Sept. 16, 2002
Wildcats On The Tube: Arizona's match with No. 11 UCLA will be broadcast nationally on a taped delay basis by Fox Sports Net. Dave Sitton and Angie Simpson will provide the play-by-play and color for the match. The match can been seen on Fox Sports Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. Please consult your local listings for viewing times in other regions.
Nike Invitational Quick Hits: Arizona won the Nike Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif., defeating British Columbia in an Exhibition, St. Mary's and No. 21 Pacific on its home floor ... Arizona's victory over Pacific was its first against a ranked opponent this season ... Freshman Kim Glass was named the invitational MVP after posting 50 kills on .294 hitting with 28 digs and 11 total blocks in Arizona's three matches ... Glass averaged a team-best 4.55 kpg in Stockton ... Teammate Lisa Rutledge garnered all-invitational honors as well with 40 kills and 30 digs for the weekend ... Freshman Jennifer Abernathy posted her first career double-double against St. Mary's with 14 kills and 10 digs. She led Arizona with 31 total digs in the three matches ... Senior setter Laurie Gardner averaged 12.09 apg and 2.18 dpg at the invitational ... Freshman middle block Bre Ladd led the Arizona effort at the net with 12 total blocks for a 1.20 bpg average.
A Tough Stretch: Head coach David Rubio knows from firsthand experience how tough the Pac-10 is. In an effort to prepare the 2002 team for conference play and the NCAA postseason he put together a very competitive schedule. Beginning on Sept. 7, Arizona will face/have faced top 25 teams at least once in five of six weekends. The Wildcats have already taken on No. 2 Nebraska, No. 14 Pepperdine and No. 21 Pacific in non-conference action this season. Using this week's AVCA poll, Arizona will face No. 11 UCLA, No. 1 USC, No. 20 Washington State and No. 4 Stanford in four of its next six matches.
Moving On Up: Senior Lisa Rutledge's 23 kills in Arizona's two regular season matches at the Nike Invitational in Stockton, Calif., last weekend pushed her career total to 1,153. She moved past associate head coach Charita Johnson into sixth on the Arizona career list.
1. Barb Bell 1993-96 1,859 2. Terry Lauchner 1987-90 1,636 3. Melissa Ferris 1991-94 1,273 4. Marisa DaLee 1997-99 1,243 5. Melissa McLinden 1982-85 1,213 6. Lisa Rutledge 1999-Present 1,153 7. Charita Johnson 1991-94 1,134
Pac-10 Openers: Since 1986, the first season of Pac-10 volleyball, the Wildcats are an even 8-8 in Pac-10 opening matches ... Dating back to 1997, Arizona has a five-match winning streak to open the conference season ... The Wildcats and Bruins have opened the Pac-10 season against each other twice before and are split 1-1 ... A top-ranked Bruin team defeated Arizona 3-0 in 1992, but the Wildcats evened the score with a 3-2 victory to begin their current conference season opening winning streak in 1997.
Arizona vs. No 1: Playing in the Pac-10 it's a given that Arizona will face some of the top teams in the nation on a weekly basis during the conference season. Saturday's match against No. 1 USC will be the sixth time since head coach David Rubio took over in 1992 that Arizona will face a top-ranked conference opponent. The Wildcats are 1-4 in matches with No. 1 Pac-10 opponents. Arizona has fallen three times to a top-ranked UCLA team and once to No. 1 Stanford. The Wildcats' win, a 3-2 victory over the No. 1 Bruins, came in 1993.
Arizona In McKale Center: Arizona has lost two straight matches at home (Sept. 7 to No. 2 Nebraska and No. 14 Pepperdine) ... The last time Arizona lost three straight matches in McKale was Oct. 21-26, 1999 when the Wildcats dropped consecutive home matches to #17 USC, #6 UCLA and #11 BYU ... Over the past two-plus seasons Arizona is 27-4 in McKale Center.
Pac-10 Player of the Week: Freshman Kim Glass was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, the conference office announce on Monday. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter racked up 50 kills on .295 hitting in Arizona's three wins at Pacific's Nike Invitational in Stockton, Calif., over the weekend. She also recorded 28 digs and 10 total blocks. In Arizona's 3-1 exhibition win against British Columbia on Friday, she led all players with 18 kills on .312 hitting, while also chipping in with five digs and two block assists. Against St. Mary's on Saturday, Glass finished with 11 kills, eight digs and five total blocks in the Arizona sweep. Later that night, Glass earned invitational MVP honors for her career-high 21 kill, 15 dig effort against No. 21 Pacific. She also hit a match-high .348 against the Tigers and added four block assists in the 3-1 win. Glass is the first Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week for Arizona this season and the 17th for the Wildcats all-time. She also becomes just the second freshman from Arizona to garner such honors. Former Wildcat Barb Bell was twice named the conference player of the week her freshman season in 1993.
UCLA: Having won the Portland Invitational this past weekend, the Bruins enter the Old Pueblo with a 7-3 overall record ... Much like the Wildcats, UCLA has struggled to find consistency in its play this year ... The Bruins are No. 11 in the latest AVCA poll after having been ranked as high as seventh earlier this season ... As a team the Bruins are hitting .230 and averaging 16.48 kpg, 15.06 dpg and 2.50 bpg ... Individually, senior outside hitter Lauren Fendrick has tallied 121 kills in 34 games this season ... Sophomore middle blocker Brynn Murphy leads the Bruins with a .298 hitting percentage ... Head coach Andy Banachowski, the dean of Pac-10 coaches, is in his 36th year on the bench for UCLA. He has put together an impressive 926-224 record in Westwood through UCLA's first 10 matches this season ... The Bruins return three starters and 13 letter winners from last season's ninth-ranked 21-9 team ... UCLA and Arizona split their season series last year with both school sweeping on their home floor ... UCLA has 42-10-1 record in 53 all-time matches.
Arizona-UCLA Season Stats
Team KPG Pct. APG SAPG DPG BPG Arizona 15.59 .246 13.63 1.89 13.00 2.63 UCLA 16.48 .230 14.76 1.42 15.06 2.50
USC: The Women of Troy come to Tucson as the No. 1 team in the nation ... USC has won all six matches it has played this season, including sweeps of second-ranked Nebraska and sixth-ranked Florida ... This week's top ranking is the sixth AVCA poll in which USC has held the No. 1 spot ... The last time USC was ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll was Oct. 16, 1984 ... A solid all-around team, USC returns five starters and 12 letter winners from last season's fifth-ranked, 25-4 team ... As a team USC is hitting an impressive .307. The Trojans average 17.89 kpg, 17.00 apg and 2.95 bpg ... Leading the way individually for the Women of Troy this season is junior April Ross. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter has 81 kills (4.26 kpg) on .339 hitting in 19 games for USC this season ... Sophomore Kaeo Burdine has recorded 66 kills through six matches ... Middle blocker Katie Olsovsky leads the Trojan effort at the net with 1.31 bpg ... Head coach Mick Haely is in his second season on the USC bench and has a 31-4 record in Los Angeles through USC's six matches this season ... Saturday's meeting will be the 52nd between the two schools ... USC holds a 37-14 all-time advantage, but Arizona enjoys a current two-match winning streak ... Arizona and USC split their Pac-10 regular season series last season ... Arizona defeated USC 3-2 in the last meeting between the two school in the Regional Finals of the 2001 NCAA Championship Tournament in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Arizona-USC Season Stats
Team KPG Pct. APG SAPG DPG BPG Arizona 15.59 .246 13.63 1.89 13.00 2.63 USC 17.89 .307 17.00 1.26 16.95 2.95
Chipping In: Led by freshman Kim Glass' 4.37 kpg , seven different Wildcats are averaging at least one kill per game. The arsenal of attackers makes the Wildcats a difficult team to defend at the net. If a team opts to take away Glass, senior Lisa Rutledge will come at you with her 3.59 kpg average, followed by classmate Shannon Torregrosa's 2.79 kpg effort and so on. In fact, in Arizona's eight matches this season, five different players have either led or shared the team lead in kills.
We're #1: The 2002 freshman class at Arizona is easily the most highly regarded incoming crop of athletes in the program's 31-year history. Ranked the top recruiting class in the nation by Volleyball Magazine, all four players in the class are in the publication's Fab 50 for 2002, including the top two and three of the top six freshman players in the country. The class is composed of Jennifer Abernathy and Meghan Cumpston from California, Kim Glass from Pennsylvania, and Bre Ladd who opted to stay in Southern Arizona after attending Canyon Del Oro High School.
Arizona and Volleyball Magazine's 2002 Fab 50
1. Bre Ladd
2. Kim Glass
6. Jennifer Abernathy
34. Meghan Cumpston
Freshman and Senior Similarities: The 2002 freshmen class is contributing heavily towards Arizona's efforts this season. Four of the newcomers (including redshirt Angie Ayers) have started at least one match this season. Freshmen contributions have not been so prevalent in the Arizona lineup since this season's senior class stepped on campus. Lisa Rutledge, Rachel Williams and Shannon Torregrosa all started and played right away as freshmen for Coach Rubio in 1999. In the last two years combined only Kelli Mulvany broke into the starting lineup as a freshman.
Getting 200: With UA's 3-0 win over New Mexico on Sept. 6, head coach David Rubio became the fastest coach in Arizona volleyball history to record his 200th win for the Wildcats. The win over the Lobos came in Rubio's 298th match on the Wildcat bench. Rosie Wegrich, who is UA's all-time leader in coaching victories with 258, picked up her 200th Arizona victory in her 341st match as head coach. Ironically, Coach Wegrich also got her milestone win against New Mexico in 1988.
Saragosa's Out: Citing a three-year string of injuries, senior Stefani Saragosa has ended her playing career at Arizona. An instrumental player in helping raise Arizona to an elite level, she was a member of the three Sweet Sixteen teams, two Elite Eight squads and last season's Final Four club. She finished her career second on Arizona's hitting percentage list and tied for sixth in block assists.
Milestones To Watch For: Lisa Rutledge needs 21 starts this season to become the all-time school leader in matches started ... Although Barb Bell's school record of 1,859 career kills appears quite safe, a top three finish for Rutledge is not out of the question. Already sixth on the kills list, the senior outside hitter needs just 121 more to move into third all-time.
Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll: The Pac-10 coaches have placed Arizona third in their annual preseason poll. The Wildcats garnered 73 votes in the poll, trailing only defending Pac-10 Champion Stanford and USC. The coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own team, have correctly named the conference champion eight times in 13 tries. The full poll can be found on page 8 of the notes.
Head Coach David Rubio: Entering his 11th season as the top man at Arizona, Rubio has elevated the Wildcat volleyball program to one of the elite in all of Division I. Taking a team that did not win a conference match the season prior to his arrival, he has built a 202-100 record (.669) in 10-plus years. He has led the Wildcats to eight NCAA Tournament berths, including the last six straight, 15 tournament victories, five Sweet Sixteens ('93, '94, '99, 2000, '01), two Elite Eights (2000, '01) and Arizona's first-ever Final Four (2001). His efforts last season earned him Volleyball Magazine National Coach-of-the-Year honors.
The Libero: The NCAA has instituted a major rule change for the 2002 volleyball season. The position of libero has been added into play this year and will certainly have an impact on the game. The new position is defined as: a back-row player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the back row without counting as a substitution. The is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed.
However, there are restrictions on what the libero can and cannot do on the floor:
? The libero plays only in the back row.
? The libero may not serve.
? The libero may not block or attempt to block.
? The libero may not attack the ball if contact is made while the ball is completely above the height of the net.
? A teammate may not attack a ball that is completely above the height of the net IF the libero set that ball to her from the attack zone using an overhand finger pass.