Cal Volleyball versus Arizona 11.26.10 Photo Essay

On November 26, 2010, Cal volleyball had an opportunity to do something it had never done before, win the Pac10.  Volleyball has had a lot of success the past few years, going to the Sweet16 and Elite8 in the NCAA Tournament.  However, due to the strength of the Pac10, Cal had never actually won that conference.

With a victory over Arizona at noon on Friday, Cal could do the impossible.  TIME TO HEAD OUT TO HAAS FOR THE GAME!

150525_10100179380137573_1218201_55813926_3749060_n_medium

I must admit that I have played some volleyball in my day.  I have perfected some amazing moves as the fetal position and even the flying fetal position.  I think I hold the record in my amateur league for "spikes blocked by face."  At one point, a competitor became rather proficient at serving directly to me, given my penchant for failure.  A surprisingly focused teammate took to standing next to me and pushing me out of the way to respond to the incoming serve. 

Yet somehow I had never been to a Cal volleyball game.  How unfortunate.  I can report back to the dear readers of this here website that I have been missing out!  And if you have not been attending volleyball games, you have been missing out also. 

I went with PaleoDan and CalNet.  When we got in to the game (tickets only $3, because we brought canned food for a food drive), we were able to sit quite closely to the action.  It is open seating and unlike the Big Spike, the crowd was not packed.  Perhaps it was due to the Thanksgiving break with many students gone to see their families. 

When we arrived, they were announcing the Seniors.  Here is Meagan Schmitt. 

76143_10100179380212423_1218201_55813928_4217361_n_medium

They received a bouquet of flowers from Cal coach Rich Feller.

148650_10100179380262323_1218201_55813930_6218273_n_medium

Here is Carli Lloyd.

155565_10100179380377093_1218201_55813934_5051473_n_medium

 

76503_10100179380481883_1218201_55813935_7899709_n_medium

 

Adam Duritz was in attendance!  He was sitting way far up.  Didn't understand why he didn't move down to better seats, but what do I know?  I'm a volleyball noob.

151036_10100179380307233_1218201_55813932_3215902_n_medium

 

The seniors each had recorded a special message to the team and to each other.

149973_10100179380566713_1218201_55813938_4610983_n_medium

Then, there were the introductions.  Each player would get introduced, high five their teammates and then throw a small stuffed volleyball into the crowd.  No volleyballs were thrown towards me.

149544_10100179380601643_1218201_55813940_1240364_n_medium

And, soon, we were underway!

76311_10100179380671503_1218201_55813941_1068951_n_medium

 

This dude's job was to wipe down the balls and then provide them, fresh, to be served into play.  This is where I abstain from any inappropriate double entrendres with the ball-wiper job.

76144_10100179380711423_1218201_55813943_5210673_n_medium

 

Oski showed up.  He had an odd dimple dent thing on his forehead.  He never came by where we were sitting, so I couldn't really get any good shots.

149182_10100179380826193_1218201_55813945_7328108_n_medium

I would by lying to you if I said I understand the nuances of the game of volleyball.  And what sort of Marshawnthusiast would I be if I lied to my readers!  I grasped the basic concept of set the ball for a massive spike.  In the first set, Cal was dominant and had crisp passing with powerful spikes.

155244_10100179380940963_1218201_55813949_327901_n_medium

What I like is that after every point, the teams come together for a quick huddle and a pep talk.  Win or lose, they come together to psyche themselves up!  I wonder what they say in there.  Whether it is just a quick "LET'S DO THIS THING!" or a more specific analysis.

156255_10100179381005833_1218201_55813952_5280014_n_medium

 

Brock Mansion briefly appeared.  I don't want to make this like a Gossip Girl episode, but he is apparently dating senior superstar Carli Lloyd.  Also, he recently got into Columbia and met an older, attractive business professor whose cousin was secretly trying to take him down, because he screwed over her brother.  Ok, that made it *exactly* like a Gossip Girl episode!

155782_10100179381060723_1218201_55813954_313354_n_medium

You can see that Cal took the first set in dominant fashion.

154186_10100179381120603_1218201_55813956_1646937_n_medium

The big screen at the volleyball game had a lot of the same things you'd see at a football game.  For example, here is the volleyball shuffle (i.e. helmet shuffle).  Despite PaleoDan's best guess of #4, he was not correct.

156257_10100179381175493_1218201_55813957_4611500_n_medium

One of the announcer sat in these seats for a period of time.  A little unclear to me why. I guess he wanted a different angle on the plays.  Couldn't they at least get him a desk or something?

75147_10100179381240363_1218201_55813960_2871260_n_medium

A small amount of RallyComm was there.

154352_10100179381265313_1218201_55813961_5501219_n_medium

 


The Arizona Coach was getting upset in the second set.  Arizona jumped out to a quick lead, showing that they would not just roll over.  PaleoDan informed me and I believed and now thereon allege that they had lost 3-0 to Stanford 2 days prior.  So, they didn't want history to repeat itself in the East Bay.  The Arizona Coach got very animated in the second set and got what I presume amounted to a technical foul.  It seemed to spur his charges on to playing much better after that first set.

 

148317_10100179381534773_1218201_55813966_6401448_n_medium

Sandy Barbour was there.  She looked as important and dignified as ever.

148560_10100179381569703_1218201_55813967_6158159_n_medium

Cal really hurt itself in the second set by hitting a lot of spikes out of bounds.  Too powerful!  However, they did battle back and ended up taking the second set to put themselves merely one set away from the Pac10 Championship!  The crowd was not large, but when Cal took that second set they were enthusiastic!

150304_10100179381609623_1218201_55813969_2339691_n_medium

You can see the score was much closer in that second set.

154532_10100179381709423_1218201_55813972_361694_n_medium

The team ran in for a longer break.  On the big screen, Cal showed those same stories from the team that you see at the football team.  This time it came solely from the seniors.  They talked about their favorite halloween costumes:

154885_10100179381804233_1218201_55813976_3318573_n_medium

They talked about their pets:

150230_10100179381829183_1218201_55813978_3519328_n_medium

 

149254_10100179381894053_1218201_55813979_6854237_n_medium

 

 

150881_10100179381919003_1218201_55813981_3927631_n_medium

They talked about their favorite reality TV shows.  Apparently, Carli Lloyd's uncle was one of the Original American Gladiators.  She clearly comes from an athletic family.

148101_10100179381998843_1218201_55813984_1914763_n_medium

Then, the team came back out and started warming up.

156641_10100179382133573_1218201_55813988_4584770_n_medium

Coach Feller gave them some words of wisdom.

150068_10100179382213413_1218201_55813991_6158127_n_medium

Doesn't he kinda look like Reed Richards "Mr. Fantastic" from the original Fantasy Four?  And we're back on with the 3rd set!  You'll notice I didn't have a lot of action shots so far.  With the fast paced action, it was difficult to get a non-blurry shot.  I finally realized after the first 2 sets that I should monkey with the shutter speed on the manual settings of my camera.

 

148131_10100179382263313_1218201_55813993_3483358_n_medium

I eventually settled on 1/125ths of a second for the shutter speed.  That gave me a solid balance of non-blurriness with sufficient light to keep the photo illuminated.  You'll see that the photos are somewhat darker in general, though.

 

149558_10100179382343153_1218201_55813995_1897848_n_medium

 

149274_10100179382408023_1218201_55813997_4244074_n_medium

 

This is Tarah Murrey.  She appeared to be one of the offensively-minded players as she would often be in a position for a helacious spike.  She had an absolute cannon for an arm.  I would scream "DROP THE HAMMER" as she began her ascent to reach for the ball and the spike.  Sometimes she would have too much power and hit them out of bounds, but in general she was one of the best players out there on the court.

148377_10100179382442953_1218201_55813999_2138216_n_medium

 

75690_10100179382502833_1218201_55814000_2625941_n_medium

 

76456_10100179382612613_1218201_55814003_2590467_n_medium

 

 

75146_10100179382662513_1218201_55814005_3808704_n_medium

 

76572_10100179382712413_1218201_55814006_2394970_n_medium

I later told two friends of mine about the game and they told me that they had gone to high school with Tarah Murrey and that she is really nice.  She is a local girl from El Cerrito.  Good to hear that Cal student athletes are nice! 

Volleyball is a great sport for photographers, because there is constant action.  There are usually multiple moments of still drama on each volley, because of the tantalizing photographic power of a spike.  That moment before the hammer drops when the air is pregnant with the possibilities.  I tried to capture that. 

In the 3rd set, Arizona again jumped out to a lead.  Cal was able to battle back into it, but, ultimately, fell, forcing a fourth set.

155672_10100179382792253_1218201_55814008_7407358_n_medium

We noticed that the list of men's basketball tourney appearances was missing 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2010.  We tried to find another banner with those appearances, but were not able to.  What manner of confusion is this?

155273_10100179382847143_1218201_55814009_4491940_n_medium

In the 4th set, the team prepares to receive a serve.

156578_10100179382897043_1218201_55814012_6679442_n_medium

And, dramatically, Cal wins the 4th set and the Pac10!  They come together to celebrate!

154270_10100179383231373_1218201_55814019_6768700_n_medium

Handshakes for the opposing coaches!

155598_10100179383271293_1218201_55814020_6580089_n_medium

Handshakes for the opposing team!

156074_10100179383391053_1218201_55814025_7580428_n_medium

 

The final scoreboard!  GO BEARS!  PAC10 CHAMPS!  Cal ended up winning 3-1 with the first set being a cake walk, while  the latter 3 were tightly contested.  For the $3 cost of the ticket, it was a very enjoyable afternoon and one I would recommend to all.  Get out there and support the team.

155969_10100179383455923_1218201_55814027_8271990_n_medium

Cal has a great shot to go deep in the NCAA Tournament.  Hopefully, they will!  GO BEARS!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker