Spring break brings only success for No. 12 Cal beach volleyball

Karen Chow /File

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Staying true to the spirit of spring break, Cal beach volleyball spent last week under the sun with the players’ toes in the sand — probably working a lot harder than most of the Cal student body in a similar setting. So, here’s a recap of all the Bears accomplished while you and I were in Mexico:

To start off the week, No. 12 Cal came face to face with No. 18 Saint Mary’s and UC Davis on Saturday, March 23. The Bears had already faced the Aggies once this season and mirrored that initial matchup in another 5-0 defeat of the young opponent.

Their morning matchup against the Gaels, however, was Cal’s first meeting with them this season. The outcome of this game seemed hard to predict given that Saint Mary’s had the same record as Cal — 10-3 going into the competition — as well as a 10-game winning streak that included two wins against No. 19 Stanford.

Despite the somewhat even odds, Cal stepped onto the Clark Kerr Sand Courts and destroyed the team, 5-0.

It was only four days later that the Bears had to prove themselves again against the Geals, this time without the home-court advantage. While they still managed to find success, it was with much less ease as they took home the 3-2 win.

Spring break for the Bears ended on a more emotional note with their Senior Day competition against San Jose State on Friday. Cal celebrated three seniors (Grace Campbell, Mia Merino and Karina Langli) during the final home game of their collegiate careers.

The team as a whole honored its graduating members with a 4-1 win.

Campbell won her match playing in the No. 2 pair with sophomore Mima Mirkovic, while Merino found victory playing in the No. 3 pair with junior Abby Waldburger.

While spring break brought the team victories and celebrations, the next week might hit the Bears just as hard as it does every other Cal student. They are set to face off with some of their toughest competition in the coming weeks, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 USC and No. 19 Stanford.

These coming competitions will be key in determining whether or not the Bears have a shot at achieving some of their biggest season goals.

Alison White covers beach volleyball. Contact her at [email protected].