Grizzly sports starting strong

Grizzly+sports+starting+strong

Eric Yee, Sports Editor

It’s a new season and all teams are taking advantage of a fresh start.

The women’s golfers got off to one of their best starts in school history, while the powerhouse football and volleyball teams continue to roll over opponents.

Coming into the season, the Grizzly football team was ranked No.8 in Northern California by SportsStars.com.

Led by running backs Blake Bierwith and CJ Cornwell and quarterback Cameron Owen, head coach Eric Billeci has a strong core of experienced seniors to work with as Cal hopes to content for EBAL and NCS championships.

Fans had much to celebrate after Cal’s 24-7 homecoming win against Foothill on Oct. 11.  Junior Simi Hingano totaled 106 yards and Bierwith added 79.

Cal (5-1) entered league play on Sept. 27 with a 16-14 win against Granada. Cornwell opened the game with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The team opened the season with a 46-20 win against Washington on Aug. 30. Bierwith rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Overall, the football team has been able to score with ease, and is expected to find success for the remainder of the season.

The women’s volleyball team is coming off NCS and EBAL championships, so all eyes are on coach Todd Baham’s Grizzlies.

Even though the team is without NCS Volleyball Player of the Year and All-EBAL MVP Sabrina Clayton, who earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University, seniors Caitlyn Quindoy and Bridget Heins will try to fill her big shoes this year.

With pre-league play set aside, the Grizzlies (17-5) suffered a loss to Foothill on Sept. 24 to open league play.

The team’s next game against Monte Vista on Sept. 26 ended with a better result.

Heading into the game, the Grizzlies were underdogs to one of the best volleyball teams in the state.

Heins led the team with six blocks and 22 attack kills in the win over the Mustangs.

One of the greatest feats for the team this year was winning the Irvington Tournament on Sept. 28.

The women’s golf team has made huge strides since its winless season two years ago.  After making NCS last year, Cal won four of its first five matches to open the season.

The biggest news during this stretch were the team’s first wins in school history against perennial powers Amador Valley and Foothill.

In the historic match against Foothill, Cal won 235-246 at The Bridges to open league play. The team was led by sophomore Fericia Terciano’s 44 and freshman Ashley Truong’s 45.

Cal’s narrow 235-238 win at home against Amador Valley on Oct. 8 was led by sophomore Alexis Guimaraes and Terciano’s rounds of 43.

Cal has received strong contributions from senior captain Qi Tian, juniors Jenn Zeng and Chi Cheng, Guimares, Terciano, and Truong.

The team tied for fourth with Foothill at the EBAL Tournament on Monday.

The cross country team has seen consistent production from top runner Madison Ricks.

A senior, Ricks earned first and a personal record two-mile time at the Monte Vista Invitational  on Sept. 3 by running the course in 12 minutes and 30 seconds.

Ricks followed up with another victory in the three-mile run at the Farmers Invitational in Hayward on Sept. 21.  Her 18 minutes and 30 second time was 39 seconds faster than the second place finisher.

At the more prestigious Stanford Invitational a week later, Ricks finished 20th in a field of more than 1,000 runners in the 3-plus mile course.

On the tennis courts, Cal is structured around a large group of seniors including the 2012 All-EBAL first-team doubles partners Mia Nakajima and Jessica Ma.

The team is coming off a tough 8-1 loss to Monte Vista on Sept. 24. The lone win came in a singles match from freshman Ana Maria Stoenescu.