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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 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. 
- 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.
- 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.