By David Seawright on March 16, 2011 1:36 PM
The Cal women's lacrosse tilt last night against Lafayette was in many respects a very sloppy matter.
With the first half of play occurring an incessant downpour, the artificial turf on Witter Rugby Field collected water, the pace of play slowed and simple ball mechanics like scooping ground balls became more difficult.
Before the start of the game, one of Cal's players noted that "weather can be the great equalizer, but it won't be today." Her claim held true as the Bears played impressively and took control of the game early, eventually dropping the Leopards 13-10.
Despite the conditions, we were on hand with Bear Blog photographer James Besser to catch Cal in action. Check out those photos below.
Senior goalkeeper came ready to play, eye black and all.
Sophomore Gina Holslag waits as the official checks to make sure her stick meets all requirements.
The Bears stand for the national anthem under the lights for the first time.
Shropshire, a senior and captain, breaks out her dance moves before taking the field.
Coach Theresa Sherry speaks to her team in the pouring rain.
By David Seawright on March 16, 2011 12:01 PM
Tuesday brought driving rain and cutting wins to Witter Rugby Field, but it didn't stop history from being made.
After years of calling the light-less Memorial Stadium home, the Cal women's lacrosse team hosted Lafayette last night at 7:00 p.m. for the program's first ever game under the lights at home.
The brutal weather didn't stop the Bear Blog from covering this quietly historic occasion, and we were even in the locker room (and momentarily protected from the rain) before the game. Here are some photos from head coach Theresa Sherry's talk to the Bears before they took the field.
Coach Sherry leads off the Bear's starting lineup for her program's first ever night game.
Senior goalkeeper Allie Shorpshire (center) listens to her coach's strategic directions.
The Bears break out of the locker room before stepping out into the downpour waiting for them outside.
By David Seawright on March 15, 2011 11:25 AM
In many respects, swimmers are mysterious beings.
At Cal, they live in the bowels of Haas Pavilion down a compact hallway from Spieker Pool. They are some of the most elite and successful athletes on campus, yet many people fail to acknowledge the Olympians that live in our midst.
Put an elite swimmer on land and you will get mixed results - some of the athleticism that is evident in the water translates well outside of the pool, but much of it does not. Swimmers are early to rise - often times their workouts begin before dawn - and definitely early to crash.
These athletes can seem lazy at times. The mystery of tapering, otherwise known as an excuse to never climb a flight of stairs, to sit down as much as possible and avoid physical movement at all costs, is foreign to athletes of other sports.
But after spending an afternoon in the pool with some of the Cal men's swimmers, I came away knowing one thing - these athletes are physical specimens.
Sunday afternoon's workout was barely that for the swimmers. It was an "on your own" light swim in the pool, probably equivalent to a walk-through for the football team. I came ready to work, complete with a tiger-striped speedo. After all, I wanted to do my best to blend in with the team.
As the swimmers swiftly swept through the water without exerting any effort, one lap at a "sprint" pace left me gasping for air. The lifeguard's extra concern was obvious.
Even the most basic elements of swimming were difficult. The flip-turn filled my nostrils with chlorinated water. The butterfly looked more like a dying caterpillar that emerged from his cocoon without wings.
I even put myself through a timed sprint. A 50-free, complete with dive-in and attempted flip turn, came out at about 40 seconds. Want some perspective? Senior Nathan Adrian holds the American record in 20.71 seconds.
So when the men's swim team leaves for the NCAA Championships in Minnesota next week, I'll have a new appreciation for what they do in the water. Their strength, endurance and precision with technique is truly phenomenal. The fact that many of them are the best in the country at what they do makes it all the more impressive.
So while swimmers were mysterious to me before, I now have a more complete understanding of what they go through. If I were them I'd avoid climbing flights of stairs as well. After all, I'm three days removed from this "light" swim and I'm still hurting in places I didn't know existed.
Don't worry, we'll do our part here on the Bear Blog to make swimming less of a mystery to all of you readers. The good news for you is that reading about the team doesn't leave you completely exhausted.
Can you even tell the difference between Bear Blog writer David Seawright, above, and returning national champion Tom Shields, below? Didn't think so.
By David Seawright on March 14, 2011 6:30 AM
AT&T Park has been good to the Bears the last couple of years, and with Cal football's move into San Francisco for its 2011 home schedule only six months and three days away (not that we're counting or anything), we can only hope this streak continues.
This past weekend, however, the home of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants was used for its original purpose - baseball. The Cal Baseball Classic hosted visitors Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice and Long Beach State at AT&T Park and the Bears escaped the weekend unscathed.
After beating Louisiana-Lafayette 7-6 on Friday night, No. 20 Cal turned around and beat No. 18 Rice by the same score in 15 innings on Saturday. The Bears closed out the weekend with a 6-1 win over Long Beach State Sunday afternoon.
We were on hand for all 15 innings of the Saturday evening game and spent most of the night in the dugout with the team. The game took close to five hours - the first pitch was thrown at 7:13 p.m. and the final run scored at 11:50 - and the Cal pitching staff managed to hold Rice scoreless for the final 10 innings of the match up.
The Bears will host the University of San Francisco at Evans Diamond on Wednesday afternoon before kicking off a weekend series with Ohio State here in Berkeley.
And if you didn't make it out to AT&T Park this weekend (or just couldn't survive the 15 inning marathon on Saturday night), here's a video of the game-tying run and game-ending celebration as well as some photos from inside the Cal dugout from the game.
Coach David Esquer looks out of the home dugout as Justin Jones throws the first pitch.
Coach Esquer from the dugout usually inhabited by the San Francisco Giants.
Catcher Chadd Krist waits to take an at-bat.
The Cal baseball team lasted 15 long innings but walked away with the win.
By David Seawright on March 9, 2011 4:05 PM
As 17 former Cal football players showcased their talents on the field and in the weight room in an effort to prove their ability to play at the next level, many of these players also got a taste of NFL-caliber media attention.
A large group of reporters questioned many of the former Golden Bears, including projected first-round pick and defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, quarterback Kevin Riley, running back Shane Vereen and linebacker Mike Mohamed. Check out a few photos from earlier this afternoon.
Cameron Jordan answers questions from the media following his Pro Day performance.
Kevin Riley laughs at the questions from the congregated media members.
Shane Vereen speaks with numerous local media members.
Mike Mohamed, one of the first players to conclude drills, speaks to reporters on Witter Rugby Field.
By David Seawright on March 9, 2011 3:45 PM
For the former Cal players like wide receiver and return man Jeremy Ross who did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine, today's Pro Day was the biggest opportunity to audition in front of NFL scouts. Ross made the most of his opportunity.
One scout told us that Ross "really helped himself today." He was clocked at as low as 4.39 in the 40-yard dash and added an impressive 39 inch vertical leap and a 4.15 run in the 20-yard shuttle.
The scout spoke very highly of Ross' athletic ability and was impressed with his performance both in the weight room and on the field. He was optimistic that Ross' considerable physical abilities would translate well to the next level.
Here are some photos of Ross from throughout the morning.
Ross takes off for the broad jump.
Ross is captured midair during the broad jump.
Ross sticks the landing of his broad jump this morning.
Ross runs through the finish of his 40-yard dash, which was clocked as low as 4.39 seconds.
By David Seawright on March 8, 2011 4:07 PM
The No. 20 Cal baseball team hosted Santa Clara this afternoon at Evans Diamond and put on quite a show. Just moments ago, the Bears finalized a 20-5 victory that included a combined 17 run downpour during the 5th and 6th innings.
Today's match up acts as a preface to what is to come this weekend at the Cal Baseball Classic. The Bears play at 7 p.m. on Friday (vs. Louisiana-Lafayette), Saturday (vs. Rice) and Sunday (vs. Long Beach State).
Of course, AT&T Park is not only the home to the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, but also to the Cal football team during the 2011 season while Memorial Stadium is renovated.
We were in the dugout this afternoon to see the Bears in action. Check out those photos below.
Kyle Porter throws the first pitch, as seen from the third story of Haas Pavilion.
Head Coach David Esquer looks out at Evans Diamond from the dugout.
Coach Esquer (right) coaches up the Bears.
The Bears hydrate between innings during their game against Santa Clara.
Sophomore Trevor Hildenberger (right) and teammates prepare to take the field.
By David Seawright on March 4, 2011 3:15 PM
Thursday's 75-51 loss to No. 2 Stanford was the last regular season game for two seniors on the Cal women's basketball team. While much of the squad will return next year, Rachelle Frederico and Rama N'Diaye's careers as Golden Bears are coming to an end.
Although the score did not end up favoring the Bears, the two seniors - and the entirety of the Cal roster - can be proud of the effort put forth throughout the year.
Cal will leave next week for Los Angeles to play in the Pac-10 Tournament at the Galen Center on the USC campus. The Bears will tip off the tournament on Wednesday, March 9.
Here are the final photos from the Bear Blog's trip to Palo Alto for last night's game.
The Bears shake hands with the Cardinal following Thursday's match up.
Senior Rama N'Diaye looks on as her final regular season game for the Bears comes to a close.
The Bears huddle for the final time during this year's Pac-10 Conference schedule.
By David Seawright on March 4, 2011 2:00 PM
After playing the Cardinal close in the first half, No. 2 Stanford took control of the game and outlasted the Bears, winning 75-51.
Despite the score, one thing that was evident from the bench was that Cal undoubtedly played with tremendous heart until the final buzzer. Joanne Boyle and her staff continued to coach up the Bears even as the game slipped from their grasp. One thing is for sure,this young group of players certainly has valuable experience moving forward.
Here are the photos we took during the second half.
Joanne Boyle during a second half timeout.
Freshmen Mikayla Lyles (right) and Avigiel Cohen listen attentively to coach Boyle.
Boyle draws up offensive schematics for the Bears.
Boyle energetically instructed her team throughout the game.
Eliza Pierre waits to inbound the ball right in front of the scorer's table.
By David Seawright on March 4, 2011 6:30 AM
The Cal women's basketball team fell to No. 2 Stanford 75-51 last night in Palo Alto, concluding the Pac-10 schedule for the Bears and seniors Rachelle Federico and Rama N'Diaye.
Federico led Cal with 16 points in her final regular season game in a blue and gold jersey. Freshman Lindsay Sherbert added 13 of her own and sophomore Layshia Clarendon finished with 12 points on the night. You can read a recap of the game here.
The Bear Blog was fortunate enough to be sitting courtside for the game and caught all of the action from there. Here are some photos from the pregame festivities, with more posts to come throughout the day.
The Cal women's basketball stands during the national anthem.
Coach Joanne Boyle (Center) and her assistants during the national anthem.
Assistant coach Kevin Morrison jots down some notes at the scorers table, right in front of where we were sitting.
The Bears huddle up one more time before tip off.
Coach Boyle looks on while her starting lineup is announced.
By David Seawright on March 3, 2011 12:28 PM
After watching film of Stanford, the Cal men's basketball team went up the stairs from its locker room to the weight room on the first floor of Haas Pavilion.
The Bears went through what was described as a "flesh-out" workout - after a week's worth of hard lifts and practices, today's focus was preparing their bodies for Saturday's game. This included a lengthy and dynamic core workout and a series of arm and shoulder lifts in the weight room.
Next up for the Bears is a full practice on the floor of Haas Pavilion. Here are the photos from the weight room session.
The Bears go through a dynamic warm up before entering the weight room.
Jorge Gutierrez during his pre-lift warm up.
Harper Kamp does a plank as part of today's core workout.
Guard Brandon Smith does some dumbbell curls.
Harper Karm works out on the leg press machine.
Senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison works on his shoulder strength.
By David Seawright on March 3, 2011 12:09 PM
Just moments ago, the Cal men's basketball team sat down to watch film of upcoming opponent Stanford. The Bears got dressed for their upcoming workouts - in the weight room and on the court - before sitting down in the film review room with coach Mike Montgomery.
By David Seawright on March 1, 2011 12:48 PM
The off-season is difficult for many different reasons, but one definite challenge comes with the physical limits that are regularly pushed.
Earlier this morning, after a practice and weight lifting session (much like the one we featured here last week), the Cal volleyball team endured a trying cardio circuit, which included five different five-minute stations with only one-minute breaks in between each drill.
The good news? Strength and conditioning coach Hank Behrens gave the Bears some extra motivation. If each player improved upon their scores from the last time they did this exact circuit, they would enjoy a day off this Friday.
When it was all said and done, they have a three day weekend ahead of them.
Tarah Murray (right) and Lauren Loerch (middle) are joined by head coach Rich Feller on the elliptical machines.
Kat Brown (right) and Elly Barrett push themselves on stationary bikes.
Shannon Hawari works the ropes during the cardio circuit.
Correy Johnson and Adrienne Gehan run on treadmills in the Haas weight room.
Strength and conditioning coach Hank Behrens looks on as the Bears endure his circuit.
By David Seawright on March 1, 2011 8:33 AM
Right before 7:00 a.m. this morning, the Cal men's swim team began to trickle into their locker room on by Spieker Pool.
While their female counterparts were in the water preparing for the NCAA Championships in a couple weeks, the guys packed their bags and loaded onto a bus to catch a plane headed to Long Beach, California.
By 7:20, the Bears were en route down Bancroft Way and will not return until Sunday night - hopefully with a Pac-10 Championship in hand.
The Bear Blog, including photographer James Besser, was there with the team all morning, so here are those pictures.