Cal Takes On Four Teams At Pac-12 North Invitational
BERKELEY – No. 11 Cal Beach Volleyball returns to action this weekend as they play four matches at the Pac-12 North Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona.
The tournament will be hosted by Arizona State on the campus of Grand Canyon University. The Bears will take on three ranked teams in a loaded field of Pac-12 opponents. Cal opens the weekend playing No. 2 USC at 9 a.m. on Saturday. They follow that by taking on Arizona State at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday's action starts at 10:15 a.m. as Cal takes on No. 12 Arizona and concludes with a rematch against No. 7 Stanford at 3:15 p.m.
CAL TAKES ON THREE RANKED OPPONENTS IN PHOENIX
- Cal travels to Phoenix for the Pac-12 North Invitational, the meet was moved from Stanford to Grand Canyon University and will be hosted by Arizona State.
- 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 will play USC, Arizona State and Arizona for the first time this season. They were 2-0 vs. ASU in 2020 and defeated No. 5 USC in the 2020 season finale, Cal's second-ever win over a top-five opponent.
- Cal matched up with Stanford last weekend, the Cardinal came out on-top with a hard fought 3-2 win after Cal was forced to make some lineup changes at the last minute due to injuries.
BEARS MOVE 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 11th in the poll and has been ranked in the top 12 in every poll since April 23, 2018, a span of 1078 straight days to Saturday'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 334 matches of experience: Mirkovic (83), Schafer (85), Alexia Inman (87) 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.