Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Volleyball Set to Take on Alabama A&M
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 30, 2000
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    A Look at the Pac-10 Co-Champs: After a school recorded setting 2000 performance, the Arizona volleyball team will extend its season in the NCAA Tournament for a fifth-straight year. As Pac-10 Co-Champs with USC, Arizona was the first of six conference schools to advance to the post season, earning the Pac-10s automatic bid by virtue of the leagues tiebreaking rules. The Wildcats are coming off a win in the consolation match at the Community Bankers Classic. The Cats defeated San Jose State 3-0 to earn a split in the two day event, having lost to Colorado State 3-1 in the opening match.

    A Look at the Lady Bulldogs: Arizona will face Alabama A&M for the first time in its history in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Led by Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year DeAnna Hines, the Lady Bulldogs were the SWAC Champions, defeating Prairie View A&M 3-0 in the conference championship. Alabama A&M finished the season 31-2 overall, 12-0 in the SWAC. As a team, the Bulldogs finished the 2000 regular season with a .344 attack percentage, averaging 15.7 kills per game, 12.9 assists and 12.9 digs per game. Hines, who hit .461 this season, has been among the national leaders in hitting percentage all season. She also leads Alabama A&M with a 1.19 block per game average. Other players to watch are setter Nikki Tilton (11 apg), outside hitters Phatty Arbuckle (3.83 kpg, 2.15 dpg) and Monica Thompson (3.69 kpg, 2.48 dpg).

    Arizona In the NCAAs: The Wildcats have been to the NCAA Tournament 15 times in school history prior to this season, tenth-best among Division I teams, and own an all-time record of 12-15. Head coach David Rubio has now led the team into the NCAAs seven times in his nine years at the helm. With a record of 8-6, Rubio is Arizonas winningest coach in post season play. Arizona advanced to the regional semifinals a season ago, defeating Virginia 3-0 and sweeping Texas on its home floor in the first and second rounds. The Wildcats held a 1-0 advantage over eventual NCAA runner-up Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., before falling 3-1 to the Cardinal in the Sweet 16. Arizona returns five-of-six starters from the 1999 regional semifinal team and 11 letterwinners overall.

    Arizona Vs. NCAA Tournament Teams: The Wildcats faced 12 of the 64 tournament teams in the regular season, posting a 13-4 record against them. UA split with top seed USC and UCLA. Defeated Washington State, Stanford and Arizona State twice. Downed BYU, Utah, Santa Clara, San Jose State and Florida and lost to Colorado State and UC Santa Barbara.

    Pac-10 Honors: The Wildcats took home a large portion of the Pac-10 postseason honors. Setter Dana Burkholder became the first Arizona player in school history to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year. The junior was recognized by the conference coaches as an All-Pac-10 performer as well, her second straight selection. Joining Burkholder on the All-Conference team were seniors Marisa DaLee and Allison Napier. DaLee becomes just the second Arizona player to garner All-Pac-10 honors three times in a career and the first to be named such in three consecutive seasons (1998, 99, 2000; Barb Bell was All-Pac-10 in 1993, 95 and 96). It was the first such honor for Napier who was a Freshman All-Pac-10 selection in 1997. Junior Jill Talbot and sophomore Lisa Rutledge were honorable mention All-Pac-10 team members.

    Pac-10 Coach of the Year: The Arizona players werent the only ones to be recognized for the successful Wildcat season. Ninth-year Arizona head coach David Rubio was tabbed as the Pac-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year. Rubio has taken a team that went winless in the Pac-10 the season prior to his arrival and turned them into conference champions. The Wildcats are 169-91 (.650) overall under Rubio and a school-best 93-69 (.574) in the Pac-10. He shared the coaching honors with USCs Jerritt Elliott.

    Pac-10 History: Since Pac-10 volleyball play started in 1986 only two schools had won or shared the Pac-10 title. With its victory over Arizona State (11/18) Arizona changed all that, becoming the first school other than UCLA (seven titles) or Stanford (eight titles) to win at least a share of the title. The Wildcats finished the conference season 16-2, tied with USC for first place.

    Tie Breaker: With Arizona and USC even in the wins and losses column, the Pac-10 tie breaking rules were used to determine the school that would receive the Conferences automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Since neither team won the season series, splitting it 1-1, the deadlock was broken by games won. Arizona defeated USC in four games in the head-to-head match up to the Women of Troys three, making Arizona the first of six Pac-10 teams to make the post season tournament.

    Non-Conference Competition: The Wildcats have faced a daunting non-conference schedule this season. UA has matched up with No. 6 Colorado State, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 BYU, No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, No. 14 Utah and No.19 Baylor. Arizona is 9-2 against non-conference teams.

    Ranked Opponents: The Wildcats are 8-4 this season against teams ranked in the top 25. UA has picked up victories over No. 4 USC, No.7 UCLA, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 BYU, No. 15 and No. 17 Stanford, No. 18 Utah and No. 19 Baylor. UAs win over No.4 USC was the highest ranked opponent the Wildcats had beaten since they upended top-ranked UCLA in 1993. Arizonas four loses this season have come at the hands of No. 6 USC, No. 6 Colorado State, No. 10 UCLA and No. 14 UC Santa Barbara. The Wildcats are 17-0 against non-ranked opponents.

    Thirty Something: Senior Allison Napier became just the eighth player in Arizona history to record a match with 30 or more kills. Her Senior Night performance of 34 kills against Arizona State (11/18) is tied for third-best on the list and the most for any UA player since 1991. Napier, who hit .329 in the match, is just the fourth player to accomplish the feat in four games. Kristi Colson owns the record for a four-game match with 38. The all-time high for kills is 41, set in five games in 1985 by Melissa McLinden. Napier has led Arizona in kills in 15 matches this season.

    West Wins: In a match between two of the top teams in the their respective regions, Arizona and No. 9 Florida battled it out in McKale Center with East-West bragging rights on the line. The five-game, hard fought match went in favor of the Wildcats, who rallied back from an early 2-0 deficit to quash the upset minded Gators, stopping UFs season-best win streak at 15 matches in the process. The match was Arizonas fourth five-game match of the season and just the first for Florida. Arizona now has victories over eight top 25 teams this season and own a 4-2 record against teams in the top 10, with UAs losses coming to then 10th-ranked UCLA and No. 6 USC.

    Arizona in the Pac-10: The Wildcats remain atop the conference in a number of statistical categories. With a .320 team hitting percentage, a conference best, the Wildcats are the top hitting school in the Pac-10. Individually, Arizona holds three of the top six spots in hitting. Marisa DaLee and Stefani Saragosa rank first and fifth, respectively, with percentages of .422 and .358. Jill Talbot is sixth at .349. Arizona slipped to second behind UCLA in kills per game with 17.94. Senior Allison Napier is sixth individually, with 4.07 kills per game. The Cats are second, behind UCLA, with a 15.91 assist per game and are also second with 3.14 blocks per game. Setter Dana Burkholder is second in the Pac-10 with 13.69 apg, while Saragosa is top-Cat in blocks, the sophomore is third in the Pac with 1.23 bpg, DaLee is fifth with 1.09 bpg.

    Match by Match: Previous to this season, the Arizona volleyball teams record had never reached above .500 in the Pac-10. Arizonas Pac-10 final record of 16-2 this season has brought the all-time conference record to 136-134, two matches over .500.

    On the Mark: Arizona has been deadly accurate so far this season. UA has hit over .300 as a team in 21 of its 29 matches this season. Six players have hit .500 or better in 18 matches thus far, including 11 by senior Marisa DaLee alone (See list to the left).

    Keep It Down!!: Oregons 11 total points (11/3) against Arizona ties for second on the all-time list for the least total points scored against a UA team. The Wildcats held Cal-State Fullerton to a school record 10 total points in a 1983 match.

    And Make It Snappy: Arizonas 55-minute victory over Oregon (11/3) was the fifth shortest match in school history. The 3-0 victory trails only UAs matches against College of Santa Fe (1984, 45 minutes), Northern Arizona (1984, 50 minutes), Bowling Green (1988, 50 minutes) and Texas Tech (1993, 52 minutes).

    Youre in Good Hands: Setter Dana Burkholder is now second on Arizonas all-time assists list. Her ninth assist against California (10/27) gave her 3,518 for her career and moved her past Heather McCormack for second at Arizona. Burkholder, who has 3,916 assists in her three seasons at Arizona, now trails only Laura Bartsch and the 4,024 assists she dished out from 1992-95. She has 1,410 assists in 2000, second on the single-season list (Heather McCormack, 1990, 1,478).

    Making a Clean Sweep: For the first time in school history, Arizona swept the season series from the two Pac-10 schools in the Bay Area. The Wildcats downed California 3-0 on September 30 and October 27, and also went the minimum against Stanford September 29 and scored a school-first Maples Pavilion win on October 26. As a team, the Wildcats hit .333 with 249 kills against the Bears and Cardinal while limiting the two schools to a .192 kill percentage. Senior Marisa DaLee put an impressive exclamation point on her career against the two, hitting an outstanding .528 in the four matches with 53 kills on 89 swings and only six errors. She also tied with Allison Napier for a team high 11 blocks.

    1000 Kill Club: Senior Marisa DaLees second kill in game two of Arizonas 3-0 win over Stanford (9/29) made her just the ninth player in Arizona history with 1,000 kills. Arizonas 1000 Kill Club
    1. Barb Bell (1993-96) 1,859
    2. Terry Lauchner (1987-90) 1,636
    3. Melissa Ferris (1991-94) 1,273
    4. Melissa McLinden (1982-85) 1,213
    5. Marisa DaLee (1997-Current) 1,196
    6. Charita Johnson (1991-94) 1,134
    7. Kristi Colson (1988-91) 1,044
    8. Anita Moss (1980-83) 1,036
    9. Kiyomi Morino (1984-87) 1,016

    Through the Turnstiles: The Wildcats are 12th in the nation in average attendance this season. 20,,838 fans entered the doors of McKale Center this season to watch the Wildcats. Arizona also holds the top two single match attendance figures in the Pac-10 this season. The Arizona-USC match brought the largest amount of spectators ever for an Arizona home volleyball match. The 7,298 fans on hand was also a Pac-10 record. Arizonas final regular season match, against Arizona State, had 3,550 fans attend, the second largest non-midnight madness gathering for volleyball in McKale in school history.

    20/20 vision: Allison Napier recorded just the 17th 20 kill-20 dig match in Arizona history against UCLA (10/12). The senior outside hitter had 29 kills against the Bruins and 21 digs. The 20-20 match was the first for an Arizona player since Keisha Johnson Demps tallied 21 kills and 20 digs against Arizona State in 1998.

    Making a Case For Deja Vu: Senior Marisa DaLee tied her own school hitting percentage record against Washington Oct. 20. Her 13 kills and one error on 16 attempts, a .750 hitting percentage, against the Huskies were the exact same numbers she put up in Arizonas 3-0 win vs. UTEP last November. DaLee shares the record with three other players Beth Grupenhoff (1982), Tamika Denis (1994) and Michelle Fanger (1997).

    Making a Case For Deja Vu II: Junior setter Dana Burkholder collected her third career triple-double in Arizonas five-game loss to UCLA Oct. 12. Her 15 kill, 67 assist, 22 dig performance came almost exactly one year to the day that she recorded her first career triple-double. In what appears to be a strange twist of fate, the Bakersfield, Calif., native posted 11 kills, 70 assists and 14 digs Oct. 11, 1999, in a five game loss to..... UCLA. This seasons triple-double was the second of the year for Burkholder, having recorded 10 kills, 54 assists and 10 digs Sept. 2, against San Diego.

    Streakin to the School Record: Arizona won a school record 14 matches in-a-row from Sept.1 to Oct.10. After its opening five-game loss to UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 1, Arizona reeled off 11 three-game wins (including the last seven straight), two four-game victories and a five-game defeat of Arizona State to break the previous best 10 in-a-row the 1998 squad started the season with. Impressively, the Cats were able to accomplish much of their success away from the confines of McKale Center, eight of the 12 matches were played on the road and one in a neutral site. Arizona knocked off four nationally ranked schools during the streak (No.10 BYU, No. 15 Stanford, No. 18 Utah and No. 19 Baylor), of which, only one match went more than three games. As a team, Arizona outscored its opponents 676-371 and hit .354 with 879 kills on 1778 attempts, meanwhile Wildcat opponents were limited to a .169 attack percentage. Senior middle blocker Marisa DaLee was impressive during the winning streak, hitting an outstanding .462 with a team-leading 185 kills. She failed to hit over .300 in a match only twice during the streak. Junior setter Dana Burkholder tallied 668 assists, a 14.52 assist per game average.

    Other School Records: Arizonas 16 conference wins were the most ever for a Wildcat team. Arizona broke a 16-year old school record with its .441 hitting percentage against the Bruins on Nov. 11. Arizona collected 64 kills on 118 attempts while committing 12 errors against UCLA. The Wildcats marksmanship bettered the school record for attack percentage in a four-game match. The previous record, set in 1984, was .421 (63-15-114) against Pittsburgh.
    In Arizonas victory over Arizona State on Sept. 13, the Wildcats had 101 kills, breaking the previous school best for a five game match of 96 set in 1986 against Oklahoma. The 91 assists in that same match tied Arizonas best team effort set in 1987, again, against Oklahoma. Junior Dana Burkholder had 84 of the 91 assists to take over the top spot in the record book, breaking Heather McCormacks 1991 mark of 77.
    Arizonas team hitting percentage of .483 in its win at San Diego State, Sept. 2, set a school record for accuracy in a three game match. The Cats had 52 kills on 89 attempts while committing only nine errors. The previous mark was held by the 1994 squad who hit .461 against California.

    Career Records: Senior Marisa DaLees ongoing streak of 326 games played is the third-best run in Arizona history. She trails Barb Bells 383 and current Arizona Associate Head Coach Charita Johnsons 348. DaLee has played in 114 matches in her Arizona career, 14th-best all-time. Junior Dana Burkholder has started 83 career matches, 10th-best at Arizona and tops among current team members. Her 13.01 career assist per game average is the best all-time at Arizona.

    Wildcat Pac-10 Players of the Week: Junior setter Dana Burkholder was named the Sept. 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week by the conference for her performance at the Wildcat Classic Sept. 8-9. The Classic MVP had an impressive tournament, posting 126 assists, 22 digs and seven block assists in the Wildcats three match sweep of New Mexico State, No. 19 Baylor and Santa Clara. She chipped in with 22 kills, including a then-career-high 13 against Santa Clara, and hit an impressive .606 for the weekend. It was Burkholders second Player of the Week honor in her Arizona career, having garnered the award last season for her efforts against the Washington schools in November.
    A week later, fifth-year senior Marisa DaLee garnered the award. The Phoenix, Ariz., native had 47 kills on 79 attempts with only 10 errors against Arizona State, 10th-ranked Brigham Young and 18th-ranked Utah. Her .468 hitting percentage helped Arizona go 3-0 for the week and extend its win streak to eight matches. She also led UA with 17 total blocks for the week. She tallied four block solos and 13 block assists. In the Wildcats five game victory at Arizona State on Sept. 13, she tallied 20 kills on 37 attempts with only five errors. She also collected six blocks and four digs. At 10th-ranked BYU, DaLee hit a game-high .462 with 16 kills on 26 attempts and three errors. She led both teams with six blocks. At Utah, she hit a season-high .625. She rapped home 11 kills on 16 attempts with only a single error.
    Allison Napier was the third Arizona player to earn the Player of the Week (Oct. 2) honor this season. The senior from Santa Ana, Calif., led the Wildcats to two, 3-0 sweeps over 15th-ranked Stanford and California Sept. 29-30. She recorded a team-high 37 total kills (6.17 KPG) on 73 attempts with eight errors (a .397 hitting percentage) in the Wildcat wins. Against Stanford she had a match-high 16 kills, a .419 hitting percentage, four digs and four blocks. A night later, she posted a career-high tying 21 kills while hitting .381 against the Golden Bears. She chipped in with four more digs and three more blocks. It is Napiers first conference honor in her career.
    In an encore performance, senior middle blocker Marisa DaLee was named the Oct. 30 Pac-10 Player of the Week. Her second weekly honor this season made her just the second Wildcat to earn the honor twice in a season. Barb Bell won the award twice during the 1993 season. DaLee also becomes the first Arizona player to be named four times in a career to the honor (she won the award once in 1998 and 99). The Phoenix, Ariz., native hit .556 in Arizonas first road sweep of Stanford and California. She had 27 kills (4.50 kpg) with only two errors on 45 attempts and three blocks. Against 17th-ranked Stanford on Oct. 26, DaLee had 15 kills on 24 attempts and one error for a team-high .583 hitting percentage. She also added two blocks in the Wildcats first season sweep over the Cardinal. One night later, DaLee had 12 kills on 21 attempts, again with only one error for a match-high .524 hitting percentage in a victory over California.

    Talbots Tally: Junior Jill Talbots .737 hitting percentage (15-1-19) against Stanford ranks as the second best single match performance for a Wildcat player ever (five attempts per game min.). Her tally trails only the .750 percentage put up by Beth Grupenhoff (1982), Tamika Denis (1994), Michelle Fanger (1997) and Marisa DaLee (1999 and 2000).

    All-Tournament Awards: Setter Dana Burkholder picked up her third all-tournament award of the season at UoPs Community Bankers Classic Nov. 24-25. Arizonas three match sweep through the Wildcat Classic Sept. 8-9, earned four Wildcat players all-tournament honors. Joining Burkholder, who earned top honors as Classic MVP, were all-tournament selections Lisa Rutledge, Jill Talbot and Marisa DaLee. Rutledge knocked home 26 kills for the weekend on 54 attempts while committing just six errors (a .444 hitting percentage). Talbot averaged 2.33 kills and 2.46 digs per game for Arizona, while DaLee rapped out 29 kills on 49 swings and only four errors for a .510 hitting percentage. Burkholder and DaLee were both named to SDSUs Diggin It 2000 All-Tournament team Sept. 1-2.

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