Cal Volleyball Senior Day Honors Kendall Jensen, Sam Taumoepeau, and Tara DeSa

2023-11-21 00:07:13

Seniors Kendall Jensen, Sam Taumoepeau and Tara DeSa will be honored at Wednesday’s match.

Bears Will Honor 3 For Senior Day On Wednesday

BERKELEY – California volleyball will conclude its 2023 campaign this week, with its final home match scheduled for 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday against Colorado followed by a rematch with No. 2 Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Golden Bears (16-13, 5-13 Pac-12) will be honoring seniors Kendall Jensen, Sam Taumoepeau and Tara DeSa before Wednesday’s match.

Cal is 7-17 all-time against the Buffs (15-14, 7-11), last recording a win in 2019. This will be the first meeting between the two teams this year. Colorado is 4-7 on the road and have lost four of their past five but are coming off a 3-0 sweep of Washington. The Buffs rank 21st among all Division I teams with 2.63 blocks per set and 26th with 278.5 total blocks while hitting a 47th-best .253 on the year. Their defense is bolstered by senior Skyy Howard, who averages 1.32 blocks per set and has totaled 136 blocks – both top 25 in the nation.

The Cardinal (24-3, 17-1), which clinched sole possession of the Pac-12 conference title Sunday, is battle-tested with 10 wins over top-25 teams this season and is on a six-match winning streak. Stanford swept Cal in September at Haas Pavilion with an all-around strong performance headlined by fifth-year senior Kendall Kipp, who totaled nine kills, seven digs, five blocks and an ace. Kipp is among the nation’s top players this year, averaging 4.14 kills per set, 0.46 aces per set and 5.07 points per set; the Cardinal as a team, meanwhile, rank top five nationally in hitting percentage (.312 – 1st), assists per set (13.63 – 2nd) and kills per set (14.46). Stanford also averages 2.70 blocks per set and 1.92 aces per set, 15th- and 16th-best in the country. Cal trails 13-84 in the all-time series with Stanford.


Freshman outside hitter Maggie Li has already cemented her name in the Cal record books as she is the first player in program history to win Pac-12 honors in consecutive weeks and is the Bears’ first six-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. Li is now tied with Mia Jerkov (2001-03) for the most career Pac-12 awards in program history. She earned Cal’s first Pac-12 weekly honor since 2019 – and its first rookie honor since 2018 – after the Bears’ first three matches of the season. Li totaled 34 kills and 27 digs with a .313 hitting percentage at the Army Invitational, earning her way onto the all-tournament team. The next week, Li added two stellar matches to her season with a 20-kill, nine-dig performance against Portland State and a 13-kill outing on .579 hitting against Southern Utah, earning her second Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor – the first Golden Bear to earn the award twice since Christina Higgins in 2011. Li followed that up by posting 61 kills and 50 digs over the next four games, including three straight double-doubles with a 24-kill performance against Texas State, to earn her third consecutive nod and become the first freshman in conference history to start off the season with three straight weekly awards. For award win number four, she totaled 21 kills and 13 digs on .340 hitting in the win over Arizona to help Cal break a 57-match Pac-12 losing streak, then posted another 19 kills against No. 25 Arizona State. Her efforts at No. 21 Arizona State and Arizona a month later – leading the team in kills in both matches – earned her a fifth conference nod; her sixth came after she posted a combined 38 kills and 17 digs against No. 24 USC and UCLA, putting her in a tie for the second most freshman awards in conference history. Currently, she ranks second among all Division I freshmen with 432 total kills (33rd all D-I/3rd Pac-12), third with 481.5 points (44th D-I/4th Pac-12) and 4.46 points per set (53rd D-I/4th Pac-12), and fourth with 4.00 kills per set (43rd D-I/4th Pac-12). She is also tied for the team lead with 11 double-doubles on the year while having the second most aces (33) and third most digs (260) on the roster.


Senior libero Tara DeSa currently leads the Pac-12 with 4.59 digs per set (0.42) ahead of second place) and 496 digs (73 ahead of second place and fourth most at Cal all-time) to anchor a Cal defense that is third best in the Pac-12 with a .194 opponent hitting percentage. DeSa is coming off her best four-game stretch of the 2023 season, averaging 5.22 digs per set at home against the Oregon Schools (with a 32-dig, 6.40 digs per set performance against No. 6 Oregon) and 5.88 digs per set on the road against the LA schools (including a 31-dig, 7.75 digs per set outing against No. 24 USC). She is now the only player in program history to have multiple outings of 31 digs or more and the first with three career performances of 30 digs or more, having also collected 32 digs (one under the program record) in the Bears’ second match against Arizona in 2022. She has notched two double-doubles this year, the first two in her career, and has two all-tournament nods (including an Army Invitational MVP) to her name this season. Last year, she ranked third in the Pac-12 with 448 total digs and fourth in the conference with 4.00 digs per set. A three-time 2022 all-tournament team member, her first 32-dig match made her the 11th Golden Bear in history to join the 32-dig club. Entering the final week of the 2023 season, she is sixth in program history with 1,344 career digs.


Junior setter Annalea Maeder crossed the 2,000 career assists mark against Utah (Sept. 24), entering this weekend with 2,518 to her name – eighth most at Cal all time. Having totaled 981 assists so far on the year, she has already smashed her 2022 total of 846. With a team-leading 42 aces, she has collected 107 on her career, seventh most in program history. Maeder is currently tied for a team lead with 11 double-doubles this season; she has posted 30 or more assists in 16 of Cal’s 29 matches so far. On Sept. 8, she set a new career high of 53 assists against Southeastern Louisiana then posted 54 later that day against Texas State. As of this week, Maeder is also second on the team in digs (271) and fifth in total blocks (42).


Twenty-seven-year-old Crissy Jones Schoonderwoerd stepped into the interim head coach role for the Golden Bears in late July after being hired as an assistant in February 2023. In her first year as a collegiate head coach, she powered Cal to an 11-0 start – undefeated in nonconcference play – and its first win over USC since 2014, as well as the program’s first winning record since 2019. Jones Schoonderwoerd previously 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-American 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.


Five newcomers joined the Bears in 2023. Setter Paige Morningstar (Pittsburgh), a redshirt sophomore who spent her first two years with Louisville, came to Berkeley with NCAA Tournament experience under her belt and an impressive high school résumé that includes multiple National High School Female Athlete of the Year honors and four state championships. Outside hitter Maggie Li (Beijing) has experience as a member of the Chinese Women’s National U20 and II Teams, while Ashley Li (Diamond Bar) was selected to the Division 2 All-CIF Southern Section Team. Sawyer Thomsen (Lawrence, Kansas) and Sophia Johnson (Wayzata, Minnesota) round out the group as highly ranked players in their respective states (Thomsen as the No. 1 middle blocker in Kansas and Johnson as Minnesota’s No. 2 libero).


For complete coverage of Cal volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalVolleyball), Instagram (@calvolleyball), Facebook (Cal Volleyball) and TikTok (@calbearsvb).

#Cal #Closes #Season #Colorado #Stanford

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