Volleyball

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HateRed
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What the hell is up with women's volleyball?
3Cats4CAL
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Cal on it's way to 0 wins in Pac12 conference play again.
SFCALBear72
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If that happens, I can't imagine that Coach Crosson would be retained.
SanseiBear
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HateRed said:

What the hell is up with women's volleyball?
Perhaps the coaching staff has only few options, but he very seldom replaces the starters in a match with the reserves. As a result, the team suffers from bad serve receives that lead to lots of out-of-system situations where the opponent team sets up massive blocks.

It's tough to watch their matches live on TV, so I'm going to take a break for a while. I'm always wishing that they'd finally break their losing streak, but that possibility appears to be slim.
HoopDreams
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I have only been lightly following the team this year

I know the team is young but how could we have fallen from the top of the entire NCAA to the bottom of the conference so fast?

What happened???
SanseiBear
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HoopDreams said:

I have only been lightly following the team this year

I know the team is young but how could we have fallen from the top of the entire NCAA to the bottom of the conference so fast?

What happened???

2019 - In his first year as the head coach, Sam Crosson inherited a veteran squad led by Mima Mirkovic that went 20-10 (10-10 in conference). Unfortunately, with a 10-4 conference record, Mima went down with a serious injury in the UCLA match that kept her out for 4 matches that Cal lost. Even when Mima did return, Cal lost the last two matches making it conference record of 10-10. Apparently, the season-ending 6 straight losses was the reason for Cal not being selected for the NCAA tourney.

2020 - With the Covid pandemic, the Pac-12 fall season was moved to the spring of 2021, which led to the exodus of a number of veteran starters to other schools and Mima Mirkovic deciding to concentrate on beach volleyball. The young team went 1-21 in conference, beating Stanford at Berkeley on February 12, 2021. This would be the last conference win for the Bears.

2021 - Although Mima returned and with some transfers from other schools, injuries to Mima and Smoot kept the squad from jelling with promising frosh Katarina Pantovic eventually leaving the sport because of injuries, I assume. Cal went 7-24 and was winless in conference play (0-20).



.
SFCALBear72
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SanseiBear said:

HoopDreams said:

I have only been lightly following the team this year

I know the team is young but how could we have fallen from the top of the entire NCAA to the bottom of the conference so fast?

What happened???

2019 - In his first year as the head coach, Sam Crosson inherited a veteran squad led by Mima Mirkovic that went 20-10 (10-10 in conference). Unfortunately, with a 10-4 conference record, Mima went down with a serious injury in the UCLA match that kept her out for 4 matches that Cal lost. Even when Mima did return, Cal lost the last two matches making it conference record of 10-10. Apparently, the season-ending 6 straight losses was the reason for Cal not being selected for the NCAA tourney.

2020 - With the Covid pandemic, the Pac-12 fall season was moved to the spring of 2021, which led to the exodus of a number of veteran starters to other schools and Mima Mirkovic deciding to concentrate on beach volleyball. The young team went 1-21 in conference, beating Stanford at Berkeley on February 12, 2021. This would be the last conference win for the Bears.

2021 - Although Mima returned and with some transfers from other schools, injuries to Mima and Smoot kept the squad from jelling with promising frosh Katarina Pantovic eventually leaving the sport because of injuries, I assume. Cal went 7-24 and was winless in conference play (0-20).



.
Thanks for the synopsis of Crosson's coaching record at Cal.
So, basically, he's not winning very many matches with the players he's recruited.
And most of his wins are outside of the conference.
That's not a good sign.

Knowlton needs to take a good hard look at the state of the program after the season ends.
HoopDreams
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Thanks Sensaibear

sounds like the pandemic situation was part of the disaster for cal VB
Chabbear
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SanseiBear said:

HoopDreams said:

I have only been lightly following the team this year

I know the team is young but how could we have fallen from the top of the entire NCAA to the bottom of the conference so fast?

What happened???

2019 - In his first year as the head coach, Sam Crosson inherited a veteran squad led by Mima Mirkovic that went 20-10 (10-10 in conference). Unfortunately, with a 10-4 conference record, Mima went down with a serious injury in the UCLA match that kept her out for 4 matches that Cal lost. Even when Mima did return, Cal lost the last two matches making it conference record of 10-10. Apparently, the season-ending 6 straight losses was the reason for Cal not being selected for the NCAA tourney.

2020 - With the Covid pandemic, the Pac-12 fall season was moved to the spring of 2021, which led to the exodus of a number of veteran starters to other schools and Mima Mirkovic deciding to concentrate on beach volleyball. The young team went 1-21 in conference, beating Stanford at Berkeley on February 12, 2021. This would be the last conference win for the Bears.

2021 - Although Mima returned and with some transfers from other schools, injuries to Mima and Smoot kept the squad from jelling with promising frosh Katarina Pantovic eventually leaving the sport because of injuries, I assume. Cal went 7-24 and was winless in conference play (0-20).



.
Katarina Pantovic is playing back home at UBC: https://gothunderbirds.ca/sports/womens-volleyball/roster/katarina-pantovic/10121
SanseiBear
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Chabbear said:



Katarina Pantovic is playing back home at UBC: https://gothunderbirds.ca/sports/womens-volleyball/roster/katarina-pantovic/10121

Mahalo for the update. I'm glad she's playing back home.
berknolongerclaimusc82
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2010 seems like an eternity ago when I thought the program had built itself into a perennial national championship contender.
coachdeke
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berkusc82 said:

2010 seems like an eternity ago when I thought the program had built itself into a perennial national championship contender.

2012 we spent as the #1 ranked team in the country.
SanseiBear
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HoopDreams said:

Thanks Sensaibear

sounds like the pandemic situation was part of the disaster for cal VB
Without the Covid pandemic restrictions that pushed the 2020 fall season into spring 2021 and assuming no transfers, Cal would have had starters Mirkovic, Forte, Anderson, Rennie returning along with setter Potter. The incoming class would have been Grote, Pantovic, and Taumoepeau among others. That team could have easily surpassed the previous year's 20-10 record.

If I remember correctly, Cal was supposed to come to Hawaii for a tournament in September.that year.
HateRed
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They are not doing well vs ASU. The coach needs to go.
LodeBear
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He should have been gone last year. he will be here next year. no one wants to coach at CAL. so you get mediocre coaches. can you name any sport that does well, other than mens waterpolo, mens swimming and womens tennis. maybe beach volleyball. we don't even have a softball regulation field yet and beach volleyball as well. just promises but no results. getting very tired of all this. my donations will probably go down and more to the academic side. Frustration
SanseiBear
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Cal loses to Arizona in straight sets (13-25, 23-25, and 22-25) but could have easily won the 2nd and 3rd sets after leading 23-21 in the second and 20-13 in the 3rd. They just can't seem to put those winnable sets away.

They played both the ASU and today's matches without Sam Taumoepeau who twisted her ankle (?) early in the 1st set of the ASU match where they lost in straight sets (14-25, 21-25, and 29-31). In the 2nd set, they were tied at 19 all, and in the 3rd set, Cal was up 24-22.

SFCALBear72
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SanseiBear said:

Cal loses to Arizona in straight sets (13-25, 23-25, and 22-25) but could have easily won the 2nd and 3rd sets after leading 23-21 in the second and 20-13 in the 3rd. They just can't seem to put those winnable sets away.

They played both the ASU and today's matches without Sam Taumoepeau who twisted her ankle (?) early in the 1st set of the ASU match where they lost in straight sets (14-25, 21-25, and 29-31). In the 2nd set, they were tied at 19 all, and in the 3rd set, Cal was up 24-22.


Agreed. Is that a factor of inexperience (young players) and playing on the road? Is there a way to teach/coach that in practices or do you just have to experience a successful close-out in order to build confidence for the future?
HateRed
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It's the same story since last year. Something has to be done. I think the coach has to go, but like football, it ain't gonna happen.
LodeBear
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inexperience with a very young team. and good players, but not great players like most Pac 12 teams have. You can coach them up, but when you lose Mima, and the two middle blockers and your second best outside hitter leaves, you have to win with freshman good players, not great players. experience will come with playing, but they still need great players to come to CAL. pandemic hurt them alot.
LodeBear
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and yes playing on the road is always tougher. Having a leader player can help as well. Sam is not a bad coach. but he needs much better players. I am sure none of the other Pac 12 coaches would want to coach at CAL now. and the outcome would still be similar. So do you fire him at the end of the season? Or does he resign and go to a better school where he can recruit better? Talent usually makes a coach better or worse. i have been mostly a good coach but with not enough talent, i have also been a poor coach as the record sometimes speaks for that. playing at home, hopefully they can beat one or two of the lower end teams.
3Cats4CAL
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So it seems as with the WBB that the team needs great players to come here but they won't attract very many until Cal starts being a winning program -which it can't become until it has enough great players - so it's a just a repetitive merry-go-round.
juarezbear
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3Cats4CAL said:

So it seems as with the WBB that the team needs great players to come here but they won't attract very many until Cal starts being a winning program -which it can't become until it has enough great players - so it's a just a repetitive merry-go-round.
It starts with a very good coach who's able to get the team to perform above their level, which then will attract good players etc...
juarezbear
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juarezbear said:

3Cats4CAL said:

So it seems as with the WBB that the team needs great players to come here but they won't attract very many until Cal starts being a winning program -which it can't become until it has enough great players - so it's a just a repetitive merry-go-round.
It starts with a very good coach who's able to get the team to perform above their level, which then will attract good players etc...
Very few programs change coaches when they're winning a lot, so it would seem that every good program at some point brought in a gifted coach who was able to get more out of their team than was apparent from the talent level.
berknolongerclaimusc82
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We watched Rich Feller build us from a national joke to a runner up national title team. It can be done, as you stated, with the right coach and right support.
SanseiBear
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LodeBear said:

inexperience with a very young team. and good players, but not great players like most Pac 12 teams have. You can coach them up, but when you lose Mima, and the two middle blockers and your second best outside hitter leaves, you have to win with freshman good players, not great players. experience will come with playing, but they still need great players to come to CAL. pandemic hurt them alot.
LodeBear, mahalo for your informative post.

Others have referred to their winless conference record, which is depressing; however, aside of the lopsided home matches against UW and WSU, they have been competitive in the other matches that include 5 road ones. Hopefully, they can win one match soon for their confidence.

LodeBear
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coachdeke said:

berkusc82 said:

2010 seems like an eternity ago when I thought the program had built itself into a perennial national championship contender.

2012 we spent as the #1 ranked team in the country.
we had excellent players on those teams starting with Carli. after those years Rich had harder time recruiting top end players and he resigned or retired. Cal could not recruit well during the pandemic and lost players to transfers. and they all started at other schools. yes the classes were poor. so poor you have three freshman playing all the time with scott and hayden at middle and dejardins at outside. grotto is the best player and she is playing opposite this year from middle the past two years. schmidt is playing at outside hitter but is she like 70 or 80 kills less than grotto. your outside hitter on left side should be your kill and second highest % hitter. if her hitting % was just a bit higher they could win a few more sets. why is groto on the right side? because they dont have a reliable hitter on that side. their setter is a soph and fairly good but the problem is their in system passing and when you can not pass your sets are not good enough so the defense knows where and gets there in time to block or alter the shot. Even if Sam is gone next year. if they can recruit a couple of outstanding players or even one and they keep groto or the two freshman middle blockers from going the portal route, they can have a better team. will a new great coach help yes, but only if the recruiting gets better and if not if will be the same. I am a really good coach when we win and i have really good players and am a mediocore coach when i lose and dont have the talent present, which does happen at high school since you do not recruit. at least public schools. I have followed and donated in the past to volleyball. It is difficult to watch them lose when they are so close to winning games let alone matches. Only a few sports at Cal can recruit well and even then it is not every year. Ironically those sports have players recruited from out of the country and if Cal did not have those players, those sports would not be as good too.
LodeBear
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Thanks Sansei bear.
very frustrating to watch the bears. I stream their games and sometimes i just change the channel and watch like the oregon and USC match and realize they just have much better players. With NIL and transfer portal it will be harder to recruit those type of players to Cal. and Cals good players can go the portal route and find a better team to play with. Can a coach make enough of a difference? Even a really good coach will have trouble at Cal if they are not able to recruit well. Will see if Sam remains. They have a chance if the freshman players can get better and they stay in system. They play the weaker teams later in November so there is always hope. I have not seen UCLA play, but USC is good with their outside hitter and middle blocker and setter and they pass well so that match will go 3 sets. if they can get close to 20 points a set that would be a moral victory.
berknolongerclaimusc82
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May I ask, if you know, why did Coach Feller experience trouble recruiting AFTER reaching the national championship and improving Cal's brand? During my time at Cal, and even after, women's volleyball and softball were the women's sports teams that I truly followed so it sucks to see how far they've fallen.
LodeBear
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berkusc82 said:

May I ask, if you know, why did Coach Feller experience trouble recruiting AFTER reaching the national championship and improving Cal's brand? During my time at Cal, and even after, women's volleyball and softball were the women's sports teams that I truly followed so it sucks to see how far they've fallen.
don't quote me, but my feeling is that team had really good players that turned into great players. Carli Lloyd was outstanding setter and made players around even better and a real good blocker as well. She was the national volleyball player of the year. I think she would have traded that to beat penn state in the finals. Without her the team would not have gotten to the finals or even close. so I think that Cal got really good players afterward but just did not show in the win or post season column. Look at Cal softball when they won with their pitcher Jocelyn Forest , through the world series. She played like a great pitcher at the right time. I believe there was a family member passed away and it just pushed her to great achievements. Pitching is so important in softball as I am sure you know. Cal did get really good pitchers like Kristina Thorsen and jolene henderson and players like Val Arioto. They have not had that great pitcher through these past years. Hopefully they do now with Chelsea as head coach. I believe Chelsea also was on that 2002 team. Softball is a very young but very talented team now. They just need a pitcher and hopefully they got one from the central valley next year. She is a senior this year. Cal Fanatic posted information about her on the softball thread. there should be real improvement this season with many of the freshman players playing alot. Hopefully their pitching improves with more than one pitcher doing well. Volleyball, they are so far behind. I watch streaming pac 12 so I see other teams have outstanding players and watch cal and they don't . Groto is their best player and i think she is playing out of position but still leads in kils and %. softball future is bright. I played recreational softball and volleyball in my 20's and 30's. I still play high level tennis and coach high school girls basketball and tennis.but getting close to retirement. Anyway long rant. Go Bears.
LodeBear
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coachdeke said:

berkusc82 said:

2010 seems like an eternity ago when I thought the program had built itself into a perennial national championship contender.

2012 we spent as the #1 ranked team in the country.
Actually 2010. #2 ranked got to finals and lost to penn state 3-0. 2011 very good record and 2012 a losing record. Rich Feller had decent teams with decent records. his best run was 2007 to 2010 with Carli Lloyd and 2011. otherwise he was middle of the conference. Carli willed those teams to victory. those four years he had really good players around her. penn state had 3 great players and Cal had one. That was the difference. I watched that game and Cal battled but penn state was just that good and had been in prior years.
SanseiBear
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LodeBear said:

coachdeke said:

berkusc82 said:

2010 seems like an eternity ago when I thought the program had built itself into a perennial national championship contender.

2012 we spent as the #1 ranked team in the country.
Actually 2010. #2 ranked got to finals and lost to penn state 3-0. 2011 very good record and 2012 a losing record. Rich Feller had decent teams with decent records. his best run was 2007 to 2010 with Carli Lloyd and 2011. otherwise he was middle of the conference. Carli willed those teams to victory. those four years he had really good players around her. penn state had 3 great players and Cal had one. That was the difference. I watched that game and Cal battled but penn state was just that good and had been in prior years.
Cal went to the NCAA tourney every year from 2002 to 2013, with the best run as you said being when Carli Lloyd was the setter. From 2014 to 2017, Cal had some really lean conference records. In Sam Crosson's 1st year (2019), Cal was 20-4 overall and 10-4 in conference when Mima went down in the UCLA match that resulted in 6 straight losses.

3Cats4CAL
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Ok so it appears that the main goal is to get a few really great players and also hope the few that we do have don't transfer out in the meantime?
CalFanatic
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LodeBear said:

berkusc82 said:

May I ask, if you know, why did Coach Feller experience trouble recruiting AFTER reaching the national championship and improving Cal's brand? During my time at Cal, and even after, women's volleyball and softball were the women's sports teams that I truly followed so it sucks to see how far they've fallen.
don't quote me, but my feeling is that team had really good players that turned into great players. Carli Lloyd was outstanding setter and made players around even better and a real good blocker as well. She was the national volleyball player of the year. I think she would have traded that to beat penn state in the finals. Without her the team would not have gotten to the finals or even close. so I think that Cal got really good players afterward but just did not show in the win or post season column. Look at Cal softball when they won with their pitcher Jocelyn Forest , through the world series. She played like a great pitcher at the right time. I believe there was a family member passed away and it just pushed her to great achievements. Pitching is so important in softball as I am sure you know. Cal did get really good pitchers like Kristina Thorsen and jolene henderson and players like Val Arioto. They have not had that great pitcher through these past years. Hopefully they do now with Chelsea as head coach. I believe Chelsea also was on that 2002 team. Softball is a very young but very talented team now. They just need a pitcher and hopefully they got one from the central valley next year. She is a senior this year. Cal Fanatic posted information about her on the softball thread. there should be real improvement this season with many of the freshman players playing alot. Hopefully their pitching improves with more than one pitcher doing well. Volleyball, they are so far behind. I watch streaming pac 12 so I see other teams have outstanding players and watch cal and they don't . Groto is their best player and i think she is playing out of position but still leads in kils and %. softball future is bright. I played recreational softball and volleyball in my 20's and 30's. I still play high level tennis and coach high school girls basketball and tennis.but getting close to retirement. Anyway long rant. Go Bears.
Best pitcher in CA for 2023...Randi Roelling. Mark her name. 418 strikeouts this year in 173 innings. Just an insanely talented southpaw and the next franchise player at Cal =)



Volleyball needs a recruit like her to get the program revamped. We used to consistently nab top 15 recruits... Murrey, Schonewise, Johnson, Riley... it was like clockwork
Chabbear
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Add the Croatian group: Hana Cutura; Mia Jerkov; Lara Vukasovic






CalFanatic
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Jerkov and Cutura. Wow, what incredible lands those were. A shame Jerkov couldn't come back for her senior year but... we had a pretty good freshman come in that year by the name of Angie Pressey
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