Feller Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year

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After guiding the Cal volleyball team to its best record in school history and first Pac-10 title, coach Rich Feller received Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors on Tuesday. Six of his players were also recognized by the conference for exceptional play this season.

It is the second time the twelve-year head coach has received this award, with the first coming in 2003. The No. 4 Bears, who finished tied with Stanford atop the Pac-10, were projected to finish fifth. After losing three key starters, including last year's Pac-10 Player of the Year Hana Cutura, this was predicted to be a rebuilding season for the squad.

Instead, Feller revamped Cal's style of play to better suit his younger and faster players. Feller brought in former St. Mary's assistant coach Sam Crosson, the mastermind of Cal's fast offense and middle-middle defense.

Both changes have paid dividends for the team. Cal finished as the best blocking regiment in the conference and ranked third nationally. Sophomore middle hitters Kat Brown and Shannon Hawari were instrumental in that effort, finishing in the top three in blocks. Both were awarded All Pac-10 Honorable Mentions.

Senior setter Carli Lloyd finished as the only setter in the top ten in blocks, and guided an offense that averaged a .308 attack rate. Lloyd received her second All-Pac-10 nod, while junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey and sophomore opposite side hitter Correy Johnson got their first selections.

Freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan, who trails only Murrey in Cal kills, made the All-Freshman Team the tenth straight year the Bears have been represented on that team.

After finishing the regular season last Friday with a win over No. 20 Arizona, the Bears will host Utah State on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Christina Jones covers volleyball. Contact her at [email protected]

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