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Golden Nuggets: Natalie Coughlin Powers USA to Pan Am Win

The Golden Bear alum sparks Team USA to a relay win at the Pan Ams, and with 50 days until kickoff, who's the most important "player" for Cal Football?

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Tennis

California men's tennis collected more accolades on Thursday for its prowess in the classroom, claiming ITA All-Academic status as a team, while graduated seniors and former doubles partners Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton earned status as ITA Scholar Athletes.

Softball

Standout catcher and 2014 NFCA Co-Freshman of the Year Annie Aldrete has accepted a scholarship offer to join California softball in 2015-16, head coach Diane Ninemire announced Friday.

Women's Tennis

Three California women's tennis stars - Klara Fabikova, Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr - will compete in the inaugural Oracle/ITA Masters competition from Sept. 18-20 in Malibu, California.

Football

Most Important Player for the California Golden Bears

The Secondary

2014 production: It's almost inconceivable how much of an outlier the Bears' pass defense was last season compared to the rest of the country. Washington State allowed the second-most passing yards per game (296.6), but there was still a difference of 71 yards per game between the Cougs and national-worst Cal (367.2). The 42 touchdown passes Cal gave up was also the most in the country. And despite all the, Cal fell just a win shy of bowl eligibility (and would have gone bowling if not for the Hill Mary).

Why the secondary is important: First, let's acknowledge the fact that the secondary is not a player. Duh. Cop out? Maybe, but it's clear that for Cal to be successful, the improvement needs to come on the defensive side. They're going to score points, that's a given. And there's really not one guy on defense where you can look to and say, "success hinges on that guy."

It's going to take a lot more than that.

Swimming

Natalie Coughlin sparks Americans' final night in pool at Pan Ams

TORONTO -- Poolside at a swim meet can feel a little like being in a sauna, but not to Natalie Coughlin, who wears a parka and Ugg boots on the deck. "I know, I know, it's ridiculous," she said. "I'm always cold."

She says she is usually cold in the water, as well. Perhaps that chill helps the 12-time Olympic medalist swim so fast, though. "Yeah, I want to get back out," she said with a laugh.

The U.S. swimming team also started off a little cold at the Pan Am Games with no gold medals during the first two days of competition, but it finished strong with the women winning three gold medals during Saturday's finale.

So proud to be a part of this relay team! Awesome way to cap off the meet. #PanAmazing #TO2015

Posted by Natalie Coughlin on Saturday, July 18, 2015