THIS WEEK: The No. 8 Arizona volleyball team (14-2, 6-1) travels to Los Angeles to play No. 21 UCLA (10-6, 3-4) and No. 19 USC (8-7, 4-3) this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22. The Wildcats face the Bruins at 7 p.m. on Friday and the Trojans at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: The Wildcats moved into second place in the Pac-10 standings after upsetting No. 3 Stanford in five games (30-24, 26-30, 29-31, 34-32, 15-8) last Thursday and sweeping No. 13 California (30-24, 30-27, 30-28) last Friday. The victories launched Arizona into the Top 10 for the first time since the 2002 season.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by senior Kim Glass , who averages 4.62 kills, 3.04 digs and 0.85 blocks per game. Senior Jennifer Abernathy adds 4.09 kills, 3.23 digs and 0.38 service aces per game, while senior Bre Ladd averages 2.26 kills and 1.09 blocks per game. Sophomore Dominique Lamb leads the team with 1.17 blocks per game, while freshman Brittany Leonard has a team-high 3.57 digs per game average. Setter Amy Dyck is averaging 11.16 assists per game.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
UCLA -The Bruins went 1-1 last week, falling at No. 2 Washington (24-30, 18-30, 22-30) on Thursday, before sweeping Washington State (30-20, 30-21, 30-19) in Pullman on Friday.
The Bruins are led by Kaitlin Sather, who averages 3.82 kills and 0.41 service aces per game. Nana Meriwether boasts a Pac-10-leading 1.70 blocks per game, while Jordan Smith leads the team with 3.42 digs per game. Setter Nellie Spicer dishes out 11.98 assists per game. As a team, UCLA is hitting .230, compared to the .183 of its opponents.
USC -The Trojans went 1-1 last week, sweeping Washington State (30-14, 30-18, 30-14) on Thursday before being swept by No. 2 Washington (23-30, 16-30, 19-30) on Friday.
USC is led on the season by Bibiana Candelas and Staci Venski, who average 4.38 and 4.08 kills per game, respectively. Setter Nena Siljegovic dishes out 11.25 assists per game, while libero Debora Seilhamer leads the team with a 6.13 digs per game average. As a team, the Trojans are hitting .236, compared to the .179 of their opponents.
UCLA - Arizona is 15-43-1 all-time against the Bruins. The last time the two teams met, on Oct. 30, 2004, the Wildcats swept UCLA in Los Angeles. Arizona is 8-18 at home, 6-22 away and 1-3-1 at a neutral site vs. the Bruins.
USC- Arizona is 15-44 all-time vs. the Trojans. The two teams last faced each other on Oct. 29, 2004, with USC defeating the Wildcats 3-1 in Los Angeles. Arizona last defeated USC on Dec. 7, 2001, in the NCAA Regional Finals in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 10-17 at home, 5-22 away and 0-5 at a neutral site vs. USC.
POLL POSITION: Arizona has been ranked in the Top 25 in 110 of the last 119 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Polls. The nine-week lapse occurred during the 2003 season.
The Wildcats’ No. 8 ranking this week is the team’s best since being selected No. 6 in the 2002 preseason poll. The last time Arizona was ranked this high during the season was on Dec. 3, 2001, when the Wildcats were No. 4.
BAUM NAMED AVCA NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior Kristina Baum, a 6-2 opposite hitter, was chosen as the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I National Player of the Week after leading the Wildcats to victories over No. 3 Stanford and No. 13 California. Baum hit .383 for the week with averages of 4.12 points, 3.50 kills, 2.62 digs and 0.62 blocks per game. Baum is the third Wildcat to earn the national honor, and the first since Jennifer Abernathy was selected on Nov. 3, 2002.
BAUM NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Arizona opposite Kristina Baum was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Oct. 10-16. Baum, a junior from Whittier, Calif., helped lead the Wildcats to wins over No. 3 Stanford and No. 13 California. In the upset over the Cardinal, she posted career highs with 17 kills and 13 digs, her second double-double of the season. Against the Golden Bears, she posted 11 kills and added eight digs. Baum averaged 3.50 kills and 2.62 digs last weekend, well above the 2.30 kills and 1.75 digs she had been averaging heading into last weekend’s matches. It was Baum’s first weekly honor and Arizona’s 23rd Player of the Week honor all-time.
RANKING IN THE PAC: Individually, several Wildcats rank in the Top 10 in the conference in various statistical categories. Senior Kim Glass leads the Pac-10 in points per game (5.57) and kills per game (4.62), and ranks 10th in service aces per game (0.38). Senior Bre Ladd is sixth in service aces per game (0.42), seventh in hitting percentage (.355) and 10th in blocks per game (1.09). Senior Jennifer Abernathy ranks eighth in kills per game (4.09) and 10th in points per game (4.82). Sophomore Dominique Lamb ranks eighth in both blocks per game (1.17) and hitting percentage (.32). Junior Kristina Baum is ninth in hitting percentage (.341), while sophomore Amy Dyck is sixth in assists per game (11.16). Freshman Brittany Leonard is eighth in digs per game (3.57).
CONFERENCE ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Arizona boasts several of the Pac-10’s active career statistical leaders. Senior Kim Glass is the current leader in kills (1,771) and service aces (138), and ranks seventh in digs (972). Fellow senior Bre Ladd ranks second in blocks (395), third in service aces (102) and seventh in kills (979). Jennifer Abernathy ranks ninth in kills (938), while setter Stephanie Butkus ranks third in assists (2,680).
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Senior Kim Glass leads the Wildcats with nine double-doubles this season, while senior Jennifer Abernathy has five. Sophomore setter Amy Dyck has three, while junior Kristina Baum has two.
DOMINATING AT McKALE: Arizona has won all seven of its home matches this season, sweeping six of seven opponents. What’s more, in the games the Wildcats have won, Arizona won by an average of 6.5 points. The only two games the Wildcats have dropped in McKale this season were to then-No. 3 Stanford.
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks No. 16 nationally in attendance with an average of 1,731. Only Washington (2,377) and Stanford (2,192) from the Pac-10 rank higher.
REACHING MILESTONES: Senior Jennifer Abernathy recorded her 100th career block last Thursday vs. Stanford and her 75th career service ace last Friday vs. Cal. Junior Kristina Baum notched her 100th career assist vs. Cal last Friday, while senior Bre Ladd recorded her 100th career service ace against Stanford last Thursday. Sophomore Amy Dyck recorded her 100th career dig against Stanford last Thursday and her 650th career assist and 50th career kill vs. Cal on Friday.
CLOSING IN: Senior Kim Glass is 29 kills away from 1,800, three assists shy of 75, 28 digs away from 1,000 and 10 blocks shy of 250 on her career. Senior Bre Ladd is 21 kills away from 1,000 28 digs shy of 300 and five blocks away from 400 on her career. Senior Jennifer Abernathy is six kills away from 650 on her career, while junior Kristina Baum is 13 kills shy of 450 and six service aces away from 50 on her career. Junior Stephanie Butkus is three digs shy of 400 on her career.
GLASS APPROACHES ELITE STATUS: With 1,771 career kills and 972 career digs, senior Kim Glass could become one of just five Wildcats ever to surpass the 1,000-kill and 1,000-dig mark. The Pennsylvania native would join Terry Lauchner (1987-1990), Barb Bell (1993-96), Jill Talbot (1998-2001) and Lisa Rutledge (1999-2002) as the only Arizona players ever to accomplish the feat. Lauchner finished her career with 1,636 kills and 1,297 digs. Bell tallied 1,859 kills and 1,046 digs. Talbot finished with 1,022 kills and 1,111 digs. Rutledge notched 1,471 kills and 1,006 digs.
THREE WILDCATS COULD SURPASS 1,000 KILLS: With senior Kim Glass well on her way to the Arizona career kills record, two other seniors, Bre Ladd and Jennifer Abernathy should surpass the 1,000-kill mark this season. Ladd currently has 979 kills, while Abernathy has 938. With 11 matches left this season, it looks as if Arizona will have three active players with 1,000 or more kills on their careers at some point this season.
GLASS’ STREAKS: Senior Kim Glass has at least three kills and three digs in 98 of the 100 matches on her career. She has recorded double-digit kills in all but 10 (90 of 100) matches during her four years. In fact, she’s the only player in the Pac-10 to have 10 or more kills in every match this season. With 1,771 career kills, she is 88 away from the school record, currently held by Barb Bell (1993-96).
BLOCKING MACHINE: Senior Bre Ladd has been a consistent defensive threat at the net ever since she arrived on campus in the fall of 2002. She has at least one block in 105 of 110 career matches, including 29 of 33 last season and all 16 matches this season. What’s more, the Tucson native currently has 395 total blocks on her career, good for fourth place all-time at Arizona.
RUBIO BECOMES ALL-TIME WINS LEADER: With the Wildcats’ victory over Connecticut on Sept. 16, Head Coach Dave Rubio notched his 259th career win at Arizona, making him the all-time winningest coach in Arizona volleyball history. The win moved him ahead of Rosie Wegrich, who coached from 1977-1991 and compiled a 258-229-9 record (.531) in 15 seasons. Rubio now boasts a career record of 267-137 (.661) in 14 years at the helm.
STACKED SCHEDULE: As always, Arizona faces a tough schedule in 2005. Included on the slate are 14 matches against teams that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will also face seven teams (Stanford, Washington, USC, UCLA, Georgia Tech, California and UC Santa Barbara) that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 in the AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll.
TELEVISION TIME: Two of Arizona’s matches this season are televised on a tape-delay basis on FSN. The Wildcats’ Oct. 7 win at Arizona State (which aired on Oct. 9) and the team’s home match on Nov. 18 vs. USC (which will air on Nov. 19) can be seen by a national audience on FSN.
PAC-10 POTPOURRI: With Stanford capturing the NCAA title last season, the Pac-10 has now won four consecutive national championships (Stanford in 2004 and 2001, USC in 2003 and 2002). What’s more, Pac-10 teams have claimed 12 of the sport’s 24 NCAA championships.
UP NEXT: Arizona hosts No. 2 Washington and Washington State next Thursday and Friday, Oct. 27-28. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in McKale.