The second half of conference play starts today for the Bears (10-10, 4-6) who needs to play better in the second half to make it 11 straight NCAA tournament appearance. Tonight, they start the second half at home vs. Arizona (12-9, 4-6) who the Bears defeated in 4 sets in Tucson earlier this season. GO BEARS!
When: 6 PM PT
TV/Online: Pac-12 Networks (online for subscribers only)
Score update: Cal Volleyball twitter (@CalVolleyball)
The second half of Pac-12 play has started for the Bears, who did get usual starter Adrienne Gehan back last Sunday against Washington in Seattle. The Bears need to do better than the 4-6 conference record in the first half (apparently, it's no longer a true round robin in Pac-12 play as the Bears play bottom dwellers Utah and Colorado only once each).
Quick recap of the first half of Pac-12 play:
@ Furd: L 0-3
@Colorado W 3-2
@ASU L 0-3
@Arizona W 3-1
Oregon L 1-3
Oregon State W 3-0
USC L 0-3
UCLA L 0-3
@Washinton State W 3-0
@Washington L 0-3
Bears suffered injuries to Adrienne Gehan in the Oregon match and she did not get back until the Washington match last weekend. Correy Johnson is so badly hurt that she cannot practice at all.
Reasons to be optimistic: Bears has relied quite a bit on a bunch of newcomers, including starting libero Joan Caloiaro (transfer from USF). Croatian freshman Lara Vukasovic has been featured now, especially after Gehan's injury. One would think that the extra experience bodes well for more consistent play (definite problem in the first half) in the second half and beyond.
Earlier this season against Arizona: Bears got strong performances from Christina Higgins (10 kills at a .714 hitting percentage), Correy Johnson (15 kills and hit .583), and Kat Brown (9 kills, 5 blocks and 5 digs) in their 4 set win in Tucson.
Bears on Pac-12 Leader Board
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .343 (Ninth)
Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 9.46 (Seventh)
Service aces: Nikki Gombar - 0.29 (Ninth)
Blocks per set: Kat Brown - 1.32 (Seventh)
Digs per set: Mary McKennon - 3.67 (Ninth)
GO BEARS! We really need a sweep this weekend.