Cal Volleyball, after beating Stanford at Maples Pavilion to close out the season, wind up in third place in the competitive Pac-12 conference at 16-6. (26-6 is their overall record) They were behind UCLA (17-5) and inaugural Pac-12 champions USC (20-2). Stanford and Washington finished tied for fourth, Oregon finished sixth and Arizona in seventh. I mention them because all seven teams are participating in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Another huge year for the Pac.
This year was most known for it’s stunning victories, 4-0 over Stanford and Washington, and huge road wins at Oregon and the aforementioned Stanford and UW. However, the Bears wound up going 0-4 against the Los Angeles schools, and in an absolute stunner, lost their final two home games to lowly Oregon State and then Oregon on Senior Night. I don’t know if the Big Game week conflicts had anything to do with it, because Rally Comm and Cal Band weren’t going to be at the games, but I’ve heard that the crowds were good, so it’s hard to understand what went wrong in those games. Winning even one of those would have meant a second place finish for Cal, and maybe home games in the Tournament.
Instead, the Bears are going to Pepperdine, where they will play North Carolina on Thursday and then, if they win, the winner of the Pepperdine/Missouri matchup. The Bears made it to the championship game last year, so despite
not winning the conference, expectations will be high.
Senior Tarah Murrey has had a great year and should contend for Pac-12 player of the year. Opponents in the tournament should also look out for Elly Barrett, Kat Brown and Correy Johnson who are having amazing junior years. Correy overcame some injuries to have a strong season. Adrienne Gehan is also coming off well after missing a good portion of conference play to injury (may be responsible for at least two of Cal’s losses, she didn’t play in the two losses in LA) and one of the best recruiting classes in the country was on display, as we saw Christina Higgins and Marlee Davis get significant playing time down the stretch.
Stay tuned for Golden Bear Lair for a tournament wrapup when the time comes!