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Golden Medals: Volleyball, M. Soccer earns 1st Pac-12 wins; Emily Smith gets 3rd defensive player of the week honor

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Cal Men’s Water Polo freshman Papanikolaou was named MPSF newcomer of the week.

Preslie Anderson and Cal Volleyball are now ranked 19th in the country
Cal Volleyball Twitter

Conference play is underway across most of the fall Olympic sports. There will be another soccer doubleheader on Sunday while Cal Field Hockey is finally back hosting more matches, for the first time since the 2nd week of the season.


Cal Volleyball beats Washington State in 5 set; No.19 Cal visits Oregon schools this weekend

Golden Bears bounced back from the Big Spike loss to take their first Pac-12 victory of the season on Sunday. It took 5 sets, but Cal Volleyball improved to 11-1, 1-1 in Pac-12 on the year. Between the one set won off No.1 Stanford and this win, Cal Volleyball improved in the rankings from No.21 to No.19.

While the Bears never trailed, the Washington State match is probably an example of how tough Pac-12 will be every match. Washington State, who upset rival Washington earlier in the week, fought the Bears hard in the first 3 sets with the home side taking a 2-1 lead. After an uncharacteristically poor 4th set, it was all Cal Bears in the decisive 5th set.

Mima Mirkovic led the Bears with 14 kills and 12 digs. Preslie Anderson got 13 kills. Libero Emma Smith had a career best 34 digs. Isabel Potter had a team best 31 assists but it was Jade Blevins, 17 assists to the sophomore, who played the bulk (if not the entire) 5th set.

Cal Volleyball will next face Oregon State on Friday night before a match at No.25 Oregon on Sunday. Both of these matches are not covered by the Pac-12 Networks but will be live streamed for free.


Cal Men’s Soccer beats Oregon State 2-1 on Thursday

Bears (5-2-1, 1-1-0 in Pac-12) went ahead late in this one thanks to a penalty kick. For whatever reason, both this match and the Cal Women’s Soccer match from Thursday are not a part of the available Pac-12 Network highlights (both matches were on the channel).

After Cal defender Simon Lekressner drew the foul inside the box, Tommy Williamson converted the penalty for his team leading 4th goal of the year in the 71st minute. Williamson later was seen limping off the field very late in this match.

Bears took a very early lead on Francisco Perez’s brilliant first goal in the 2nd minute, but Oregon State equalized in the 27th minute.

Cal senior goalkeeper Drake Callender finished the match with 5 saves. Bears will host Washington on Sunday.


Cal Women’s Soccer lost to Washington 1-0 on Thursday; Emily Smith earns another Pac-12 defensive player of the week honor

Off Cal’s big 2-1 win at UCLA (who lost against this week to Arizona), Cal defender Emily Smith was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the 3rd time this season.

Golden Bears (9-2-0, 1-1-0 in Pac-12) as a team also improved to No.20 in the country in the latest rankings.

Sadly, any premature hope of Cal being a dark horse for the Pac-12 title has seemingly been lost after Cal’s 1-0 home loss to rival Washington on Thursday.

It was a defensive struggle, but the Huskies converted a go-ahead goal late off a set piece (free kick from just outside the box) in the 71st minute. Washington is coached by Cal alum Lesle Gallimore.

Bears will now try to bounce back against the 14th ranked Washington State Cougars on Sunday. Cal women’s will be the 1st match of a doubleheader with the men’s soccer to follow. Pac-12 Networks will have the action between two ranked teams starting at noon PT.


Cal Men’s Water Polo has another MPSF Newcomer of the Week; finished 6th at SoCal Invite

For the 2nd week, a different Cal Bears have earned the MPSF Newcomer of the Week honor. Greek freshman Nikolaos Papanikolaou got the honor this week after junior transfer Jasmin Kolasinac got the honor last week.

Cal Men’s Water Polo (9-5) split 4 matches down at the SoCal Invite last weekend.

Bears first beat No.10 UC Irvine 10-5 before losing 12-9 to No.2 UCLA (Bears closed the gap to 1 early in the 4th quarter but the home Bruins finished strong) on Saturday. On Sunday, Bears beat No.6 Pepperdine 9-8 before losing a close match to No.5 USC 13-12 in the 5th place match of the tournament.

The young Cal squad with quite a few new faces has quickly earned a lot of experience. We shall see if how much Cal Men’s Water Polo can improve, result-wise, by the end of the season.


Cal Field Hockey earns 2nd win of the Mid-Atlantic Road Trip, 3rd win of the season

After beating Penn State on Thursday, Cal Field Hockey closed their Mid-Atlantic trip with a 2-1 win at Drexel in Philadelphia.

Megan Rodgers was credited with a goal and an assist. Despite a slowish start to her junior season, Rodgers continue to move up the Cal record book in goals (33 is good for 7th) and points (71 is good for 10th).

Cal Field Hockey (3-6) will finally play again from the friendly confine of Bear Territory this weekend. No.14 Syracuse and Central Michigan will be the foes. Bears will also host a match between Stanford and Syracuse on Saturday.

Bears will be back on the road (Rhode Island and Connecticut) next weekend before playing American East conference matches against UC Davis and Stanford in the final two weeks of regular season. The discontinuation of Pacific Field Hockey has caused the need to play even more road matches than usual for Cal Field Hockey in the 2019 season.

GO BEARS!