8 p.m. PT - Arizona (10-3) at Cal
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif.
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Twitter
Cal All-Time Series vs. the Wildcats: 22-34
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (10-26-2012)
Despite the disappointing result, there were plenty of positive to take away from the Bears' narrow loss to Furd on Wednesday night. Coming off two disappointing losses, the Bears were finally back to form against the visiting 7th ranked Furd. Bears dominated the first set 25-20, before three closely contested sets go the way of Furd (with a couple controversial points in Furd's favor, particularly set 3's touch call against the Bears that changed the score from 23-23 to give Furd the set point).
From the Daily Cal article on The Big Spike:
"We played a lot more consistently," Gehan said after the match. "Our passing was good, and our defense played a lot better than it had in the last few games."
"I'm pretty happy with the way we ran our offense most of the time," said Cal coach Rich Feller. "But we still need to find a couple more kills per game."
"That's the best we've played in a while," Feller said. "So I'm pretty pleased with that, except for the outcome."
Pac-12 Network recap of the Cal-Furd match includes an interview with Furd's Carly Wopa (who suffered through some personal tragedy of losing her twin sister):
Unlike the Bears's more balanced attack where anyone of Adrienne Gehan, Christina Higgins, Lara Vukasovic, and Lillian Schonewise can lead the team in kills (though it will most likely be the senior Gehan), the Zona attack is built around Madi Kingdon.
Arizona's Madi Kingdon is the reigning conference Offensive Player of the Week. In the video below, she talks about that honor, her expectation of conference play, their freshman setter, etc.
Keys to the match:
- Continue the solid passing: Bears' main problem last year (mostly due to injuries) has been partially solved by the incoming "defensive QB" Maddy Kerr as the Libero. Couple her with sophomore Mary Mckennon, who played the libero position brilliantly last year, the Bears have a solid backrow. Senior Adrienne Gehan and the finally healthy Michelle Neumayr also provide solid passing when they are in.
- No letdown from Wednesday: Pac-12 conference wins are tough to come by. Arizona is good but this is certainly one of the more winnable match on the schedule. On Wednesday night, Bears lost the points immediately after questionable calls. The ability to keep their composure is huge for this young team.
In case you missed it, some Volleyball 101 from the Bears.