Dec. 1, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas -
Arizona head coach David Rubio and the Wildcat volleyball team (19-12, 11-11) look to begin a postseason run this weekend in Austin, Texas. Arizona will take on Michigan State (21-11, 10-10) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. CT at Gregory Gym.
In the 20 years Rubio has coached at Arizona, the Wildcats have made the tournament 15 times, including a Final Four run in 2001, three appearances in the Elite Eight and three in the Sweet 16. Overall, he has posted a 22-14 record in tournament matches.
Arizona is coming off a split with in-state rival ASU, winning 3-1 in Tucson and falling 3-1 in Tempe.
Michigan State (21-11, 10-10)
Date: Dec. 2
Match Time: 4:30 p.m. CT
Location: Austin, Texas
Arena: Gregory Gym
Series: Arizona leads, 2-1
Last matchup: Arizona won, 3-0 (17-15, 15-5, 15-6) on Sept. 2, 1990 in Tucson.
Series History vs. MSU
Friday's match will mark the first time in 21 years the Wildcats have faced the Spartans. Overall, Arizona is 2-1 all-time, going 1-1 on neutral courts. The Wildcats first faced MSU in 1976 and 1977 in the AIAW National Tournament hosted by Texas and the UCLA NIT, respectively. In 1990, the Spartans faced the Wildcats in the Arizona Invitational during the non-conference schedule.
Scouting the Spartans
Leading the squad on the outside are seniors Kyndra Abron and Jenilee Rathje. To date, Rathje has recorded 4.27 kills per set, while Abron currently boasts 3.40 kills a set. At the net, Alexis Mathews leads the Green and White in blocks with 1.29 per set. In the backcourt, Kori Moster anchors the defense with 3.96 digs per set, starting the last 25 matches as MSU’s libero.
Head coach Cathy George is in her seventh season at the helm of the Spartans, compiling a record of 118-103 at MSU. In her 25 seasons as a head coach, George has appeared in eight NCAA tournaments, including being the first woman to coach in the NCAA Division I Final Four in 1989. During her time at MSU, the Spartans have appeared in the tournament in four of her seven seasons, including an NCAA Regional Semi-final appearance in 2007.
LIVE STATS and STREAMING VIDEO
Live stats will be available for all three matches through www.TexasSports.com according to the NCAA’s policy. There will be a video stream available of the Michigan State/Arizona match and a second round match that does not feature Texas. All matches that Texas plays will be broadcast on Longhorn Network.
Fans can follow the Wildcat Volleyball team on the official University of Arizona Volleyball facebook page and can follow on Twitter via ArizonaVBall. For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat Volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.