GOLD RIVER - Cal women's crew had a strong morning of semifinal action sending all three boats to their respective NCAA grand finals at the 2016 NCAA Rowing Championships held on Lake Natoma. The top three finishers in each A and B semifinal are automatically qualified to the NCAA grand final to be held tomorrow morning. The varsity eight and second varsity eight each won their heats and the varsity four placed second behind Pac-12 rival Washington to secure three boats into the grand finals to be held tomorrow. Cal, Ohio State and Virginia are the only schools to qualify all three boats to grand finals.
The varsity eight started the morning and the Bears lead from start to finish in one of the most contested races of the championships. Into the halfway point, it was a close three team race between Cal, last year's NCAA Champion Ohio State, and Virginia with less than two seconds separating the three boats. Cal then surged ahead into the final 500m to win semifinal A over the Buckeyes, 6:19.800 to 6:21.548, and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship grand final to be contested today.
TULSA, Okla. - California placed a doubles team in the NCAA semifinals for the second straight year when Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr beat Fresno State's Mayar Sherif Ahmed and Rana Sherif Ahmed, 6-1, 7-5, in Saturday's quarterfinals outdoors at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The fourth-seeded/ranked Bears clinched Saturday's match when the 32nd-ranked Bulldogs' returned Manasse's serve long at match point.
Of today's victory, Starr said, "It means that we've worked hard all season, and it's paying off now. I feel like we were working on different things throughout our matches these past months, and now it's all coming together."
"We're really pleased to get another victory in the tournament," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "We played much better from the start of the match today. We're pretty familiar with the Fresno State team; we see them a lot. They had a great tournament here.
EUGENE, Ore. - Cal (287-284 - 571, +11) moved up one spot into a tie for ninth place after second-round action concluded Saturday at the 2016 NCAA Championships being hosted by Oregon at the par-70, 7,014-yard Eugene Country Club.
The top 15 squads in the 30-team field at the end of three stroke-play rounds scheduled to conclude Sunday will advance to play another 18 holes Monday when Golf Channel will provide four hours of exclusive live television coverage from 3-7 pm PT.
PULLMAN, Wash. - When it comes to compiling any sort of resume for possible postseason selection, the Cal baseball team can make a convincing argument that the team wrapping up Pac-12 play at Washington State is one that very closely resembles the squad that spent the early stages of the season mentioned among the nation's elite.
Saturday's 7-0 victory over the Cougars may have provided the perfect example to prove that theory true. Pitcher Daulton Jefferies looked every bit the ace Cal missed over the latter part of the season, striking out six en route to five shutout innings and Alex Schick followed with four perfect innings of relief as the Bears evened their final Pac-12 series of 2016 at Bailey-Brayton Field.
While Jefferies' return last Monday against Utah gave Cal fans an indication that he was rounding back into form, Saturday's start in Pullman exhibited a familiar sort of dominance from the right-hander. He needed just 14 pitches to get through the first inning and struck out the first batter in each of the first three innings. His performance didn't wane as the game went on, and he worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning to wrap up the day with only one hit allowed, two walks and 70 pitches thrown.
"I felt really good. My fastball was good and I was really thankful to be back out there with my guys another time," Jefferies said. "The last couple innings, I started getting a little emotional knowing it might be my last time with these guys. It was huge that we got the 499th (career) win for coach (David) Esquer. We're looking to get 500 tomorrow."