Jenelle Jordan was clearly ready for the season to start.
Cal's senior middle blocker matched her career-high with 11 kills and hit for a whopping .786 percentage as the Golden Bears opened the 2016 campaign with a 25-19, 25-9, 25-17 victory over Southern Utah on Friday on the first day of the Molten Classic at Haas Pavilion.
Jordan began the 2016 season with the best all-around performance of her career. She registered two aces, both coming during a stretch in which she served out the final seven points of the match. She ended the match with an ace. Jordan also had three blocks, three digs and was generally all over the floor for Cal.
"I thought Jenelle was really, really good," Cal coach Rich Feller said. "Her defense and serving were a bonus. Jenelle is an exciting person to have out there. I hope to see a lot more of that."
The Golden Bears open the season in a closely contested match against local opponent Saint Mary's (SMC), tying the Gaels 2-2 on Friday at Goldman Field.
California (0-0-1) had an answer for each of SMC's scores, the first response coming from senior Christian Thierjung. The Dove Canyon, Calif., native spun one in from deep during the 32' after some fancy footwork around SMC's defenders.
The Gaels (0-0-1) scored on a penalty kick by Rafael Sanchez late in the 58' to lead once again 2-1, but the Bears answered again. Jose Carerra-Garcia scored in the 72' to send the game into overtime.
Another day, another home win, another shutout.
A pair of goals from upperclassmen Kelly Fitzgerald and Ifeoma Onumonu and a strong defensive effort propelled the No. 21 California women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over the New Mexico Lobos on Friday afternoon at Goldman Field.
The triumph gives Cal (2-1) shutout wins in its first two home games for the first time since 2007, when head coach Neil McGuire - then in his first year at the helm - led the Golden Bears to three straight home shutouts to open the season.
"If you would've told us at the start of the game that we'd come away with a win and a shutout, we would've been very pleased. There were a lot of good moments and some things that we can tighten up. It was also nice to get everyone a chance to play. New Mexico gave us a fine battle," McGuire said after the contest.
Going from summer to winter and driving on the left side of the road caused for some adjustments, but otherwise, the California football team has had no problems turning Sydney, Australia, into Bear Territory.
Right from the moment the Golden Bears got off the plane Monday morning, they were were making friends at the airport.
In order to prevent jet lag after the 15-hour flight from San Francisco, the Bears trekked from the Sydney Airport to the New South Wales University for the first practice of the week.
"Just driving on the bus from the airport, I think the biggest thing was the different sides of the road," defensive end Cameron Saffle said. "We were all a little freaked out and laughing about that, but it's cool to see how everything is kind of a rugby-style over here. We know this is a big rugby place, in fact, at the airport we met a lot of rugby fans. So they were asking questions about the differences between American football and rugby. That kind of got us excited to be in a different part of the world. We're here for business first, but this is a cool mini-vacation to start the season. It's kind of like the bowl game trip. We have a lot of guys back from that team, so we know how to handle having fun while remembering why we're here."