Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Volleyball Plays Host to Starwoods Plaza Hotel Thanksgiving Invitational
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 23, 1999
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#19 Arizona (18-9) at Starwoods Plaza Hotel Thanksgiving Invitational
Nov. 26/27, 1999
Matches #28-29

THIS WEEK: No. 19 Arizona (18-9) concludes its regular season by playing host to the Starwoods Plaza Hotel Thanksgiving Invitational. The tournament will include Cal Poly, Texas-El Paso and third-ranked Hawaii, host of the 1999 Final Four. The Cats will be positioning themselves for the NCAA Tournament, the brackets for which will be announced Sunday evening at 8:00 MST.

WILDCAT NOTES: The Cats rank 20th in the nation in blocking, averaging 2.96 blocks per game ... Arizona matched its best-ever conference mark of 12-6, set in 1997 and '98. UA's fourth-place finish in league play also equaled its best ever ('98) ... Arizona's eight attack errors at Oregon (11/19) were the fewest by a Wildcat team since UA committed just seven in a sweep vs. BYU on Sept. 28, 1985 ... The Cats swept the Washington schools on the road (11/5-6) for just the fourth time since Pac-10 play started in 1986, but for the second year in a row ... Arizona's 21-19 victory in game five of its match with Washington (11/5) marked the second-longest fifth game in school history. Arizona State defeated Arizona, 24-22, in Tucson on Oct. 15, 1993 ... The Cats took two games and forced three match points against UCLA (10/22) after the Bruins had lost just two games in their first 10 league contests ... Arizona (.220) was the first team to hit better than .200 against UCLA this season ... Arizona faced three consecutive ranked opponents (#17 Southern California, #6 UCLA, #8 Brigham Young) for the first time since November 15-21, 1996 ... Prior to defeating Arizona State (10/30), UA had dropped three straight contests for the first time since Oct. 6-19, 1996 ... The Cats were swept in a home Pac-10 weekend series (vs. USC/UCLA) for the first time since the same two schools did so on Nov. 10 and 12, 1995 ... UCLA sophomore Kristee Porter's 36 kills at Arizona (10/22) were the most ever by a Wildcat opponent ... The Cats' loss to Arizona State (10/1) broke a streak of 24 consecutive matches they had won when they out-hit their opponent ... The Cats' sweep of Oregon (9/17) marked the sixth time they had held a Pac-10 opponent below a .100 hitting percentage in each game of a match ... The 3,874 people in attendance at the Arizona-Nebraska match (9/11) marked the sixth-largest crowd ever to see a Wildcat volleyball contest ... The Cats rank 20th nationally in attendance, averaging 961 fans per match ... Arizona remained fifth in the Nov. 3 District 8 rankings ... The Cats' sweep of No. 18 San Diego (9/4) was their first victory over a ranked opponent since a five-game win at home against No. 7 USC on Nov. 21, 1997, breaking a seven-match losing streak ... Seven of the Cats' 1999 opponents were ranked in the AVCA preseason poll, including three of the top four: Stanford (No. 2); Nebraska (3); and Hawaii (4).

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: Arizona will play host to the Starwoods Plaza Hotel Thanksgiving Invitational, Friday, Nov. 26-Saturday, Nov. 27. Here's the tournament schedule:

Friday, Nov. 26
Cal Poly vs. Texas-El Paso 4 p.m.
Arizona vs. Hawaii 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 27
Arizona vs. Texas-El Paso 10:30 a.m.
Cal Poly vs. Hawaii 30 min. after 1st match

ALL-PAC-10 TEAM: Junior middle blocker Marisa DaLee and sophomore setter Dana Burkholder have been named to the 1999 All-Pac-10 volleyball team. The Cats join Stanford and UCLA as the only teams with multiple representatives on the squad. It is DaLee's second consecutive honor, joining Terry Lauchner (1988-89) and Barb Bell (1993, '95-'96) as the only UA players to be named All-Pac-10 more than once.

Outside hitter Lisa Rutlede earned first-team All-Pac-10 Freshman honors as well as honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades. Middle blocker Stefani Saragosa was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman.

ROAD WARRIORS: Arizona went 7-2 in Pac-10 road matches, winning its last six contests away from Tucson. The mark is the best ever by a Wildcat team in road league play. In each of the last two seasons, Arizona has gone 6-3 on the road in conference action. Prior to 1997, the Cats had never posted a winning league record away from McKale. Overall, Arizona is 8-3 on the road, losing only to Top-10 foes Stanford, UCLA and Nebraska.

SEBBAS SHINES: Subbing for the injured Stefani Saragosa, sophomore middle blocker Erin Sebbas stepped in as if she'd been starting all year. Sebbas, who had just five kills and six blocks in her one-and-a-half year career prior to the Cats' contest vs. Cal (11/12), posted a double-double against the Bears. She hit .381 (10-2-21) and recorded a match-best 10 blocks. She again performed admirably the next night against Stanford, when she led all Cats with five blocks.

JUNIOR NATIONALS: Sophomore Dana Burkholder and freshman Lisa Rutledge missed the last week of preseason practice and the first week (five matches) of the regular season representing the United States at the Junior World Games in Saskatoon and Edmonton, Canada, Aug. 28-Sept. 5. Burkholder, the club's starting setter, had competed for the U.S. team in 1998 as well. UA joined Stanford as the only schools with two players on the team, which qualified for the quarterfinals before being eliminated.

PAC-10 HONORS: Sophomore setter Dana Burkholder was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week (11/8) after leading the Cats to a road sweep of the Washington schools.

Burkholder posted 74 assists and a career-high seven blocks in the Cats' five-game win at Washington (11/5). The assist total was the fifth-best in Arizona history. In UA's sweep of Washington State, she added 38 assists. For the week, Burkholder averaged 14.0 assists per game and totaled 18 digs and 10 blocks. It was the first such honor of her career and the 11th ever by a Wildcat.

TRIPLE-DOUBLE: Sophomore setter Dana Burkholder posted her first career triple-double in the Cats' five-game loss to UCLA (10/22). The Bakersfield, Calif., native recorded a career-high 11 kills to go along with 70 assists (a then-season-best mark) and 14 digs. Her triple-double was the 18th in Arizona history and the fourth by a Wildcat setter. The last UA setter to accomplish the feat was Mary Linton vs. Stanford on Nov. 12, 1989. Earlier this year vs. Santa Clara (9/3), junior Marisa DaLee came within one dig of her first career triple-double.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES: Erin Sebbas earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 honors ... Marisa DaLee is the only Wildcat to have played in every game this season ... Jill Talbot hit a career-best .600 (10-1-15) at Washington State (11/6) ... Dana Burkholder set a career-high with seven blocks at Washington (11/5) and posted the fifth-best single-match assist total (74) in Arizona history ... Lisa Rutledge's 24 kills in the Washington match were the most by a Wildcat since Keisha Johnson's 25 at Oregon State (11/16/97) ... Marisa DaLee (11) and Raelene Elam (5) both matched their career-highs in blocks at Arizona State (10/30) ... DaLee set a career-high with 21 kills vs. UCLA (10/22) ... In the same match, Elam recorded her career-best in digs with 22 ... Elam posted her career-high hitting percentage mark (.556) vs. Oregon (9/17) ... DaLee passed the 1,000-attempt plateau for her career at Nebraska (9/11), qualifying her for Arizona's hitting percentage leaders list. Her career mark of .368 easily bests former teammate Erin Aldrich's (1996-97) previous standard of .300 ... DaLee's 11 block assists vs. Santa Clara (9/3) tied her for third on the Cats' single-match list ... Shannon Torregrosa became the first Arizona freshman ever to post a double-double in her collegiate debut at UTEP (9/1) ... She is also only the fifth UA freshman ever to start her first match under David Rubio (Heidi Bomberger '93; Allison Napier '97; Burkholder '98; Leslie DuBois '98) ... Burkholder ranks third among active Pac-10 players in career assists (2,309). DaLee is eighth in blocks (264) and 10th in kills (781), and Elam ranks eighth in digs (687) ... Freshman outside hitter Christina Frost is red-shirting the 1999 season.

WASHINGTON SWEEP: Arizona posted several noteworthy numbers in its three-game sweep of Washington (10/7) in Tucson. Among them were: *The Cats' .427 hitting percentage for the match was their fifth-best ever and their second-best in a Pac-10 contest. *Their .842 hitting percentage (16-0-19) in game two was the Cats' best-ever in a single game, besting the .700 they hit against Texas Tech (in Albuquerque) on Nov. 27, 1993, in game one. *Junior middle blocker Marisa DaLee's .667 hitting percentage for the match tied for the fifth- (now seventh-) best by an Arizona player. *The Cats came within one point in game two of its first-ever 15-0 win in a Pac-10 game. It was their fifth 15-1 victory in league play. Arizona has had four 15-0 wins out of league.

DaLEE HONORED: Junior middle blocker Marisa DaLee was named the first 1999 Pac-10 Player of the Week after leading the Cats to a 4-1 mark and a sweep of No. 18 San Diego the week of Sept. 6. It was the second such honor for DaLee, who also won it last Nov. 2, and the 10th ever by a Wildcat. DaLee hit .345 while averaging 4.18 kills and 1.29 blocks per game through the Cats' first five matches of the season. The 6-foot-3 Phoenix native put up those numbers without the assistance of the Cats' regular setter, Dana Burkholder, who missed the week's action while competing for the U.S. Junior National Team at the 10th World Championships in Canada.

HEAD COACH DAVID RUBIO: David Rubio (Cal State Northridge '82) is in his eighth season as head coach of the Cats and his 13th year overall. He is 141-85 (.624) with Arizona and has led UA to five NCAA Tournament appearances in the last six years. Rubio has led the Cats to three consecutive and four total 20-win seasons. He's coached eight All-Pac-10 and eight academic all-conference athletes. He ranks fifth all-time among Pac-10 coaches in winning percentage. Rubio is 261-150 (.635) overall. Arizona's win over Oregon State (9/16) was the 250th of his career. The Cats' match with Stanford (10/15) marked the 400th contest of his head coaching career. Their opening contest of the season, a victory over UTEP (9/1) was the 200th of Rubio's Arizona career.

ARIZONA VS. HAWAII: The Cats and Rainbow Wahine will be meeting for the eighth time, with Hawaii leading the series, 7-0 ... The teams have never met in Tucson ... Head coach David Rubio is 0-2 vs. Hawaii, as the Cats dropped a pair of matches in Honolulu in 1995.

Last Time vs. Hawaii (1995)
Date    Site    W/L     Results Scores
11/22   A       L       0-3     4-15, 8-15, 7-15
11/23   A       L       1-3     5-15, 15-5, 11-15, 2-15

ARIZONA VS. UTEP: The Cats and Miners will be meeting for the sixth time, with Arizona leading the series, 4-0-1 ... Arizona has won the only match between the two schools played in Tucson ... Head coach David Rubio is 1-0 vs. UTEP.

Earlier This Year vs. UTEP
Date    Site    W/L     Results Scores
9/1     A       W       3-0     15-11, 15-13, 15-13
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