Bears Depart For Final Road Trip

Cal takes on UCLA and USC this week

BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-17, 0-14 Pac-12) is looking to rebound from Sunday’s five-set heartbreaker against Utah with its final full road trip of the season and meets UCLA (13-10, 7-7 ). November 10 at 7:00 p.m. PT and USC (18-7, 10-4) on Saturday, November 12 at 1:00 p.m

The Bruins currently have the advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, 71-9. They are only 3-5 at home but currently 29th in the nation with 12.88 assists per set. UCLA sophomore Francesca Alupei is sixth best in the NCAA at 1.53 blocks per set, while older teammate Matti McKissock has 35th nationally with 10.57 assists per set.

Cal hasn’t fared much better historically against the Trojans, who own the series by a 67-12 lead. USC boasts a 12-1 record at home and is one of the nation’s best batting average teams (.284 – 14th NCAA) and kills per set (13.97 – 23approx NCAA). Trojan student Mia Tuaniga leads the Pac-12 with 1059 assists, 47 serves aces, 11.27 assists per set and .50 aces per set, each in the nation’s top 20 and 5.11 kills per set.

Junior Tara DeSa currently fourth in the Pac-12 in both total digs (340) and digs per set (3.95) while a classmate Lydia Grote leads the Bears in both kills (298) and points (349.5). Both players are writing the best seasons of their careers, pushing Cal forward with a strong presence in the stats and in the dressing room. student in the first year Mikayla Hayden also made an impressive impression in her Golden Bear debut, leading the team with 88.0 total blocks (6th-best Pac-12) and 1.06 blocks per set (19th-best NCAA freshman).

juniors Lydia Grote and Leah Schmidt competed in the 2022 USA Volleyball National Team Open Program from February 25-27, scoring invitations after stellar sophomore seasons. Grote’s 2021 campaign included a 21-kill game (vs. Utah, Oct. 17) and a 15-kill, .344 batting game against Washington State (Nov. 11). Schmidt, meanwhile, was named to the 2021 All-Tulane tournament team and went on to have the third-most kills on the team (200) during the season as one of Cal’s most prolific players.

With a total of 626 assists and 8 double-doubles so far in 2022 season sophomore Annalea Mader is on track to surpass her outstanding freshman campaign in which she led the Bears with 701 assists and 8 double-doubles. To start the 2022 season, she recorded a career-high 52 assists and 14 offenses in the Bears’ win on September 2 against Northern Arizona, and a 51 assists and 14 offense game against UC Davis on September 17, keeping her 300+ assists in the season and 1,000 in her college career. More recently, Maeder had 50 assists and 14 grabs against Oregon State (September 23), bringing her total assists to 400 in 2022. Cal Volleyball’s only international student and athlete is also a star in the Environmental Molecular Biology classroom and participates in a student-run business consulting club whose clients include various Fortune 500 companies across the country.

Freshman FOUR
This year, Cal brings four highly acclaimed prospects from across the country to bolster his roster. middle blocker Mikayla Hayden (Buford, Georgia) was one of the top high school players in the state of Georgia, racking up over 1,000 kills in her career, in addition to 2 state championships and multiple All-Region and All-County nods. Fellow middle blocker Sophia Scott (Portland, Ore.) earned her way onto several state and All-League teams while playing outside Peyton DeJardin (Pasadena, California) achieved third-team All-American status in 2021. setter Natalie Lau (San Francisco) rounds out the group, coming off a season that earned her a spot on the All-America Watch List and All-WCAL First Team.

For full coverage of Cal Volleyball, please follow the bears on Twitter (@CalVolleyball), Instagram (@calvolleyball) and Facebook (Cal Volleyball).

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