Swimming and Diving
The California women's swimming & diving team captured the university team competition with 92 points as the Golden Bears wrapped up participation in the U.S. Winter Nationals on Saturday night.
California Aquatics, made up of Cal alums, also won the club team competition with 81 points.
Senior Elizabeth Pelton led Cal's efforts on the final evening of action with a fourth-place finish in the 200 backstroke in a time of 2:10.54. Junior Marina Garcia placed sixth in the 200 breaststroke by clocking in at 2:30.26.
"I'm very happy about our team swims," Cal coach Teri McKeever said. "I'm excited about building on this for the collegiate season and beyond."
A duel between teammates in the 100-yard butterfly, another reminder of strength in the backstroke from Ryan Murphy and a strong freestyle relay swim provided the highlights for the Cal men's swimming team on another strong day at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
After a good first day on Friday, the Bears returned to the University of Georgia on Saturday looking for even more momentum to carry into Sunday's final day of competition. And, it didn't take long for that forward progress to show up as a 1-2 finish in the 100 butterfly provided an early highlight for the day.
Men's Water Polo
When the Cal men's water polo team got its season started in September, the goal of returning to the NCAA Championships hinged on how quickly and completely a young group of Bears could come together with a group of key veterans intent on continuing a legacy of excellence.
So, as the Bears wrapped up their 2015 campaign Sunday with a 20-9 win over UC San Diego in the third-place match of that very tournament, head coach Kirk Everist's squad left Los Angeles with a successful season behind them and the promise of good things yet to come.
Facing a loss against unranked Saint Mary's on Friday and out of the Cal Classic championship game for the first time in 32 tournaments, head coach Lindsay Gottlieb was concerned with just one thing when it came to her young squad.
"What I'm most concerned about is how we respond," Gottlieb said after yesterday's loss. "I'm much more concerned with how we carry ourselves and what we do going forward. You don't want to have to lose a game to learn those lessons but if you do and you do learn those lessons you're better off for it."
In less than 24 hours, the Bears showed that their response was a positive one as No. 18/17 Cal rewrote the program record books in a 117-99 rout of Sacramento State in the Cal Classic consolation game Sunday in Haas Pavilion. Cal's 117 points was a new program-record, topping the previous record of 115, which stood since 1989. The Bears also set program records for single-game field goal percentage (69.3 percent) and made field goals (52), records as old as 1979.
Following an NCAA-best 43-point performance against Sacramento State, California freshman forward Kristine Anigwe was voted this week's Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, the league announced Monday. Oregon's Jillian Alleyne is the Player of the Week.
This is Anigwe's second consecutive weekly award, and her third in four weeks. Anigwe is the only Golden Bear to be voted Freshman of the Week more than twice since the Pac-12 began sponsoring the award in 2012-13.
Armed Forces Bowl: California vs. Air Force
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: California Golden Bears vs. Air Force Falcons
Date: Dec. 29, 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas | Amon G. Carter Stadium
California Golden Bears
Best moment: The Golden Bears made a strong finishing statement at home in what may have been quarterback Jared Goff's last appearance at Memorial Stadium. Trailing 27-10 at halftime, Cal mounted a furious comeback against Arizona State to win 48-46. Matt Anderson kicked the decisive field goal as time expired, and it was a try set up by Goff's 542 passing yards and five touchdowns. The victory pushed the Bears to 7-5, ensuring a winning record just two seasons after a 1-11 nightmare.
Lowest moment: Cal was humbled 40-24 by UCLA in mid-October, and that was the defeat that stripped the luster off the Bears' auspicious 5-0 start. They had already suffered their first loss at Utah a game prior, but at least that contest was close. This one was not. Sonny Dykes' squad turned in its worst effort of the season and trailed big throughout. The Bears didn't recover from this Josh Rosen torching until they beat Oregon State more than three weeks later.
Key player: Goff is the Bears' unquestioned leader, and he faced an even greater burden under center this season given the injury-riddled campaign of Daniel Lasco, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2014. Cal relied heavily on Goff to spread the ball around the Air Raid system, and he did well in the face of massive expectations. At the end of the day, Goff guided the Bears to two more wins than last season and a return to bowl eligibility, so their season can be considered another step in the right direction.
Motivation level: This will be Cal's first postseason appearance since 2011, so the Bears should be fired up to have a chance to play in a bowl game. Only fifth-year seniors were on the squad back when Cal last played in a bowl game.