Cal beach volleyball is set to add four elite student-athletes to its 2020 roster, bolstering the program’s growing pool of talent. The group of incoming freshmen — Kate Bierly, Ainsley Radell, Madison Sundholm and Dana Waldburger — will enroll at UC Berkeley this fall and plan to compete with the team in the spring, helping replace graduates Mia Merino, Grace Campbell and Karina Langli.
Hailing from San Juan Capistrano, Bierly comes to Cal as an accomplished three-sport athlete. After spending her high school years competing in soccer and indoor volleyball in addition to seasons playing beach volleyball, Bierly is finally ready to devote her focus to Cal’s beach program.
Radell, who is from Northern California, is primarily known for her experience on the indoor courts, but she recently picked up recognition on the sand. Earlier this month, the 6’1” player from Alamo won an Amateur Athletic Union championship at the Santa Monica Open with partner Kendall Peters, earning the duo a spot at the AAU Junior Olympics later this summer.
Sundholm, the sole out-of-state player of the incoming class, comes to Cal as one of her hometown’s most accomplished athletes, having led Salpointe Catholic High School of Tucson, Arizona, to two state indoor volleyball championships. Sundholm finished her fourth season on her high school’s indoor varsity team playing opposite, but she has also had experience at the outside and libero slots, making her an ideal, well-rounded addition to the beach program.
Cal’s final addition to its class of 2023 is Waldburger, the younger sister of rising Cal senior Abby Waldburger. Waldburger joins her sister on Cal’s roster with Bierly, her teammate at WAVE Volleyball — the same club that current Cal players Abby Waldburger, Iya Lindahl and Camille Stepanof hail from.
The set of four freshmen will be a strong addition for the Bears, who are coming off a 22-9 season that placed them at No. 11 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings of the year.