Cal Wraps Up Regular Season At Stanford
BERKELEY – No. 12 California beach volleyball returns to the Stanford Beach Volleyball Courts for the second straight weekend. The Bears play a challenging three-match slate as they take on No. 8 Grand Canyon at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Bears will follow that with Sunday matchups vs. Loyola Marymount at 11 a.m. and San Jose State at 3 p.m.
The Bears will honor their senior class at the conclusion of the tournament. The senior class features a number of impactful student-athletes including Cassidy Drury-Pullen, Alexia Inman, Maddie Micheletti, Mima Mirkovic, Caroline Schafer, Katie Smoot.
The Bears will play multiple ranked teams in a weekend for the fourth consecutive week. The Bears have won three of their past four ranked matchups, recording two wins over Stanford and a victory over Pepperdine.
CAL WRAPS UP REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO RANKED MATCHUPS
- Cal travels across the Bay to Stanford where the Bears will play three matches against No. 8 Grand Canyon, No. 5 LMU and San Jose State
- Cal lost to Grand Canyon in the 2020 season opener, but won nine straight after the loss to GCU.
- The Bears played LMU earlier this year, falling to the Lions 4-1.
- LMU features former Cal student-athlete Iya Lindahl, who played on Cal's top pair with Mima Mirkovic last year. The duo went 9-1 together. They played against each other in the earlier matchup, and Mirkovic and her new partner, Caroline Schafer won the battle 25-23, 20-22, 16-14.
- This will be the first matchup against San Jose State since 2019, but the Bears have won four straight in the rivalry.
- Cal is 4-8 in ranked matchups this year, but Cal has gone 3-1 in their last four ranked matchups.
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 10th in the poll and has been ranked in the top 12 in every poll since April 23, 2018, a span of 1097 straight days to Saturday's match.
MIRKOVIC AND SCHAFER NAMED PAC-12 PAIR OF THE WEEK
- Cal No. 1 pair Mima Mirkovic and Caroline Schafer were named Pac-12 Pair of the Week on 4/21 after the duo went 4-0 with three wins over ranked opponents, outscoring opponents 168-124.
- 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 350 matches of experience: Mirkovic (91), Schafer (93), Alexia Inman (95) and Maddie Micheletti (88).
- 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.