While the Keenan Allen less Cal football team is hosting the Washington Huskies, Cal volleyball (11-11, 5-7) has a tough road match against No. 2 Oregon (20-1, 11-1). The injury plagued Bears did manage to take a set from Oregon back in Berkeley. Bears are also in a position where they would need to upset a nationally top 10 ranked Pac-12 team (while winning all other "winnable games") to potentially qualify for the NCAA tournament. GO BEARS!
UPDATE: The Bears got a much needed victory today by upsetting Oregon in 5 sets. Bears jumped out to a 2 set to none lead and was extremely close in set 3 and 4 before faltering. In Set 5, Bears actually trailed 5-8 before rallying to tie things and to keep their deficit at no more than one point. Finally up 14-13 thanks to a nice combo block, the Bears finished the game with another team blcok from seniors Correy Johnson and Shannon Hawari.
From the Cal Athletics recap:
"The biggest thing is what this will do for our confidence," said junior outside hitterAdrienne Gehan, who had 15 kills, seven digs and four blocks in her first start since Oct. 3 after recovering from a knee injury. "I had a sigh of relief when it ended. I saw for the first time, that this is a good team. I knew that and kept telling myself that, but it's hard to keep telling yourself that when it's not changing and you're not showing it. The game tonight, if anything, helped our morale."
Sure, Oregon may be overrated and on their way to a late fade (like Cal did last year) but this win sets the Bears up for an importantly potential week sweep in conference play. Bears would still need to take care of business against the mediocre Pac-12 teams (such as Oregon State on Sunday) to keep a better than .500 record for the hope of postseason play.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
When: 6 PM PT
TV/Online: Pac-12 Networks (online for subscribers only)
Score update: Cal Volleyball twitter (@CalVolleyball)
After a hard fought but ultimately disappointment home loss to ASU last Sunday, the Bears heads up to Oregon this weekend still searching for the season's first conference week sweep. Standing in the Bears' way is the nationally second ranked Oregon Ducks. While the Ducks have been playing really great this year, that program is not used to having this kind of success. Additionally, Stanfurd, the only team to beat Oregon this season looms for the Ducks on Sunday. The setting may be perfect for the Bears to surprise the Ducks tonight. Adrienne Gehan was injured in the first set against Oregon earlier in the year. Nevertheless, the Bears were able to take a set from the Ducks (at the time, it was the first conference set dropped by the Ducks).
Needing at least a .500 record to be considered for the NCAA tournament, the Bears would need (at the very least) to split every week from this point on. Of course, that would mean beating one of the UCLA or USC in the trip down to LA (when the LA schools visited Berkeley earlier, the Bears suffered the only winless week in conference play). What would be huge, however, is if the Bears can somehow add big quality win to their resume by surprising one of Oregon, USC, UCLA, Washington, or Stanfurd. The opportunity still exists for the Bears to make the tournament.
Last week: The Bears dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Arizona State on Sunday, falling 16-14 in the fifth set. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Higgins had a career-high 18 kills in a sweep victory over the Arizona Wildcats. Against the ASU Sun Devils, senior Shannon Hawari had career-highs of 18 kills and 12 blocks.
If the football game gets out of hand (because the Bears are crushing the Huskies, of course) consider tuning in to this volleyball match.