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Golf: Bears move into NCAA semifinals

Top-seeded Cal advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA golf championships on Friday with a 3-2 match play win over Pac-12 rival Arizona State at the Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.

The Bears, who have won 11 of 13 tournaments this season, face No. 5 Illinois in Saturday’s semifinals. Illinois knocked off fourth-seeded and defending national champion Texas 3-2.

Cal got victories from Max Homa — coming off his NCAA individual title on Thursday — Joel Stalter and Brandon Hagy.

Homa defeated Trey Ka’ahanui 3 and 2, Stalter defeated Max Rottluff 1 up, and Hagy beat John Rahm 2 up.

Michael Weaver lost on the 19th hole to ASU’s Austin Quick, and Michael Kim, the nation’s top-ranked collegiate golfer at season’s end, fell 1 up to Spencer Lawson.

Cal reached the NCAA semifinals last year before losing to Alabama.

In the other quarterfinal matches, No. 2 Georgia Tech beat UNLV 3-2 and No. 3 Alabama handled New Mexico 4-1.

Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2013
Under: Golf, NCAA Tournament | 3 Comments »
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Golf: Max Homa wins NCAA individual title, Golden Bears earn top seed for match play

Max Homa became Cal’s first individual NCAA golf champion and the top-ranked Golden Bears earned the No. 1 seed entering Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.

Homa (70-65-66 – 201), a senior from Valencia, birdied three of his first five holes Thursday, led most of the round and finished nine-under par after a bogey-free round.  

Cal (277-272-275 – 824, -16) posted the lowest team score at the end of 54 holes of stroke play and will play No. 8 seed Arizona State in the first of four quarterfinals Friday beginning at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals are No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Texas, the defending NCAA champion. Match play runs through Sunday, when the national team champion is crowned.

Brandon Hagy (66-69-70 – 205) finished five under and in a tie for eighth place. Sophomore Michael Kim, (72-70-70 – 212) the nation’s top-ranked player entering the NCAAs, and Joel Stalter (69-68-75 – 137) finished in a tie for 75th and Michael Weaver , 

 

Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Under: Golf, NCAA Tournament | 3 Comments »
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Golf: Bears fifth after Day 1 at NCAAs

The top-seeded Golden Bears sit in fifth place after the first day of stroke play at the NCAA Championships at the Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.

Cal shot a three-under par 277 and is seven strokes behind surprise first-round leader Arizona State, which is rated No. 38 nationally by GolfStat. The Sun Devils have a four-stroke lead over second-place Georgia Tech, with Alabama and Illinois five and six strokes back, respectively.

The teams will continue stroke play Wednesday and Thursday with the top eight after 54 holes advancing to the quarter-final round of match play, starting Friday. 

Brandon Hagy led the Bears with a four-under par 66 — the lowest round by a Cal golfer at the NCAAs since Jeff Hood had an opening-round 65 in 2004, the year the Bears won their only national championship.

Joel Stalter had a one-under 69 and Max Homa checked in with an even-par 70. Top-ranked Michael Kim carded a 72 and Michael Weaver, who played at the Masters this spring, had a birdie-free 74.

Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Under: Golf, NCAA Tournament | No Comments »
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Track: Bears’ Stewart earns NCAA bid

Senior Ray Stewart breezed to qualification for the NCAA track and field championships, winning his heat and posting the day’s fourth-fastest time at the NCAA West Preliminary meet at Austin, Texas.

Stewart, from James Logan HS and Merritt College, ran 13.65 seconds for the second-fastest wind-legal time of the day.

Senior Amanda Hunter qualified in the women’s triple jump with a wind-aided mark of 42 feet, 8 inches for 10th place. The top 12 qualified for the NCAA championships, June 5-8.  Earlier, Hunter also qualified in the long  jump.

Cal’s 4×100 men’s relay team of Julius Travis, Tom Blocker, Dash Oliver and Stewart ran fourth in 40.58, but moved up to third and a qualifying bid when Texas A&M was disqualified.

 

Posted on Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Under: NCAA Tournament, Track and field | No Comments »
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Golf: Cal hopes to create legacy at NCAAs

The Cal men’s golf team, seeded No. 1 for the NCAA championships that begin Tuesday in suburban Atlanta, is the overwhelming favorite to win its second title in nine years.

But is there a special legacy awaiting the Golden Bears if they can walk away with the crown next Sunday?

Could they be considered the greatest collegiate golf team ever?

Junior Michael Weaver said winning next week “would put an exclamation point” on the Bears’ season. “There wouldn’t be any doubt we’re the best team they’ve ever seen.”

Perhaps it’s not that clear-cut, but the growing mountain of evidence is compelling:

– The Bears’ 11 tournament victories eclipsed the unofficial NCAA “modern-era” record of 10 since regional qualifying was added in 1988.

 – Their record against NCAA Division I opponents in 13 tournaments is a combined 173-3-1, and they won their 11 titles by an average margin of 14.72 strokes.

– In the two tournaments they didn’t win, the Bears finished second and third, falling short by a total of four strokes.

– All five Cal golfers have won at least once tournament title, topped by sophomore Michael Kim’s four victories.

“I kind of shake my head, like you’ve got to be kidding me,” Steve Desimone, in his 34th year as Cal’s coach, said of his team’s performance.

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THE FANTASTIC FIVE

Here’s a breakdown of Cal’s top five golfers, with Golf Week national ranking in parenthesis:

– Michael Kim (1): Average 18-hole score 70.1, 4 tournament wins, 6 top-5 finishes.
– Joel Stalter (13): Average 18-hole score 70.7, 2 wins, 4 top-5 finishes.
– Michael Weaver (16): Average 18-hole score 70.9, 1 win, 6 top-5 finishes.
– Max Homa (20): Average 18-hole score 70.8, 1 win, 5 top-5 finishes.
– Brandon Hagy (23): Average 18-hole score 71.0, 1 win, 5 top-5 finishes.

BAY AREA CHAMPIONS AT NCAA GOLF

Cal is favored to become the ninth Bay Area team to win the NCAA golf championship. Here are the first eight to do it:
1939: Stanford-x
1942: Stanford-y
1946: Stanford
1948: San Jose State
1953: Stanford
1994: Stanford
2004: Cal
2007: Stanford
x — The first official NCAA golf championship
y — Stanford shared title with LSU

 

Posted on Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Under: Golf, NCAA Tournament | No Comments »
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Softball: Bears bow out of NCAA regionals

The Cal women’s softball team was eliminated from the postseason on Sunday after a 3-1 loss to host Michigan in the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional.

The Bears (38-19) fell behind 2-0, got one run back when Cheyenne Cordes homered in the third, but never could catch the No. 7 Wolverines (48-10).

The Bears, coming out of the losers bracket, needed to beat UM twice Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals.

Jolene Henderson allowed seven hits and struck out six in the loss, and her sister Danielle Henderson had two hits.

Posted on Sunday, May 19th, 2013
Under: NCAA Tournament, Softball | No Comments »
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Golf: Cal roars to record victory at NCAA regional, Weaver rallies to share medalist honors

Cal’s top-ranked men’s golf team completed its wire-to-wire victory at the NCAA Pullman Regional, winning a modern NCAA-record 11th tournament this season. Leading the way was junior Michael Weaver, who played the Masters earlier this spring and Saturday rallied to earn a share of medalist honors.

The Bears (265-276-280-821) finished 43 strokes under par and beat runnerup Texas Christian by 20 strokes at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club. Saint Mary’s was third, USC fourth.

Cal previously shared the NCAA record of 10 tournament titles with the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team.

“I’ve been doing this for 34 years and there’s never been a team that’s been close to this,” Cal coach Steve Desimone said about the record. “There are a lot of reasons for it but primarily it has happened because these guys have understood all along what was out there for us and they’ve worked so hard. They are the epitome of a team.”

As one of the top five finishing teams at the Regionals, Cal advances to the NCAA Championships, May 28 through June 2 at Alpharetta, Ga.

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Posted on Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Under: Golf, NCAA Tournament | 2 Comments »
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Softball: Henderson’s no-hitter keeps Cal alive

Senior Jolene Henderson powered Cal to a 6-0 win over Valparaiso (35-27) on Saturday afternoon, keeping the Bears alive in the Ann Arbor Regional of the NCAA tournament.

Cal (38-18) plays Sunday against No. 7 Michigan (47-10), which beat the Bears 5-0 earlier in the day. The Bears must beat the Wolverines twice to win the Regional and advance to the Super Regional round next week.

Cal is 7-2 all-time vs. Michigan, but the Wolverines have won the past two meetings, including Saturday’s matchup.

Henderson struck out seven, walked no one and allowed just one baserunner (on an error) in her seven-inning gem. It was her fourth career no-hitter.

Victoria Jones drove in two runs for the Bears and Khala Taylor had three hits.

Posted on Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Under: NCAA Tournament, Softball | 2 Comments »
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Softball: Bears blanked by Michigan at NCAAs

Cal lost 5-0 to host Michigan in a second-round winners-bracket game at the NCAA tournament Ann Arbor Regional on Saturday and will play at 2:30 p.m. PDT against either Central Michigan or Valparaiso.

The Bears (37-18) committed three errors and allowed the No. 7 Wolverines three unearned runs and now find themselves one defeat away from postseason elimination. Ashley Decker had two hits for Cal.

Lauren Sweet hit a pair of home runs for Michigan (47-10) and sophomore Sara Driesenga scattered five hits and struck out eight to win her 28th game of the season.

Posted on Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Under: NCAA Tournament, Softball | No Comments »
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Softball: Henderson sisters power Bears

Sophomore Danielle Henderson hit two home runs and senior Jolene Henderson pitched a two-hitter, lifting the Bears (37-17) to an 8-1 win over Central Michigan in their NCAA Ann Arbor (Mich.) Regional opener.

Cal plays a winners-bracket game Saturday against No. 7 Michigan (46-10), which beat Valparaiso 5-0.

Victoria Jones and Lindsey Ziegenhirt also homered for Cal.

Jolene Henderson struck out eight and allowed one unearned run. She is expected to face Michigan sophomore Sara Driesenga, who pitched her own two-hitter and struck out six against Valparaiso.

Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2013
Under: NCAA Tournament, Softball | No Comments »
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