Washington defeated Cal on Friday night by a score of 25-19, 23-25, 25-17, 23-25, 17-15.
That sure was close. Bears nearly pull off a super surprising upset over No.3 Washington despite the Bears were without senior leader and leading hitter in Adrienne Gehan who is resting an abdominal strain to be ready for the NCAA tournament starting in two weeks. With less experienced player such as Lindsey Parrott on the outside or highly regarded freshman Janelle Jordan playing the middle, the Bears managed to win sets 2 and 4 in close fashions (25-23) after jumping out to a sizable lead. The Huskies dominated sets 1 and 3, by the way. In a back and forth set 5, Bears actually had a few match points, but solid blocking and a slightly controversial net violation call (on what would have been the winner) costed Cal the lead. UW eventually won set 5, 17-15 to close out a very gutsy match by the Golden Bears.
Few Bears set career high in this match: Higgins finished with a career-high 21 kills and sophomore outside hitter Michelle Neumayr also had a career-best 17 kills on a career-high 63 attempts. Vukasovic also had 17 kills and freshman libero Maddy Kerr had 24 digs.
Bears' next match is Sunday against Washington State. Senior Day would the 3rd attempt by the team to give head coach Rich Feller his 600th career win.
6 p.m. PT - No. 3 Washington (23-2, 15-2 Pac-12) at No. 23 Cal (17-8, 10-6)
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif.
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Stats: CalBears.com, Twitter: @CalVolleyball
Cal All-Time Series vs. the Huskies: 29-32
Last meeting: L, 3-0 (10-16-2013)
With at least a .500 record in the Pac-12 conference (easily the toughest volleyball conference in the country) guaranteed for the season, the Bears are a virtual lock for the postseason. Still, the Bears have an outside shot to claim one of the top 16 seed and a likely home court advantage for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament that typically goes with that (exceptions for teams that don't have the facility or are hosting the regional finals). To get to that point, however, the Bears would probably need to defeat two top 10 teams in the remaining two weeks, starting with the Washington Huskies tonight (the other being 'Furd next Friday to close regular season play).
The Huskies are coming off a loss to 'Furd on Wednesday night, where they lost in 3 sets. In a tight race for the Pac-12 conference title, the loss allow 'Furd to come within a match of UW with only 3 matches left. The Huskies' only other loss of the season came at Colorado early in the season. The Huskies have had great success this year behind some really tough serving (159 aces for the year, compare to Cal's 71, although UW also has had tons more service errors 175 to Cal's 143). Their offense are led by setters senior Jenni Nogueras (6.41 assists per set) and sophomore Katy Beals (5.21 assists per set) who distribute primarily to Kaleigh Nelson (3.09 kills per set) and Krista Vansant (4.14 kills per set). As a team, they hit 0.282 for the season (Cal hits 0.250 for reference).
The Bears feature an offense led by senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan (4.22 kills per set) and junior Christina Higgins, who has really played better down the stretch. Also playing better recently is sophomore Lara Vukasovic as a middle blocker this season (after playing as an outside hitter last year). Setter Joan Caloiaro is the main setter for the Bears with 11.76 sets per set.
Before Sunday's match against Washington State, the Bears will have the Senior Day ceremony in honor of seniors in outside hitter Adrienne Gehan and setter Joan Caloiaro. Tickets for the volleyball match can double for the women's basketball game that afternoon (Cal Men's Soccer is hosting the Bradley Braves in their NCAA 2nd Round match at 1:30 pm PT).
|##||ATTACK (by K)||S||K||K/Set||E||TA||Pct|
Probable Cal Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
12 Joan Caloiaro S 5-11 Sr. Saratoga, Calif.
5 Adrienne Gehan OH 6-3 Sr. Dallas, Texas
18 Michelle Neumayr OH 6-1 So. San Mateo, Calif.
23 Christina Higgins OPP 6-2 Jr. Inglewood, Calif.
1 Lillian Schonewise MB 6-3 So. Papillion, Neb.
4 Lara Vukasovic MB 6-5 So. Zagreb, Croatia
9 Maddy Kerr L 5-7 Fr. San Diego, Calif.
More Volleyball News:
- Bears got two big signees for the 2014 season in outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden and middle blocker Laura Leap (that's a good volleyball/basketball name). Smith-Gooden is the 5th ranked prospect in the entire country (and the best ranked recruit since Tarah Murray) while Leap is 94th.
- Cal Volleyball also announced an international trip to Europe next spring where they will visit and play against teams in Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. The team is doing additional fundraising to pay for the trip. You can find more info on that from the link above.