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Golden Nuggets: What Happened To The Old Memorial Benches?

The wooden benches from Memorial Stadium's past find new life.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Men's Tennis

Cal Tops USTA Juniors

BERKELEY, Calif. - California tuned up for the Porsche Napa Valley Tennis Classic in a Wednesday exhibition match against the USTA Junior National Team, with the Golden Bears defeating the USTA squad, 6-3. Cal junior Billy Griffith clinched the victory, defeating Trey Hilderbrand, 6-0, 6-4, at court-seven singles.

"It's great for the USTA juniors to compete against college players in a team format," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "These matches provide our team valuable early season practice in preparation for our upcoming tournaments. Nine guys on our roster played today, and we looked good out there.

"In terms of historical significance, today's match is the first event in our '125 Years of Cal Tennis' celebration that will take place this season."

Women's Soccer

Bears Face USF to Close Non-Conference Schedule

BERKELEY --- No. 21 California women's soccer will play a single weekend contest for the first time this season when the Golden Bears host the University of San Francisco Dons on Friday, September 17 at 2 p.m.

The matchup, Cal's non-conference finale, will also mark the team's first appearance on Pac-12 Networks this season. The broadcast team of Joe Castellano & Danielle Slaton will call the action.

Volleyball

Carli Lloyd: An Olympic Homecoming

BERKELEY - As she fought through tears and grasped for the right words to convey the level of gratitude she felt, Carli Lloyd turned to a familiar conclusion for her final thoughts in front of a Haas Pavilion crowd hanging on every word.

A simple "Go Bears" did just the trick.

Lloyd returned to Berkeley last Friday for "Carli Lloyd Night" and the emotion of a well-deserved celebration carried a presence that was palpable throughout the evening. It started with the 2016 Olympian delivering an impromptu address to the team in the locker room and only grew stronger as she addressed a group of fans in a pregame chalk talk.

The final piece of the evening came when she took the court just before the Bears squared off with West Virginia. After watching a video montage of highlights compiled from both her Cal career and her time with Team USA, Lloyd took the court and tried to put into words what the night meant to her.

That's when the gravity of the situation took over.

"I think when I started seeing the videos on the board, starting with Cal and then seeing the USA stuff, it was actually one of the first moments that the Olympic experience hit me in a public setting like this," Lloyd said. "It was really emotional. I felt so much joy and gratitude from the program for recognizing me and having me back. I felt like the girls and everybody was really present with me and supporting me in that moment."

Football

How the wooden bleachers from Cal's Memorial Stadium found new life in the Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. -- In 2012, California's Memorial Stadium saw the end of an extensive renovation. It was an ambitious project, done over the course of 21 months and at a cost of $321 million, with the main purpose of making the structure safe in the event of the earthquake. The stadium sits directly atop the Hayward Fault Zone, one of California's most menacing, and was in need of seismological upgrades.

This story is not about earthquakes, however, but about a byproduct of that construction project: Memorial Stadium's old wooden bleachers. Specifically, what became of them.

The stadium was designed by architect John Galen Howard and constructed in 1923. As part of the renovation, its wooden bleachers were removed and replaced with aluminum seating. The splintery wood hosted Golden Bears fans for almost 90 years of highs and lows, providing seats to see perhaps the most famous single play in college football history -- Cal's five-lateral miracle to win with the Stanford band on the field in 1982.

A demolition company took possession of the wood after the renovation, and if not for a stroke of luck and some quick thinking from a local furniture-store owner, the story might have ended there.

"They were going to ship it all to Mexico to make cattle fences," said Eric Gellerman, the owner of the Wooden Duck, a Berkeley furniture store that specializes in salvaging wood.