While beaches across the country are packed with people soaking in the summer sun, the sand courts in Berkeley wait for the Bears to come out of hibernation.
Cal beach volleyball retired from the courts upon the conclusion of its 2021 season, finishing with an overall record of 16-13. For the Bears, COVID-19 and a hefty list of injuries introduced unique challenges for the 2020-21 season — as such, their training and preseason regimen heavily differed from years prior. However, this season Cal is ready to revert back to its pre-pandemic workouts and schedules.
“In the offseason, we focus on breaking down our skill development and mastering our fundamentals as individuals. As time goes closer to the season, we work as a team and engage in pair work,” said reinstated head coach Meagan Owusu, who is returning after a year away from the program. “If there is one thing COVID-19 taught us, it’s to be grateful for every opportunity to go out and train and be with your teammates. We will get right back in the swing of things and start training when school starts and carve out time for gratitude.”
After taking the 2021 season off to care for her newborn triplets, Owusu is back at the reins, ready to lead this season with a sense of gratefulness.
“Similar to what our athletes went through with not being able to train and practice during COVID-19 and after realizing how much they love the sport of beach volleyball specifically at Cal, I had a similar experience when I resigned,” Owusu said. “I missed being part of this program more than I could articulate. When I think of being back at Cal, I am excited to play a role in athletes’ development as players and preparing them for their next steps post-collegiately.”
Coach Owusu is ready to lead the beach volleyball squad to its greatest season in program history. The Bears are carrying a chip on their shoulders from last season, and they are coming into the 2021-22 competition ready to claw their way to the NCAA championship.