All-American Tarah Murrey bumps a low ball in last Friday's match against UC Riverside. Photo:

The Cal women’s volleyball team, after sweeping its opponents last weekend, has grabbed the top rank in the nation, according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. It’s the first time in the team’s history that Cal has led the national rankings.

Cal went into this season ranked third, behind Penn State and USC. The Nittany Lions, national champions for the past four years, were upset by Oregon last weekend, and the Trojans were in turn beaten by the Ducks. Penn State swept Cal 3-0 in last year’s national championship.

“It is an honor that some of the coaches feel we are deserving of the number-one ranking,” Cal head coach Rich Feller said. “It is great recognition for our program and the hard work we have put in. However, I will say again that the ranking at the end of the season means more than the beginning. We will work hard to continue to earn the respect we have been given.”

The Bears are at a tournament in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend, playing Long Island University and UVa today, and East Carolina tomorrow. The team returns home for a tournament next weekend, facing UT Arlington, Nevada, Sacramento State and Georgetown, before facing arch-rival Stanford (currently ranked sixth) at home in the Big Spike on September 13.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...