Bears Pick Up Right Where They Left Off in 2022
BERKELEY – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its Preseason Coaches Poll Tuesday morning ranking the California beach volleyball team the No. 11 program in the country.
This is the second-straight season that the Bears will begin in that spot and it’s the same spot they ended the last three seasons in. They have been ranked in the top-13 of the AVCA in every poll since April 23, 2018.
Cal will look to build on a historic 2022 season where the Bears posted a 26-14 overall record, finished third in the Pac-12 Championship, and made their first appearance at the NCAA Championship. The team’s total wins set a new record for the young program and its six wins over ranked teams was the most its seen since 2019.
Cal returns 10 student-athletes from last year’s team including this season’s captains in junior Brooke Buchner, senior Ainsley Radell, and fifth-year senior Ashley Delgado. Radell enters the season ranked ninth in program history with 53 career wins after recording 34 victories in the No. 2 spot in the lineup last year, which was the most by any player in Cal history. The duo of Radell and Delgado enjoyed a strong finish to the season going 3-0 at the Pac-12 Tournament and earning them Pac-12 All-Tournament Team honors while also recording an NCAA Tournament win on court two over Louisiana State.
Junior Maya Gessner also returns for her senior year after tallying the fifth-most wins in a single season in Cal history last year with 26. She did so playing at all five lineup positions, a feat that earned her a spot on the All-Pac-12 second team.
In addition to the returners, the Bears welcomed in two transfers this past summer that they hope will make an immediate impact on the team. Liz Waters-Leiga comes to Berkeley from Florida State where she accumulated a 34-9 career record. She’s joined by Sierra Caffo who makes the trip west from LSU after enjoying a 23-5 record this past season for the Tigers. Caffo earned AVCA Top Flight status dubbing her one of the best in the country in the No. 5 spot.
The 2023 season is just around the corner with the Bears opening on the road with four matches in Los Angeles on Feb. 24-25.
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