The Bears Take On LSU Wednesday Morning
GULF SHORES, ALABAMA – No. 11 seed Cal beach volleyball will compete in its first-ever NCAA Championship starting Wednesday vs. No. 6 seed LSU.
Wednesday’s match will start at 8 am PT/10 am CT and be broadcast on ESPNU. Streams of each individual court will also be available on ESPN+.
The Bears will take on LSU for the first time in program history in the single elimination portion of the tournament. A win vs. LSU would send the Bears into the final eight when the double elimination portion of the tournament begins on Friday.
CAL COMPETES AT FIRST NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
– The Bears will be competing at their first-ever NCAA Championship.
– This will be Cal’s first-ever meeting against LSU.
– Cal sophomore Natalie Martin will be facing off against her former school. Martin attended LSU for two seasons, before transferring to Cal and going 22-15 this year.
– Cal is coming off a third-place finish at the Pac-12 Championship as Ainsley Radell and Ashley Delgado were named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team.
CAL ENTERS CHAMPIONSHIP RANKED 11TH
– The Bears are 11th in the most recent AVCA Coaches Poll.
– The top-13 ranking continues a streak of being ranked in the top 13 of every poll since April 23, 2018. Cal has now spent 1465 consecutive days ranked in the top 13 of the AVCA Coaches Poll.
– The Bears have finished each of the past four seasons ranked in the top 12 of the final poll, including an 11th-place finish in the final poll of the 2021 season.
– The Bears are currently 10th in the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Preseason Committee Rankings.
– Cal is 24-3 against teams outside the top 10 of the rankings, including 4-2 against ranked teams.
RACKING UP WINS
– Cal has recorded 26 wins this year, the most wins in a season for the Cal program.
– Mima Mirkovic has recorded 79 career victories and is second in program history for career wins, trailing only Grace Campbell’s 83. Mirkovic has 73 wins at #1, the most in Cal history.
– Lexi McKeown and Ella Dreibholz are 23-6 this year, tied for the second-most wins by a pair in school history with Caroline Schafer/Mia Merino (23). Grace Campbell/Maddie Micheletti (27) hold the record.
– AInsley Radell has tallied 52 wins in her career and became the 10th woman in school history to record 50 wins for the Cal beach volleyball program.
– Cal’s projected lineup features two pairs that made their debut this past weekend in the season finale vs. Washington as Ainsley Radell and Ashley Delgado were paired together for the first time and Brooke Buchner paired with Ava Mann for the first time.
– After an injury delayed her debut, Alex-Young Gomez played sparingly until the Pac-12 North Invitational, when she entered the lineup at #5, she hasn’t missed a match yet and won over #8 Stanford with partner Natalie Martin.
– After an injury to Mirkovic, Costa and Gessner were partnered together and have beaten four top-10 teams as a pair: #3 UCLA, #9 Stanford, #7 Grand Canyon and #8 Stanford.
– Mima Mirkovic and Ana Costa were named AVCA Second Team All-Americans this year. This is the third time Mirkovic has been honored (HM in 2019, 2nd team in 2021) and the second time for Costa (2nd team in 2021).
– Assistant Coach Joseph Mayer was named a 30 under 30 award recipient by the AVCA.
– Ainsley Radell and Ashley Delgado were named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team
For complete coverage of Cal beach volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBeachVB), Instagram (@CalBeachVB) and Facebook (/CalBeachVolleyball/).