average but is also an astonishing eighth in the conference with a .334 attack percentage, the highest of any outside hitter in the Pac-10. She has also contributed to the Cal defense by putting in 2.57 digs per set. Her 5.07 points per set is tops in the conference and is far outpacing Oregon's Gorana Maricic's 4.81 pps. Cutura also leads the Bears in service aces with 25 on the season (0.37, third in the Pac-10).

#44: FAMILY TRACK RECORD: Sophomore defensive specialist/libero Meagan Schmitt seems destined to have become a Cal athlete. Both her parents, Tom and Laura attended Cal and were cross country and track and field athletes for the Bears. Her uncle, John Starrett also starred as a rower for the Bears. Schmitt put up a career-high nine digs at Stanford, Oct. 19.

McSHANE THE TRAIN: This past June, assistant coach Matt McShane joined over 2,800 bike riders on a seven-day, 545-mile trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles as a part of the 2008 AIDS/LifeCycle Ride benefiting HIV/AIDS services. Founded in 2002, AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center and is designed to advance their shared interests to end the pandemic and human suffering caused by AIDS through raising funds and social awareness. In 2008, the ride raised over $11.6 million dollars.

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