Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Volleyball Notes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 15, 2004
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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THIS WEEK: The No. 15 Arizona volleyball team (5-2) travels to Washington, D.C., for the American University Tournament. The Wildcats open the tournament with a 7 p.m. match against American on Friday. At 10 a.m. Saturday, Arizona faces Temple, followed by a 4:30 p.m. match against Albany. All times are Eastern Standard Time.

A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: The Wildcats (5-2) went 3-0 with upsets of No. 9 Pepperdine and No. 18 Louisville en route to the championship of the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic last weekend. Junior Jennifer Abernathy was named MVP of the tournament after averaging 5.00 kills, 2.50 digs, 0.30 assists, 0.20 service aces and 0.20 blocks. Meghan Cumpston and setter Stephanie Butkus were also named to the all-tournament team.

On the season, Arizona is led by Cumpston, who averages team highs of 4.42 kills and 2.88 digs per game. Abernathy adds 4.36 kills and 2.16 digs per game. Butkus is averaging 12.16 assists per game, while Bre Ladd leads the team in blocking with a 1.08 average.


American - The Eagles (3-2) placed third at the State Farm Illini Classic last weekend after posting a 1-1 record. American defeated Miami (Ohio) in four games on Saturday after being swept by USC on Friday. Cutrina Biddulph was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 4.00 kills, 1.29 digs and 1.00 blocks per game. Meanwhile, freshman Chelsa Brooks was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week after she led AU with a .333 hitting percentage, including seven kills, against USC. She followed up that performance with a dominating 13-kill effort vs. Miami, hitting .440.

American is led this season by Biddulph, who averages 3.68 kills, 1.37 digs and 0.95 blocks per game. Setter Courtney Mulford averages 10.84 assists per game, while libero Sabrina Vasconcelos boasts a 4.07 digs per game average.

Temple - The Owls (2-4) went 2-1 at the Wisconsin-Green Bay Amerihost Classic last weekend. Senior Zhen Jia Liu earned all-tournament team honors after recording a career-high 29 kills in a five-game loss to IPFW. She had 12 kills in a 3-0 win over host Wisconsin-Green Bay and nine in a 3-2 victory over North Dakota State.

On the season, the Owls are paced by Yue Liu, who averages 3.67 kills and 3.08 digs per game. Zhen Liu adds 3.19 kills and 2.90 digs per game, while setter Alison Runk has an 8.86 assists per game average.

Albany - The Great Danes went 2-1 last weekend at the Delaware Tournament for a second-place finish. Albany swept New Mexico and defeated George Washington in three games, but fell to host Delaware, 3-1. Shelby Goldman and Ashley Green were named to the all-tournament team after averaging 4.00 and 2.91 kills per game, respectively.

Goldman leads Albany with a season average of 3.67 kills per game, while Green adds 2.58 kills and 0.92 blocks per game. Setter Blair Buchanan dishes out 11.42 assists per game and libero Eileen Rodriguez has a 4.88 digs per game average.


American - Arizona is 3-0 all-time against the Eagles. The last time the two teams met, on Sept. 13, 2003, the Wildcats swept American in McKale. Arizona is 2-0 at home and 1-0 at a neutral site vs. the Eagles.

Temple - This is the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and the Owls.

Albany - Saturday’s match marks the first time Arizona and Albany have met.


Rank   School                   Total       2004      Last
(1st-place Votes)        Points    Record    Week
     Minnesota (31)           1,559       7-1       5
2      USC (22)                 1,506       5-1       1
     Washington (7)           1,411       6-0       6
     Florida                  1,358       6-1       4
5      Penn State (3)           1,345       6-0       7
     UCLA (1)                 1,303       6-1       3 
7      Hawai’i                  1,284       6-0       11
8      Nebraska                 1,193       5-1       2
9      Illinois (1)             1,071       5-0       16
10     UC Santa Barbara         1,070       5-0       13
11     Colorado State           1,049       5-1       10
12     Texas A&M                794         4-2       14
13     Stanford                 787         4-2       12
14     California               708         4-2       8
15     Arizona                  673         5-2       19
16     Kansas State             606         5-3       15
17     Louisville               561         5-1       18
18     Pepperdine               492         2-3       9
19     Santa Clara              482         4-2       17
20     Loyola Marymount         301         6-1       22
21     Long Beach State         274         4-0       23
22     Tennessee                216         6-0       NR
23     San Diego                207         4-2       20
24     Kansas                   191         7-0       NR
25     Ohio State               134         6-0       NR
Others receiving points and listed on two or more ballots: Saint 
Mary’s (Calif.) 132, Florida A&M 105, Texas 90, UC Irvine 52, 
Michigan State 40, Colorado 38, Georgia Tech 23, Ohio 19, 
Michigan 18, Purdue 8, Wisconsin 5.

Pac-10 Standings

School           W   L   Pct.
Oregon           6   0   1.000
Washington       6   0   1.000
UCLA             6   1   .857
USC              5   1   .833
Arizona          5   2   .714
Arizona State    4   2   .667
California       4   2   .667
Stanford         4   2   .667
Oregon State     3   3   .500
Washington State 1   6   .143

2004 Wildcat Player Honors

Jennifer Abernathy
* Sept. 7-12 Pac-10 Player of the Week
* MVP of Wildcat Classic
Stephanie Butkus
* Wildcat Classic all-tournament team
Meghan Cumpston
* Wildcat Classic all-tournament team
* Wahine Classic all-tournament team

ABERNATHY NAMED PAC-1O PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 7-12 after leading Arizona to a 3-0 record and the championship of the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic. This is the second time in her career that Abernathy has received the honor. Abernathy was named MVP of the Wildcat Classic after leading No. 19 Arizona to upsets of No. 9 Pepperdine and No. 18 Louisville. For the week, she collected 50 kills (5.00 kpg) and 25 digs (2.50 dpg), and collected a total of 53.5 points (5.35 ppg).

POLL FACTS: Arizona has been ranked in the Top 25 in 90 of the last 99 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Polls. The nine-week lapse occurred last year. The Wildcats fell out of the Sept. 29, 2003 poll and remained unranked through the Nov. 10 poll. After two weeks back in the rankings, Arizona was unranked in the Dec. 8 and the 2003 Final polls.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Three different Wildcats have three double-doubles this season - junior Jennifer Abernathy and sophomores Stephanie Butkus and Meghan Cumpston. Junior Bre Ladd has one.

REACHING MILESTONES: Senior Jolene Killough recorded her 300th career kill vs. Nicholls State on Sept. 10. Junior Bre Ladd got her 650th career kill vs. Pepperdine on Sept. 10. She recorded her 150th dig vs. San Diego State in the season opener on Sept. 1. Outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy notched her 500th kill against Pepperdine on Sept. 10, and her 300th dig vs. Eastern Washington on Sept. 3. Sophomore Kristina Baum recorded her 200th kill at Hawaii on Sept. 5, and her 500th assist against Louisville on Sept. 11. Setter Stephanie Butkus dished out her 1,500th career assist vs. Pepperdine on Sept. 10. She now has 1,573 on her career, good for eighth place all-time at Arizona and just 17 away from seventh place. She also notched her 100th kill against Louisville on Sept. 11 and her 200th dig at Hawaii on Sept. 5. Libero Kelli Mulvany reached 900 career digs vs. Louisville on Sept. 11. She now ranks 10th all-time at Arizona.

CLOSING IN: Senior Cassidy Crum needs 10 digs to reach 300 on her career. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston needs just one kill to have 175 and two digs to have 100 on her career. Senior Jolene Killough needs 11 blocks to reach 200 on her career. Junior Jennifer Abernathy needs four service aces to have 50 on her career. Middle blocker Kristina Baum is two blocks away from 100 and eight digs shy of 200 on her career. Sophomore Stephanie Butkus needs seven blocks to reach 75 on her career. Senior Kelli Mulvany is two assists away from 50 on her career.

RANKING IN THE PAC-10: Sophomore Meghan Cumpston ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in kills and seventh in points, while junior Jennifer Abernathy is eighth in kills and ninth in points. Sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus ranks sixth in assists per game.

PLAYING WITHOUT GLASS: Junior outside hitter Kim Glass will find out this afternoon whether or not she will have to redshirt the season due to a shoulder injury. The two-time All-American has led Arizona in kills in each of the last two years.

RUBIO APPROACHING ARIZONA WINS RECORD: Head Coach David Rubio currently has 239 wins in his 13 seasons at the helm. He needs just 20 more to become the winningest coach in Arizona volleyball history. Rosie Wegrich, who coached from 1977-1991, compiled 258 wins in 15 seasons for an average of 17 per year.

ODDS AND ENDS: Seven different players recorded career highs in at least one statistical category during the Wildcat Classic, led by freshman Dominique Lamb with six. Stephanie Butkus and Meghan Cumpston each set two career highs, while Amy Dyck, Jolene Killough and Jennifer Abernathy had one each.

NEXT UP: Arizona opens Pac-10 play with a pair of road matches at Stanford and Cal next week. The Wildcats face No. 13 Stanford at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, followed by a 7 p.m. match Friday, Sept. 24, at No. 14 Cal.

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