TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 14 Cal beach volleyball team notched another win over a ranked opponent Friday as the Golden Bears opened the Wildcat Invitational with a pair of victories at the University of Arizona.
The Bears (16-3) began the day with a 5-0 blanking of Arizona State, dropping just a singular set in the process. Cal then came back later and knocked off No. 17 Stetson 4-1.
The win over the Hatters was Cal’s second against a ranked team from another region of the country. The Bears also defeated Tulane earlier this season at the Stanford Invitational.
“We had no idea really what to expect going into our Stetson match,” Cal head coach Meagan Owusu said. “We knew that they are a very respected team from the East Coast and we would have to play a high level of volleyball to beat them. It’s a great sign that we were able to control that match pretty much the whole time.”
Cal’s No. 4 team of junior Mia Merino and Caroline Schafer won both of their matches in straight sets.
The Bears now have four victories over ranked opponents this season and will a chance at another one Saturday as they resume the Wildcat Invitational with duals against Colorado Mesa and No. 15 Arizona.
“We’ve been preparing for these big tournaments and have had them circled on our calendar,” Owusu said. “To start this tough tournament so strongly is a great sign, but there is another big test coming tomorrow.”
The Bears are now 2-0 against Arizona St. this season. Cal defeated then-No. 11 Arizona last month at the Pac-12 South Tournament, the highest-ranked opponent the Bears have defeated in program history.
“Like any competitive team, they are going to want to take us down,” Owusu said. “We are expecting them to play a great match, but we also know our abilities and we expect to come out on top.”
Both of Cal’s matches Saturday will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
No. 14 Cal 5, Arizona State 0
No. 1: Mima Mirkovic-Alexia Inman (Cal) def. Kwyn Johnson-Mia Rivera, 21-19, 21-19
No. 2: Jessica Gaffney-Iya Lindahl (Cal) def. Sydney Palmer-Kara Woodard, 21-16, 21-11
No. 3: Bryce Bark-Madison Dueck (Cal) def. Ellyson Lundberg-Katelyn Carballo, 16-21, 21-18, 15-9
No. 4: Mia Merino-Caroline Schafer (Cal) def. Katie Cross-Cierra Flood, 21-17, 21-15
No. 5: Grace Campbell-Maddie Micheletti (Cal) def. Kate Baldwin-Samantha Plaster, 21-18, 21-12
No. 14 Cal 4, No. 17 Stetson 1
No. 1: Mima Mirkovic-Alexia Inman (Cal) def. Sammee Thomas-Darby Dunn, 21-15, 13-21, 15-13
No. 2: Carly Perales-S. Helland-Hansen (S) def. Jessica Gaffney-Iya Lindahl, 17-21, 21-14, 15-9
No. 3: Bryce Bark-Madison Dueck (Cal) def. Samantha Harris-Rachel Noble, 21-18, 21-13
No. 4: Mia Merino-Caroline Schafer (Cal) def. Lauren Durham-Julie Varga, 21-18, 21-16
No. 5: Grace Campbell-Maddie Micheletti (Cal) def. Quinci Birker-Rebecca Ingram, 21-15, 13-21, 15-8