Six Bears Capture All-Conference Honors

Photo: Cal setter Carli Lloyd, who is currently third in the nation with 12.08 assists per set, was one of six Cal players to garner all-conference honors.
Nick Fradkin/File
Cal setter Carli Lloyd, who is currently third in the nation with 12.08 assists per set, was one of six Cal players to garner all-conference honors.

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Now that the No. 8 Cal volleyball team has posted its most successful regular-season record in program history, the postseason awards have begun to roll in.

On Monday, six of the 13 players on the Bears' (23-6, 13-5 in the Pac-10) roster were bestowed with Pac-10 all-conference honors.

Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd and junior outside hitter Hana Cutura were named to the first team-Lloyd's first such honor and Cutura's second.

Lloyd is currently second in the Pac-10 and third in the nation in assists per set with 12.08. Her most common target, Cutura, leads the conference in kills and points per set. Cutura's 4.47 kills per set also puts her at 11th in the nation.

"It is kind of a goal in the back of your head but it's never like, 'Okay, I have to do this. I have to get on the team,'" Lloyd said. "If our team succeeds and does well, then players get looked at. So it's basically (why) Hana and I have gotten on (the all-conference team)."

Junior middle blocker Mindi Wiley and senior Am'ra Solomon were also given honorable mentions.

Wiley averaged 1.05 blocks per set in the regular season, good for eighth in the Pac-10. She also had the eighth-best hitting percentage in the conference.

"My goal was just to be a solid part of our team and all season I was enthralled with not making hitting errors and not making service errors and I'm just glad it all paid off," Wiley said. "The award is great, but I wasn't expecting anything. Just that tacked on to putting up pretty good numbers is just good for me. I'm glad I was able to pull it off this season."

For her teammates, Solomon's honorable mention was perhaps the most meaningful award. Solomon, who is in her fifth year with the program, spent most of her previous four seasons on the bench behind All-American Angie Pressey. In her final season, Solomon has broken all of her career records and is currently second on the team with 280 kills-2.98 per set.

"It was really nice," Wiley said. "I think Am'ra deserves it above all, more than anyone. And I'm just glad I got to share that with her."

Cal also boasts two freshmen on the Pac-10 all-freshman team. Outside hitter Tarah Murrey and middle blocker Shannon Hawari were integral front-row presences throughout the season. Murrey recorded 239 kills and Hawari ranks fourth in the conference in hitting percentage, attacking at a rate of .390.

"I had no idea (that she had been named to the all-freshman team)," Hawari said. "I really didn't think I was going to get any recognition just because it's your freshman year. Have to pay your dues and everything. It's really nice that they did that for us."

The Bears host Siena College in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night, and their loaded roster of Pac-10 honorees could well give them an edge over the Saints.

"(Coach Rich Feller) says it all the time. One player getting an award is a reflection of the whole team," Wiley said. "And I'm glad that all of our hard work got recognized in just these six athletes, but it really is a reflection of the whole team."


Contact Katie Dowd at [email protected]

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