Cal drives home to Haas with momentum
BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-19, 0-16 Pac-12) hopes to continue its upward trend this week when the team returns to the Haas Pavilion for its final home weekend of the season and Arizona (14-13, 4-12) receives Arizona State (11-17, 5-11). The Bears have been in three straight five-set games and look to carry that competitive momentum into the final four games of the season as they seek their first conference win since spring 2021.
Arizona currently leads the all-time series against Cal, 46-27. The Wildcats defeated the Bears 3-0 in their last meeting on October 16; However, they are only 2-7 as a visiting team this season. Senior Zyanna Fellows leads Arizona with 132.0 total blocks, 21stSt in the NCAA, while classmate Kamaile Hiapo leads the conference with a total of 411 digs.
For their part, the Sun Devils also have the advantage in their all-time series against Cal, 39-34. The Bears suffered a 3-0 win over ASU on Oct. 14, but the visitors are currently on a five-game losing streak before entering their match against No. 8 Stanford scheduled three days before they leave for Berkeley is. Senior Ivan Isanovic was ASU’s standout player this season, leading the team with 366 kills and 417.5 points. She is ranked 59thth in the nation with a total of 1065 attacks.
Lydia Grote made Cal history in November by notching 28 kills against UCLA (Nov. 10) — the most by any Golden Bear in a single game since 2010 — and matching that total two days later against USC. In the latter match, she recorded 94 tackles for most tackles in a game all-time by a Cal player. She currently leads the Bears with 354 kills, 409.0 points and 4.26 points per set, the last of which is ranked 89th in the nation.
Grote isn’t the only Golden Bear to have an impressive 2002 season for Cal. Junior Tara DeSa currently ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in both total digs (340) and digs per set (3.95) while in freshman 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).
USA VOLLEYBALL TAKES NOTE
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 720 assists and 10 double-doubles so far this season, 2022 is a sophomore Annalea Mader surpassed her outstanding freshman league 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 throws against Oregon State (Sept. 23) and 51 assists against UCLA (Nov. 10). Cal Volleyball’s only international student-athlete is also a star in the classroom, plans to study environmental molecular biology, and participates in a student-run business consulting club whose clients include various Fortune 500 companies across the country.
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.
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