Earlier this season Cal almost shocked the nation by pushing fourth-ranked Stanford to the brink during overtime in Palo Alto. The Bears get their shot at the upset again this week. Lindsay Gottlieb and Talia Caldwell talked about the matchup at a press conference earlier this week.
On the mood in the locker room for this game
"One thing I love about our players is that they are real competitors. I never have to get them up to play anybody, let alone a team as good as Stanford. I gave them two days off after the win on Satruday, so Sunday and Monday off, and they were bouncing off the walls yesterday. It was one of our best practices. It was interesting, I was watching the UConn and Notre Dame game on Monday night and the speed of that game for women's basketball is remarkable. Then, I put on the film of our first game against Stanford and it was very similar. It was up and down and the way that we practiced yesterday was in that mentality with that type of pace. I think our players relish the big stage and that is a good thing as a coach. If we can harness and utilize that energy, and, at the same time, make some technical adjustments, then I think that will give us our best shot in this game. They are very excited, but they are fully aware of how good Stanford is, the buzz around the community with respect to this game, and just the opportunity in front of them. They are definitely hyped up."
On what a win over Stanford would mean to the program
"It would be huge and that stems from the fact about how good they are. There is a lot of talk about their dominance and some people use that to knock the rest of the conference and the west coast. I just think that is crazy because I think it speaks to how good of a coach Tara is, the type if talent that they have, and how they prepare and play all the time. They are really good. So, for us, I think that any time you have the chance to play a team that has one loss on the year and is number two in the country; it can do a lot for your own program to be able to get a win against a team like that. Again, on the bigger level, one of the things that this group wants to do is put Cal in the conversation of the most elite teams in the country so it would be a step towards achieving that, obviously. The second thing is that we feel like we have done a pretty good job of building a really solid postseason resume. We are 13-2 in our last 15 and have 22 wins and all that kind of stuff, but if you go into postseason play with a win over a team like Stanford, that is obviously a difference maker. Those are all reasons that give us good motivation to want to win this game."
After the jump Joe Ayoob enters the record books and men's swimming opens the Pac-12 Championships with a win.
- Harper Kamp talks about the disappointment he and Jorge have in the way they played against Colorado on Sunday.
- The Bears finally encountered an opponent they could not defeat: rain. The Bears' game against Pacific was cancelled due to heavy rain. The game has not been rescheduled.
- The men's team opened the Pac-12 Championships with a win in the 200 medley relay.
- Caitlin Leverenz was named the Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Week after setting several school records this past weekend.