Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Volleyball Opens Season at Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: August 25, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 25, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. -

Head coach David Rubio begins his 20th season at Arizona as the Wildcats travel to Manoa, Hawaii for the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Friday, Aug. 26.

Arizona is scheduled to play Wichita State to open the tournament at 5 p.m. HT (8 p.m. PT) on Friday, San Francisco at 5 p.m. on Saturday and No. 10 Hawaii on Sunday.

Wichita State returns to the tournament for the second time, but first time for head coach Chris Lamb, who was formerly an Arizona assistant from 1997-1999. The Shockers return four starters from a 21-8 season in 2010 and received votes in the preseason AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll.

San Francisco finished 5-22 in 2010. The Dons return five starters and eight letterwinners under head coach Gilad Doron.

No. 10 Hawaii finished 29-3 in 2010, 16-0 in conference play and received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament in 2010. The Rainbow Wahine return five starters and 12 letterwinners to the squad, led by Dave Shoji.

The 2011 Wildcat team features three seniors, one junior, three sophomores and eight freshmen.

Senior Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) returns to the Wildcat lineup as Arizona’s block leader in 2009. Courtney Karst (Centennial, Colo.) and Marketa Hanzlova (Liberec, Czech Republic) round out the senior class, Tori Moore (Brea, Calif.) stands as the lone junior and sophomores Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.), Maddie Lozano (Roseville, Calif.) and Emily Helm (Queen Creek, Ariz.) return for Arizona.

The Wildcats’ freshman class, ranked 11th nationally, features eight newcomers, including USA A2 collegiate and junior national team member Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Under Armour All-American setter Chloe Mathis (La Jolla, Calif.).

Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Rachel Rhoades (San Diego, Calif.) will provide depth in the middle, while Shaquillah Torres (Riverside, Calif.), Taylor Arizobal (Dana Hills, Calif.) and Liz Manthei (Las Vegas) will play outside and Ronni Lewis (San Jose, Calif.) comes in as a libero.

The Wildcats lost five seniors from the 2010 squad after finishing the season 20-12 overall and 9-9 in the Pac-10. They made their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, falling to Northwestern in the first round.

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