NorCalNick: In what had the feeling of a glorified exhibition, the #3 in the nation Cal Bears defeated UC Riverside in a 3 set sweep to open the season right. The Highlanders didn't represent the greatest challenge - they finished the 2010 season just 2-30 - but Cal still played a crisp, efficient game. Plenty of players saw action, errors were few and far between, and Cal's stars were cruelly efficient. Taray Murrey, Shannon Hawari and Kat Brown all excelled and fans were given a glimpse of talented freshmen like Marlee Davis, Christina Higgins and Lillian Schonewise.
The Bears will enjoy a double header tomorrow, starting with Fairfield at 11:00 am and Florida International at 7:00 pm. If you're heading to Football Fan Appreciation Day in Berkeley tomorrow, why not check out one of the best teams in the nation before you head over to Underhill field?
Well, volleyball is underway in fall 2011! Today, we have Cal versus UC Riverside in Volleyball's Cal Molten Classic Tournament. This is Cal Volleyball's first game of the year. Last year was a thrilling year as Cal steamrolled all the way to the National Championship game. Unfortunately, they fell to Penn State, but they are back again hoping to have another great season. Things are looking bright for the Bears:
Breaking Down the 2011 Bears
• Nine letterwinners return, six starters are back
• Six talented freshmen join the squad
• First-team All-American Tarah Murrey is the lone senior
• Also returning are junior libero Robin Rostratter (winner of the NCAA Elite 88 Volleyball Award for top GPA), sophomore outside hitter Adrienne Gehan (Pac-10 All-Freshman Team), junior middle hitter Shannon Hawari(American Volleyball Coaches' Association All-Region and All-Pac-10 honorable mention), junior middle/outside hitter Correy Johnson (AVCA All-America honorable mention, All-Pac-10 team) and junior middle hitter Kat Brown(Pac-10 All-Conference and All-Academic honorable mention)
• Ranked third in the country by AVCA, the highest start ever
• Pac-12 coaches predicted a second-place finish for the Bears
Tonight is the start of the season. Cal has a big tournament at Haas this weekend. A game tonight against UC Riverside at 7 PM and then two more tomorrow. One at 11AM versus Fairfield. The other is at 7 PM versus Florida International.
There are a couple ways to follow tonight's game if you are not at Haas Pavilion. One is to repeatedly check the Cal Volleyball Twitter. They will be posting constant updates all throughout the season. Another is to watch the video here at the Cal All-Access page.
This reader at BearInsider indicated that the stream tonight (and for the next several games) is free (UPDATE: It i
s). That's great! However, when I go to the All-Access page, the video for UC Riverside is greyed out. And the video that autoplays, which is entitled UC Riverside, claims it cannot play because the content has not been archived. Confusing. Hopefully, we'll get some clarity as we get closer to game time.
There is also the game tracker. So, you can follow all the action there, too. And hopefully Cal will win! Post your thoughts on all the volleyball action in the comments section. GO BEARS!