Sept. 24, 2002
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Pac-10 Opener Quick Hits: The Wildcats split their two matches with rivals UCLA and USC ... Arizona downed 11th-ranked UCLA 3-1 on national TV before falling to top-ranked USC 3-0 the next night ... As a team, Arizona tallied 100 kills for the weekend on .229 hitting. The Wildcats averaged 14.29 kpg, 13.14 apg, 13.00 dpg and 3.14 bpg ... Freshman sensation Kim Glass led the Wildcat attack for the fourth week in a row. The first-year outside hitter tallied a .333 hitting percentage while recording a team-high 31 kills for a 4.43 kpg average ... She also lead Arizona with 22 digs in the seven games played against the Los Angeles schools ... Senior Lisa Rutledge chipped in with 28 kills on .286 hitting for the weekend ... Arizona's loss to No.1 USC drops the Wildcats to 1-5 in matches against top-ranked conference opponents under head coach David Rubio ... 2002 is the first season since 1997 that Arizona has not opened its conference slate 2-0 ... With the win over No. 11 UCLA, Arizona is now 9-8 in conference opening matches ... Arizona has now won two straight matches over the Bruins.
Polling Place: Arizona's victory over No. 11 UCLA impressed the voters in the AVCA Coaches poll enough to bump the Wildcats up three spots from 15th to 12th in this weeks rankings. Arizona remained steady in the Volleyball Magazine poll at 14th.
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. 1 USC, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 11 UCLA, No. 14 Pepperdine and No. 21 Pacific in five of their last six matches and, using this week's AVCA poll, will face No. 18 Washington State and No. 4 Stanford in two of their next four matches.
Moving On Up: Senior Lisa Rutledge's 28 kills in Arizona's split with UCLA and USC last weekend pushed her career total to 1,181. She moved past associate head coach Charita Johnson into sixth on the Arizona career list earlier this season and has her sights set on a top three finish for her career.
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 1,181 7. Charita Johnson 1991-94 1,134
Sudden Impact: Not since Barb Bell first stepped on the floor for Arizona in 1993 has a freshman outside hitter made as big an impact for the Wildcats as Kim Glass has this season. Glass has led or shared the team lead in kills in six of Arizona's 10 matches this season. She leads the Wildcats in kills, kills per game, aces, digs and points. Through 10 matches and 34 games, she has tallied 149 kills on 334 attempts with just 42 errors for an impressive .320 hitting percentage.
Looking back to Bell's first 10 matches, it is found that Glass is putting up similar numbers that earned Bell 1993 Volleyball Magazine Freshman All-America honors. Bell posted 142 kills on 332 swings with 56 errors for a .259 hitting percentage in her first 10 matches. Bell holds the school record for kills by a freshman with 417. Glass needs just 16 more this season to move into the top 10 on the freshman list.
Bell/Glass Comparison (Through 10 Matches)
Player MP G K E Att. % KPG Digs
Barb Bell (1993) 10 37 142 56 332 .259 3.84 34
Kim Glass (2002) 10 34 149 42 334 .320 4.38 88
No Sympathy For The Devils: Lisa Rutledge has enjoyed a modest amount of success in her career against Arizona State. The senior outside hitter has tallied 102 kills and 84 digs is six matches against the Devils all-time. She has averaged almost 17 kills and 14 digs per match in those contests. Rutledge has posted five double-doubles, including just the 18th 20-20 match in school history last season with 22 kills and a career-high 25 digs in Tempe. Sophomore libero Kelli Mulvany also tallied a career-high 22 digs in that same match.
Moving to the Middle: With the injury to and departure of classmate Stefani Saragosa, senior Shannon Torregrosa has volunteered her services as Arizona's second middle blocker. Rotating with freshman Bre Ladd, Torregrosa is second on the team with 30 total blocks after moving in from her normal outside spot. She averages just under a block per game (0.97), a number that will certainly go up with more time in her new position.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils enter play this weekend with a 5-2 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the Pac-10 ... ASU was swept by No. 1 USC last Friday, but ended a 12-match losing streak to UCLA with a 3-1 victory on Saturday ... Head coach Patti Snyder-Park has a 206-171 overall record in her 14th and final season with ASU. She announced she will retire at the end of the season to be able to devote more time to her family ... ASU returns six starters and 11 letter winners from last season's 10-16 team ... Leading the way for the Devils offensively this season is junior college transfer Juliana Escobar. The Brazil native averages 4.46 kpg after putting down 129 kills in 29 games this season .. Not a team that focuses on blocking, Arizona State is solid in the back row with three players averaging over two digs per game, including libero Courtney Blocher's 3.17 dpg average ... Arizona State holds a 31-30 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, but Arizona has held an upper hand most recently with a five-match winning streak on the line this weekend ... Since 1996 Arizona has a 10-2 advantage in the series and has not lost in Wells Fargo Arena in five straight seasons ... Arizona swept the season series in 2001, scoring 3-1 victories in both matches.
Arizona-Arizona State 2002 Stats Team KPG Pct. APG SAPG DPG BPG Arizona 15.32 .242 13.53 1.68 13.00 2.74 Arizona State 15.34 .244 13.45 1.86 14.83 1.71
Chipping In: Led by freshman Kim Glass' 4.37 kpg , five different Wildcats, who have played in every match this season, 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 3.68 kpg average, followed by classmate Shannon Torregrosa's 2.55 kpg effort, and so on.
A Change In Time: For the third straight season, and fourth time overall, Arizona will play a match prior to basketball's Midnight Madness practice. In doing so, the Wildcats and No. 4 Stanford will square off at 8 pm on Oct. 11 instead of the previously scheduled time of 7 pm. The three previous volleyball matches held in conjunction with Midnight Madness have brought in crowds of 4,927 (1998), a Pac-10 volleyball record 7,298 (2000) and 3,711 (2001) fans.
Attendance: Through five home contests this year, the Wildcats are averaging 1,900 fans per match. The mark represents the highest average attendance in the Pac-10 this season and is ranked ninth nationally among all Division I schools.
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 freshmen 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 came to Arizona. 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 to 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 19 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 93 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 9 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 203-101 record (.668) 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.