What is the Big Spike?? It's the Big Game equivalent of Volleyball. This Sunday our #5 team heads to the Farm to take on #4 Stanford; both are undefeated in the Pac10. If you live in Norcal... head on over to Palo Alto this Sunday and support our team!!!
The winner of this match could be ranked #1 next week and will get a ton of national attention because it will be televised on FSN. In fact, our next three-game series is generally considered the hardest series in the NCAA... #4 Stanford, #8 UCLA and then #11 USC... all...on...the...road.
So get to the FUrd this Sunday and support our girls... if you know nothing about Volleyball...then here's a primer:
Carli Lloyd (5'11,setter)- Our Desean Jackson. Not only does she wear #1, but she was a Fab50 national recruit... and probably the biggest recruit Cal has ever landed. She started as a true freshman last year at the setter position, which is like the QB... and she runs our Power 5-1 offense with a no-huddle... so the speed is relentless. She's so good our coach put the fate of our team on her shoulders as a true freshman in 07... and she got us to the final4.
What is a 5-1 offense? It's like Tedford's traditional pro-set offense... we run straight at them, use alot of play-action and our success depends heavily on the ability of a single QB to distribute the ball. We score points by using powerful outside hitters and rely on the QB setting the ball where the defense is soft.
Check out this feature the Daily Cal just did on Carli... they also interview Carli's hot sister... yowza.
Hana Cutura (6'4 Outside Hitter) - With a nick name like 'the Howitzer'... it's safe to assume she's got a HUGE, big-time arm (although as a Croatian I'm pretty sure she resents the German reference a bit). She's our primary offensive weapon. Hana hits the ball so hard that you can make the case to the NCAA to require helmets in Volleyball. She's our Marshawn, she powers the ball straight into your face... no tricks... you know how she's going to come at you... but you can't stop her anyway. Plus with Ellen Orchard now gone, she's our primary blocker too.
Shannon Hawari (6'2 Middle Blocker) - She's our Zack Follet - she calls the defensive formations even though she's just a freshman. She was also a Fab50 recruit and every Pac10 school wanted a piece of her (bravo to coach Feller for landing her). She's got a great vert, speedy feet and can hit too... she's a bit raw but she is our future.
Morgan Beck (6'3, Outside Hitter) - Morgan is our Lavelle Hawkins. She's our second most dangerous offensive weapon and has the most impressive serve I've ever seen. She's a team captain and is important on defense as well. The only problem is she's out with an ankle injury... The question is... who's replacing her....?
Tarah Murrey (6'3, Outside Hitter) - To replace Morgan, we're using two hitters rotating in and out. First is Tarah... a big time local recruit and a freshman with a huge arm. She almost hits as hard or even harder than Hana. However, she's error prone and still a bit green on defense. Her consistency is awful... when she's on, she's a freak on offense... when she's off, she brings down the team with her numerous unforced errors. She's Nyan Boateng.
Amra Solomon (6'1, Outside Hitter) - Amra is also being rotated in to replace our injured Morgan. Amra is a great senior hitter and a team captain. She's very consistent and doesn't make many mistakes. However, she's a bit undersized and isn't as flashy as Tarah. She's our Robert Jordan.
Kristen Kathan (5'6, Libero) - Kristen is a defensive specialist and her primary job is to dig big spikes. She's our SydGOD. She can take out the other team's biggest hitter by digging the big hits and forcing them into a finesse game. Kristen also leads the team in aces and is the one of the primary reasons why we're sweeping everyone... she keeps the score low.
Stanford (this Sunday, 12:30 on the Farm, also on FSN)
Stanford has been consistently the best team in the country for a decade. They're always in the top 5 somewhere and it's almost a given that they're going to be in the final4. They're undefeated in the Pac10 like us.
They use a spread-option offense called the 6-2, which looks very similar to Chip Kelly's offense. They use two setters (QBs) but both of the setters will also behave like hitters. They run alot of fakes and will sometimes have the back-court setter attack... it looks like a delay run or a draw. When you have a spike come from the back court, the trajectory is high and flat (vs steep)... the ball sails over the front blockers and must be defended by the back court players.
I've only seen them once this year but I can tell they're vulnerable. #16 Foluke Akinradewo (girl in the middle) has been carrying them with her defense... and they're just breaking in their new offense and they've been making bad passes; I can't believe they're undefeated....If we play decent on defense we can take them in five sets cuz our offense matches up well... even with Morgan out.
#8 UCLA (10/24 @ UCLA, 7pm)
#11 USC (10/25 @ USC, 7pm)
I'm sick and tired of our fans not supporting our Volleyball team. For real. They're fun to watch, they're hot and they kick ass... what's not to like? I wanna see 2X more of our fans in the stands than I usually do this Sunday... If I don't I'm going to open a big can of Jihad on all your asses... no bullshit. So let's all get down to the Farm and support our team this Sunday.