MORAGA, Calif. - Evan Coleman scored two of the Golden Bears' five tries and California limited the Gaels to two second-half scores, one a dubiously awarded penalty try, for a 27-14 win on a wet and windy Saturday in Saint Mary's Stadium.
"A really good victory," said match-day captain Michael Bush. "Everyone played their hearts out and that's what we needed."
Gaels center Dylan Audsley scored the first try for SMC (5-3), which got its second try awarded by referee Pete Smith in the 58th minute after Smith ruled Cal (11-1, 3-0 PAC) had interfered with Aaron Mathews' chase after the flyhalf kicked ahead and Audsley unsuccessfully battled fullback Harry Adolphus for the ball 10 meters from the Bears try zone.
Despite that questionable call and conditions that caused many slips and drops on both sides, the Bears played a cleaner contest than their hosts and had a lower penalty count as they controlled the majority of the match, leading 10-0 at halftime after tries by Adolphus and Coleman.
In the second half, nine minutes after their penalty try gave the Gaels a 17-14 advantage, Coleman scored his second in the left corner to take back the lead. Coleman's brace finished a sequence set up by one of the many expertly placed territorial kicks by flyhalf Russell Webb, who kept the Blue and Gold in the attacking half of the field throughout the afternoon thanks to his touch-finding boot.
"That was the game plan," Webb said. "Full credit to the coaches for the plan, credit to the players for sticking to our system and special credit to our forwards. They were immense today."
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The California Golden Bears finished second at the Air Force triangular meet in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the Air Force Academy. Illinois took the team portion of the meet with a team score of 442.300, while the Bears took second with a season-best 434.050, edging the host Air Force, who was third at 433.350. Senior co-captain Kevin Wolting, who was named a Nissen-Emery finalist earlier in the week, set a season-best in the all-around competition, posting a score of 87.850, placing third overall, highlighted by his 15.550 on floor exercise.
"These guys fought really hard today in this incredible altitude," head coach Brett McClure said on Saturday night. "This was the second meet with five-up, five-count and we improved our hit percentage and increased our stuck landings. It was close the whole way, which made this a very exciting meet. It's going to be close going down the stretch."
PHOENIX - Cal's No. 2 pair of sophomore Bryce Bark and senior Kory Lamet continued their perfect start to the season, but the Bears' beach volleyball team dropped a pair of 3-2 decisions at a tri-meet at Grand Canyon University on Sunday.
Bark and Lamet defeated Grand Canyon's Molly Turner and Aleksandra Wachowicz, 21-17, 21-19, but the No. 15 Antelopes edged Cal 3-2. The Bears' No. 3 team of freshmen Grace Campbell and Olivia Rodberg pushed Grand Canyon's pair to three sets before falling 15-10 in the deciding set.
AUSTIN, Texas - No. 13 California (9-3) never gave up on Sunday afternoon, finishing off a historic four-game sweep of Texas (5-7) in Austin with a furious seven-run comeback to win 10-7 in 11 innings at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Cal becomes the first team to ever sweep Texas in a four-game set in 79 attempts. The Bears trailed 7-0 with two away in the top of the eighth inning, when senior outfielder Brian Celsi, who was 4-for-6 with 4 RBI on the day, hit a two-run single to cut the deficit to 7-2. Cal then stranded a pair, but came back in the top of the ninth to score five runs to force extras, courtesy of a two-out RBI single from senior Brenden Farney, a two-run single by senior Nick Halamandaris, an RBI infield single by Celsi and the tying run scored via an error on Texas shortstop Bret Boswell. Cal then added three more runs in the top of the 11th, when Celsi again drove in a run on a single, as did freshman Ripken Reyes. The 10th and final run came again by virtue of a throwing error by Boswell on a grounder to short.
"We weren't about to let them give up," head coach David Esquer said on Sunday. "We had done a lot of things during the game where we were a step slow here, a ball off of our glove, missed a sign there, but Texas came with great resolve themselves and at first we didn't respond for a long time. We got a little spark and an opening and the guys started to believe. We just kept talking positively in the dugout and kept saying we were going to keep the game going. We play Blue/Gold intersquads all the time and it was the Gold team that brought us back, and they had a lot of fun rooting in the dugout for the Gold team there towards the end."