Sept. 6, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The 11th-ranked Arizona volleyball team shook off a shaky first game to down New Mexico 3-0 in the 19th-annual Wildcat Classic on Friday night. The home season opener made head coach David Rubio the fastest coach in Arizona volleyball history to win 200 matches. Game scores were 30-23, 30-14, 30-22.
The Wildcats opened their home season a bit peckish with seven hitting and three service errors which allowed the Lobos to stay within striking distance nearly throughout. In fact, Arizona held only a one-point advantage as late as 21-20 before the offense began to click for five unanswered points to end the opening frame in the Wildcats' favor.
The momentum from the first game carried over to the second as the Wildcats rattled off eight straight points to open the game. New Mexico answered with three of the next four points to cut the UA lead to five at 9-4, but would get no closer as Arizona scored point after point to jump out to a dominating 27-9 lead and the eventual victory. Freshman Kim Glass led the offensive onslaught for Arizona with six kills in the game as the Wildcats hit .462 as team in the frame.
Game three was all Arizona as Bre Ladd exploded for seven kills on nine swings with no errors to help put the match away. The victory was Arizona's seventh straight win in the Wildcat Classic and its 12th-straight over a non-conference opponent at home.
Individually, Glass and Ladd led all players with 13 kills apiece. Ladd's fine play in the third game gave her a .667 hitting percentage for the night and helped erase her zero kill performance in Arizona's loss to Louisville last weekend. Glass added nine digs to her 13 kill performance.
Senior Lisa Rutledge again proved to be a stable force in the Arizona lineup with 12 kills on a match-high .706 hitting. She also added eight digs and three total blocks in the win.
The Wildcat victory on Friday sets up a showdown with two of the toughest non-conference foes to ever play in McKale Center on the second day of the Wildcat Classic on Saturday. Arizona will take on second-ranked Nebraska and 14th-ranked Pepperdine at noon and 7 p.m., respectively.