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No. 20 Cal Stays On Road; Feller Eyes 600th Win

Nov 12, 2013

Thursday, Nov. 14
7 p.m. PT - No. 20 Cal (16-7, 9-5 Pac-12) at Oregon State (9-16, 0-14)
Gill Coliseum - Corvallis, Ore.
Coverage: Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter
Cal All-Time Series vs. the Beavers: 45-18
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (10-27-2013)

Friday, Nov. 15
6 p.m. PT - No. 20 Cal at Oregon (14-10, 7-7)
Matthew Knight Arena - Eugene, Ore.
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter
Cal All-Time Series vs. the Ducks: 52-17
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (10-25-2013)

BERKELEY - The surging No. 20 Cal women’s volleyball team is on the road for the second straight week, visiting Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Friday. The Bears have won three in a row and six of their past seven matches to take a stranglehold of fourth place in the Pac-12 standings. Cal head coach Rich Feller enters the week with 598 career wins, needing two more to become the 18th active coach and 29th ever to reach the 600-win mark for a career. Also, Feller’s next victory will be his 300th at Cal.

Following The Bears
A live video stream of Thursday’s match at Oregon State will be available at Friday’s match at Oregon will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn on the call. Online play-by-play audio is available for all Cal road matches at Real-time live stats are also available for all matches at

Social Studies
Follow the Bears through social media all season in a variety of ways. Real-time match updates, links and other content is available by following Cal Volleyball on Twitter. The Cal Volleyball Facebook Page also has extensive content about the team on and off the court. And join the Bears ride this season through a camera lens at the Cal Volleyball page on Instagram.

Probable Starters
No.    Name            Pos.    Ht.    Yr.    Hometown
12    Joan Caloiaro        S    5-11    Sr.    Saratoga, Calif.
5    Adrienne Gehan        OH    6-3    Sr.    Dallas, Texas
18    Michelle Neumayr    OH    6-1    So.    San Mateo, Calif.
23    Christina Higgins    OPP    6-2    Jr.    Inglewood, Calif.
1    Lillian Schonewise    MB    6-3    So.    Papillion, Neb.
4    Lara Vukasovic        MB    6-5    So.    Zagreb, Croatia
9    Maddy Kerr        L    5-7    Fr.    San Diego, Calif.

Catching Up With The Bears
Cal became the first team this season to register a road sweep of both Utah and Colorado last week (Stanford equaled the feat later). The Bears have won six of their past seven matches and are all alone in fourth place in the Pac-12 standings, two games ahead of Arizona, Colorado and Oregon. Much of last week’s success was the product of clutch play. Cal staved off 14 set points to sweep Utah, and then came back to beat Colorado after losing the first set in which it had a big lead. In all, four of the six sets the Bears won last week were by two points and another was by three. The only set they dropped was by two points.

Higgins Named Pac-12 Offensive Player Of The Week
Junior opposite hitter Christina Higgins was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Bears to road wins over Utah and Colorado. She averaged 5.0 kills per set and hit for a .352 percentage. It was the third weekly conference honor for Higgins. She was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week twice in 2011.

Feller Nearing History
Cal head coach Rich Feller needs just two wins to become the 18th active coach and 29th in Division I history to reach the career 600-win mark. Feller, who is in his 15th season leading the Bears, has amassed a career record of 598-327 in 29 years of coaching overall. Feller spent the first 14 years of his career as the head coach at Colorado State.

Feller Needs One For 300 At Cal
Not only is Feller on the cusp of reaching the career 600-win mark, he needs just one victory to notch his 300th victory at Cal. Feller is 299-160 while at the helm in Berkeley. He became the program’s all-time winningest coach back in 2007.

Cal Up To No. 20 In AVCA Top 25
The Bears moved up two spots in this week’s AVCA Top 25, jumping from No. 22 to No. 20. This marks the third consecutive week Cal has been ranked in the weekly poll. The Bears have received votes in every poll this year and were ranked No. 23 after the second week of the season.

Gehan Has Career Night
Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had arguably the best offensive match of her career last week at Colorado. Gehan tied her career-high with 22 kills and hit for a scorching .436 percentage. It’s the third time Gehan has reached the 22-kill mark in her career. The output lifted her kill average to 4.38 per set, good for fourth in the Pac-12 and 22nd in the country.

Gehan Reaches 1,000-Kill Mark
Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan put down her 1,000th career kill during the Bears’ win over Oregon State on Oct. 27. She is te 15th player in school history to reach that mark. The last Cal player to go over the 1,000-kill mark for a career was Tarah Murrey in 2010.

Offense Features Explosive 1-2 Punch
Cal is the only team in the Pac-12 with two players among the top-10 in kills per set. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan ranks fourth at 4.38 while junior opposite hitter Christina Higgins is ninth with 3.32 kills per set. The last time Cal had two players finish the season in the top-10 in the conference in kills per set was in 2007, when Hana Cutura finished fourth at 4.22 and Angie Pressey was fifth at 4.21.

Caloiaro Looks To Become Cal’s First Assist Champ
After falling out of the top spot in the Pac-12 for one week, a productive week moved senior setter Joan Caloiaro back into the conference lead in assist average. Caloiaro was especially impressive in Saturday’s win over Colorado, dishing out 62 assists in just four sets. That is the most by any Pac-12 player in a four-set match this season. Caloiaro now averages 11.86 assists per set, first in the Pac-12 and No. 7 in the country. No Cal player has ever paced the conference in assist average. Carli Lloyd led the Pac-12 in total assists in 2008 with 1,392.

Michelle Neumayr’s Long Road Back
Outside hitter Michelle Neumayr made her long-awaited college debut in the Bears’ season-opener against Nevada on Aug. 30 at the Cal Molten Classic. Neumayr, who was the No. 27 Senior Ace by at Burlingame High School, tore the ACL in her left knee the summer before her freshman year at Cal. Then after fully recovering, she tore the same ligament last summer. Two surgeries and hours of rehab later, Neumayr is finally on the floor for the first time at Cal. Neumayr had the best offensive output of her career Thursday at Utah when she put down a career-high 12 kills at a .310 percentage.

The Last Time vs. Oregon State: Oct. 27 - Cal 3, Oregon State 2
Sophomore middle blocker Lillian Schonewise had four of her career-eight blocks in the decisive fifth set and the Bears outlasted the Beavers, 25-18, 21-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-8 at Haas Pavilion. Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic had a career-high 18 kills and senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan tied her career-best with 22 kills.

The Last Time vs. Oregon:  Oct. 25 - Cal 3, Oregon 2
Freshman libero Maddy Kerr tied a school record with 33 digs and sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic had a huge night with 17 kills and 10 blocks as the Bears got by the Ducks, 25-13, 27-29, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13. Sophomore middle blocker Lillian Schonewise tied a career-high with 13 kills.

Lights-Out Lara
Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic has been playing at an all-conference level for much of the season. She enters the week ranked eighth in the Pac-12 with 1.19 blocks per set and her .344 hitting percentage puts her just outside the conference leaders. Vukasovic, who was moved to middle blocker this season after playing both opposite hitter and outside hitter as a freshman, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Bluejay Invitational and Hilton Garden Inn Invitational.

About Oregon State
• Senior libero Becky Defoe ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 4.45 digs per set. Defoe needs just 73 more digs to become the 10th conference player ever to amass 2,000 for a career.
• Middle blocker Arica Nassar ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with 1.16 blocks per set.

About Oregon
• The Ducks were ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for most of the season but dropped out on Nov. 4. They still received 37 votes this week, putting them at No.  27.
• Junior outside hitter Liz Brenner ranks third in the Pac-12 with 4.45 kills per set.
• Freshman libero Amanda Benson is third in the conference with 4.63 digs per set.

Next Week
The Bears return to Berkeley for their final two home matches of the season. Cal hosts No. 3 Washington on Friday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. and Washington State on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 11 a.m. Sunday’s match is Senior Day, and the Bears will honor seniors Adrienne Gehan and Joan Caloiaro in a pre-match ceremony. The match will also air on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Cal Leader Board
Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .344
Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 372 (4.38/set)
Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 996 (11.86/set)
Blocks: Lara Vukasovic - 99 (1.19/set)
Digs: Maddy Kerr - 309 (3.64/set)
Service Aces: Adrienne Gehan - 21 (0.25/set)

Bears On Pac-12 Leader Board
Kills per set: Adrienne Gehan - 4.38 (Fourth)
Kills per set: Christina Higgins - 3.32 (Ninth)
Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 11.86 (First)
Blocks per set: Lara Vukasovic - 1.19 (Eighth)
Digs per set: Maddy Kerr - 3.64 (Tenth)

Diggin’ It With Adrienne Gehan
Go inside Cal’s volleyball program every week with Adrienne Gehan’s blog, “Diggin’ It With Adrienne Gehan,” on Every week, Gehan will provide an inside look at everything going on with the program. From their on-court battles to the locker room to the classroom to road trips, Gehan, a senior outside hitter, will pull back the curtain to give fans a closer look at Cal’s volleyball program.

Inside The Locker Room
Tune in every Wednesday to “Inside the Locker Room,” the new weekly radio show about Cal athletics on AM KGO 810 from 7-8 p.m. Cal volleyball coach Rich Feller is scheduled to appear on the show on Nov. 20.