With the Summer Olympics drawing ever nearer, more and more current and former Cal athletes continue to find their ways onto rosters.
On Tuesday, former Cal superstar Alex Morgan was unsurprisingly announced to have made the U.S. women’s national soccer team. Additionally, former Cal volleyball player Carli Lloyd — not to be mistaken for the soccer star — was selected to the U.S. women’s volleyball team. This made Lloyd, who played for the Bears from 2007 to 2010, the first Olympian in the history of the Cal volleyball program.
“We’re very excited for Carli,” said Cal head volleyball coach Rich Feller to Cal Athletics. “It’s very well-deserved. She was one of the very top setters on the college level and now is showing she can represent the United States on the highest level.”
Morgan is aiming to win her second gold medal after winning it all in London in 2012. Morgan tallied three goals in the 2012 Olympics and will look to build on that as the team’s biggest name at forward following Abby Wambach’s retirement. Morgan will hope to lead the team to glory for the second consecutive year after the U.S. Women’s National Team won its third World Cup last year in Canada. Team USA was able to come away with first place last year despite playing with a Morgan who was far from 100 percent health-wise.
“Last year was a hard year. I feel like (Morgan) is healthy, fit, mentally in a good place and scoring goals,” said USWNT head coach Jill Ellis.
Morgan was also with the Bears from 2007 to 2010 and, though she only played 67 games because of scheduling conflicts caused by playing for the national team, made her mark on Cal’s record books. She’s the program’s all-time leader in hat tricks with five, and ranks tied for third in career goals with 45. In her final season with the Bears, Morgan was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America, or NSCAA, All-American despite playing only 12 games.
She has certainly continued to impress with the national team, scoring 67 goals and already recording 110 appearances, making her one of six players with more than 100 appearances playing for Team USA this summer.
Lloyd, meanwhile, doesn’t have as much experience on the national stage, after being an alternate for the 2012 Olympics. This year, however, she is one of three setters to make the women’s volleyball team and figures to get a good deal of playing time for the world’s top-ranked team heading into the Olympics.
She was a dominant force with Cal and may be the most decorated Bear in the volleyball program’s history. Lloyd was a four-year starter and led Cal to its most impressive stretch in the team’s history. The Bears never came short of the Elite Eight in Lloyd’s time, including making it to the national semifinals for the only two times in program history. Lloyd managed to rack up honors as an individual as well, becoming the only Bear to be named National Player of the Year.
“Very few players can do what Carli has over the last couple of years: transform her mindset and transform her game,” said U.S. women’s volleyball head coach Karch Kiraly. “She has more tools than ever to make us better in myriad ways.”