Four months after the 2014-15 season ended for most of the California men's tennis team, the Golden Bears got back to work on the first day of practice, with Head Coach Peter Wright's charges taking to the courts at the Hellman Tennis Complex on a hot, sunny Wednesday.
The Cal volleyball team won the first two sets against Air Force on Saturday only to see the Falcons come back to take the final three and the Bears lost their final match of the Service Academy Challenge, after taking the first two matches at the Pentagon's underground athletic facility.
The California Golden Bears (3-1-0) defeated the UC Davis Aggies (1-4-0) 2-1 on Friday afternoon at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. The Bears were buoyed by goals from redshirt sophomore forward Matt Chasman and freshman midfielder Shinya Kadono, who tallied in the second half. Kadono's 81st minute blast pushed the lead at the time to 2-0, and Cal withstood a late charge by the visiting Aggies to hold on to the 2-1 victory
California's Arielle Ship added another national honor Wednesday when she was named the ESPNW Soccer Player of the Week, giving the junior a sweep of the national player of the week awards.
The accolade from ESPNW comes after Ship was named the National Player of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). She was also selected as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
Senior Samantha Witteman scored a 28th minute game-winner and sophomore goalkeeper Emily Boyd sealed the shutout with two critical saves in the final quarter hour to help No. 16 California run its unbeaten streak to five games with a 1-0 win over UC Riverside Friday afternoon.
Cal Men's Basketball's schedule was announced on Thursday, and it will feature 10 appearances on ESPN, 13 on the Pac-12 Networks, and seven on FOX Sports 1.
What? Did you think they were all going to be Grambling States? The Cal Bears faced a little bit of resistance this week, but were able to pull away in the second half from a pretty good San Diego State team en route to a 35-7 victory.
The defense did a solid job containing Donnel Pumphrey -- one of the least appreciated backs in the country -- to 76 yards on 21 carries and no touchdowns. Offensively, Jared Goff completed 17 of 24 passes for 321 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
What the win means for Cal: The confidence is growing -- particularly on defense where for the second week in a row the unit created turnovers and pressure in the backfield. They have to head on the road next week to a hostile environment against Texas. But this should qualify as a quality win as Cal takes another step towards returning to the postseason. The offense is what we thought it would be and the defense (more on them below) has probably exceeded expectations after two games.
Player(s) of the game: I'm cheating by going with a whole unit. But I think it's deserved. Cal's defense -- which took more guff than almost any other unit last year (which was totally deserved, by the way) -- looks to be very improved. We heard it all offseason, but against a pretty good Group of 5 team, we saw it. They contained Pumphrey, hauled in a pair of interceptions and had six tackles for a loss to go with a pair of sacks.
Strong has a real job ahead of him, but he will do it in a better humor than was the case in the days following the lost weekend in South Bend.
That's the beauty of getting that first win. Strong can really get after this defense in film study and pound it into his players' heads that they will be facing an opponent far more formidable than Rice.
The Cal Bears aren't the Aaron Rodgers/Marshawn Lynch Cal Bears from a decade ago, but they are much more versatile than Rice. Junior quarterback Jared Goff will get some Heisman notice and a secondary that finally showed a pulse after a Notre Dame no-show will have plenty on its plate this time next week.
All things considered, it's a win and Texas needed it.
Now the Horns must build upon this new confidence. They will need it in spades to beat Cal.