Kelley L Cox/KLC fotos
From left to right: Sam Taumoepeau, Mikayla Hayden and Tara DeSa are some of Cal’s top returners this season.
2023 Squad Makes Debut Saturday
BERKELEY – California volleyball fans can get a sneak peek at the new-look Golden Bears on Saturday as the San Francisco Dons head across the Bay Bridge to Haas Pavilion for a best-of-five exhibition. The match, which will start at 5 p.m. PT, is open to the public and will not be ticketed.
The Bears are 36-2 in regular-season matchups with San Francisco; the two teams last played each other in 2012, with the Bears falling 2-3 in a neutral-court contest in Honolulu. Last year, the Dons went 14-15 overall and 7-11 in WCC play.
San Francisco, led by third-year head coach Diogo Silva, brings an experienced squad to the court this season – 12 of its 17 players are in their junior season or above. A pair of intriguing freshmen in outside hitter Astrid Puig (2020-21 Spain National Team), and libero Analiese Gagliano (First Team D1 Western League) are the only rookies on the squad, while three talented graduate transfers (outside hitter Karolina Nova, setter Ezgi Ozkan and right side Kennedy Muckelroy) will lend their expertise to the Dons this year. San Francisco’s top returner is sophomore libero Abby Wadas, who was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team in 2022.
NEW COACH ON THE BLOCK
Crissy Jones Schoonderwoerd steps into the interim head coach role for the Golden Bears after being hired as an assistant in February 2023. Previously, she acted as assistant coach for Cal Poly beach volleyball in 2020 while finding success on the AVP and FIVB circuits as a player. In her collegiate career at Washington and later at Cal Poly, she became just the second player in NCAA history to earn All-America honors for both indoor and beach volleyball. Jones Schoonderwoerd is joined on the staff by two first-year assistant coaches in Cal alumna Savannah Rennie and AVP pro Billy Allen.
WELCOME TO BEAR TERRITORY
Five newcomers join the Bears in 2023. Setter Paige Morningstar (Pittsburgh), a redshirt sophomore who spent her first two years with Louisville, comes to Berkeley with NCAA Tournament experience under her belt and an impressive high school resume that includes multiple National High…