Aaron Du wins first collegiate men's golf tournament; Cal Rugby dominates Arizona & Grand Canyon
And the rest of the Cal Athletics results from this past week
Cal Men’s Golf - sophomore Aaron Du wins John Burns Intercollegiate
With the co-leader already done, Aaron Du birdied the last two holes to win his first collegiate tournament from the Ocean Course Hokuala in Lihue, Hawaii. Du finished the three rounds with a score of -13 and won the tournament by two strokes.
As a team, Cal T7 in a field of 18. Cal’s team score did not include that of freshman Simon Kwon who finished T8 while playing as an individual; Kwon might have just punched his ticket into the starting lineup of 5 with this performance.
The rest of the Cal Bears finished T40 (Ethan Chung), T58 (Sampson Zheng), and T69 (Costas Panay and Finigan Tilly).
The Bears will next travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for their next tournament this weekend.
Cal Rugby (20-0) gets two road wins in Arizona
Despite going three weeks without an official match due to the cancellation of the UBC matches (hard for the Canadian team to cross the border due to the ongoing pandemic) and California Maritime’s refusal to pay USA Rugby a fee to be eligible to play, Cal Rugby looked very good this past weekend down in Arizona.
Cal 94, Arizona 10
The Bears scored 5 tries in the first 15 minutes and never looked back. Fourteen tries were tallied by 10 different Golden Bears.
Cal 84, Grand Canyon 0
Max Schumacher scored four tries and Max Murphy added three tries. Cal again scored 14 tries in a match.
While both Arizona and Grand Canyon are considered solid, top-25 quality opponents, Cal will host a much tougher foe in BYU this Saturday. Cal will also be celebrating their 140th season in this homecoming match. Even with the one-sided scorelines, the Bears are not completely satisfied with their performance.
"The main thing we had trouble with was handling errors which will be a big focus heading into this week against BYU," Schumacher said. "Plan execution will be another focus for us, especially with our halftime adjustments. We need to be able to adjust more efficiently in order to be successful."
Cal Women’s Gymnastics (6-0, 5-0 in Pac-12)
The “one day better” motto continues as Cal set a new season-high score of 197.575 to stay in the driver’s seat to win the program’s first Pac-12 title. Cal still got two more Pac-12 contests (at No.15 ASU this Sunday and at always dangerous UCLA next Sunday) to close out their Pac-12 slate.
Performing up to their ability (and honestly probably should have a slightly higher team score from what I saw on TV), Cal had no trouble against Arizona even though they posted their best road score of the season.
Check out the highlights from the Pac-12 Network below.
Pac-12 Network also chatted with Cal senior Maya Bordas. Bordas, the reigning co-NCAA champ on the uneven bars, had a brilliant routine that was somehow *only* a 9.95 from the two judges.
The team got senior Milan Clausi back after she had missed the last two meets due to being sick. Clausi contributed to the balance beam team score of 49.475 that was the second-best in program history.
After a slowish start (where Cal was somewhat fortunate to still beat Stanford), Cal has gotten better each week. Their ranking (currently No.9) should also start to reflect their true talent soon.
Cal Men’s Gymnastics breaks 400 point threshold (401.150) in win over Air Force
Led by a career-best performance from senior co-captain Yu-Chen Lee, Cal Men’s Gymnastics post the best team score in a few years by breaking the 400-point threshold. Lee earned the Gymnast of the Week honor from MPSF as well as national honor from CGA.
Of course, Cal still got a way to go to potentially catch the best in the country. Stanford scored 415+ in winning the Big Flip-Off over the Bears in the previous week. Nonetheless, this result is an important milestone for the team in its attempt to leap from perennial national championship participants to being again a true national championship contender.
Cal Baseball (3-1)
Cal Softball (8-3)
Golden Bears went 3-2 at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, AZ last weekend before a satisfying rout of SMC in the team’s home opener on Wednesday. Check out the highlights of Cal’s home opener below.
On the weekend, Cal defeated Illinois State 3-1 before splitting two games against Portland State. The Bears rallied to tie the game in B7 against Minnesota but lost in the 8th. Cal then closed out the tournament with a run-rule win over UTEP in just 5 innings.
Offensively, the Cal Bears are hitting well. Makena Smith (0.516/0.590/0.935) is leading the team with 4 homers. Tatum Anzaldo (0.500/0.548/0.658) and Sona Halajian (0.484/0.514/0.742) are also putting up some fantastic numbers through two weeks of games.
Sona Halajian has also logged the most time inside the circle with 25.2 IP of 2.73 ERA ball. Freshman Annabel Teperson and Haylei Archer are just behind in innings with 20.2 and 15.1 IP, respectively.
The Bears will next play Fresno State and Mount St. Mary’s (a doubleheader each) from Stanford this weekend. Their next home game is another midweek affair. Cal’s first home weekend series will be their Pac-12 opener vs. Washington on March 18th.
Cal Women’s Tennis (6-4) split dual meets in SoCal
Even with freshman star Katja Wiersholm out, Cal was able to beat San Diego State 5-2 on Sunday. Valentina Ivanov, now flipped with Jessica Alsola, clinched the win on No.3 singles.
Wiersholm did play doubles to help the Bears get the doubles point, but UCLA swept the singles for a 6-1 non-conference win on Monday.
Despite the loss, Cal still managed to move up a spot in the ITA rankings.
Cal will host the defending NCAA champs Texas on Sunday. Cal lost 2-4 to Texas in the ITA Indoors consolation match just two weeks earlier.
Cal Women’s Swimming at Pac-12 Championships this week
The Pac-12 Championships started on Wednesday, Cal finished 3rd (behind Stanford and USC) in 200y Medley Relay and placed 2nd (behind Stanford) in the 800y Free Relay. Golden Bears also had no divers in the 1-m diving event.
While Stanford is the heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 title, Cal should still place 2nd as a team by the end of Saturday.
Cal Men’s Swimming - DQ on the last relay gave the dual meet win to Stanford
While I still believe that Cal is the favorite for the Pac-12 Championship next week and a good bet to challenge Texas for the NCAA crown, this recent loss to Stanford was rather frustrating.
First of all, this meet was also going to be close, partly due to Stanford getting the maximum 36 points from the two diving events because Cal has no divers. Nonetheless, Cal should have edged Stanford except the Cal A-Relay DQ’ed on the last transfer (when they apparently had the lead) so that the point swing was just enough for Stanford to win on their Senior Day.
This will hopefully serve as a learning experience for the Bears. It is much better to make that mistake in the regular season than in the postseason.
Cal Men’s Basketball (11-17, 4-13 in Pac-12)
Only for completeness, do I include the two frustrating losses by Cal Men’s Basketball.
Cal 62, Colorado 70
Cal 58, Utah 60
Cal Women’s Basketball (12-10, 2-8 in Pac-12)
Given the quality of the opponents, one might be able to argue that these close losses by Cal Women’s Basketball are moral victories.
Cal 47, Oregon 52
Cal 59, Oregon State 68
No.2 Cal Women’s Water Polo (11-1, 0-1 in MPSF) lost at No.3 USC
Cal 7, USC 13
It was a close match for the bulk of the first half except that the Trojans had an immediate answer to basically every Cal goal. USC used a string of goals just before and after halftime to put this match away. The final result indicates that the Golden Bears still got a way to go to contend for the program’s first NCAA title.
The Trojans Olympians shined brighter than the “Calympians” in this one (I just saved you the need to watch the USC-dominated highlight below).
The Bears will next travel to UCI for the Barbara Kalbus Invitational where they will likely face off against a Stanford, a UCLA, or a USC again.
Cal Lacrosse (0-4)
Cal 6, San Diego State 15
Amanda Morse scored a hat-trick for the Bears.
Cal 5, No.15 Denver 15
Liz Scott got her second hat-trick of the season.
The Cal home-opening weekend could have gone a lot better.
Cal hosts UC Davis on Saturday in what is arguably their best chance at a win all season long. Cal lost both matches to UC Davis last year but they were close; the Bears do not have Fresno State on the schedule this year because the only team that Cal beat in 2021 (twice) has been axed by their school.