Cal Welcomes Four To Beach Volleyball Team
BERKELEY - California beach volleyball head coach Meagan Owusu announced the addition of four Bears on Wednesday afternoon. Jenna Colligan, Gia Fisher, Marilu Pally and Mila Vugrincic all signed with the team and will join the Bears next year.
"The class of 2022 is extremely strong and will help take our program to the next level," Owusu said. "All four of our signees are elite both on the sand and in the classroom and will have an immediate positive impact on our team's culture."
Colligan comes to Cal from Manhattan Beach where she attended Mira Costa HS and played for Elite Beach Volleyball Club, where she was coached by Cal Athletics Hall of Fame member Holly McPeak. She's been a member of the USAV High Performance A1 team for the past four years. She also won the ISF U16 World Championship with her partner Molly Trodd in Sicily, Italy, they defeated Brazil in the championship match as they did not drop a set. Colligan also won the 2019 National College Recruiting Showcase 16U Gold division.
"Jenna is one of the top athletes from Los Angeles and has been a standout since a young age," Owusu said. "She's extremely versatile and has a real competitive streak."
Colligan also played for the Mira Costa HS Beach team, as she won state championships in 2019 and 2021, and has not lost a match in her high school career, going undefeated in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In the classroom, Colligan has been a member of the honor roll every semester. She's also a National Merit Commended Scholar and a member of the National Honors Society. She is also a member of the Sanpiper Juniors and Teen Unification Club. She received the teacher recognition of Academic Excellence in photography.
Fisher is a native of Ross, California where she attends the Branson School. She was named a top 25 player in California and was named to the Sonoma Valley All-Tournament Team. She also led Branson to the CIF Open Division for the first time in school history. Fisher helped the team get as high as eighth in the state and the team won the NCS Division III in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Fisher led Branson's indoor team in most digs and the highest passing average. She has been named to the Prep Volleyball 2022 Watch List and prep volleyball Sophomore 79 honorable mention in 2020.
Fisher plays for Kleos Beach Volleyball club, where she is coached by Rachel Nieto. She also trains with Rage Westside indoor club. She has helped her indoor club to a top 50 team in the nation ranking during the 2021 season.
"Gia comes from a Cal family and has really strong roots in the Bay Area," Owusu said "She's a terrific defender with strong fundamentals, who will be such a positive influence on our team."
Fisher is on Branson's Community Honor Board and is also an admissions intern. She played basketball in addition to four years of beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. Fisher is a third-generation UC Berkeley student-athlete as her grandpa, Jack McKewon ran track and played rugby for the Bears. Her dad, Josh Fisher, rowed at Cal and her mom, Kara Fisher, also attended UC Berkeley.
Marilu Pally hails from nearby Santa Cruz and plays for Santa Cruz Beach Volleyball Club, where she's coached by Lucal Bol and Chicory Roth. Pally recently tied for fifth place out of 131 teams in the U18 Division at the 2021 BVCA National Championships in Huntington Beach. She also earned an AAA rating, allowing her to compete in AVP qualifiers. She took first place in three BVNE Tournaments during the 2019 season, winning the National College Recruiting Showcase 16U Silver division, and twice winning Kauai Bikini National Series 16U Gold Tournaments.
She attends Santa Cruz High School where she was a team captain on the indoor volleyball squad. She helped Santa Cruz to the No. 2 seed and a trip to the finals of the CIF Central Coast Section Championship. Her father, Laurent Pally, played volleyball professionally in France and her mother, Veronique Baudon, played for the French junior national team.
"Marilu comes from a strong family of volleyball players and she's been a top local talent since a young age," Owusu said. "Growing up in Santa Cruz, she's been raised on the beach and has a very high IQ. She's a versatile player that can defend and block and we can't wait to have her join our team!"
Vugrincic hails from the South Bay, coming to Cal from Palo Alto. She's a USAV A1 athlete for both indoor and beach She played for Kleos Beach Volleyball Club where she has been coached by Derek Olson. In 2019, she played in the USAV Beach High Performance Championship in Santa Monica, where she took ninth place in the girls 16U division.
"Mila is another top local talent that we can't wait to get into our program," Owusu said. "She has continued to improve each year of her juniors career and has an extremely high ceiling. We're looking forward to working with her on a daily basis to help her fulfill her potential."
She played on the indoor team at Palo Alto Senior High School where she was a three-year letter winner and was named the league's best sophomore in 2019, while also earning second team all-state recognition. Her mom, Dawn Darbonne is a Cal graduate who ran on the track & field team for the Bears.