Sept. 11, 2002
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Wildcat Classic Quick Hits: The Wildcats dropped a pair of matches to No.2 Nebraska and No. 14 Pepperdine in what can be considered one of the toughest non-conference homestands in school history ... Perhaps Arizona's biggest opponent last weekend was itself. The Wildcats continued to struggle in both its passing and service games as they committed 36 service errors, 20 reception errors and managed just a .243 hitting percentage in the three matches ... The Wildcats surrendered 30 points to the second-ranked Huskers on reception and service errors alone ... Arizona's loss to Nebraska was the first home non-conference loss in nearly three seasons (Hawaii-1999) ... Freshman Kim Glass continues to impress on the attack. The first-year Wildcat led the team with 42 kills on the weekend for a 4.20 kpg average ... She also shared the team lead with senior Lisa Rutledge with 28 digs ... Rutledge proved to be her steady self, in addition to the 28 digs she also added 36 kills on .361 hitting in the three matches.
Moving On Up: Senior Lisa Rutledge's 36 kills at the Wildcat Classic last weekend pushed her career total to 1,130. With five more she will move past Arizona associate head coach Charita Johnson for sixth on the all-time career list.
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. Charita Johnson 1991-94 1,134 7. Lisa Rutledge 1999- 1,130
It's An Exhibition: Arizona's match with British Columbia this weekend is an exhibition. UBC is on a traveling tour right now and has yet to begin its regular season. Due to the fact that UBC will not play 50 percent of its schedule against US four-year schools, the match will not count against UA's record nor will any of the statistics be counted for season cumulative records for any of the players.
A Tough Stretch: Using this week's current AVCA Coaches Poll, Arizona will face at least one top 25 team in four of the next five weekends (Including last weekend's matches against Pepperdine and Nebraska would make five of six weeks against ranked opponents). After St. Mary's and the exhibition against British Columbia this weekend, Arizona will face five top 25 teams in its next seven matches (No. 21 Pacific, No. 14 UCLA, No. 2 USC, instate rival Arizona State, No. 25 Washington State, Washington and No. 1 Stanford).
St. Mary's: The Gaels enter this weekend's match with Arizona with a 2-2 overall record ... SMC went 2-1 in their season opening Tournament and fell to top-ranked Stanford in Maples Pavilion ... The Gaels have not played a match since Sept. 2 ... SMC returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last season's 5-21 team ... Sophomore Lindsay Bogason leads SMC with 43 kills in 12 games this season for a 3.58 kpg average ... Jon Stevenson is in his first year as the head coach of St. Mary's ... The meeting between Arizona and St. Mary's will be the first between the two schools in their respective histories.
British Columbia: The Thunderbirds are a highly successful program in Canada ... UBC has qualified for the national tournament for eight consecutive seasons ... The Thunderbirds have not finished lower than fifth in Canada since 1994-95 ... UBC lost three starters from last season's bronze medal winning team - Canadian National Team member Kaley Boyd, former all-star Sara Cummings and team captain Leah Allinger ... Returning this season is 2000-01 all-star Christine Bonish, setter Amy Schroder, libero Jasmin Yip and right side Kathryn Peck ... UBC head coach Doug Reimer spent three seasons as the Canadian National Team coach.
Pacific: Much like the Wildcats, the Tigers have struggled to open the 2002 season ... After a preseason rank of 13th, UOP has slipped to 21st in the polls after a 3-3 start ... Pacific is one of three teams that has been listed among the top 25 poll every week (since 1982) that the AVCA has released rankings ... UOP returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last season's 28-8 team ... Junior Jennifer Joines returns to lead the Tiger attack. The outside hitter has tallied a UOP-leading 109 kills on .344 hitting in 23 games played this season for and average of 4.74 kpg ... Second-year head coach Jayne McHugh has tallied a 31-11 record at Pacific heading into this weekend's matches ... UOP and Arizona have met eight times previous to this weekend with the Tigers holding a 6-2 advantage ... However, Arizona swept Pacific from the NCAA postseason in their most recent meeting last year in the Regional Semifinals in Los Angeles.
Chipping In: Led by freshman Kim Glass' 4.30 kpg , six different Wildcats 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 3.70 kpg average, followed by classmate Shannon Torregrosa's 3.24 kpg effort and so. In fact, in Arizona's six matches this season four different players have either led or shared the team lead in kills.
Unfamiliar Ground: Arizona has not lost three consecutive matches in a season since it dropped three straight to No. 6 UCLA, No.17 USC and No. 11 BYU in 1999 ... Arizona's 3-3 record this season is its slowest start since the 1991 team went 1-5 in its first six matches.
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 freshman 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 stepped on campus. 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.
Other Milestones To Watch For: Lisa Rutledge needs 23 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 seventh on the kills list, the senior outside hitter needs just 144 more to move into third all-time.
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 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.
Pac-10 Coaches 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 8 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 200-100 record (.667) 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.