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Golden Medals: Cal Women's Tennis win 1st team national championship, Women's Water Polo upset No.1 Stanford

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It was a big week of Cal success, pretty much across the board, in the Olympic sports. Cal Women's Tennis winning program's first team national title (ITA Indoor) and Women's Water Polo upsetting top ranked Stanford lead the way.

For the 1st time in school history, Cal Women's Tennis has won a team national championship. The NCAA later this year is of course the bigger prize.
For the 1st time in school history, Cal Women's Tennis has won a team national championship. The NCAA later this year is of course the bigger prize.
Cal Women's Tennis Twitter

Schedule:

The Cal Softball 2016 season kicked off this weekend from Tempe, Arizona.

There are actually a dearth of events in the Bay Area, one would need to go visit The Farm tomorrow to catch the dual meet season ender for Cal Women's Swimming.

This meet is somehow not being carried by the Pac-12 Networks, however.

Fri,
Feb 12
Track & Field Don Kirby Elite Indoor Invitational Albuquerque, NM All Day
Fri,
Feb 12
Track & Field Husky Indoor Classic Seattle, WA All Day
Fri,
Feb 12
Softball Wisconsin Tempe, AZ 8:00 a.m. L, 4-2 Live Stats Twitter
Fri,
Feb 12
W Basketball Arizona State Berkeley, CA 7:00 p.m. KALX 90.7 FM Live Stream Live Stats PromotionsTickets Twitter
Sat,
Feb 13
Track & Field Husky Indoor Classic Seattle, WA All Day
Sat,
Feb 13
Track & Field Don Kirby Elite Indoor Invitational Albuquerque, NM All Day
Sat,
Feb 13
W Golf Peg Barnard Palo Alto, CA All Day
Sat,
Feb 13
W Swimming & Diving at Stanford Stanford, CA 12:00 p.m. Live Stats
Sat,
Feb 13
Softball Notre Dame Tempe, AZ 12:30 p.m. Live Stats Twitter
Sat,
Feb 13
Rugby at Arizona (reserve-grade follows) Tucson, AZ 1:00 p.m.
Sat,
Feb 13
Softball CSU Northridge Tempe, AZ 3:30 p.m. Live Stats Twitter
Sat,
Feb 13
M Basketball Oregon State Berkeley, CA 3:30 p.m. Live Stats
Sun,
Feb 14
W Golf Peg Barnard Palo Alto, CA All Day
Sun,
Feb 14
Softball Indiana Tempe, AZ 8:00 a.m. Live Stats Twitter
Sun,
Feb 14
W Basketball Arizona Berkeley, CA 12:00 p.m. KALX 90.7 FM Live Stats Promotions Tickets Twitter
Mon,
Feb 15
Rugby at Arizona State (reserve-grade prior) Tempe, AZ 2:00 p.m.
Mon,
Feb 15
W Gymnastics at Arizona State Tempe, AZ 6:00 p.m. Live Stats Twitter
Wed,
Feb 17
M Golf John A. Burns Intercollegiate (Host: Hawai'i) Lihue, HI All Day
Wed,
Feb 17
Softball at St. Mary's (California) Moraga, CA 3:00 p.m.
Thu,
Feb 18
M Golf John A. Burns Intercollegiate (Host: Hawai'i) Lihue, HI All Day

Cal Women's Tennis won ITA Indoor Championship and are now ranked No.1 in the country

For the first time in program history, Cal Women's Tennis are the top ranked team in the country!

The freshly minted No.1 ranked Bears really had to work hard to earn this honor. They won for 4 straight days at Madison, Wisconsin last weekend, culminating on a thrilling 4-3 win over defending champ North Carolina to claim the 2016 ITA Indoor Championship.

This marks the very first team national title for Cal Women's Tennis. Cal have had NCAA doubles champions in a few occasions, including current head coach Amanda Augustus, but had only become runner up (for the NCAA title) once.

This year's Golden Bears boasts a deep lineup of players with both experience and youth.

Junior Maegan Manasse plays No.1 for the Bears. She actually hasn't had a great ITA indoor tournament and saw her ranking drop to 13th in the country, after a strong individual run in the fall.

Senior Klara Fabikova was basically automatic for the Bears this past weekend. She is now ranked 5th in the country.

Senior Lynn Chi, who advanced to the NCAA individual championship final two years ago, is Cal's No.3. She certainly was instrumental for the Bears' perfect run through the Pac two years ago to win the conference title.

Junior Denise Starr plays No.4 for the Bears. She is a solid player who plays that counter punching style that is sometimes very effective against certain opponents. Starr is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week. Starr is now ranked No.121st in the country.

Freshman Olivia Hauger holds the 5th spot for the Bears. She was just named the Most Outstanding Player of the ITA Indoor Championship.

No doubt this honor was largely due to Hauger playing the pivotal deciding match of the tournament. She won her match 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to clinch the national title for the Golden Bears. She is now ranked 102nd in the country.

Rounding out the Cal singles squad is sophomore Karla Popovic from Croatia. Popovic had a perfect 3-0 record on the weekend, with the 4th match abandoned while she was ahead.

Cleary, the Bears's depth at the bottom was instrumental to bring home this very first National Title for the program.

In doubles, Cal top duo of Manasse and Starr is ranked 2nd in the country. The senior/freshman Fabikova/Hauger partnership is also a top 50 pair. To round out the doubles lineup, the Bears have been going with another senior/freshman pairing in Chi and freshman Maria Smith.

After this week off, the Bears start the Pac-12 play next weekend at the LA schools. Overall, the Pac-12 is quite good in tennis. I would suspect that the Bears would need to run the table again to win the conference. Bears are also looking to join UCLA, Stanford, and USC as winners of the NCAA team championship.

UCLA was the runnerup last year after winning for the second time in 2014. Stanford has the most NCAA team championships in the history of the sport.

Cal Women's Water Polo won Stanford Invitational, including a 5-2 win over then No.1 Stanford

Here are the the box scores from last Sunday:

No. 5 Cal 6, No. 8 UC Davis 3

UCD 0 1 2 0 – 3

Cal 3 2 1 0 – 6

UC Davis Goals: Bryn Lutz, Carla Tocchini, Allyson Hansen.

Cal Goals: Brooke Vowell 2, Carla Carrega, Kindred Paul, Pippa Saunders, Sierra Smiley.

UC Davis Saves: Haley Cameron 7.

Cal Saves: Madison Tagg 2, Madeline Trabucco 2.

No. 5 Cal 5, No. 1 Stanford 2

Cal 0 1 1 3 - 5
Sta 1 0 0 1 – 2

Cal Goals: Stephanie Mutafyan 2, Genevieve Weed 2, Carla Carrega.

Stanford Goals: Dani Jackovich, Kat Klass

Cal Saves: Madison Tagg 4, Madeline Trabucco 4.

Stanford Saves: Julia Hermann 6.

Defense has been the calling card for the new look Bears (top 3 scorers from last season are taking the year off to help their countries qualify for the Rio 2016 games). The two goals allowed to Stanford is the lowest output for the Cardinal since 2005.

It is interesting to see that freshman Madison Tagg is splitting time in the cage with established junior and two year starter Madeline Trabucco.

Sophomore Carla Carrega (from Italy) is the leading goal scorer for the Bears in 2016. She has 28 on the year, the next highest total is Emily Laughlin with 15. Cal fans, let's get to know Carla Carrega through this video below.

Senior Pippa Saunders put this win over Stanford in perspective on her weekly blog on CalBears.com:

And for the first time in Cal Polo history, we won the Stanford Invitational by defeating No. 1 Stanford in the championship game! The last time we played Stanford was in the MPSF semifinals last season in April, and marked the first time we had beaten them in 15 years.

Understandably, the Bears swept the MPSF weekly awards:

Carraga is named Player of the Week while freshman Tagg is tagged as the Newcomer of the week.

Cal women's water polo has been the clear weakest link of the storied Cal Aquatic programs, maybe this is the year when Cal can win the war of attrition (I am assuming that top programs are all experience some losses of players to the Olympics) and achieve brand new height.

Cal Men's Tennis defeated No.24 Texas and No.2 TCU down in Austin

Cal Men's Tennis also has a very nice weekend, from their trip down to Austin. After being knocked out of the ITA Indoor due to snow (host Duke was just declared the regional winner when teams couldn't travel to Durham due to Jonas few weeks back), the Bears were out to show that they should be a factor comes the NCAA.

First, the Bears get to avenge for being knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the past two years. Bears finally managed to defeat host Texas and it was via a sweep.

No. 24 Cal (3-1) defeated No. 26 Texas (4-5) – 4-0

Feb. 6, 2016, in Austin, Texas

Weller Indoor Tennis Center

Doubles

1. Adrian Ortiz/ Michael Riechmann (Texas) def. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal) – 6-2

2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal) def. George Goldhoff/Julian Zlobinsky (Texas) – 6-4

3. Billy Griffith/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Rodrigo Banzer/Harrison Scott (Texas) – 6-1

Cal won the doubles point

Order of finish – 3, 1, 2*

*Clinched the doubles point

Singles

1. No. 30 Florian Lakat (Cal) vs. George Goldhoff (Texas) – 4-6, 6-2, 2-5 Abandoned

2. No. 3 Andre Goransson (Cal) def. No. 94 Harrison Scott (Texas) – 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-0

3. No. 86 Filip Bergevi (Cal) def. Rodrigo Banzer (Texas) – 6-1, 6-3

4. No. 39 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Adrian Ortiz (Texas) – 7-5, 1-6, 6-3

5. No. 54 Oskar Wikberg (Cal) def. No. 114 Michael Riechmann (Texas) – 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Abandoned

6. J.T. Nishimura (Cal) vs. Julian Zlobinsky (Texas) – 6-4, 2-6, 5-5 Abandoned

Order of Finish – 3, 2, 4*

*Clinched the overall match

The following day, the Bears faced TCU who are just ranked 2nd in the entire country (and I mean the United States of America and not the Texas Republic).

No. 24 Cal (4-1) defeated No. 2 TCU (3-1) – 4-2

Feb. 7, 2016, in Austin, Texas

Weller Indoor Tennis Center

Doubles

1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Trevor Johnson/Cameron Norrie (TCU) – 6-3

2. Hudson Blake/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal) – 6-4

3. Guillermo Nunez/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Billy Griffith/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) – 7-5

TCU won the doubles point

Order of finish – 2, 1, 3*

*Clinched the doubles point

Singles

1. No. 4 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. No. 3 Andre Goransson (Cal) – 6-1, 6-3

2. No. 30 Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Alex Rybakov (TCU) – 6-2, 6-2

3. No. 39 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. No. 24 Guillermo Nunez (TCU) – 6-4, 6-4

4. No. 86 Filip Bergevi (Cal) def. No. 109 Jerry Lopez (TCU) – 6-1, 6-4

5. No. 54 Oskar Wikberg (Cal) vs. Eduardo Nava (TCU) – 4-6, 5-5 Abandoned

6. J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Reese Stalder (TCU) – 6-2, 7-6(5)

Order of Finish – 1, 2, 4, 3, 6*

*Clinched the overall match

Yes, the Golden Bears are triumphant over the 2nd ranked team in the country. After dropping the doubles point, the Bears got an upset win from Billy Griffith at No.3 (a big reason why Griffith was named Pac-12 Player of the Week).

Sophomore J.T. Nishimura was able to clinch the win for the Bears by rallying from being down 5-1 in the 2nd set.

We shall find out on the 17th, how far up the ranking the Bears will move as a team.

Cal Women's Gymnastics achieved 2nd highest team total in school history

If you have been reading my Golden Medals posts, you know that the Cal Women's Gymnastics program is in the midst of a renaissance. After beating UCLA for the first time in ages, the Bears top Arizona, but more importantly top themselves by posting the 2nd highest team score in program history on Monday.

Of course, such an achievement was a total team effort.

Like the Cal Men's Basketball team, the Bears perform much better at home. Cal fans should most definitely go check them out in person.

You never know when history is going to be made.

Cal Men's Gymnastics posted season high score and net 1st win of season

Another week, another meet against Stanford and this week, also Michigan.

Bears were able to post a season high in score which was good enough to beat Michigan.

Certainly, the gap between top ranked Stanford and everyone else is big, but it's finally time for the Bears to claim their first victory of the season.

Senior co-captain Kyle Zemeir set a new season best in all-around. Clutch parallel bar routines by Kevin Wolting and Mickey Diliberto were key.

Cal Rugby fell short against UBC but Pac play about to start

I live commented the match here.

The Bears lost the home leg of the bout for the World Cup against UBC Thunderbirds last Saturday. A last push for the equalizing try fell short and the Bears lost 20-15 to suffer their first loss of the year.

Bears will return tor Pac play starting this weekend. I suspect matches against the Arizona schools will quickly restore balance and allow Cal Rugby to start another winning streak.

Cal Softball - season starts this weekend

The season started this morning with a 4-2 loss to Wisconsin to open the 2016 season. Bears will face plenty of other good competition at the Kajikawa Classic down at Tempe, AZ.

Nevertheless, the Bears returned a lot of experience (especially pitching-wise, too bad none of them have been that dominant in Pac-12 play).

Two Golden Bears, Jazmyn Jackson and Annie Aldrete, are on the Player of the Year Watchlist to start the year. Both players are expected to represent Team USA at the international level this summer.

The Bears are picked to finish 6th in the Pac, at least that's much higher than what is expected out of Stanford.

The Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll results are as follows:
1. Oregon (8) 64
2. UCLA (1) 51
3. Arizona 49
4. Washington 42
5. Utah 36
6. California 32
7. Arizona State 27
8. Oregon State 15
9. Stanford 8

17 Pac-12 games of the Golden Bears will be covered by the Pac-12 Networks this spring.

GO BEARS!