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Golden Nuggets: Bob Melvin Embraces A's History

The Athletics skipper and Cal Baseball alum celebrates four years as manager today, and Alex Morgan and Betsy Hassett sub in their first World Cup games.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Women's Water Polo

Cal Sports Quarterly Feature: A Call Out Of The Blue

This feature originally appeared in the Spring edition of the Cal Sports Quarterly. The Cal Athletics flagship magazine features long-form sports journalism at its finest and provides in-depth coverage of the scholar-athlete experience in Berkeley. Printed copies are mailed four times a year to Bear Backers who give annually at the Bear Club level (currently $600 or more). For more information on how you can receive a printed version of the Cal Sports Quarterly at home, send an email to calbearbackers@berkeley.edu or call (510) 642-2427.

By Jonathan Okanes, Cal Athletic Communications

Dora Antal was at a training camp with the Hungarian National Team in 2012 when she saw a missed call from Berkeley, California, on her phone.

She was so excited that she naturally decided not to call back.

"I called my dad and told him my phone showed somebody called me from Berkeley," said Antal, a sophomore first-team All-American on the Cal women's water polo team. "He said, ‘Why don't you call them back?'"

It wasn't that Antal didn't want to call back. She was just a little flustered because, after getting offers from a handful of other top American universities, the one that would fulfill a dream had finally phoned.

Antal was considered one of the top young water polo players in the world after graduating from high school in Eger, Hungary. She was the youngest player to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she helped the Hungarians advance to the bronze medal game.

Sand Volleyball

The continuing explosion of sand volleyball took another dramatic step Sunday with the announcement that it has been added as a Pac-12 sponsored sport beginning with the 2015-16 academic year.

Men's Golf

Former Cal golfer Brandon Hagy qualified for his first U.S. Open on Monday by finishing in a tie for fourth at a 2015 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying event played at Germantown Country Club and Ridgeway Country Club

Football

Former Cal Tight End Spencer Hagan (2009-2012) will rejoin the team as an offensive graduate assistant. Hagan was previously an offensive graduate assistant for Hawaii and team manager for Cal. Hagan's twitter profile indicates that he will be coaching inside receivers.

FIFA Women's World Cup

Both Alex Morgan and Betsy Hasset came on for the Americans and New Zealand respectively as substitutes. Morgan and the United States defeated Australia, 3-1, while New Zealand fell to the Netherlands, 1-0.

ESPNW: The Authentication of Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan breezes into a Kansas City restaurant called Café Gratitude one early spring day looking perfect. Morgan is one of those people who can pull off appearing well-groomed even when drenched with sweat, and today she is casually, yet impeccably, attired in a long gray skirt, a black-and-white short-sleeved shrug and a white tank top, all of which she threw on after realizing she was half an hour late. She apologizes; she was trying to curl her hair. "I don't know where my blow dryer is," she says. There was also a minor crisis with her skirt, which apparently at some point was a crumpled mess. "I put it in the dryer for five minutes because we don't have an iron yet." She frowns, just a bit. "It's an obstacle being a girl when you move all over and don't have half the things you need," she says. "It's like everything is wrinkled in your life."

Nothing about Alex Morgan is wrinkled. At 25, she is the Taylor Swift of women's sports, someone whose seamless transformation from unknown to superstar in less than four years has garnered comparisons to another forward, Mia Hamm -- if not Cinderella. Morgan hates that analogy. "I don't see anything shocking about my rise," she says. And she's right: No professional athlete arrives at the ball from nowhere. Still, her life has been pretty charmed, highlighted by an Olympic gold medal, won at age 23, a series of best-selling children's books (with a TV show in the works), countless media appearances and a turn on the catwalk during New York Fashion Week. This past New Year's Eve, she married her hunky pro-soccer-playing college sweetheart, Servando Carrasco, on a wind-swept beach in Santa Barbara, California. As she does with much of her life, Morgan chronicled the event and its preparations on Instagram, tagging it "The best day ever."

Given this cornucopia of blessings, her choice to meet at a restaurant named Café Gratitude is an interesting metaphor. But if it occurs to her, Morgan isn't letting on as she settles into a booth by the window, slightly away from the rest of the patrons. She starts talking about one of her recent obsessions, To Write Love on Her Arms, a charity dedicated to helping people suffering with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. She admires how people start these things spontaneously, and she says of the group's founder, Jamie Tworkowski, a former Florida surfer who created the organization after a friend contemplated suicide: "I mean, he just had an idea and went with it. It's not like he had a lot of money to back him up. He just believed in it." Morgan says she can't even imagine doing something like that. "It's pretty incredible.

Major League Baseball

Athletics manager Bob Melvin took the job for Oakland four years ago today. Take a look back at Melvin's connection to A's history, from the day he was named interim manager.

Interim skipper Melvin embraces A's history

CHICAGO -- It didn't take long for Bob Melvin to become a full-fledged member of the Oakland A's organization.
Take his jersey No. 6, for example, which Melvin was sporting during his introductory press conference at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday, where he was introduced as Oakland's interim manager for the remainder of the 2011 season.

Melvin replaces Bob Geren, who was relieved of his duties by A's vice president and general manager Billy Beane, with Oakland in the throes of a nine-game losing streak. As for that jersey number, it's a tribute to one of the more accomplished players in A's franchise history and what he meant to Melvin's career.

"For captain Sal Bando of the Swingin' A's," said Melvin of the jersey choice. "(Before) I wore No. 3 in honor of Phil Garner. He and Sal brought me into Milwaukee together.

"[I] cut my teeth as a bench coach, became a manager and wanted to honor him. I felt like it was apropos the situation being here in Oakland to wear this number. I'll wear it very pridefully, if that's a word."