Undefeated No. 14 Cal beach volleyball to host Sacramento State in home opener

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Be sure to bring a chair and get ready for a classic playlist to echo throughout the wooded surrounding of the court. Quirky yet charming, the courts provide an optimal atmosphere for some Saturday afternoon volleyball.

If you have not made it out to a Cal beach volleyball match before, or even made the trek up to the facilities on Clark Kerr Campus in general, then you are missing out on the environment that emcompasses the team.

The undefeated No. 14 Cal beach volleyball team is anticipating its long-awaited home opener this Saturday at the Clark Kerr Sand Volleyball Courts, where it will be taking on Sacramento State.

Not only are the Bears riding an undefeated streak as team, but two Cal pairs are looking to continue the start of the season without a loss. In fact, the Bears are off to their best start in team history, though this is only their fourth official season as varsity sport on campus.

Sophomores Grace Campbell and Olivia Rodberg had great success against their Sac State opponents last season. This weekend, the pair will look to rebound from its performance last weekend at Stanford with another victory against the Hornets.

Junior team captains Bryce Bark and Teya Neff swept their three matches, respectively, against the Hornets last season. They lead their young team into this match confident and ready, given the Bear’s perfect start to the 2017 season.

It feels like a broken record, but the freshmen for the Bears keep stepping up in ways that cannot be ignored. All-freshman pair Nicole Anderson and Iya Lindahl will put its 6-0 record on the line, and freshman Bridget Gustafson, who plays at the No. 5 pair with Neff, seeks to dispatch the Hornets with her experienced partner by her side.

Last season, the Bears matched up with the Hornets three times, coming away victorious in all of those matches. The Bears’ first match against the Hornets was a close one, edging the Hornets 3-2. They used that familiarity with the team to have more impressive performances in the latter two matches.

In the next match, the Bears cruised to a 5-0 sweep and finished their third and final match against the Hornets of the 2016 season with a comfortable 4-1 win.

This season, however, the Bears only have one scheduled regular-season match against Sac State. The team will look to take advantage of its only guaranteed matchup against a Northern Californian rival and continue its winning ways.

The Bears hope to have a performance similar to the matches they had against Sac State late last season. After a big weekend of taking down two Pac-12 opponents, the Bears must stay focused on not losing sight of the Hornets when they get to Berkeley.

Charlie Griffen covers beach volleyball. Contact him at [email protected].