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Cal Heads Across The Bay For Ranked Matchups

Apr 15, 2021

BERKELEY – No. 12 Cal Beach Volleyball returns to action as they travel to the South Bay for four matches this weekend at the Pac-12/WCC Challenge at the Stanford Beach Volleyball Courts.
The Bears open the weekend at 2 p.m. PT vs. No. 11 Pepperdine on Saturday afternoon. They will follow that with a matchup vs. Stanford at 4 p.m. PT, which will be available on Stanford's live stream. On Sunday, Cal takes on Saint Mary's (CA) at 10 a.m. PT. The Bears will play the following game of the tournament at either 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. PT. The teams that finish their first three matchups ranked first and second will face off at 4 p.m., while the teams that are third and fourth will play at 2 p.m., unless Pepperdine is in the championship match, then it will be played at 2 p.m. and the third and fourth place teams will play at 4 p.m.
The Bears look to bounce back from a 1-3 weekend this past weekend at the Pac-12 North Invitational. However, the Bears ended the weekend on a high note as they defeated Stanford with a come-from-behind victory to win 3-2.
- Cal travels across the Bay to the Stanford Tournament where the Bears will play four matches against Pepperdine, Stanford and Saint Mary's (CA). 
- This is the third straight weekend that Cal and Stanford will meet, the teams have split the last two matches, each by 3-2 scorelines. Stanford won the first matchup between the two teams as Cal dealt with last-minute lineup changes due to injury. With a full lineup this past weekend, the Bears managed to come-from-behind and defeat Stanford as it came down to a third set on court four.
- Cal defeated Saint Mary's (CA) last week as well as they defeated the Gaels 3-2 on April 6 in a back-and-forth affair in Moraga.
- Cal has now won six straight matchups in the series vs. Saint Mary's (CA).
- This will be the second-ever matchup between Cal and Pepperdine.
- 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 12th in the poll and has been ranked in the top 12 in every poll since April 23, 2018, a span of 1085 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 (87), Schafer (89), Alexia Inman (91) and Maddie Micheletti (84).
- 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 17 different pairings in 24 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.