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Arizona welcomes national powers to McKale
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/04/2008
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 4, 2008

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This Week:

The Arizona volleyball team (13-9, 3-7 Pac-10) returns home to face two of the best teams in the country in Cal and Stanford. The Wildcats play the Golden Bears (19-3. 9-2) Friday and take on the Cardinal Saturday. Both matches will be at 7:00 p.m. in the McKale Center .

 

Scouting the Opposition:

California- The No. 6 Golden Bears are coming off a weekend split against the Washington school, beating Washington State 3-1 and losing to Washington 3-0.  After starting the conference season 8-0, Cal has dropped two of its last three matches and holds second place in the league. Sophomore Carli Lloyd is tied for the Pac-10 lead in assists per set with 12.09 and junior Hana Cutura has the top points per  set average at 4.96.

Stanford- The No. 2 Cardinal pulled into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with a sweep of the Washington schools.  Stanford finished 4-0 against the Huskies and Cougars for the first time since 2001. Led by senior Cynthia Barboza, the Cardinal are on pace to win their third straight conference crown. Senior Foluke Akinradewo leads the league with a .451 hitting percentage and 1.47 blocks per set.

 

Series History:

CaliforniaArizona holds the advantage over the Golden Bears in the all-time series 32-14. Cal has won the last six, including a 3-0 sweep earlier in the year in Berkeley, Calif.  The last time the Wildcats beat the Golden Bears was in 2005.

Stanford – The Cardinal has the most wins of any opponent against the Wildcats with 50. The teams have met 57 times since 1977 with Arizona winning just seven of those meetings. Stanford has won the last five meetings including a 3-0 sweep earlier this year. The last Wildcat win over the Cardinal came in 2005.

 

Last Head-to-Head:

California - October 11, 2008 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. – The No. 5 Golden Bears had little trouble with the visiting Wildcats, beating them in three set, 25-18, 25-19, and 25-20. At that time, the Wildcats had a season-low 30 kills in the match. No one on the Arizona team collected more than nine kills and the Wildcats dropped their third straight match, a season-high at the time.

Stanford - October 10, 2008 at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. – Arizona gave No. 4 Stanford a bit of a scare in the first set of the first meeting, but Stanford overcame it and beat the Wildcats in three sets, 25-22, 25-18, and 25-16. Sophomore Tiffany Owens led Arizona with 12 kills, but errors plagued the team, collecting 20 hitting errors and eight service errors in the loss

 

Last Weekend:

Arizona @ Arizona State: The Wildcats fell to their in-state rivals 3-0 in the team’s second meeting of the year. Arizona State out hit the visiting Wildcats .307-.189. Sophomore Whitney Dosty led Arizona with 16 kills, but the team had 18 hitting errors and 10 service errors in the loss. The Sun Devils won the sets, 25-22, 25-17, and 25-23 after getting swept by the Wildcats in the teams’ first meeting.

 

Rough Stretch – Arizona finished a streak of seven straight games against ranked opponents and then lost to Arizona State 3-0. The Wildcats are 1-7 in their last eight contests  and lost for just the second time to an unranked opponent  with the loss to the Sun Devils. Seven of the team’s nine losses have come to teams ranked in the AVCA top-25.

 

The Real T.O. –Sophomore Tiffany Owens has been the most consistent player so far for Arizona. The outside hitter is averaging 2.99 kills per set and 2.61 digs per set, good enough for second on the team in both. Owens holds the team high in kills in a match at 23 and has led the squad in kills in four of the last eight matches.

 

Cover Paige –The sophomore setter leads the team in assists with 788 in 22 matches and recorded a season-high 61 assists in the team’s win over USC. That mark was just two assists below her career-high of 63 set last season as a freshman against St. Mary’s. Weber is fifth in the Pac 10 in assists per set at 10.37. She is also fourth in the league in aces per serve at 0.33. Weber has won two tournament MVP awards this season, one in the opening Wildcat Classic and one in the CSU Bakersfield Invitational.

 

Dosty’s best? – According to head coach Dave Rubio, sophomore Whitney Dosty played her best match of her young Wildcat career when she recorded 20 kills with a .429 hitting percentage in the team’s 3-2 upset over No. 11 USC. The .429 mark was a career high for the outside hitter and making the performance even more impressive was the fact that she played just one set in the team’s previous match and didn’t record a kill, with three errors on five attempts and a -.600 hitting percentage. Dosty continues to lead the team in kills with 3.08 per set.

 

Block party – The 2008 Wildcats have been a team known for their blocks. Arizona continues to lead the Pac-10 in blocks-per-set with 2.67 and is 15th in the nation. Arizona recorded a season-high 15 blocks in their 3-0 win over ASU. Sophomore Stephanie Snow is sixth in the league in blocks with 1.11 per set. Snow picked up a career-high 10 blocks in the 3-0 win over ASU.

 

Double-Double X 3 (Correction) – Sophomore setter Paige Weber was one of three Wildcats to record a double-double in the team’s loss at Colorado State with 46 assists and 12 digs. In previous releases, only senior Brooke Buringrud (12 kills, 13 digs) and sophomore Tiffany Owens (14 kills, 10 digs) were credited with double-doubles.

 

Digging towards the top – Senior Brittany Leonard recorded her 1,000 career dig in the team’s 3-2 win over UC Riverside. The libero continues her climb up the career digs list. The Menlo Park, Calif. resident is ninth on the career list. Leonard is still 267 digs from the career leader Terry Lauchner who has 1,297, while Leonard sits at 1,030.

 

Arizona’s place – The Wildcats sit in first in the conference in blocks (2.67 per set), second in services aces (1.38 per set) and second in opponents hitting percentage (.173). Nationally, the team is 15th in blocks per set .

 

Cats in the poll – As fast as Arizona showed up in the AVCA Top-25, they fell out. After being ranked for the first time since Sept. 11, 2006, the Wildcats dropped out after their 3-1 loss at No. 12 Colorado State. The Wildcats are the farthest from the top-25 since they’ve been since the preseason poll. Arizona is the 39th team on the top-25 list, getting three points in the poll.

 

Pac-10 in the Top-25 –The Pac-10 has six teams in the top-10. Stanford sits at the top at number two, Washington is five, Cal is sixth, Oregon eighth, UCLA ninth, USC 10th .

 

2008 award winners - Throughout the season, a handful of Wildcats have been awarded tournament honors. Three players were named to the CSUB All-Tournament Team. Paige Weber brought home tournament MVP, while Jacy Norton and Whitney Dosty were named to the all-tournament team. Two Wildcats were named to the Arizona Invitational All-Tournament Team, Stephanie Snow and Tiffany Owens. The week before Paige Weber was named Wildcat Classic MVP, Alanna Resch was named Wildcat Classic Most Outstanding Libero and Tiffany was named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team, her first or two awards in as many weeks.

 

13-set win streak - Arizona started the season winning the first 13 sets it played in before losing its first set and match to Santa Clara on 9/5/08. The last time the Wildcats began the season on a similar streak was 2005 when they won their first 12 sets. 2005 was also the last time Arizona was in the postseason. Arizona record for starting the season with the most consecutive set wins was 2001 when they won their first 17 sets  before dropping a set to Oregon to open Pac-10 play.

 

Pac-10 Preseason Poll: Arizona was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference’s head coaches.  The Wildcats garnered 39 points in the vote, as defending champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year’s Pac-10 volleyball title.  Stanford claimed 90 points, 15 more than second-place UCLA, including nine of the 10 first-place votes.  UCLA was the only other team to receive a first-place vote. USC fell into third with 68 points and Cal was picked fourth with 62 points. Both schools made it to the Final Four last season. Washington came in fifth with 59 points, followed by Oregon in sixth with 51 points. Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.

 

Rubio’s Record: Head coach Dave Rubio boasts a 318-184 record in his 17 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program. In 2005, he not only became the winningest coach in Arizona history, he also notched his 400th career victory in the team’s win over Ohio in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. In 21 years as a head coach, Rubio has a 440-250 career record.

 

 

 

 

 

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