Who says 2013 hasn't been a great year for Cal football! Er, futbol.
After Saturday's incident in Palo Alto, I decided that a needed to clean my palate. And Cal Athletics provided a tremendous opportunity to do just that on Sunday, with a back-to-back-to-back triple feature of Volleyball, Men's Soccer (NCAA Tournament style), and Women's Basketball. There were all sorts of great deals: your volleyball ticket got you into the basketball game for free, and your basketball ticket did the same for volleyball. The soccer ticket also got you into the basketball game. Cal is making it incredibly easy for fans to enjoy our many, many wonderful teams. So off I set at for Berkeley at 9:00 o'clock Sunday morning for an all-day Bearathon.
It started at Haas with Senior Day for Cal Volleyball versus Washington State.
The match started off great, with the Bears charging out to a two set to nothing lead, and the looking sharp:
Higgins with the kill
Look, a cool action shot!
But the Bears were playing without two of their most outstanding players, their leading attacker and team captain Adrienne Gehan and their starting middle blocker Lara Vukasovic. Both of them were out with injuries. So even though the Bears had leads in both the third and fourth sets, they were unable to put the match away. And in the fifth set, the invigorated Cougars came out strong and pretty much steamrolled over the disappointed Bears.
Call Volleyball head coach Rich Feller will have to wait at least one more game for his 600th career win.
So far, the palate cleansing was not exactly what the doctor ordered. But there was no time to mope. Because the volleyball match had gone five sets, we just had time to rush to Smart Alec's for a quick salad before dashing off the Edwards Stadium for some NCAA playoff soccer.
It looks kind of empty out there, but that's only because they close off one side of the stadium to fans to keep things manageable. There was actually quite a nice crowd cheering on our Bears:
Look, another a cool action shot!
I took a few videos during the game, which sadly was neither televised nor shown via online stream. Mostly they show Cal players taking shots on goal. There was a lot of that going on. I also managed to capture the Bears' third and final goal on video. For some reason, SB Nation is not letting me post any videos at this time, so here are links to all my videos from Sunday's soccer game on YouTube [Ed Note: The videos should now be embedded]:
[CalBear81 Note: If you want to see the goal, scroll down to the last video.]
And for those of you who just want to cut to the chase, this one shows the goal:
Sadly, I had to leave the soccer game before it ended. There were about 18 minutes to go when I left, but with the Bears up 3-1, I figured it was pretty safe. And it was either that, or miss most of the first half of the Women's Basketball game. Decisions, decisions. As it turned out, 3-1 Bears was the final score, so it was all good.
So it was back to Haas to root for vengeance against Northwestern, which is not only famed as a faker of injuries, but also scheduled last year's women's basketball game with Cal at 9:00 a.m. PT (11:00 a.m. Northwestern Time), and brought in screaming elementary school students by the busload -- nearly 5,000 of them. Cal WBB's radio announcer, Dave Lewis, says he still has nightmares about those screaming children.
While the Bears did not have thousands of screaming children (and really, I'm very happy about that), they did provide a Bowling With Turkeys contest at half time:
Yes, that is a turkey breast that man is throwing. Don't ask me to explain it. Just be thankful I don't have videos of the people who had to try to shoot baskets while wearing aprons and turkey hats.
Cal was pretty short-handed for the game. Gennifer Brandon is not with the team because she has some personal matters to deal with. Gennifer is an incredibly sweet person. I know we all wish her the best and hope that the problems aren't too serious, and that she is back at school and with the team soon. In addition to Brandon, Justine Hartman is still out of action with concussion symptoms. And Brittany Boyd was in foul trouble the entire game, picking up her fourth just a couple of minutes into the second half and her fifth shortly after going back in, late in the game. Although it is always distressing to have Boyd in foul trouble, I couldn't help but laugh when she came out after drawing that fourth foul and tried to hide from the coaches down at the far end of the bench. Coach Gottlieb had to signal Brittany over to her side, and Ms. Boyd's reluctance to take that seat next to the Coach was obvious. I was glad it wasn't me.
Despite these issues, the Bears had no problem handling Northwestern. Reshanda Gray was the player of the game, posting a double-double and scoring in the paint almost at will. Afure Jemerigbe also stepped up big, and freshmen Hind Ben Abdelkader, Courtney Range, and Mercedes Jefflo all had strong outings.
The final score provided a bit of satisfaction for our previous treatment at the hands of the Northwestern Wildcats:
So all-in-all, it was a glorious weekend to be a Cal fan!