Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Volleyball Hosts Pair of Top Ten Teams
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 23, 2010
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 23, 2010

Ahead This Week for UA Volleyball:  Conference play has arrived for Arizona Volleyball as it hosts No. 8 California and No. 1 Stanford this weekend...First up are the Golden Bears who enter Friday's match with a perfect 10-0 record through the non-conference slate. Match time vs. the East Bay visitors is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST/PT...With Saturday's home football game vs. the Golden Bears, UA's usual Saturday evening Pac-10 match has been pushed back to Sunday at 1 p.m. where the team will host No.1-ranked Stanford...The Cardinal vaulted into the nation's top spot after defeating Penn State two weekends ago...The Wildcats are currently riding a five-match winning streak and look to keep the momentum rolling into Friday...

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 you want more in depth news straight from the coaching staff, check out the Arizona Volleyball twitter feed at, all home matches will be streamed live through UA's Comcast All-Access player.

Girl Scout Night: Tonight Arizona welcomes in the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona...Information and activities start at 6 p.m. for the scouts.  During intermission, select scouts will be on the floor for the night's entertainment between sets two and three.  And finally, the team will hold an autograph session following the match for anyone interested in meeting and having posters signed by the 2010 team.

Last week: UA swept its final non-conference tournament last week as the Cats beat Texas State, Pepperdine and New Mexico State all in three sets...Tiffany Owens was named tournament MVP as she put up very impressive numbers capped off by a 22 kill on .700 hitting performance against NMSU...Courtney Karst and Cursty Jackson were also included on the all-tournament team with solid showings vs. Pepperdine Friday night...After the tournament, UA's record now stands at 10-2.

In the rankings:  The Cats find themselves unranked for the second consecutive week after appearing in the polls three times including the preseason ranking to begin the season.  Cal is up two spots to No. 8 in the AVCA National Poll while the Stanford Cardinal is the nation's top-ranked team. Six Pac-10 teams remained ranked in this week's edition.

Head Coach Dave Rubio in his 19th season as head coach of Arizona.  In that time span, Rubio has a record of 350-202. Rubio also boasts a career record of 472-268 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.

Active Wins Leader in the Pac:  Coach Rubio, in his 19th season with the Wildcats, is the active leader in Conference wins with 350.  The "dean" of Pac-10 head coaches, Rubio's been at the helm of UA seven years longer than the second longest tenured coach (Cal's Rich Feller). Rubio also owns a conference winning percentage of .630 in the always tough Pac-10 and has guided the Cats to 13 NCAA appearances.

COBRA Magazine Preseason All-Americans: Tiffany Owens was named to this season's COBRA Magazine National Player of the Year Watch List. Owens is currently second on the team with 146 kills and first in digs with 114.  Also garnering praise from COBRA was hitter Whitney Dosty who was named to the publication's All-American Preseason Second-Team list.
Watch TO's Double-Double's: One stat of note during the 2009 season was Tiffany Owens' double-doubles.  When Owens amassed double-digit kills and digs, the Wildcats usually had success.  Currently, Owens has four double-double performances, good for fourth overall in the Pac-10 through the 2010 season.

Learning on the Fly: It has got to be quite the whirlwind experience for freshman Maddie Lozano.  Originally expected to be redshirting the season and playing the outside hitter position, Lozano was thrust into the starting lineup due to a series of injuries and players leaving the program.  The Roseville, Calif. product has been taking a crash course in front row-middle blocking as she tries to prepare for conference play.  If anything, this experience will make her that much more versatile in years to come.

Dosty Cracks the Whip: Outside Hitter Whitney Dosty has been arguably one of the nation's most powerful hitters during her time with the Cats.  This season, though, she has been able to find better accuracy and thus leads the team in overall kills with 166.  Her kill-to-set ratio is 3.95 and has a hitting percentage of .233.  She's one of four Wildcats to appear in every set this season for UA, joining senior Paige Weber, Tiffany Owens and junior Cursty Jackson.

Nicholson Earning The Minutes: Freshman libero Candace Nicholson has been earning some serious playing time as of late for the Wildcats.  The Long Beach, Calif. native currently shares time with senior Danielle Holloway as UA's main back row defensive player.  Her ability will surely help Arizona as the season progresses.

Acquiring Some Help:  UA was helped this past weekend with Tarryn Luafalemana and Kaylen Bannister returning off the proverbial DL. Both players will look to factor in at the middle blocker position.  Luafalemana seems to be a bit more game ready after working through a foot injury she suffered in training camp.

Quite the Streak: Paige Weber has put together quite an impressive streak.  Weber has played in every set of her Wildcat career.  That amounts to 366 consecutive sets over three years.  The Wildcats will look to Weber's durability again this season to take them to the postseason.  Weber also ranks second on the all-time UA assists list behind only Dana Burkholder

Digs Leader:  Tiffany Owens gets most of her praise on the offensive end as she often times sparks UA rallies and is second overall on the team in kills.  But her most vital asset to the team, might be her defensive prowess.  Owens currently leads the team in digs with 115 and is essential to the teams serve-receive.

Karst Heating Up:  Courtney Karst looks to weigh heavily on the Wildcats' success in 2010.  Appearing in 40 sets so far, Karst has 86 kills, 21 blocks, 41 digs and eight aces.  When Karst hits for double-digit kills or posts a solid hitting percentage, its likely UA will be on the winning side of the net.

Action Jackson: Cursty Jackson is one of six newcomers for the Wildcats in 2010.  A transfer from UNLV by way of Los Angeles, Jackson attacks with force and great leaping ability.  Through nine matches, Jackson leads the team in total blocks with 49. Her quick set attacking ability with setter Paige Weber is an asset the Cats will be able to exploit come conference time.

A Few New Faces: In 2010, Arizona Volleyball welcomes in six newcomers to the line-up.  Freshman middle blockers Madeline Lozano and Tarryn Luafalemana will contend for immediate playing time along the front row while freshmen liberos Candace Nicholson and Emily Helm look to provide defensive depth.  Transfers Cursty Jackson (previously mentioned) and Marketa Hanzlova are also new on the roster for Arizona.

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 six are in this week's top 25.

Up Next: The Wildcats stay at home for a Territorial Cup battle with Arizona State next week.  It's the first rivalry battle on the TC sports schedule.  The match is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. The Cats will then conclude its non-conference slate with a road match against New Mexico State on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Las Cruces.

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