BERKELEY - California's talented lineup earned more recognition when the Oracle/ITA Rankings came out on Tuesday, with two Golden Bears appearing in the singles top 10, one Cal pair ranked No. 3 in doubles and the Cal team earning a No. 6 ranking in the first polls of the New Year. Maegan Manasse again appears in both sets of rankings, remaining at No. 3 in doubles with fellow junior Denise Starr and ranked No. 5 in singles. Klara Fabikova joins Manasse in the singles top 10, with the senior ranked 10th.
Cal is one of just three schools - including Virginia and Miami (Fla.) - with two players ranked in the singles top 10. The last time the Bears had two players ranked in the top 10 was in the first poll of the 2013-14 season, as Zsofi Susanyi was ranked No. 4 and Anett Schutting was ranked fifth.
BERKELEY - California's Andre Goransson jumped to No. 3 in the first Oracle/ITA Rankings of the New Year that came out on Tuesday. With the dual-match season starting later this month, Cal claimed a No. 21 spot in the year's first team poll, had a total of five Bears ranked in singles and had two doubles teams ranked in the top 60.
Goransson's ranking is Cal's highest since Conor Niland was ranked third in April of 2006.
In singles, current Cal junior Florian Lakat is ranked 30th, sophomore Billy Griffith is No. 39, senior Oskar Wikberg is 54th and junior Filip Bergevi is ranked 86th. In the doubles poll, the pair of Lakat and Wikberg stands at No. 38, while the duo of Goransson and Lakat is 59th. Lakat and Goransson were ranked 25th in the fall preseason poll, which also pegged Bergevi and Wikberg tied at No. 56.
BERKELEY - Back-to-back-to-back winter storms are inaugurating the spring 2016 season this week with much-needed rain, marking the start of the 134th spring for the oldest intercollegiate sport at the University of California and giving the Golden Bears some welcome adversity as they commence training camp.
The Rugby Bears reported back to campus Monday prior to the start of the academic calendar to open their 15-a-side account, with the next two weeks designed to align the ambitions of more than 60 individual student-athletes into a unified team in pursuit of its full potential.
Two-a-day training sessions will be the norm for the Blue and Gold until they travel to Los Angeles for the season opener January 16 at the Dennis Storer Classic; until then, the team is tasked to treat every repetition, every coaching point, as an opportunity to demonstrate the individual and collective improvement that camp is meant to make possible.
The 2015 season is officially over for the Pac-12. We continue our season review by handing out some team-by-team grades.
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
Offense: A year after finishing behind only Oregon in the Pac-12's offensive rankings, Cal dropped to seventh, averaging 31.7 points per game. The Bears did finish the season on a positive note, scoring at least 48 points in three of their last four games, but production prior to that stretch was a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps the biggest inhibitor was the poor health of senior running back Daniel Lasco, a 1,000-yard man in 2014 who managed only 331 yards on the ground this season because of injuries.
It wasn't easy for quarterback Jared Goff, who now owns a bevy of Cal passing records, to become his expected dominant self in 2015. But once Goff did hit that stride, the results were spectacular: He combined for nearly 1,500 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes in the Bears' final three wins. Grade: B
EUGENE, Ore. - Cal saw its three-game winning streak come to an end with a tough, 68-65, loss at Oregon Wednesday night.
Jaylen Brown led the Golden Bears (12-4, 2-1 Pac-12) with 20 ponts, while Ivan Rabb added 17 and Tyrone Wallace 16. Chris Boucher paced the Ducks (12-3, 1-1) with 18 points.
The game was close throughout with neither team building more than a six-point advantage. There were 15 lead changes and eight ties. Cal and Oregon also went into the locker room at 27-all at the half.
After the break, Oregon went ahead for good at 49-47 with 7:55 remaining. Cal stayed within striking distance, but a 3-pointer near the end of the shot clock by Tyler Dorsey with 42 seconds left gave the Ducks a 6-point edge, and the Bears were not able to catch up.