Sept. 2, 2003
Pepperdine Classic Quick Hits: The Wildcats opened the season 2-1 at the Pepperdine Classic in Malibu, Calif. ... Arizona dropped its season opening match in four games to Notre Dame before rebounding to down Eastern Washington 3-0 and No.5-ranked Pepperdine 3-1 on its home floor ... Despite hitting just .189 in the classic, Arizona still managed to average 14.27 kpg, 12.82 apg, 2.55 sapg, 11.09 dpg and 1.82 bpg ... Arizona's loss to Notre Dame was its first season-opening defeat since 2000 ... UA's win over Eastern Washington on Saturday averted Arizona's first 0-2 start to a season since 1986 ... The Wildcats' victory over the fifth-ranked Waves equalled the highest ranked team Arizona has defeated on the road under head coach David Rubio. The last time Arizona defeated such a highly ranked opponent was against fifth-ranked Washington State in Pullman, Wash., in 1995.
Sophomores Shine: Arizona's sophomore tandem of Kim Glass and Bre Ladd help lead Arizona to its pair of victories in Malibu. Glass led all Arizona players with 54 kills on the weekend, an average of 4.91 kpg. Her efforts garnered her Pepperdine Classic MVP honors. Ladd, who led Arizona with a .321 hitting percentage, chipped in with 39 kills, nine service aces and seven total blocks and was named to the all-classic team as well.
Setting In: Freshman Stephanie Butkus probably didn't envision her Arizona career getting off to the start that it did. Poor passing and inexperience helped lead to a rough outing against Notre Dame in UA's 3-1 loss in the season opener. However, the first-year Wildcat proved that she's quick study and turned in solid performances against both Eastern Washington (37 assists, team hitting % .269) and No. 5 Pepperdine (58 assists, team hitting % .216). For the weekend she averaged an impressive 13.10 apg.
The Race To 1,000: Sophomore Kim Glass, who recorded a single-season school record 556 kills in freshman year, is on pace to become the fastest Arizona player to reach 1,000 kills in a career. After posting 54 kills in her first three matches this season, Glass has accumulated 610 career kills in 35 matches played. Should she knock down the remaining 390 kills needed to reach the mark, Glass would become the first sophomore in school history to do so. Glass needs to average 14.4 kills per match in Arizona's 27 remaining scheduled contests to reach 1,000 in the regular season. Former Wildcat All-American Barb Bell is currently the fastest to 1,000, having achieved the milestone in the 10th match of her junior year (her 65th career match).
The 20th-Annual Wildcat Classic: 2003 marks the 20th season that the Arizona volleyball program will host the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic. Always a competitive field, 2003 is no different with No. 20 Santa Clara, Miami (Fla.), Rhode Island and San Diego State all coming to the Old Pueblo this Thursday-Saturday. Arizona is coming off of a rough showing in last year's classic when it defeated New Mexico, but lost to both Nebraska and Pepperdine.
2003 Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic Schedule Thursday - Sept. 4 10 am - Arizona vs. San Diego State 12:30 pm - Rhode Island vs. Miami 5 pm - Rhode Island vs. San Diego State 7:30 pm - Arizona vs. Santa Clara Friday - Sept. 5 10 am - Rhode Island vs. Santa Clara 12:30 pm - Miami vs. San Diego State 5 pm - Santa Clara vs. San Diego State 7:30 pm - Arizona vs. Miami Saturday - Sept. 6 10 am - Miami vs. Santa Clara 12 pm - Arizona vs. Rhode Island
Arizona In The Wildcat Classic: Despite the two-loss setback in the 2002 classic, Arizona has traditionally been very tough on its opponents at the Wildcat Classic over the past 19 years. Overall Arizona has a 41-12 record in the event.
Home Openers: Arizona's match with San Diego State in the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic will serve as the Wildcats' home opener. Since David Rubio took over as head coach in 1992, Arizona is 8-4 in its home openers, including a streak of eight straight home opening wins.
Non-Conference Opponents In McKale Center: Since the Arizona volleyball team first began playing its matches in McKale Center in 1983 the Wildcats have held their own against non-conference opponents, including many nationally ranked schools. Arizona is 83-21 all-time against non-conference opposition in McKale, including a 49-10 home non-conference record over the last 12 seasons under current head coach David Rubio.
Youth Reigns: The Wildcats feature a decidedly youthful team in 2003. Arizona's roster of 14 includes just one senior and three juniors. The other 10 spots consist of four sophomores and six freshmen (including redshirt Meghan Cumpston). Arizona's starting lineup at the Pepperdine Classic last weekend consisted of two freshmen, three sophomores and a junior.
Polling Place: Arizona's 2-1 record to kick of the season held the Wildcats at the No. 10 spot in the first weekly AVCA poll of the season. Arizona trails Penn State by just 35 points for the No. 9 spot, but holds just a slim three point lead over UCLA which is ranked 11th. Conference foe USC remains the undisputed favorite in the No. 1 spot with all 65 first place votes.
Poll Facts: Arizona's week one ranking extends its streak to 80 consecutive polls in the top 25 ... Notre Dame, which defeated Arizona in the first match of the season entered the top 25 in the No. 21 spot ... Pepperdine, which dropped its first match of the season to Arizona last weekend, fell from fifth to eighth in the poll ... The Pac-10 Conference has six of its 10 member schools in the top 25 and one more receiving votes. The complete poll can be found on pg. 4.
Wildcat Classic Field: The five teams playing in this season's classic will each play a total of four matches over three days ... San Diego State: The first team up on Arizona's schedule in the event, SDSU returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last season's 22-12 team ... SDSU's top threats include junior outside hitter Kara Moriarity (59 kills, 1.90 kpg last season) and senior Aspen McPartland (378 kills, 3.12 kpg in 2002) ... Moriarity already has 41 kills and a 4.56 kpg average in three matches this season, while McPartland is hitting .357 with 35 kills ... SDSU and Arizona have met 27 times prior to Thursday's match with SDSU holding a 17-9-1 advantage all-time ... Arizona has won the last seven meetings between the two schools ... Arizona and SDSU last met in the 2000 season ... Santa Clara: The Broncos come to Tucson as the No. 20-ranked team in the nation with a 1-1 record ... SCU returns six starters and 11 letterwinners from last season's 24-7 NCAA tournament team ... Highlighting the Bronco roster are middle blockers Becky Potter and Toni Muratore ... Potter returns after leading the Broncos with 571 kills in 2002. She averaged an impressive 5.34 kpg and 1.01 bpg game last year ... Muratore moved into the starting lineup this season and has responded with 34 kills (a 4.25 kpg average) ... Arizona is 4-0 all-time against Santa Clara dating back to 1982 ... The two schools last played in 2001 ... Miami (Fla.): A relative newcomer to the Division I volleyball scene, the Hurricanes made a lot of noise last season as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in just their second season of existence ... Miami returns 11 letterwinners from last season's Big East runner up team, including last season's leading hitter sophomore Karla Johnson (.310 hit % in 2002) and its kills leader Valeria Tipiana (462 kills, 3.95 kgp in 2002) ... Miami is 1-1 heading into the classic ... Arizona and the Hurricanes have never met on the volleyball court ... Rhode Island: The Rams will head all the way from the East Coast with a 1-3 record ... URI returns five starters and eight letterwinners from 2002's 11-21 team ... Freshman Atlee Hubbard has been impressive in her first four collegiate matches, tallying a team-high 62 kills in 15 games played. Hubbard had a 25-kill match in URI's four-game win over SE Missouri State last Sunday ... Rhode Island and Arizona have met twice with Arizona owning a 2-0 advantage in the series ... The two schools last met in 1990.