Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 15 Arizona Claims American Classic Championship with win over Albany
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 18, 2004
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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WASHINGTON, D.C. ?- The No. 15 Arizona volleyball team (8-2) won its sixth straight match, defeating Albany in four games (30-20, 30-18, 26-30, 30-28) to claim the championship of the American University Classic this afternoon.


The Wildcats combined for a .273 hitting percentage and held the Great Danes to .186. Arizona also edged Albany in blocks (12.5-7), kills (69-52) and assists (60-49).


“We played okay, not great, but certainly well enough to win,” Head Coach David Rubio said. “I’m happy, especially considering the circumstances. I was impressed with Albany. They are a well-coached team.”


Junior Jennifer Abernathy led the Wildcats with 21 kills, 12 digs and three service aces, while senior Jolene Killough notched 16 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Kristina Baum had 13 kills and five digs, while junior Bre Ladd tallied 12 kills, five digs, four blocks and three service aces.


Setter Stephanie Butkus finished the match with 51 assists, seven digs, five blocks and five kills. Libero Kelli Mulvany had a team-high 12 digs.


Butkus was named tournament MVP, while Abernathy and Baum were also named to the all-tournament team. Butkus averaged 12.20 assists, 1.60 kills, 1.40 blocks and 1.30 digs over the three matches. “Stephanie was very deserving over the honor,” Rubio said. “She did a nice job all weekend.”


Abernathy, who only played in two of the three matches, averaged 5.14 kills, 3.43 digs, 0.57 blocks and 0.57 service aces per game. Baum put up averages of 3.30 kills on .526 hitting, 1.00 digs, 0.90 blocks and 0.50 service aces over the three games.


UP NEXT: Arizona opens Pac-10 play with road matches at Stanford (Sept, 23) and Cal (Sept. 24) next Thursday and Friday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.