Cal Wins 20th Straight Home Match
BERKELEY – No. 9 California beach volleyball won their 20th consecutive home contest as they defeated UC Davis, 5-0, on Saturday afternoon at the Clark Kerr Sand Courts.
In addition to winning 20 consecutive home matches, the Bears are also on an 11-match winning streak dating back to last season. That is tied for the longest winning streak in school history as the Bears also won 11 straight from February 24-March 17 in 2018.
"I was anxious to see us play against somebody else this weekend, because we had a long break," interim coach Derek Olson said. "I fully expected us to come out with a lot more errors and a lot more mistakes, but we actually played pretty cleanly. I think it's a credit to the team for taking ownership of their situation in the fall and getting themselves prepared for when we came back in January."
Aces were the theme of the first match of the day on court five as Maddie Micheletti started the Bears off with back-to-back aces before the first change. Ava Mann clinched both the first and second sets with aces to win the first match of the afternoon.
Some good defense at the net and some powerful kills from Alexia Inman and Brooke Buchner led to a Bears' victory on court three. They defeated the UC Davis pair of Rose Holscher and Madelin Smith by a 21-12, 21-13 score as they scored five consecutive points with Buchner serving in the second set.
Birthday girl Maya Gessner clinched the match alongside partner Kate Bierly on court four as the duo won 21-17, 21-14. Both players played in their first career match yesterday vs. Oregon, but was able to outlast Davis to improve to 2-0 on the season.
The match with the highest intensity happened on court one as the two team traded shots. However, Mima Mirkovic and Caroline Schafer powered the Bears to a win, 21-13, 21-14. Schafer ended the match with a kill that just caught the tape to move the overall score to 4-0.
Jordan Polo and Ainsley Radell completed the sweep with a 21-11, 21-13 victory. The win on court two ensured that the Bears did not drop a set in either match this weekend, winning 20 consecutive sets.
The Bears will be back in action next weekend as they head to Los Angeles and Irvine. Cal will take on No. 2 UCLA on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. before a Sunday doubleheader at Great Park in Irvine against Concordia (CA) and No. 8 Loyola Marymount that starts at 11 a.m.
"It's going to be a big test; two top-10 opponents, teams we'll be battling with and against to get into NCAA's," Olson said. "This will be a good evaluation to where we're at as a team. I fully expect it to be an absolute fight and for the first time, we can say we're right there with the top teams in the country."
Cal 5, UC Davis 0
#1 – Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (CAL) def. Heather Reed/Megan Luly (UCD) – 21-13, 21-14
#2 – Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo (CAL) def. Paloma Bowman/Colleen McGuire (UCD) – 21-11, 21-13
#3 – Alexia Inman/Brooke Buchner (CAL) def. Rose Holscher/Madelin Smith (UCD) – 21-12, 21-13
#4 – Kate Bierly/Maya Gessner (CAL) def. Alexa Rockas/June Seslar (UCD) – 21-17, 21-14
#5 – Maddie Micheletti/Ava Mann (CAL) def. Savanah Schroeder/Ashlee Goycoochea (UCD) – 21-13, 21-11
Order of Finish – 5, 3, 4, 1, 2