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Cal Opens Pac-12 Championship Vs. Stanford

Apr 27, 2021

BERKELEY – No. 11 Cal beach volleyball opens the Pac-12 Championship at 1:15 p.m. PT on Thursday as they take on No. 9 Stanford. The Bears will be the fifth seed and the Cardinal are the fourth as the two teams are set to play each other for the fifth time this year.
The Bears will be one of nine Pac-12 teams competing in the Championship hosted at Mapes Beach by UCLA. The tournament will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network throughout the week. The Bears will play anywhere from two to six matches in the double-elimination tournament that starts on Thursday and ends with the championship match at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
- Cal opens the Pac-12 Championship at 1:15 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network vs. Stanford. The Bears are the fifth seed in the conference and will play the fourth seed Cardinal for the fifth time this year.
- Cal and Stanford have split four matchups. The Cardinal won 3-2 on April 3 and April 17. The Bears won 3-2 on April 11 and 4-1 on April 18. Cal has won 11 pairs and Stanford has won nine in their matchups.
- If the Bears beat the Cardinal, they will play the winner of No. 1 USC and the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 matchup between Oregon and Utah.
- Cal defeated No. 5 USC in the final game of the 2020 season, Cal's second-ever win over a top-five opponent and their second win over USC in program history.
- During the 2021 season the Bears are 6-7 vs. Pac-12 Opponents: 2-2 vs. Stanford, 2-0 vs. Oregon, 1-0 vs. Utah, 1-0 vs. Washington, 0-1 vs. Arizona, 0-1 vs. USC, 0-1 vs. Arizona State, 0-2 vs. UCLA.
- 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 1102 straight days to Thursday's Pac-12 Championship Opener.
- The Bears are also led by four seniors who have a combined 377 matches of experience: Mima Mirkovic (94), Caroline Schafer (94), Alexia Inman (98) and Maddie Micheletti (91).
- Mirkovic won her 60th career game in the No. 1 pair this past weekend at Stanford.
- 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 18 different pairings in 29 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.
Pac-12 Pair of the Week
Mima Mirkovic & Caroline Schafer – 4/21/21
AVCA Thirty Under 30 Award
Rachel Nieto - Assistant Coach