clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Golden Medals: Fast start for Cal W. Swim at Pac-12; W. Water Polo moves up to No.3 after beating UCLA

Cal Women’s Aquatics are doing great stuff yet again

A pair of seniors, Amy Bilquist and Katie McLaughlin, helped Cal win the 800 Free relay in Day 1 of the 2019 Pac-12 Championships
Cal Women’s Swimming Twitter

Greetings from Germany! This is week 1 of my 5 week trip to Europe for my day job. Unfortunately, the time zone difference makes it hard to track Cal sports as well as I usually do. I also have to prewrite this article ahead of the Day 2 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming results. Check back on Monday for a full recap of all the Pac-12 titles won by Cal Women’s Swimming this weekend.

In the mean time, be sure to go check out Cal Baseball with Golden Spikes winner Andrew Vaughn and a bunch of young pitchers at Evans Diamond this weekend. Cal Baseball hosts SMC for 4 games.

Cal Women’s Swimming starts out strong at the Pac-12 Championships

Day 1 of the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Championships was all California Golden Bears as the Bears won both relay events.

In the 200 Medley Relay, junior anchor and 2016 Rio Calympian Abbey Weitzeil swam a 20.57 anchor leg to claim the victory for the Bears. Weitzeil entered the pool with the Bears in 4th place. Freshmen Izzy Ivey (backstroke) and Ema Rajic (breaststroke) started the first two legs for the Bears before the juniors Maddie Murphy (fly) and Weitzeil (free) took over. The quartet finished with a time of 1.35.21 to finish ahead of rival Stanford.

Bears also swam the fastest heat of the 800 Free relay to win that event. Freshmen Ivy also led off this race before sophomore Dutch Olympian Robin Neumann swam the second leg. A pair of seniors in Katie McLaughlin and Amy Bilquist finished the race. McLaughlin had the best split as the Bears finished with a time of 6:50.63, good for 2nd best in Cal history. Stanford Cardinal again placed 2nd.

With some deficit again expected to Stanford in diving, Bears face a tough battle to win the Pac-12 crown ahead of Stanford. Nonetheless, Bears got 7 swimmers into Thursday night’s A-Finals and winning two more events. Bears also got two senior divers (Phoebe LaMay and Briana Thai) who finished in the top 12 in the 1-meter springboard. LaMay made the final and placed 6th.

Junior Abbey Weitzeil wins the 50 Free as expected. Her 21.16 is a new NCAA and school record. Teammate Amy Bilquist finished 2nd in this event.

Bears won their 3rd relay (out of 3 so far) when they also took the day closing 200 Free relay. The time of 1:26.00 posted by Weitzeil, Murphy, McLaughlin, and Bilquist is the best time in the country this year.

Just missing the podium on Thursday is Cal freshman sensation Izzy Ivey, who finished 2nd in the 200 IM behind USC’s Louise Hansson. Cal sophomore Robin Neumann finished 7th in the 500 Free.

Through Thursday (roughly a 3rd of the 4 day meet done), Stanford is in the lead thanks to their depth, despite the departure of Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel. Stanford is ahead with 583.5 points while Cal is 2nd with 455.5 points. Bears have a healthy lead over Arizona State (349), USC (323), and Arizona (320).

The Cal dominance on the relay bodes well for the Bears’ chance to surprise people at the NCAA in a few weeks from Austin, TX. In an expected to be wide open field where 4-5 schools (including Cal) could emerge victorious for the team title, those double points (particularly the bonus points for winning) from relays may make the difference between 1st and 3rd in the final team standings.

The 4 day Pac-12 Championships event will conclude on Saturday night. The Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships will start next Wednesday.

Cal Women’s Water Polo (10-2) moves up to No.3

Thanks to a big OT win over then No.3 UCLA, Cal Women’s Water Polo has moved up to No.3 in the rankings for the first time this season.

Against the best in the country at the Barbara Kalbus Tournament last weekend, Bears scared No.1 USC 9-8 in the semifinal before beating UCLA 7-6 in OT of the 3rd place match.

Bears must feel like that they can match up against anyone in the country after this weekend’s performance. Bears had gotten blown out in the season’s only loss previously to Stanford.

Dutch center Kitty Lynn Joustra and Canadian diver Emma Wright each scored two goals against the Bruins. Bears actually lead 4-0 at the half but gave up the lead by being held goalless in the 2nd half. Bears awoken in OT to get this big win.

Regular season MPSF play will start this Sunday when the Bears rematch agains the Bruins from LA at noon PT. Bears will need a win to retain that ranking.

Cal Lacrosse (1-4) finally earns a win

After a pair of close losses to Fresno State and San Diego State from neutral site in Vegas, Cal Lacrosse finally got one in the win column last Friday.

Bears took a 10-5 first half lead and never looked back. 7 Bears tallied a goal with senior Caroline Corzel recording 4 goals and an assist. Seniors Kirsten Swanson and Eliza Christmas both recorded a hat trick.

Bears are in DC this weekend with a Friday night game vs. George Washington and a Sunday game vs. Mount Saint Mary’s.

Cal Beach Volleyball to face first real test of the season

[Oops, this article was published without this section initially.]

Golden Bears opened the 2019 season with a pair of easy home wins last weekend against Santa Clara and USF - both via 5-0 sweeps.

Much more interestingly was the reveal of head coach Meagan Oswusu’s 2019 lineup:

At No.1: Mima Mirkovic with freshman Jordan Polo

At No.2: Iya Lindahl and Caroline Schafer (a new pairing as Lindahl paired with the since graduated Jessica Gaffney last year while Schafer was with Merino at No.4)

At No.3: Grace Campbell and Maddie Micheletti (last year’s powerhouse No.5 pair for the Bears)

At No.4: Mia Merino with junior Abby Waldburger (Waldburger only played in one match last year)

At No.5: Madison Dueck and Alexia Inman (Inman primarily played with Mirkovic last year)

We shall see if these lineup will holds going forward.

Up to No.10 in the national rankings, Bears will face some tough competition in the Pac-11 South Tournament this weekend, including reigning No.1 and NCAA champions in the UCLA Bruins.

It will be a nice litmus test for one of the best up-and-coming program in Cal Athletics right now.

Cal Men’s Golf finished one stroke short of 3rd straight win

With so many great golfers at his disposal, you have to wonder if Cal head coach Walter Chun rues his lineup decisions for the Southwestern Invitational. Chun opt to use sophomore Kaiwen Liu play as an individual but Liu finished in a tie for 4th overall.

With Collin Morikawa leading the way with a -5 through 3 rounds (good for 3rd overall, 7 strokes behind the winner), Bears finished just one stroke behind winner USC at the end of the day. Sebastian Crampton also finished in a tie for 4th at -3.


3. Collin Morikawa (70-70-71 – 211, -5); T4. Sebastian Crampton (73-71-69 – 213, -3), ^T4. Kaiwen Liu (72-71-70 – 213, -3); T13. KK Limbhasut (73-73-71 – 217, +1); T20. James Song (73-76-72 – 221, +5); T35. Jamie Cheatham (75-75-74 – 224, +8)

^played as individual

Bears stormed back with a huge 3rd round to equalize the tournament with a few holes left, but the Trojans were just one stroke better. The USC win prevents the Golden Bears from winning their 3rd straight events.


1. USC (284-285-291 – 860, -4); 2. California (289-289-283 – 861, -3); 3. UCLA (286-288-291 – 865, +1); 4. Pepperdine (296-288-285 – 869, +5); 5. Tennessee (291-290-296 – 877, +13); 6. San Jose State (293-296-289 – 878, +14); 7. Oregon State (295-292-293 – 880, +16); 8. San Diego State (293-298-290 – 881, +17); 9. LMU (298-291-297 – 886, +22); 10. Washington (305-299-285 – 890, +26); 11. George Washington (306-304-301 – 911, +47); 12. Augusta (310-309-295 – 914, +50)

Coming up next for the Bears is the Southern Highlands Collegiate hosted by UNLV at the Southern Highlands Golf Club from March 3rd to 5th.

Cal Women’s Golf finishes 10th at Bruin Wave Invitational

Overshadowed by the Cal Men’s Golf greatness is the solid Cal Women’s Golf team that is probably going to make another NCAA tournament as a team but not really vie for the championship.

Bears finished 10th out of plenty of West Coast schools this past week behind 8 top 45 ranked teams. Finishing strong at this 3-round tournament, Bears shot 319, 303, and 306 in the 3 rounds as a team.

Katherine Zhu and Cindy Oh both tied for 23rd with a +13 finish.

Gunrock Classic hosted by UC Davis starts on Monday.

Cal Women’s Tennis goes 1-2 in tough home gauntlet against Vandy (3-4), UCLA (3-4), and USC (5-2)

Pushing 3 top 20 ranked opponents to the limit with 1 win, Cal Women’s Tennis saw a big jump in the ITA team rankings this past week to move up to 16th in the country.

Against the 6th ranked Vanderbilt (last year’s NCAA runner-ups to Stanford), Bears lost the doubles point (where they were favored based on rankings). Wins by sophomore Julia Rosenqvist at No.1 (over the 3rd ranked singles player in the country) and Anna Bright at No.4 along with a win by transfer Katerina Stloukalova at No.3 meant that the decider came from court 2 where Cal senior Olivia Hauger lost the 3rd set to the 6th ranked singles player in the country.

On the next day, Bears nearly pulled off an upset over No.5 UCLA Bruins. Bears won the doubles point but Rosenqvist and Hauger both fell in straight set. After wins by Stloukalova and Hana Mraz at court 6, it came down to Bright in court 4 where the sophomore lost in the 3rd set tiebreaker.

After two close calls to top 10 teams, the 3rd match in 3rd day against a 17th ranked USC Trojans might have looked very easy on paper. Bears backed that up by winning the doubles point and then won in 4 singles (courts No.1, No.2, No.3, and No.5). Stloukalova won her 3rd singles match in three days while senior Maria Smith clinched the win at court 5.