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Bears Head To The Desert

Oct 13, 2022
Live Stream (vs. ASU) Live Stats (vs. ASU) TV: Pac-12 Network (vs. Arizona) Live Stats (vs. Arizona)

BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-9, 0-6 Pac-12) heads to the desert this weekend for Week Four of Pac-12 play, taking on Arizona State (8-10, 2-4 Pac-12) at 5:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 14, and Arizona (1-6, 1-5 Pac-12) at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.

The Sun Devils last faced the Bears on Oct. 29, 2021 in a 3-0 ASU victory. Currently, the all-time series between the two teams stands at 38-34 in Arizona State's favor. Sun Devil senior Iman Isanovic leads ASU with 221 kills (4th Pac-12) and 20 service aces, while junior Claire Jeter paces the team with 59.0 blocks.

The Wildcats swept the Bears in their last meeting (Oct. 31, 2021), thus extending their lead in the all-time series to 45-27. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in opponent hitting percentage (.172) and ranks second in both total blocks (157) and total digs (924); however, those successes have not translated to wins as of late as the Wildcats are on a three-game losing streak. The Bears will face a pair of top defenders in seniors Zyonna Fellows (77.0 blocks) and Kamaile Hiapo (252 digs), who each rank third in the conference in their respective categories.
After Week Six, Cal boasts the Pac-12's top two blocking freshmen in Sophie Scott and Mikayla Hayden. No other program boasts two freshmen teammates ranked as highly as Scott and Hayden in blocks per set (Scott 1.16, Hayden 1.07) and only one other program (Northwestern State) has a freshman duo ranked higher than Cal's on the NCAA's total blocks list (Scott 67.0, Hayden 59.0).
Junior Lydia Grote has posted a fantastic start to the season, accumulating 259.5 points, fourth-most in the Pac-12, through six weeks of play. She also leads the team in total kills (216, 6th Pac-12), kills per set (3.72, 6th Pac-12) and points per set (4.5, 6th Pac-12). Her play in Week Two of the season earned her All-Utah Valley Tournament honors.
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. More recently, Maeder posted 50 assists and 14 digs against Oregon State (Sept. 23), thus 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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