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20070820 8-20-2007 Volleyball Opens 2007 Season Against Utah State Friday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/20/2007
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This Week:

The Arizona volleyball team opens the 2007 season with the Four Points Sheraton University Plaza Wildcat Classic this Friday-Saturday, Aug. 24-25, in McKale Center. The complete tournament schedule is as follows:

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Friday, Aug. 24 ???????? Arizona vs. Utah State?????????????????????? ??????? 10 a.m.

???????????????????????????????? Saint Maryˇ?s vs. Eastern Washington? ??????? 12:30 p.m.

???????????????????????????????? Saint Maryˇ?s vs. Utah State??????????????? ??????? 5 p.m.

???????????????????????????????? Arizona vs. Eastern Washington???????????????? 7 p.m.

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Saturday, Aug. 25 ???? Utah State vs. Eastern Washington???? ??????? 4 p.m.

???????????????????????????????? Arizona vs. Saint Maryˇ?s??????????????????????????? 7 p.m.

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A Quick Look at Arizona:

The Wildcats return six starters from last yearˇ?s squad that finished the season 13-17 with a 4-14 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. Among Arizonaˇ?s top returnees is senior Dominique Lamb, a 2006 All-Pac-10 honorable mention, and junior Brooke Buringrud, the team leader in kills last season.? Also returning to the lineup is sophomore Whitney Dosty, a Pac-10 All-Freshman-Team selection and member of the USA Volleyball Junior National Team.? The Arizona roster is made up of four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and five freshman newcomers.? The returning Wildcats accounted for 95 percent of the teamˇ?s kills and 75 percent of the teamˇ?s blocks a year ago.

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Red-Blue Scrimmage Recap:

The Arizona Volleyball Red Team swept the Blue Team in three games in the annual Red & Blue Scrimmage match on Sunday afternoon in McKale Center.? Game scores were 30-18, 30-23, and 30-26.

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The Red Team was led by junior Randy Goodenough with 14 kills, and freshman Tiffany Owens added 10 kills and five blocks.? Senior Dominique Lamb finished with seven kills on a .417 hitting percentage and six blocks, and freshman Paige Weber posted 37 assists.

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For the Blue Team, junior Brooke Buringrud and freshman Stephanie Snow added four kills apiece.? Sophomore Whitney Dosty finished with eight kills, and senior Amy Dyck registered 35 assists.

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The teams played a fourth game in which the Red Team knocked off the Blue Team, 30-26.

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Scouting the Opposition:

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Utah State ?C The Aggies open the 2007 season Friday against Arizona coming off a 13-19 record during the 2006 season, including a 6-10 mark in the WAC.? Utah State returns five starters and seven letterwinners from last yearˇ?s squad, and was picked to finish seventh in the WAC Preseason Coachesˇ? Poll.? The Aggies return senior outside hitter Amanda Nielson, who earned second-team all-WAC honors a year ago, while ranking fourth in the WAC in kills per game (4.04), ninth in service aces per game (0.34) and 10th in blocks per game (1.03). Head coach Grayson DuBose is in his second season at the helm of the Aggie Program.

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Eastern Washington ?C The Eagles of Eastern Washington enter 2007 after a successful 2006 campaign in which the team posted a 20-9 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Big Sky Conference for a third place finish.? The Eagles return one starter and five letterwinners from last seasonˇ?s roster, and were picked to finished fifth in the preseason Big Sky poll.? Interim head coach Irene Matlock enters her first season at the helm of the EWU program.

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Saint Maryˇ?s ?C The Gaels enter 2007 returning three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that went 11-14 overall and 6-8 in the West Coast Conference last season.? Saint Maryˇ?s roster is dominated by underclassmen, as there is not one senior on the team.? The Gaels were picked to finish sixth in the WCC preseason poll, but received one of the pollˇ?s eight first-place votes.? Head coach Rob Browning is in his third season at the helm of the Saint Maryˇ?s program.

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Series History:

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Utah State ?C Arizona has faced Utah State 13 times in program history, with the Aggies owning a 6-7 series lead.? These two teams first met in 1977 and last faced off in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, a 3-0 sweep for the Wildcats.

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Eastern Washington ?C Arizona leads the all-time series with the Eagles 4-0. The Wildcats have not played EWU since 2004, a 3-1 win for Arizona.

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Saint Maryˇ?s ?C Arizona leads the all-time series with the Gaels 2-0. The two teamsˇ? last meeting was back in 2002, a 3-0 win for the Wildcats in Stockton, Calif.

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Season Openers:

Arizona is 22-8 all-time in season openers since 1977. This is the third year in a row that the Wildcats have opened the season in McKale Center. Last year, Arizona swept Siena in its season opener on Aug. 25.? The last seven times Arizona has opened a season at home, the Wildcats are 6-1 with all six wins coming in the form of sweeps.? Arizona is 11-1 in its last 12 home openers.

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Hot Out The Gate:

In 15 seasons under head coach Dave Rubio, Arizona is 38-7 (.844) in the opening week of the season.? The Wildcats have started the opening week undefeated eight times, including a perfect 6-0 mark in the opening week over the last two seasons.

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Block-By-Block:

Senior middle blocker Dominique Lamb is working her way up the school record block charts at Arizona. With 368 total stuffs, Lamb is now sixth all-time at Arizona, and needs eight more blocks to move past Trina Smith (1989-90, 92-93 - 375) for fifth all-time.? Her current career average of 1.28 blocks per game places her second in school history behind only Kelly Waage (1.43). Lamb's 368 total blocks will be first among all active Pac-10 players this season, as she is 165 blocks from breaking the 18-year-old school record of 532 blocks held Kelly Waage.?

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Last season, Lamb averaged 2.54 kills on a team-best .329 hitting percentage, and averaged a team-best 1.55 blocks per game.? Her hitting percentage ranks eighth all-time in the single season record books, as she posted 141 block assists and 169 total blocks on the season, both figures which rank second all-time in the single season record books.? Her 1.55 blocks per game average last season is the fourth best single season mark all-time.

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Leonard at Libero:

As a freshman in 2005, Brittany Leonard set the Arizona single season record for digs per game at 3.70.? As a sophomore in 2006, Leonard smashed her previous record book marks.? Last season, Leonard set single-season school records with 411 digs, and a 3.84 dig per game average.? In 2006, the San Jose, Calif., native posted double-figures in digs 19 times, including seven matches with 20 digs or more, and led the team in digs on 19 different occasions.

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Norton at the Net:

Jacy Norton returns for her sophomore season after an impressive freshman campaign.? Last season, Norton earned Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honorable mention accolades by setting freshman school records with 139 blocks and a 1.48 block per game average.? Her 139 blocks were second on the squad behind Lambˇ?s 169 blocks, but that figure is the ninth highest total in school history, while her 119 block assists are the ninth most in school history.? The 6-foot-4 Louisville, Ky., nativeˇ?s 1.48 blocks per game average was also the sixth highest mark all-time.? Not only was Norton efficient at the net, she ranked fifth on the team with 157 kills, and second on the team in hitting percentage with a .251 mark.

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Buringrud Is Back:

Junior Brooke Buringrud, resident Arizona volleyball blogger, returns after posting a solid sophomore season.? Last year, Buringrud led the team in kills with 384 and a 3.52 kill per game average.? She tallied double-figures in kills in 24 matches, including 19 straight, while leading the team in kills 14 times.? She was the team leader with 38 service aces, and ranked third in the Pac-10 with a 0.35 service aces per game average.

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Dosty Delivers:

Sophomore Whitney Dosty delivered in her freshman season, and she looks to keep that momentum going this season.? Last year, the Tucson native was second on the team in kills with 369 and kills per game at 3.39.? She ranked fourth on the team with 71 blocks, and was the only Wildcat to register 20 kills or more in a match, as her career-high 29 kills versus Oregon on Nov. 9 was a Pac-10 season high among all conference players.

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Pac-10 Preseason Poll:

Arizona was selected to finish sixth in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conferenceˇ?s head coaches.? The Wildcats garnered 46 points in the vote, as defending champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this yearˇ?s Pac-10 volleyball title.? Stanford claimed 89 points, 12 more than second-place USC, including eight of the 10 first-place votes.? USC and third-place UCLA each received one first-place vote, garnering 77 and 75 points, respectively. ??Washington came in fourth with 71 points, followed by California in fifth (57 points), and Arizona.? Rounding out the poll were Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.

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Stacked Schedule:

As always, Arizona will be faced with the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country in 2007.? The Wildcats will participate in four non-conference tournaments before competing in the Pac-10 Conference, the best volleyball conference in the nation.? Arizona will face 10 teams this season that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.? Matchups with Pepperdine, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Colorado State highlight a tough non-conference slate that will prepare the Wildcats for the ever difficult Pac-10 which features four teams ranked in the this yearˇ?s preseason top-10 rankings, including two Final Four teams in Washington and Stanford.

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Rubioˇ?s Record:

Head coach Dave Rubio enters his 16th year at Arizona and boasts a 291-158 record (.648) in his 15 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program. In 2005, he not only became the winningest coach in Arizona history, he also notched his 400th career victory in the teamˇ?s win over Ohio in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. In 20 years as a head coach, Rubio has a 413-224 (.648) career record.

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Closing In:

Junior Brooke Buringrud is eight kills away from 400 in her career, and senior Amy Dyck is 88 assists away from 1,500 in her career.? Junior Randy Goodenough is two kills away from 200 in her career.

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Pac-10 Active Leaders:

Senior Dominique Lamb ranks first among active players in the Pac-10 in blocks with 368, while senior Amy Dyck is fifth in assists with 1,412.

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Up Next:

Arizona travels to Malibu, Calif., for the Pepperdine Classic Friday, Aug. 31- Saturday, Sept. 1.? The Wildcats will face Lipscomb on Friday at 5:30 p.m., and Nevada (12 p.m.) and Pepperdine (7 p.m.) on Saturday.

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