First Golden Bear Classic brings teams in from east Daily Planet Correspondent Berkeley High responded to the first challenge o
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The Cal women’s volleyball team will host the inaugural Golden Bear Volleyball Classic Sept. 8 and 9 at the Recreational Sports Facility on the Cal campus.
The opening game of the tournament will be George Washington against Florida Friday at 5 p.m. Cal will host McNeese State in the following game at 7 p.m. Friday’s losers will face off in the consolation game Saturday at 5 p.m., and the championship game is scheduled to being at 7 p.m.
Cal meets McNeese State for the first time this weekend. The Cowgirls went 2-1 last weekend at the Marquette Challenge and host Louisiana-Lafayette Sept. 5. they are led by senior outside hitter Anissa Parker, who was the MVP of the Marquette Challenge with 61 kills in three matches.
The Bears have a 1-2 all-time record against Florida and a 0-1 all-time record against George Washington. No. 12 ranked Florida is currently 3-2 and is led by 6’1” junior middle blocker Nicole McCray (71 kills, .397 hitting percentage). George Washington is 4-0 (travels to Maryland-Baltimore County Sept. 5), has won 12 straight games and is led by senior outside hitter Tracee Brown (36 kills, .456 hitting percentage).
The Bears returned last weekend from the Silver Legacy/Ray Wersching Invitational in Reno, NV with a second place finish. Cal defeated host Nevada, 3-1 (7-15, 15-10, 15-11, 15-8) Sept. 1, fell to No. 11 ranked Minnesota, 3-0 (15-6, 15-6, 15-5) Sept. 2 and defeated Kent State, 3-0 (15-3, 15-11, 15-5) Sept. 2.
The top player last weekend for the Bears was 5-10 freshman outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy. In Abernathy’s college debut versus Nevada, she had a team-leading17 kills and 13 digs. She went on to tally 34 kills, a team-high 23 digs and eight total blocks during the tournament’s three matches. Abernathy was a member of the all-tournament team along with 5-9 senior outside hitter/setter Alicia Perry, who had a team-high 37 kills during the weekend and recorded 21 digs. She had an impressive .481 hitting percentage (15 kills, two errors, 27 attempts) in the Bears 3-0 victory over Kent State.
In the victory at Nevada, the Bears started two true freshmen in Abernathy and 6’0” middle blocker Jessica Zatica. Besides Abernathy’s 17 kills, Perry, sophomore outside hitter Leah Young and junior setter/outside hitter Candace McNamee had 14, 12 and 11 kills respectively. McNamee also recorded her second career triple double with 11 digs and 37 assists.
Sophomore middle blocker Reena Pardiwala, who sat out the entire 1999 season with a ruptured disk in her lower back, led Cal with four block solos. Pardiwala currently leads the Bear starters with a .333 hitting percentage (16 kills, four errors, 36 attempts), has 21 digs and a team-high five solo blocks and 16 total blocks.
McNamee is doing a solid job as both an outside hitter and a setter with 30 kills and 73 assists in the first three matches. She is currently third on the Cal all-time assist list with 1992 career assists. The other Bear who is a member of the Bears all-time career Top 10 list is Perry, who is eighth on the career kill list with 937 and ninth with 2584 kill attempts.