The top-ranked California Golden Bears entered the loss column after dropping another visit to the Galen Center and the USC Trojans. Cal lost in straight sets 25-23, 25-20, 25-22, and will likely lose their top ranking.
I would call this an upset, except it's really not. Adrienne Gehan is out six to eight weeks with a dislocated ankle, so the Bears really won't be at full strength for the majority of the regular season. The Trojans are far from pushovers, and it looks like they took advantage of Gehan's absence. Gehan is one of the crucial cogs for the Bears. It does give Cal a chance to develop their younger players like Christina Higgins and Erin Freeman, but Gehan's importance (second in kills prior to this week as Tarah Murrey's partner-in-crime) cannot be understated.
It was nice being #1, but right now, the regular season will be all about developing the young players to make sure they're ready for the postseason stretch. Expect a lot of growing pains, but if the team can grow through the tough Pac-12 schedule, the results can pay off in a few months when Gehan returns.
It doesn't get any easier when the Bears play #12 UCLA tomorrow. That game will be streamed for free, so we should have an open thread in place. Go Bears!