SAN FRANCISCO - Golden Bear senior Serena Leong's first team selection highlights five California women's gymnastics honorees named to the Pac-12 All-Academic squad, released by the conference Friday.
Alongside Leong's first team selection, juniors Zoe Draghi, Jessica Howe and Amber Takara, and sophomore Arianna Robinson were all recognized as honorable mentions.
Leong, who competed in three meets this year before suffering a career-ending injury, owns a 3.81 grade point average with a B.S. in Bioengineering expected in December. On top of her gymnastics commitments, she has also been a student research assistant in the UC Berkeley Sohn lab since May 2014. This is the second time in her career Leong has been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic First Team. She is also a three-time NACGC Scholastic All-American (2013, 2014, 2015), 2015 Golden Bear award winner (highest GPA on gymnastics team).
Draghi, a legal studies major, picked up her second consecutive honorable mention honor with a 3.31 GPA. She has anchored every Cal floor lineup this season, specializing on both floor and beam.
Howe (3.24 GPA, legal studies), Takara (3.06 GPA, interdisciplinary studies) and Robinson (3.3, undeclared) all picked up their first All-Academic awards. All three Bears have competed in every single meet for Cal and set career-highs on at least one event.
BERKELEY - There isn't much question what the Cal softball team is capable of when firing on all cylinders at the plate.
Take Friday's 11-3 win over Utah as exhibit A when considering the collective talent the Bears possess. Seven different players collected a hit en route to a team total of 14 and senior Jasmin Mejia sent everyone home a little early when she crushed a walk-off grand slam into the right-center field bleachers to end the game via run rule in the sixth inning.
So, while the Bears will come to the ballpark Saturday looking to turn Friday's offensive explosion looking to turn Friday's fireworks into a sustained stretch of hot hitting, they left Levine-Fricke Field with just another reminder of what they can do when the whole lineup is locked in at the same time.
The California Golden Bears had a very solid season in terms of basketball in 2015-16.
The team finished fifth in the Pac-12 with a 12-6 record in conference play and a 23-11 record overall. The Bears were able to notch quality wins over at the time #21 Utah, #12 Arizona, and #11 and eventual top seed Oregon.
Although they were coming off a loss to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament, the Bears were able to grab a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament â the highest in school history.
In the opening round, they were matched up against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, winners of the Big West with a 28-6 overall record. Cal was the clear favorite with Vegas putting them as an almost seven point favorite.
But prior to the game, senior guard Tyrone Wallace broke his wrist â ending his California Bears and college basketball career.
Hawaii was able to take advantage of Cal's injury woes and youth as they pulled off the 77-66 upset, knocking Cal out of the tournament.
Cal's tournament wasn't made any easier before their first round game given that the Bears fired assistant Yann Hufnagel after he was found guilty of sexual assault. Head coach Cuomo Martin is now under investigation to see if he handled the sexual harassment allegations properly.
Following the investigation â and now the uncertainty surrounding the program â the Bears' top recruit: Tyson Jolly, has de-committed from the program. Jolly was a three star recruit out of Oklahoma who would have greatly improved the program. Now coach Martin will have to deal with his loss.
A much needed boost for this Cal team would be if Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb â or both â decided to return for their sophomore seasons. But with both ticketed for the lottery they are unlikely they do so.
So with all the issues the Cal basketball program has had, what can fans of the Bears look for going into the 2016-17 season?