Oct. 28, 2010
No. 23 Arizona (4-5, 15-7) at Arizona State (4-5 , 9-12)
7 p.m. MST | Wells Fargo Arena| Tempe, Ariz.
Match will be streamed live by FoxSportsArizona.com. Click here to watch
Ahead This Week for UA Volleyball: The No. 23 Wildcats head up Interstate 10 Friday to take on rival Arizona State to kick off the second half...Both teams enter the matchup with identical 4-5 records in the Pac-10...In the teams' last meeting in Tucson, Arizona routed the Sun Devils, 3-0, in a match televised by Fox Sports Net...In terms of streaks, UA's beaten ASU in three consecutive matches and four out of five...Last season, the Cats swept the season series to earn Arizona's first-ever State Farm Territorial Cup point and they'll look to repeat that feat...The Devils fared well in the first half of conference play after getting swept by UA, taking matches over then ranked No. 5 USC and No. 10 UCLA...With volleyball's version of Selection Sunday just a little over one month away, each match becomes crucial for UA's tournament resume.
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: Up in the Pacific Northwest last weekend taking on the Washington schools, the Cats found more five-set troubles against the No. 7 Huskies. Falling down early 2-0, UA stemmed the tide and took the third and fourth games, but like in previous matches to go the distance this year, the Wildcats just couldn't seal the deal when it counted most. The weekend wasn't all for not as the Cats were more than eager to face Washington State the next evening. The match vs. the Cougars was UA's first in five matches where they didn't face a team among the AVCA's top 15. During Saturday's action, it was all Arizona as the ladies earned a 3-0 sweep with Cursty Jackson and Tiffany Owens leading the way. Following the mantra, `protect the home court, split on the road', UA did just that and now turns its attention to ASU.
In The Rankings: With the weekend split, the Cats moved up two places to No. 23 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association weekly poll. It's the third consecutive poll in which Arizona has been ranked and sixth overall. The Pac-10 continues to lead the country in teams ranked with seven for the third straight week. Arizona State is not in the top 25 but is receiving votes.
Head Coach Dave Rubio ...is in his 19th season as head coach of Arizona. In that time span, Rubio has a record of 355-207. Rubio also boasts a career record of 477-273 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.
State Farm Territorial Cup: In UA's second go-round with State Farm Territorial Cup, volleyball gets the opportunity to put the department on the board yet again. Because Arizona topped ASU in Tucson, if they go on to take the season series, UA will be awarded a point. The Sun Devils can just salvage a ½ point split. After volleyball, cross country and then later football will be up for the opportunity score. Last season in the inaugural matchup between the schools, Arizona came away the victor, scoring 10.5 to ASU's 7.5 across the board.
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 a seven-match streak with recording at least 10 kills and 10 digs. Additionally, her 12 total double-doubles on the season, leads all Pac-10 players. As far as career numbers go, Owens has amassed 1450 kills over three plus years, good for fifth in the UA record books.
Keep Charting the Percentages: If UA has been hitting for a better percentage against an opponent, the odds of winning the match are pretty strong. We don't want to go so far as to say it's a sure thing but in each of Arizona's 15 wins in 2010, the Cats have had the better attack percentage. On the flip side of that though is when UA's opposition tallies a higher mark, they've gone on to win all seven occasions. This note is particularly interesting in Arizona five-set near wins against Cal, UCLA and USC. While all three matches went to deuce on UA's home floor, the pattern held true in each and the Cats couldn't pull the upset, hitting for a lower percentage against all three.
Not This Time TO: Against Washington State on Saturday, junior middle blocker Cursty Jackson was more than happy to put an end to teammate Tiffany Owens' streak in leading the team in kills. Owens had led UA in kills in six straight matches dating back to the October matchup with New Mexico State. It wasn't by much though as Jackson's 11 kills bested Owens' 10 and they're both most likely pleased with the distribution of the offense.
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 940 assists for an a/s ratio of 11.06. Now in her final year at UA, Weber has recorded 4,573 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 409 consecutive sets played over three plus seasons. In terms of matches started, Weber is currently fourth on the UA list with 113. Should Weber start UA's last nine matches and a possible NCAA Tournament match, she'll tie Bre Ladd's record of 123 matches started for a career.
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.