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Bears Host WSU, No. 17 UW At Haas

Sep 29, 2022
Team Notes TV vs. WSU: Pac-12 Bay Area Live Stats vs. WSU TV vs. UW: Pac-12 Networks Live Stats vs. UW

BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-5, 0-2 Pac-12) faces a tough test in its second week of Pac-12 play as it prepares to host Washington State (9-4, 1-1 Pac-12) and No. 17 Washington (10-2, 2-0 Pac-12) at Haas this weekend. The Bears hope to get their first conference win of the season, having opened up Pac-12 play last week with tight losses against then-No. 5 Stanford and Oregon State, the latter of which went to five sets.

First serve against the Cougars is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 30, while the match against the Huskies will commence at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. Both visiting teams boast elite offenses – the latter's team hitting percentage of .307, sixth-highest in the NCAA, is the only Pac-12 mark that stands above the former's .287 (13th NCAA).

Washington State has won 20 straight matches against unranked opponents, including the last 4 against Cal. The Bears currently lead the all-time series between the two teams, 46-30.

Washington ranks No. 8 nationally in kills per set (14.32) and No. 10 in assists per set (13.18). They lead the all-time series against the Bears by a margin of 45-29.

Despite the visitors' offensive prowess, they will find no easy matchup in Berkeley. Cal currently ranks 13th in the nation in blocks per set (2.72, 2nd Pac-12) and 28th in opponent hitting percentage (.162, 2nd Pac-12), also leading the conference with 125 total blocks.
After Week Five, Cal boasts the Pac-12's top two blocking freshmen in Sophie Scott and Mikayla Hayden. Both have started every match for the Golden Bears so far this season and currently rank No. 2 (60.0 total blocks) and No. 5 (56.0 total blocks), respectively, among all Pac-12 players. No other program boasts two players among the NCAA's top 10 freshmen in blocks per set (Scott No. 5, Hayden No. 8), and only one other program (Northwestern State) also has multiple entries in the NCAA's top 15 freshmen in total blocks (Scott No. 7, Hayden No. 11).
Junior Lydia Grote has posted a fantastic start to the season, accumulating 215.5 points, second-most in the Pac-12, through four weeks of play. She also ranks third in the conference with 179 kills and boasts the NCAA's 37th-highest total in points per set (4.68). Her play in Week Two of the season earned her All-Utah Valley Tournament honors.
Cal currently ranks 13th in the nation (2nd Pac-12) with 2.72 blocks per set and leads the conference with 125.0 total blocks (50th NCAA). The Bears also rank 28th in the nation (2nd Pac-12) in opponent hitting percentage, holding 12 different teams so far to a combined .162.
Juniors Lydia Grote and Leah Schmidt participated in the 2022 USA Volleyball National Team Open Program on Feb. 25-27, scoring invitations after stellar sophomore seasons. Grote's 2021 campaign included a 21-kill game (vs. Utah, Oct. 17) and a 15-kill, .344-hitting percentage outing against Washington State (Nov. 11). Schmidt, meanwhile, was named to the 2021 All-Tulane Tournament team and subsequently posted the third-most kills on the team (200) during the season as one of Cal's most prolific players.
Sophomore Annalea Maeder is on pace to far surpass her stellar freshman campaign, in which she led the Bears with 701 assists and 8 double-doubles. Early inn the 2022 season, she recorded a career-high 52 assists and 14 digs in the Bears' Sept. 2 win over Northern Arizona, as well as a 51-assist, 14-dig outing against UC Davis on Sept. 17 that put her over 300 assists on the season and 1,000 in her collegiate career. Most recently, Maeder posted 50 assists and 14 digs against Oregon State, bringing her 2022 assists total to 400. Cal volleyball's lone international student-athlete is also a star in the classroom, majoring in molecular environmental biology, and participates in a student-run business consulting club whose clients include various Fortune 500 companies nationwide.
This year, Cal brings in four highly-touted prospects from around the country to help bolster its squad. Middle blocker Mikayla Hayden (Buford, Ga.) was one of the best high school players in the state of Georgia, posting over 1,000 kills in her career in addition to 2 state championships and several All-Region and All-County nods. Fellow middle blocker Sophie Scott (Portland, Ore.) earned her way onto multiple State and All-League teams, while outside hitter Peyton DeJardin (Pasadena, Calif.) reached Third Team All-American status in 2021. Setter Natalie Lau (San Francisco) rounds out the group, coming off a season where she earned a spot on the All-America Watch List and the All-WCAL First Team.
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