No. 14 Bears Head North for Bouts with No. 15 Ducks and Beavers

Oct. 13, 2009

BERKELEY - at No. 15 OregonFriday, Oct. 16 7 p.m. PTMcArthur Court | Eugene, Ore. |

at Oregon StateSaturday, Oct. 17 7 p.m. PTGill Coliseum | Corvallis, Ore. |

The Golden Bears are set to face their sixth consecutive top-25 team as they embark on their second Pac-10 road trip. No. 14 Cal, No. 15 Oregon and Oregon State each carry 2-3 conference records into the weekend and are looking to improve as the mid-way point of the Pac-10 season approaches. The Bears snapped a three-match skid as they swept No. 25-ranked Washington State to give head coach Rich Feller his 200th win at Cal. Feller's next victory will be his 500th career win as a collegiate volleyball head coach.

THE FACTS: The No. 14-ranked California volleyball team (9-6, 2-3 Pac-10) heads to the Beaver State for matches against No. 15 Oregon (12-3, 2-3 Pac-10) and Oregon State (11-6, 2-3 Pac-10). The Golden Bears square off against the Ducks in a 7 p.m. PT match on Friday (Oct. 16) at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. and will take on the Beavers at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 17) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Fans can follow live stats for Cal's match at Oregon via links at Oregon also offers a live video feed of the match for fans who subscribe to the All-Sports package for $9.95 per month. Live stats and free streaming video will be available when the Bears take on the Beavers via links at

FOLLOW CAL VOLLEYBALL ON TWITTER: This season, fans can follow Cal volleyball on Twitter. Stay up-to-date and get the exclusive inside scoop along with special Twitter-only photos on everything Cal volleyball at

LAST WEEK: The Bears split matches at Haas Pavilion as they fell in three sets to a No. 3-ranked Washington squad (25-16, 25-22, 25-23) before sweeping No. 25 Washington State (25-14, 25-19, 25-20). Head coach Rich Feller earned his 200th victory as Cal's coach in the win over the Cougars; a victory that ended a three-match losing streak for the Bears. It was also the 13th consecutive time that Cal has defeated Washington State. On back-to-back nights, Cal posted its best hitting percentages of the season. First, the Bears logged a .349 attack rate against the Huskies with 40 kills (11e, 83att) but came out the next night to post a .396 percentage against Washington State with 54 kills (14e, 101att). Cal's outing against the Cougars included a first set in which they notched 20 kills on 27 attacks (3e) to put up a .630 attack percentage. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura led the way for Bears as she came away with 30 kills (5e, 53att, .472) over the course of the two matches. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley continued to climb the charts as she logged 18 kills on 30 attacks (5e) for a .433 attack rate to go with five blocks.

NO. 15 OREGON NOTES: The Ducks (12-3, 2-3 Pac-10) won ten matches and went undefeated in non-league play as they dropped just four sets. But since the conference season started, Oregon has had its two victories sandwiched by three losses. Last week, the Ducks claimed a sweep on the road at Arizona State before falling in four sets to No. 22 Arizona. Oregon leads the conference in service aces with nearly two per set (1.94 saps). Junior outside hitter Heather Meyers leads the nation with 0.70 saps and 30 aces overall. Five Ducks have recorded at least 11 aces this season. Meyers ranks second on the team in kills with 3.19 kps while senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe holds Oregon's top honors with 3.88 kps. Senior middle blocker Neticia Enesi puts up 2.94 kps and leads the Ducks with a .459 attack percentage, which ranks second in the conference. As a team, Oregon also ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage (.292) and is third in both kills (14.32 kps) and assists (13.34 kps). The Ducks, however, rank ninth in digs among conference teams, putting up just 12.38 dps. Cal owns a 46-14 overall record against Oregon and has won four of its last five meetings with the Ducks.

OREGON STATE NOTES: The Beavers (11-6, 2-3 Pac-10) were swept in their first two Pac-10 matches but have since endured three five-setters and come away with wins against No. 7 Oregon and Arizona State. Oregon State ranks second in the conference and 11th in the nation with 2.84 blocks per set. Junior middle blocker Kiersten Sambrailo is fifth among Pac-10 players in blocks as she puts back 1.20 bps. Offensively, the Beavers are led by senior outside hitter Rachel Rourke, who ranks second in the Pac-10 in kills (4.52 kps) and points (5.18 pps) behind just Cal's Hana Cutura. Junior outside hitter Jill Sawatzky puts up 3.50 kps and is ninth in the Pac-10. Sawatzky also puts up 2.62 dps, third on the team. Sophomore libero Betsy Devich leads Oregon State and is sixth in the conference with 3.75 dps but the Beavers spread the defensive responsibilities around with four players averaging at least 2.30 digs per set. Senior setter Camilla Ah-Hoy dishes out 10.31 aps and ranks eighth in the conference. Cal leads the all-time series with the Beavers, 37-17, and has won the last six meetings without dropping a set.

COACHING CONNECTION: Prior to his first head coaching position at Colorado State, Rich Feller began his professional coaching career as one of the top assistants to current Oregon State head coach Taras Liskevych while at Pacific. Feller helped guide the Tigers to second, fourth and fifth-place national finishes during his time in Stockton, Calif. from 1980-83.

BEARS IN THE PAC-10 RANKS: Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura leads the conference and is fifth nationally in kills per set with 4.74 kps. Cutura also leads all Pac-10 players and is seventh nationally in points with 5.29 pps. Junior setter Carli Lloyd is fourth in the conference with 10.90 assists per set. Senior libero Kristen Kathan ranks ninth in digs with 3.17 dps. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is third in hitting percentage at .391 (153k, 44e, 279att) and ninth in blocks at 1.05 bps. Wiley is also 16th nationally in blocks. As a team, the Bears rank fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.265) and fourth in blocks (2.66 bps).

RIPPIN' THE RPI: The NCAA released its first Division I Women's Volleyball ratings percentage index (RPI) on Sunday, Oct. 11, with the Bears debuting at No. 10 out of 330 ranked teams. Arizona tops all Pac-10 teams at No. 6 with Washington checking in at No. 8. A team's RPI ranking is determined by its strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule; whether or not a team won and where the match was played. It is used by the NCAA as one determining factor in deciding which teams to invite to the NCAA tournament and where to seed them.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Several Bears received all-tournament team honors in pre-conference tournaments this season. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura was named the MVP of the Molten/Hilton Garden Inn Classic and selected to the all-tournament team at both the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational and the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. Junior setter Carli Lloyd joined Cutura for all-tourney honors in Nevada and in the Molten. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley joined Cutura in Hawai'i and also received a spot on the Molten all-tournament team. Senior libero Kristen Kathan was also selected to the Molten all-tournament team.

BEARS IN TV LAND: The Bears will appear on live broadcasts in home matches against Arizona State (Sunday, Oct. 25) and Oregon (Sunday, Nov. 15) on Comcast SportsNet California. Please check your local listings for times and availability. The Bears were also featured on two Fox Sports Net television broadcasts this season. FSN was on hand at Haas Pavilion to cover Cal's Pac-10 opener against Stanford on Friday, Sept. 25 and at the Bears' first Pac-10 road match when Cal visited the Galen Center in Los Angeles to take on USC on Oct. 2. Both matches were televised via tape delay on the Sunday immediately following the match. The Bears were also on television as they defeated Washington State on Oct. 10 for head coach Rich Feller's 200th victory. Cal's visit to the Hawaiian Islands was broadcast by K5 Honolulu as they took out Hawai'i on Sept. 6.

RUNNIN' WITH THE PAC: Cal competes in what is undeniably the toughest conference in women's collegiate volleyball--the Pacific-10. The conference has captured five of the last eight NCAA titles and holds 13 volleyball national championships overall. The Pac-10 has had 10 or more AVCA All-American selections in each of the last four years and boasts a group of coaches with over 200 years of combined head-coaching experience. A conference-record eight Pac-10 teams held rankings in the Oct. 5 AVCA Top 25 poll. Currently, Washington leads all teams with the No. 4 ranking. No. 5 Stanford follows next with UCLA at No. 12. Then No. 14 Cal and No. 15 Oregon check in to give the conference five teams in the top 15 alone. USC comes in next at No. 16 with Arizona at No. 18 to make it seven Pac-10 teams in the top 20. Washington State appeared at No. 25 in the Oct. 5 poll for the first time since 2003. Oregon State and Arizona State each received votes in a poll earlier this season to give the Pac-10 full representation on coaches ballots in 2009.

PACK THE PAVILION: On Friday, Sept. 25, fans set a new Haas Pavilion attendance record as the Bears defeated Stanford in the 69th Big Spike. 4,189 fans were in the building to witness the thrilling five-set finish, breaking the old record of 3,976. In seven home dates this season, Cal has welcomed 8,451 fans to Haas for an average of 1,207 per match.STRICT SCHEDULE: As a part of the Pac-10 conference, the Bears face top-ranked teams on a regular basis. This season Cal is scheduled to face at least 17 teams ranked in the top 25 before season's end. In addition to taking on No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 12 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon, No. 16 USC, and No. 18 Arizona twice this season, the Bears also faced a No. 2-ranked Texas, No. 19 Saint Louis and No. 4 Hawai'i in three consecutive matches as part of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu from Sept. 3-6. The Bears also caught Washington State on a weekend when it was ranked No. 25. Among teams receiving votes in the preseason poll, Cal also has Saint Mary's (CA) twice, San Francisco and No. 21 UC Irvine on its schedule.

DIG FOR THE CURE: During the month of October, Pac-10 volleyball teams will join forces to help raise awareness about breast cancer during home matches as a part of the national Dig for the Cure campaign. Cal volleyball will run a special donation drive to benefit the Alta Bates Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center when it takes on Arizona on Friday, Oct. 23. Check for more details on promotions as the match nears. Cal's match at UCLA on Oct. 3 was also a Dig for the Cure match.

200 TO 500: Head coach Rich Feller earned his 200th victory at Cal in a 3-0 sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10, and is just one win from clinching his 500th all-time career victory as a collegiate head coach. Feller has guided the Golden Bears to a school-record six consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament and has taken Cal further into postseason play than any other coach in program history. He began his career as the head coach at Colorado State in 1983.

SEEING DOUBLE: The Bears faced Saint Mary's College in two matches this season; the first was a 3-1 win for Cal on Aug. 29 at the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational and the second was also a 3-1 win for Cal on Sept. 18 in the Pac-10/WCC Challenge. The last time Cal faced a non-conference opponent twice in the same season was in 1996 when the Bears suffered back-to-back losses to Hawai'i in Honolulu on Sept. 13 and 14. However, the previous time Cal faced Saint Mary's twice in the same season, the Bears also came away with two victories in 1988.

WELCOME FRESHMEN: The Bears brought in seven newcomers in 2009. Among the top-10 ranked recruiting class, Cal's roster features four Top Senior Aces and three players who each earned Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 and UnderArmour High School All-America recognition. Joining the Bears this season are outside hitter Jessica Adams; setter Elly Barrett; middle hitter Kat Brown; outside hitter Mary Buckingham; middle hitter Tia Gaffen; middle hitter Correy Johnson; and defensive specialist Robin Rostratter.

TEXAS TWO-STEP: For the seventh consecutive season, the Cal roster will feature at least two players from the great state of Texas. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari (Plano, Texas) and freshman setter Elly Barrett (Austin, Texas) each hail from the Lone Star State. Barrett grew up close to Texas volleyball as a resident of Austin, one of the teams on the Bears' schedule this season.

EAGLE'S NEST: Assistant coach Chris Bigelow is a former middle blocker for the Eastern Washington Eagles. Bigelow played for head coach Beth Parsons when Eastern was a part of the Pine League and completed her physical education degree from the university in 1974. The Bears defeated the Eagles, 3-0, on Friday, Sept. 11. Bigelow also has connections with another Cal opponent this season; she was an assistant coach at Texas from 1984-91.

ISLAND CONNECTION: First-year director of volleyball operations Jennifer Carey is a former All-Western Athletic Conference setter for Hawai'i. Carey set records as a member of the Rainbow Wahine and was a four-time selection to the WAC All-Academic team. She arrived at Cal via Georgia Tech where she was an assistant coach under Bond Shymansky (currently the head coach at Marquette). Prior to coaching, Carey served as the director of operations for Texas A&M volleyball. Cal's visit to the islands was a homecoming for Carey as the Bears defeated her alma mater (3-2) on Sept. 6 in Honolulu.

#1 | SETTING HER PLACE: In just two seasons, setter Carli Lloyd has established herself as a force to be reckoned with. As a freshman, she completed her season just six assists shy of setting a new Cal single-season record as she posted 1,550 in 2007. In 2008, Lloyd continued to push boundaries by putting up 1,392 assists, as she earned the sixth best all-time single-season mark at Cal and placed third in the nation with her 12.00 aps average. With 3,574 career assists, Lloyd is third among active Pac-10 assist leaders and sits comfortably in fifth all-time for the Bears; on pace to continue to break records in the years to come. Over the summer, she was named to the all-tournament team at the USA Adult Open Volleyball Championship as she helped guide her team to a bronze medal finish.

#1 | HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE: Setter Carli Lloyd was quite literally raised in a barn. Her home in Bonsall, Calif. is a ranch just north of San Diego. Among the many animals on the ranch, Lloyd's pets include horses, dogs, cats, snakes, chinchillas, cows, pigs and plenty of fish in a man-made pond that she helped dig out.

#1 | CALIFORNIA GLADIATOR: Junior All-American 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.'

#2 | SHE CAN DIG IT: Senior libero Kristen Kathan led the Bears in digs in 2008 with 4.23 dps; fourth in the Pac-10. Her 491 digs ranked third all-time for single-season digs at Cal. As a sophomore, she posted the 10th best single-season mark with 414 digs. With 1,207 career digs, she ranks fifth all-time at Cal and is currently fourth among active Pac-10 players.

#3 | IT'S A SMALL HARBOR AFTER ALL: Freshman outside hitter Mary Buckingham shares an alma mater with two of Cal's staff members. A 2009 graduate of Newport Harbor High School, Buckingham joins fellow Sailor alum Jennifer Carey (`99, director of operations) and Ryan Newell ('03, volunteer assistant coach) in Berkeley this fall.

#4 | TARAH-RIZING THE COURT: In just her first year with the Bears, outside hitter Tarah Murrey proved why she was such a sought after recruit coming out of high school. Murrey posted 277 kills and ranked third on the team with 2.43 kps. She also contributed 177 digs in 2008 on her way to a selection on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Last summer, she helped her USA A2 team to a bronze medal at the 80th Annual USA Adult Open Volleyball Championship.

#8 | PART OF THEIR WORLD: Hailing from Orlando, Fla., the home of Disney World and Mickey Mouse, freshman opposite Correy Johnson's favorite Disney character is Ariel from the Little Mermaid; partly because she has similarly red hair. Johnson has wasted no time making her way to the court and contributing both offensively and defensively. Johnson has posted 96 kills (30e, 214att) and a .308 attack percentage while adding 39 blocks. Johnson logged a career-high 15 kills (4e, 29att) and posted a .379 attack percentage in a match against USC on Oct. 2.

#8 | FANTASMICORREY: Freshman opposite hitter Correy Johnson enjoyed a career night as she logged 15 kills (4e, 29att, .379) in a match at USC on Oct. 2. Johnson, however, has shown a propensity for offensive efficiency as she has enjoyed five matches in which she attacked at better than .400; including three in which she went without error. On Sept. 19, Johnson logged five kills on six attacks (0e, .833) against San Francisco. She went for seven kills (0e, 10att, .700) on Oct. 9 against Washington. In Cal's five-set win over Stanford, Johnson logged 10 kills (1e, 16att) to record a .562 attack rate. She was .538 against Saint Mary's on Sept. 18 (7k, 0e, 13att) and .444 against Washington State on Oct. 10 (10k, 2e, 18att).

#9 | OBI WAN KENOBERMEYER: Sophomore 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 2008 valedictorians at Westmont High School in Campbell, Calif. As a freshman, she 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 | WAKEY, WAKEY; EGGS AND BAKEY: One of freshman setter Elly Barrett's favorite pastimes is wakeboarding. She spent the summer prior to entering school at Berkeley serving as a counselor at a Christian wakeboard camp called Instead in Austin, Texas. The camp operates as a ministry of the Austin Ridge Bible Church.

#11 | DOUBLE-DRIBBLE: Freshman middle hitter Kat Brown was a dual-sport athlete in high school as she excelled on both the volleyball and basketball courts. She was a four-year starter in both sports at St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School. Her basketball coach was former Golden Bear point guard Kristin Iwanaga. Iwanaga helped Brown achieve school records in points, rebounds and blocked shots on her way to being named Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League MVP as a senior.

#13 | GOPHER GAFFEN: Freshman middle hitter Tia Gaffen is the first Golden Bear to hail from the Gopher State. A native of Wayzata, Minn., Gaffen comes from a place better known as the 'North Star State', 'Bread and Butter State' and the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes'. In the end, Gaffen chose one bay over many lakes.

#13 | GAFFEN'S GAFF: Freshman middle hitter Tia Gaffen saw her first collegiate action in matches against Eastern Washington and San Jose State in the 2009 Molten/Hilton Garden Inn Classic. She hooked the competition for several points as she posted 12 kills (2e, 23att) and a .435 attack percentage in seven sets. She also had four assists and four blocks.

#14 | HAWARIAN VACATION: Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari didn't take any time off when she set a new Cal record for single season hitting percentage in 2008 as she posted a .387 mark with 113 kills on 230 attacks. She ranked fourth among Pac-10 players and also contributed to the Bears defensively with 64 blocks on her way to a selection to the 2008 Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

#17 | ROCKIN' ROBIN: Freshman defensive specialist Robin Rostratter has found a way to rock out on the volleyball court, coming in to serve and to play back-row for the Bears this season. Rostratter has recorded a service ace and put up 19 digs in 34 sets of play so far. When she's not on the court, Rostratter likes to rock out to a variety of music; from Beyoncé to John Mayer and from Michael Bublé to T-Pain.

#21 | MINDI IN THE MIDDLE: Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley led the Bears in blocks in 2008 with 123; 1.09 bps. Those numbers were good enough to rank fifth among Pac-10 players. She also ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage with a .337 mark (258k, 86e, 511att). Wiley received AVCA All-Pacific Region honorable mention and All-Pac-10 honorable mention as a junior and set the ninth best single-season mark for blocks as well as the sixth best single-season mark for hitting percentage at Cal.

#21 | MIND OVER MATTER: Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is one of the most efficient attackers for the Bears. She has notched 153 kills (44e, 279att) to log a .391 attack percentage this year and leads the team in blocks with 1.05 bps and 61 total blocks. She set new career high marks in a match at USC when she posted 21 kills and 37 attacks. Wiley is an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; 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.

#26 | HANA HOU: Meaning 'Do it again!' or 'Encore' in Hawaiian, Cal fans want senior All-American outside hitter Hana Cutura to do it again. Cutura posted new career highs for kills and attacks in a five-set win against Hawai'i on Sept. 6. Cutura's 30 kills (72 attacks) made her the first Bear to reach the 30-kill mark since All-American outside hitter Mia Jerkov recorded 32 kills in a loss to Georgia Tech on Dec. 12, 2003. In her career, Cutura has 1,651 kills and is fourth all-time at Cal for career kills; second among active Pac-10 players. She is also within reasonable reach of the all-time mark at Cal of 1,814 kills held by Tiffany Rochelle (1986-89).

#26 | SENIOR ACE: Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura has recorded 104 career service aces and ranks seventh all-time at Cal. She is the leader among active Pac-10 players and leads the team with 11 (0.19 saps) this season.

#26 | THE CROATION SENSATION: Two-time All-American outside hitter Hana Cutura led the Bears in kills (4.34 kps, 499 kills) and points (572.5) in 2008. As a senior, she returns to the Cal lineup; now with 1,585 career kills (second among active Pac-10 players). Her performance as a junior nabbed her second All-Pac-10 selection as she set the fifth highest mark for single-season kills at Cal. She is also second among active Pac-10 players in service aces with 99; 10th all-time at Cal.

#26 | PASSING ON PIROUETTES: Hailing from Zagreb, Croatia, senior 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 youth but her natural gift for volleyball eventually shoved Nutcracker dreams aside. As just a sophomore, Cutura's play in the postseason earned her honors as the NCAA Wisconsin Regional MVP. As a junior, Cutura received her second selection to the AVCA All-America team; each achievements 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.

#39 | THE ADAMS FAMILY: Freshman outside hitter Jessica Adams comes from a long line of California alumni. Her great-great uncle Homer Woolsey MD received his degree from the university in 1910. Her great-grandparents Fred Lawson Adams and Marion Anderson Adams were students in Berkeley in 1921 and 1926 and her grandparents Fred Lawson Adams Jr. and Joan Woolsey Adams received degrees in the early 1950's. Most recently aunt Jill Adams and uncle Jeff Adams received degrees in 1976 and 1984 respectively. Currently, Adams' brother Lawson David is set to graduate in 2010.

#44 | FAMILY TRACK RECORD: Junior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt seems destined to be a Cal athlete. Both of 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.

INJURY REPORT: Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari suffered a complete tear of her left anterior cruciate ligament in the first set of Cal's match against Hawai'i in Honolulu on Sept. 6. Hawari will have reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament damage and apply for a medical hardship waiver in hopes of retaining three years of eligibility.

SEASON TICKET HOLDER CHALLENGE: The Cal volleyball team issued a challenge to its season ticket holders this season. In an effort to raise the number of season ticket holders and E-newsletter subscribers, the team is offering prize incentives for different levels of goal achievement.

GOING BACK TO CALI: Before each match, the Bears gather for a team huddle in which they chant 'Going, going; back, back; to Cali, Cali!' Taken from the 1997 rap-hit Going Back To Cali by late Bad Boy Records rapper Notorious B.I.G., the chant is a reference to the great Golden State; the home of the Golden Bears.

PRESEASON POLL POSITIONS: Cal received the No. 6 ranking in two preseason polls; the AVCA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 Poll. The selection in the AVCA poll marks the ninth time in school history that the Bears have been ranked to open a season; the seventh since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked No. 5 at the start of 2008 and finished No. 6. The Bears held the No. 12 spot in 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 highest regular season ranking was recorded several times in 2008 as the Bears reached No. 4 for several weeks. Since 1982, the Bears have been ranked in the weekly AVCA poll a total of 138 times.

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