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No. 9 Cal Faces Off With Saint Mary’s

Apr 5, 2021

BERKELEY – No. 9 Cal Beach Volleyball returns to action on Tuesday as they take the short trip to Moraga for a matchup with Saint Mary's (CA) on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
 
The Bears will play a single matchup with the Gaels before heading to Phoenix for the Pac-12 North Invitational this weekend. The Pac-12 North Invitational was originally scheduled to be held at Stanford, but will now be hosted by Arizona State at Grand Canyon University.
 
CAL LOOKS TO REBOUND WITH MIDWEEK CLASH VS. GAELS
- Cal heads to Moraga to take on Saint Mary's (CA) on Tuesday after a pair of heartbreaking losses on the weekend to No. 5 Cal Poly and No. 12 Stanford. Cal lost both matches by 3-2 scorelines. 
- Earlier this season, Cal defeated No. 6 Hawaii, 4-1, which was the fifth top-10 win in program history and Cal's first-ever win over Hawaii.
- Cal is 10-4 all-time vs. Saint Mary's (CA) and has won five consecutive meetings. Cal won 5-0 after the two teams met on the opening weekend of the 2020 season as Cal traveled to Moraga. 
 
BEARS GET AS HIGH AS EIGHTH IN POLL
- After one week of action, the Bears moved up to eighth in the AVCA rankings, the highest ranking in program history.
- Cal is currently ranked 9th in the poll and has been ranked in the top 12 in every poll since April 23, 2018, a span of 1075 straight days to Tuesday's match.
 
RETURNING EXPERIENCE
- Cal returns six of the 10 players that were in the 2020 lineup for all 10 matches, including three of the four members of the Bears' top two pairs: Mima Mirkovic, Caroline Schafer and Jordan Polo.
- Mirkovic was named an honorable mention All-America in 2019, while Polo was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
- The Bears are also led by four seniors who have a combined 331 matches of experience: Mirkovic (82), Schafer (84), Alexia Inman (86) and Maddie Micheletti (83).
- Mirkovic won her 50th career game in the No. 1 pair, at the Pac-12 South Tournament vs. Utah.
- Cal pairs that experience with a talented group of youngsters: sophomore Ainsley Radell and freshman Brooke Buchner were both AVCA High School All-Americans.
- Cal has used 16 different pairings in 21 different lineup spots so far during the 2021 season as the Bears try to combat health issues and integrating a number of young players into their lineup.
- Eight different players have made their collegiate beach debut in 2021: Francesca Gettings, Katie Smoot, Maddie Sundholm, Kate Bierly, Brooke Buchner, Ava Mann, Maya Gessner and Grace Paulson.
- The freshman duo of Brooke Buchner and Ava Mann was paired together on Cal's fifth pair and won both of their matches this past weekend over No. 5 Cal Poly and No. 12 Stanford.