No storybook upset win for Cal Volleyball to close out the season. Golden Bears were outclassed by a Stanford squad that was playing very well (they technically have a shot to earn a tie for the conference title but I don’t think Washington will lose to Washington State today).
Unfortunately, the loss means that the Bears will finish in the last place of the Pac-12 standings. One game behind ASU (2 behind OSU).
Cal Volleyball to end season Big Spike
Cal Volleyball will end their 2016 campaign today at 5 pm PT from The Farm in the road version of the Big Spike against No.12 Stanford. The match will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks.
Bears celebrated their 5 graduating seniors (libero Maddy Kerr, setter Alyssa Jensen, middle blocker Janelle Jordan, defense specialist Sabrina Blackwell, and middle blocker Lauren Leap) on Wednesday in a hard fought 5 set loss to Oregon State.
Maddy Kerr, the starting Cal libero since her first match, got 23 digs in her last appearance at Haas to firmly entrench her 2nd place in program history (to be fair, Jillian Davis had the benefits of Cal making deep NCAA tournament runs during her Cal career to set the Cal record). Alyssa Jensen was back after missing the last 4 matches with a foot injury to post a fine line of 44 assists to go with 18 digs. Jenelle Jordan added 12 kills to go with 3 blocks. A starter for 3 years, Jensen will leave Cal with the 6th most assists in program history.
Bears won two tight sets on Wednesday over Oregon State. Don’t be surprised if the Bears win a set or two or even three against Stanford today. The earlier Big Spike this season saw the Bears winning the 1st set while being very competitive in sets 2 and 3.
Cal Cross Country at NCAA Championships
Cal Men’s Cross Country and Bethan Knights of Cal Women’s Cross Country raced in Terre Haute, Indiana last Saturday at the NCAA Championships.
The Cal men's team finished the @NCAA XC Championship in 31st place, with Robert Brandt leading the Bears (109th, 30:57.4)— Cal Track & Field (@Cal_Track) November 19, 2016
In some “bone chilling temperatures”, the Cal men finished 31st overall as a team. The top finisher for the Bears was sophomore Robert Brandt. All 6 member on the Cal men’s team will be back next year.
Cal junior Bethan Knights placed 89th overall in the women’s race. This was Knights’ 2nd NCAA Championship individual berth after also racing in the 2015 championship when she finished 25th.
WOMEN'S RESULTS (PLACE / ATHLETE / TIME / POINTS)
89 / Bethan Knights / 20:47.3 / N/A
MEN'S RESULTS (PLACE / ATHLETE / TIME / POINTS)
109 / Robert Brandt / 30:57.4 / 86
177 / Garrett Corcoran / 31:26.0 / 145
199 / John Lawson / 31:41.3 / 166
222 / Paul Zeiss / 31:58.0 / 185
231 / Kai Benedict / 32:10.7 / 194
247 / Steve Correa / 33:17.2 / 78
The “Conference of Championship” that is Pac-12 saw the Oregon women taking the NCAA women’s cross country title over Michigan; Colorado finished 3rd with Stanford 5th. Northern Arizona just edged Stanford for the men’s team title, winning that school’s very first NCAA title in any sports. I am quite content with that result.
On the individual sides, it was a shocking non-four-peat for Oregon’s Edward Chesereck who finished 3rd (29:48.0) behind Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan (29:22.0) and Syracuse’s Justyn Knight (29:27.3) in the men’s 10 K race. On the women’s 6 K race, Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer is the winner with a time of 19:41.6.
Quick Recap of Cal Fall Sports
With the Fall sports winding down, here is a quick summary of how the Golden Bears have fared this fall.
Cal Field Hockey (5-13) - Cal Field Hockey was able to play and train in Berkeley for the first time in 3 years, thanks to the conversion of Underhill Field to a field hockey facility. Bears had some close losses but having a Berkeley home again is the first step back toward retaking the Best in the West in field hockey title from Stanford.
Cal Men’s Soccer (5-10-2) - A successful out of conference season turned nightmarish once Pac-12 play started and the Bears just can’t get the winning goal. Christian Thierjung ends his Cal career with a 9 goal season.
Cal Women’s Soccer (13-5-3, NCAA 1st round) - One of the most successful Cal team this fall, the Golden Bears lost in PK to Pepperdine in the NCAA 1st Round match. Bears will graduate a bunch of forwards and midfielders in Onumonu, Ship, and Fletcher but should return enough talent to make a run at that elusive Pac-12 title.
Cal Men’s Cross Country (31st at the NCAA Championship) - Bears return to the NCAA Championships for the 2nd consecutive season. Robert Brandt was the top Cal finisher with the 109th overall finish.
Cal Women’s Cross Country - Bethan Knights finished 89th at the NCAA Championship.
Cal Volleyball (9-21) - Bears will miss the NCAA tournament for the 3rd straight year. Off the court, Savannah Rennie’s incredible comeback from liver transplant will forever be a part of the Cal Volleyball legacy.
Cal Football (4-6, 1 game left) - We have had pretty comprehensive coverage of Cal Football elsewhere on the blog.
Cal Men’s Water Polo (20-4) - the lone Cal fall sports to play beyond this weekend (barring a series of events that land Cal Football in a bowl game), the 3rd ranked Bears will look to win its play-in game on December 1st before hosting the NCAA National Semifinals (likely Cal vs. UCLA) on December 3rd and Championship match (likely Cal/UCLA vs. USC) on December 4th.