It was all gas and no breaks for Cal beach volleyball this weekend. Nothing could slow the Bears down as they went a perfect 4-0 down in San Luis Obispo at the Mustang Invite. They continued their stellar play — and continued to make their case as one of the top teams in the country — while picking up two more wins against ranked opponents.
They began play Saturday against a Bay Area opponent in UC Davis. The Aggies came into the match having won two straight games, but the Bears snapped that win streak and notched a win of their own. Cal came out hot and won the first three duels of the day, securing the match with a win by Sierra Caffo and Gia Fisher. Cal ultimately took the match 4-1 and looked ahead to No. 13 Washington for the final match of the day.
Washington has had a strong season as the 13th ranked team in the country. Cal took care of the Huskies 4-1 the last time the two teams met, so it was crucial for the Bears to keep that momentum. The Bears mirrored last time’s score this time around, as the No. 9 Bears won with a 4-1 score once again.
With Saturday’s games coming to a close, the Bears had two more matches Sunday, the first against No. 20 Tulane, and the second against the host team, Cal Poly.
The Tulane game proved to be the most competitive of the weekend. The Bears came out and took the first two games before Tulane responded with a win of its own. Cal bounced back and secured the win courtesy of the Marilu Pally and Ella Dreibholz duo, before dropping the last game. The Bears were able to scrape by with a 3-2 win, and though it was not the most dominant Cal win, it was just enough against a ranked opponent.
The Bears concluded their weekend against home team Cal Poly. If the Bears struggled at all in the opening match Sunday, there was no sign that those struggles carried over into the second match. The Bears came out with a dominant performance over the Mustangs, winning easily 5-0 and putting a stamp on their perfect weekend.
The No. 9 Bears now sit at 18-5 on the season with eight more matches to go before the postseason begins. Two Cal players that especially stood out over the weekend are Ashley Delgado and Ainsley Radell. The two went 4-0 in their duels this weekend and were named the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Pair of the Week.
It was another great weekend for the Bears down in San Luis Obispo. They extended their win streak to six and picked up two more significant wins against ranked teams. They look to continue to keep their foot on the gas next weekend as they prepare for four Pac-12 opponents, including three within the top 20. It will be a big weekend to cement their spot as not only one of the powerhouses of the Pac-12, but also one of the top teams in the nation.