Nov. 4, 2010
No. 23 Arizona (5-5, 16-7) vs. No. 20 Oregon (4-7, 16-7)
Friday, Nov. 5
7 p.m. MST | McKale Memorial Center| Tucson, Ariz.
No. 23 Arizona (5-5, 16-7) vs. Oregon State (1-10 , 8-17)
Saturday, Nov. 6
7 p.m. MST | McKale Memorial Center| Tucson, Ariz.
Ahead This Week for UA Volleyball: The No. 23 Wildcats, currently on a two-match conference win streak, play host to No. 20 Oregon and Oregon State this weekend at McKale Center. UA is looking for the season sweep against both teams as the Cats topped each on the road last month. As the race towards the end of the season (and NCAA Tournament time) heats up, each match is crucial in the conference and national standings. The Cats have two home-stands and two road trips left for 2010 before the postseason.
Stay Connected: There are many mediums for you to stay connected with Arizona Volleyball...First and foremost, check out recaps, schedules, releases, GameTracker and general updates at ArizonaWildcats.com...If you want more in depth news straight from the coaching staff, check out the Arizona Volleyball twitter feed at twitter.com/arizonavball...Additionally, all home matches will be streamed live through UA's Comcast All-Access player...And lest we forget about the Arizona Athletics Facebook page, check us out over the world's largest social network through either the general Arizona Athletics page or sport specific page.
Last week: The Wildcats beat Arizona State in a five-set battle last Friday night to: claim the season series, improve to 5-5 in conference, and win the State Farm Territorial Cup point for volleyball. UA was led by hitters Tiffany Owens and Courtney Karst who accounted for 39 kills. Owens also proved to be a force on the defensive end, tallying 23 digs to notch her eighth straight, and Pac-10 Conference-leading 13th double-double of the season. Arizona has now defeated Arizona State four consecutive times over the past two seasons.
In The Rankings: In the updated AVCA rankings, the Wildcats are holding firm at No. 23 for the second consecutive week. It's the fourth consecutive poll in which Arizona has been ranked and seventh overall. The Pac-10 continues to lead the country in teams ranked with seven for the fourth straight week. Friday's opponent, Oregon, is No. 20.
Head Coach Dave Rubio ...is in his 19th season as head coach of Arizona. In that time span, Rubio has a record of 356-207. Rubio also boasts a career record of 478-273 in 24+ career years. In the last ten seasons, Rubio has guided the Wildcats to five Sweet 16s, four Elite Eights and to Arizona's first-ever Final Four. His teams have won over 200 matches during this ten-year stretch, including 16 in the NCAA Tournament, which is six more than the previous 14 postseason teams combined. Rubio is assisted by associate head coach Steve Walker, assistant coach Allison Napier and volunteer coach Melissa Ohta.
A Glance At The Conference: Each year the Pac-10 Conference is arguably the nation's toughest league in volleyball and this season is no different. With a little more than half way through the conference schedule, the top eight teams are all either just one or a ½ game away from the higher team in the standings. No. 2 California leads the way with a 10-1 conference record. After a plethora of five-set losses, the Wildcats will look for revenge in going against the league a second time around. Additionally, it'd be no surprise to see all seven ranked conference teams selected for the NCAA Tournament.
The Competition: No. 20 Oregon heads to Tucson having lost four straight playing the California schools. To snap their skid, they'll try to defeat the Cats in McKale, a feat that's only been achieved once since 2000. Oregon State on the other hand will be playing for pride as they are just 1-10 in conference this season. Against both OSU and UO, the Cats had to rally back from a 2-1 deficit to win in five sets.
Five-Setters: Through 10 conference matches, Arizona has played to five-sets seven times posting a record of 3-4 in those. The seven conference five-setters in one season trail only UA's 1993 season when it played nine conference five-set matches and one against ASU in the NCAA Tournament. Here's to hopefully all this tense five-set deuce match experience paying off for the Cats in high-pressure situations.
Double Trouble: Over the course of the season, Tiffany Owens has been the Cats' top scorer and defender. The versatile outside hitter passes and serves in every rotation and has a knack for racking up double-digit kills and digs. She's currently on an eight-match streak with recording at least 10 kills and 10 digs. Additionally, her 13 total double-doubles on the season, leads all Pac-10 players. Against ASU on Friday, Tiffany was as impressive as ever, totaling 23 kills and 23 digs. It was the fourth time this year where she's put up a 20 spot in each category.
Karst Putting Up Points: As hitter Whitney Dosty recovers from an ankle injury, Courtney Karst has been putting up some impressive numbers as one of UA's main scorers. Against ASU on Friday, Karst recorded 18 kills on .245 hitting while also helping out defensively with 11 digs. On the season, Karst has 231 kills, 111 digs and 50 total blocks.
Keep Charting the Percentages: It happened for the first time this season Friday night...the Wildcats hit for a poorer percentage than an opponent, yet still won the match. Arizona State posted a .253 clip to UA's .239, yet in the fifth set, the Wildcats wouldn't be denied, taking the set 15-10 and the win. Tiffany Owens led the way in the fifth set with eight kills. Eight kills in a 25-point set is tough, but to achieve that when only playing to 15 is outstanding.
Action Jackson: Middle-blocker Cursty Jackson has acted as Arizona's spark-plug this season. Whenever the Cats find themselves in a rut or stuck in a rotation, Jackson usually has a way of coming up big with a spike off a quick set or clutch block to energize the team. Against ASU, Jackson had seven kills, three solo blocks and three block assist for 11.5 points. Over the season, CJ has appeared in every set, hitting .379 with 225 kills and rejecting 106 trys.
Arizona's Offensive Spark: Senior Paige Weber is proving to be one of the nation's top setters yet again in 2010 as she has totaled 987 assists for an a/s ratio of 10.97. Now in her final year at UA, Weber has recorded 4,620 total assists, good for second on UA all-time assist chart, trailing only All-American Dana Burkholder.
Quite the Streak: Weber has put together quite an impressive iron-woman streak, playing in every set of her Wildcat career. That amounts to 414 consecutive sets played over three plus seasons. In terms of matches started, Weber is currently fourth on the UA list with 114. Should Weber start UA's last eight matches and a possible NCAA Tournament match, she'll tie Bre Ladd's record of 123 matches started for a career.
NCAA Selection Sunday: This year's annual NCAA Selection show will be November 28 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on ESPNews. Tune in to find out who the Wildcats will face should they get a bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Pac-10 Preseason Poll: In this year's Pac-10 Coaches Poll, Arizona was slated to finish fourth overall behind Stanford (1), Washington (2) and USC (3). It's the Wildcats highest poll position since the 2005 season. Seven Conference teams were ranked among the AVCA preseason poll. Currently seven are in this week's top 25.