This is the first weekend of a full slate of games in this brand new school year.
Cal Men's Water Polo (down in San Diego) and Cross Country (over the bridge in San Francisco) will see their seasons start this weekend.
After opening the season on the road, Cal Men's Soccer will have their home opener today against VCU. They will also host Northeastern on Sunday.
Cal Volleyball is on the road at a tournament hosted by Kansas State. Live audio is available via CalBears.com.
Cal Women's Soccer are in North Carolinas to take on the traditional soccer powerhouse in North Carolina (currently ranked 5th in the country) and also Duke. Matches will be streamed live on ESPN3.
After splitting two games at Stanford last week (bud did not play Stanford), Cal Field Hockey will play three different teams (Louisville, St. Louis, and Indiana) at Davis this weekend.
|Volleyball||Kansas State Tournament: UNLV|
|W Soccer||North Carolina|
|Volleyball||Kansas State Tournament: Kansas State|
|Volleyball||Kansas State Tournament: Wisconsin - Green Bay|
|Cross Country||University of San Francisco Invitational|
|M Water Polo||Triton Invitational: Pacific|
|Field Hockey||Saint Louis|
|M Water Polo||Triton Invitational: Cal Baptist|
|M Water Polo||Triton Invitational: UCSB|
|M Water Polo||Triton Invitational: UCSD|
Cal Volleyball (2-1 after winning 2 out 3 matches at the Molten Classic)
It's Go Time! #CalVolleyball pic.twitter.com/OTcixZgpkB— Cal Volleyball (@CalVolleyball) August 30, 2015
Playing without their best offensive player in middle blocker Lillian Schonewise nor the heralded sophomore outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden, the Bears won two matches via sweep and got swept in the 3rd one. Schonewise is expected to be back this weekend, which would allow Janelle Jordan, who had a great weekend filling in to move back to the Opposite position.
Cal 3, Nevada 0: 25-17, 25-19, 25-19
Solid middle blocking play by Lara Vukasovic and Janelle Jordan led the way for the Bears in their season opening win.
Cal 3, Eastern Washington 0: 25-22, 25-17, 25-23
Vukasovic again led the way with 10 kills. Freshman Belen Castillo added 9 kills. Libero Maddy Kerr registered 20 digs.
Seattle 3, Cal 0: 25-18, 25-21, 25-19
Bears hit merely 0.026 as a team in the straight set loss. Seattle actually wasn't that much better, hitting 0.083.
Notes (from reading the boxscore, as I didn't have the time to check out the streams live)
- Freshman setter Mackenzie Albrecht got plenty of PT. It's not clear whether she is used as a second setter or just playing as a defensive specialists who can also set well. Would be interesting to see the time share between her and the incumbent Alyssa Jensen. Albrecht has 36 assists to Jensen's 51 assists.
- Bears are blocking well, but how much of that is due to their size advantage. These first three teams may have been severely undersized compared to the Bears. Given the experience of Vukasovic, Schonewise (when she's back), this should be a strength all year long.
- Outside hitting is still an issue. Belen Castillo is hitting 0.167 through 3 games but the rest of the Cal outside hitting rotation (Nikki Gombar, Christen Alftin, Antzela Dempi, and Carmen Annevelink) are all at around 0 (Gombar is actually negative after a very bad match against Seattle).
- Hard to gauge the return game, but the two primary outside hitters with returns are Gombar and Alftin...Gombar has 20 digs but also 10 return errors.
Bears are in Manhatten, KS (the little apple) to take on UNLV, Green Bay, and host Kansas State this weekend. Next weekend, the Bears are in DC to play inside the Pentagon. Unfortunately for me (as someone who lives a couple of hours away from DC), those matches are not open to the public.
Update: The UNLV match started pretty early this morning, this is the Cal starting lineup:
Cal's starters this morning: S Jensen, OH Alftin, OH Gombar, MB Schonewise, MB Vukasovic, OPP Castillo, L Kerr. #CalVolleyball— Cal Volleyball (@CalVolleyball) September 4, 2015
Schonewise is back and Castillo is the starting Opposite for the Bears.
Cal Women's Soccer (2-1, after winning home opener against San Diego State)
#CalRankingsRoundup: No. 16 (@TopDrawerSoccer), No. 25 (@socceramerica), No. 27 (@NSCAACollege). Travel to Top 5 UNC/Top 20 Duke this week!— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) September 2, 2015
In a rematch of their last home match of the 2014 season (in NCAA 1st round), the Bears opened 2015 against the same San Diego State team. Bears are triumphant in a 2-0 victory as Celeste Boureille scored a brace (two goals).
Head Coach Neil McGuire’s Take
"Anytime you get a victory with your program, you’re excited about it. I hadn’t thought about it too much. Every victory is for the players and for the fans. I’m excited that we got a victory today, but in terms of me it’s a nice milestone but it’s really about the success of the players and the program."
"Defense is very important to us this year. We lost a lot of goals in an exhibition game Tuesday. I thought we tightened up some things and the girls performed very admirably (today), not only our defensive line but our midfield and forwards contributed as well."
2:11, Cal – Celeste Boureille (Annia Mejia) – Rounded GK for an open net goal
30:31, Cal – Celeste Boureille (Indigo Gibson, Lorin Hom) – Free kick to Hom, service to Boureille for header over GK
GOAL ON YOU BEARS!
For her heroics, Boureille is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week!
Hip Hip Boureille! @CelBee is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after her brace vs SDSU! http://t.co/aTXTKu0kNF pic.twitter.com/uxOoPLcM4h— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) September 1, 2015
If you follow CGB on Twitter, we have had eyes at the match (and many more home soccer matches this season). We are still working on the best way to combine live game insights of our new writers to my weekly summaries written from afar. If you went to the match, please share your insights in our comment section below. Your active participation is what makes CGB great.
Cal Men's Soccer (0-1 after losing opener to San Diego)
As expected, there is going to be a learning curve for the young Cal Men's Soccer team. Despite being ranked 16th in the country (more due to their success in the past two years), the Bears are shut out 3-0 at San Diego last weekend.
Bears will look to bounce back and get on the win column (and get on the scoring sheet) when they host VCU today and Northeastern on Sunday. Both matches are NOT televised, unfortunately.
Cal Field Hockey (1-1, Bears split two matches at Stanford)
A young Cal Field Hockey squad that is replacing both their primary goal scorer and long time goalie managed to earn a split this past weekend.
Bears had a respectable 5-1 loss to the 5th ranked Duke team to open the year.
Golden Bear Goal
46:32 – Nicole Henriksson (assisted by Paula Seibt)
Henriksson says: We had a few short corners back-to-back and I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to get a tip off from Paula’s shot on cage.
On Sunday, Bears found an offensive outburst and defeated Bryant by a 7-2 score.
Golden Bear Goals
17:09 – Janaye Sakkas (assisted by Sydney Earle)
Sakkas says: I received it and took a reverse shot into the right corner.
28:37 – Nicole Henriksson (assisted by Bella Forbes)
Henriksson says: Lexi Collins crossed a great ball into the circle. Clari Goni and I had two great chances at tipping it in. However, it got past us and Bella Forbes collected it, sent it across cage to back post where I was able to redirect the ball into the cage!
32:04 – Marie Lanckneus (assisted by Paula Seibt and Bella Forbes)
Lanckneus says: I was only a couple minutes on the field, but when we had a corner, I flicked it with a dragflick low right, through the legs of the line stop.
44:32 – Janaye Sakkas (assisted by Clara Goni)
Sakkas says: Clari dribbled into the circle and passed it to me, I turned and shot it between the goalie’s legs.
52:13 – Maddie Ashbrook
Ashbrook says: I received a ball from Clari on my weak side and then pulled it to my strong side. I hit it and it went in between the goalie’s legs.
60:29 – Bella Forbes
Forbes says: I pretty much was looking to cross the ball on the baseline and a Bryant girl got a touch on it and it deflected in!
64:11 – Melina Moore
Moore says: I received a pass near the top of the circle and swept the ball to the cage.
Bears are playing in Davis this weekend before a trip to Penn State next weekend.