Oct. 2, 2001
Upcoming: The defending Pac-10 Co-Champion Arizona volleyball team returns home for a Friday night match-up with instate rival Arizona State. Something's got to give, as the two schools both carry losing streaks into the match. Arizona then heads to the Bay Area to make up postponed matches with Stanford on Sunday and California on Monday.
The Opposition: ARIZONA STATE- The Sun Devils shared the same fate on their trip to Los Angeles as the Wildcats. ASU was swept, 3-0, by both the Women of Troy and the Bruins last weekend. The Devils have lost three matches in a row, having fallen to Oregon State the previous weekend. Arizona State returns three starters and eight letterwinnners from its 2000 team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils hold a slight 31-28 advantage in the all-time series, but the Wildcats made up ground last year, sweeping the season series 2-0. The Wildcats came back from a 2-0 deficit in Tempe to win, 3-2, and beat the Devils, 3-1, to capture a share of the Pac-10 title in the conference finale in Tucson. STANFORD- The Cardinal and Wildcats were to have met as the only two undefeated teams in the Pac-10 on Sept. 14. Since the postponement of the match, both schools have fallen. The Cardinal, who will face Oregon and Oregon State on Thursday and Friday, dropped their match to second-ranked Long Beach State last Tuesday and defeated rival Cal on Saturday. Stanford returns four starters, including All-Amercian Logan Tom, and 11 letterwinners from last season's NCAA second round team. The Cardinal hold a commanding 37-4 record all-time against the Cats, but UA swept the season series for the first time in school history last year. CALIFORNIA- The Golden Bears dropped their only match they played last week, a 3-0 loss to Stanford. Like the Cardinal, Cal will play Oregon State and Oregon before matching up with the Wildcats. The Golden Bears return four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's 13-15 team. Arizona swept Cal in the season series, both wins were 3-0. Arizona leads the all-time series with Cal, 26-6, and the Wildcats have a 10 match winning streak over the Bears, the longest such streak against a conference opponent for Arizona.
The Polls: The Arizona volleyball team fell four spots to seventh in the latest edition of the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll. Volleyball Magazine dopped Arizona six spots to tenth in its week five poll. See page five of the notes for the complete polls.
Arizona's Last Action: The Wildcats were swept in Los Angeles last weekend. The UCLA Bruins, powered by Kristee Porter's 20 kills and 10 team service aces, handed Arizona its first 3-0 regular season loss in over a year last Friday and USC hit an impressive .450 against the Cats a night later to complete the sweep.
Trusty Talbot: Senior Jill Talbot is about as dependable as you can get on the floor. In nine matches this season, the right-side hitter has recorded eight or more kills in eight of them, seven or more digs in seven of them and has hit no lower than .350 in any match. While the majority of the Cats struggled in Los Angeles last weekend, Talbot increased her hitting percentage 24 points, to .500, to lead the conference.She has failed to score more than 10 points only once season (against Marshall in which she did not play the entire match) and averages 11.6 points per match
Breaking the Streak: Arizona has lost two consecutive matches for the first time since October 21-22, 1999. Ironically, those two losses also came from USC and UCLA. The current Wildcat squad hopes to not follow in the '99 teams footsteps, as they also dropped a third consecutive match to BYU that season. In the last five seasons, Arizona has dropped consecutive matches only six times and have a 4-2 record in the matches that follow a two-match swoon.
Still Looking for 300: Arizona head coach David Rubio is looking for his 300th career coaching victory this weekend. Rubio, in his 10th season at Arizona and his 15th overall as a head coach, has amassed 299 wins at UA and Cal State Bakersfield. He has averaged 21 wins a season during his career and won the Division II National Championship at Bakersfield.
David Rubio's Career Coaching Record
Year School Record
1987 CSU Bakersfield 17-15
1988 CSU Bakersfield 25-18
1989 CSU Bakersfield 21-15
1990 CSU Bakersfield 31-12
1991 CSU Bakersfield 26-10
1992 Arizona 10-17
1993 Arizona 20-11
1994 Arizona 17-10
1995 Arizona 14-14
1996 Arizona 20-10
1997 Arizona 20-7
1998 Arizona 22-7
1999 Arizona 21-11
2000 Arizona 28-5
2001 Arizona 7-2
Totals 15 years 299-159
Outlook for 2001: The Wildcats return four starters from last seasons's team. All-American setter Dana Burkholder, right-side hitter Jill Talbot, outside hitter Lisa Rutledge and defensive specialist Rachel Williams all return to the floor for the Cats in 2001. Joining them in the starting rotation will be middle blockers Erin Sebbas and Stefani Saragosa and outside hitter Shannon Torregrosa. The loss of NCAA hitting percentage leader and All-Pac-10 middle blocker Marisa DaLee is significant, but will be offset by the return of Saragosa, who played in 30 of Arizona's 33 matches last season with an ailing shoulder that has been surgically repaired, and the spring emergence of Sebbas. Coach Rubio is counting on Torregrosa to have a breakout season in the outside hitter spot vacated by the departure of All-Pac-10 performer Allison Napier. Others returning players that are expected to see extensive floor time are Christina Frost and setter/right side hitter Lauren Benward.
Arizona has also added a number of newcomers that the coaching staff figure will see playing time, including setter Rochelle Ruen, right side hitter Kellie Burton and defensive specialist Kelli Mulvany.
Starting Lineup Possibilities
Setter - Dana Burkholder
Right Side- Jill Talbot
Outside - Lisa Rutledge / Christina Frost
Middle Blocker- Stefani Saragosa / Erin Sebbas
Defensive Specialist- Rachel Williams / Kelli Mulvany
A Look Back: The 2000 season was one of the finest in school history. The Wildcats finished the season 28-5, matching the school record for wins in a season. 20 of Arizona's 28 victories were 3-0 sweeps and of Arizona's five loses only one was in three game, two were in four games and two went all five. Arizona was an outstanding 14-1 in home matches, 11-2 on the road and 3-2 in neutral court contests. (More) They advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, the deepest an Arizona team has ever gone. UA won its first Pac-10 title, sharing it with USC. 2000 marked the first time a team other than UCLA or Stanford had won the Pac-10 championship since conference play began in 1986. The 16-2 Pac-10 record shattered the school record for conference wins by four. Individually, returning setter Dana Burkholder became one of the most recognized athletes in school history. She was named both AVCA and Volleyball Magazine First-Team All-America (the first, first-team member since 1985), to the NCAA Central Region All-Tournament Team, the Pac-10 Player of the Year, First-Team All-Pac-10 and AVCA All-Pacific Region. She set numerous school records, including single-match (84), single-season (1,562) and career marks (4,068) for assists, while guiding the Arizona offense to a NCAA Division I leading .320 attack percentage, the best in school history and the second-best ever in the Pac-10. Departed seniors Marisa DaLee and Allison Napier, both 1,000 career kill members, each tallied First-Team All-Pac-10 honors. Giving the Cats three for the season, the most in any single year. DaLee led the nation in hitting percentage (.437) and was also named AVCA All-Pacific Region. Jill Talbot and Lisa Rutledge, who both return in 2001, each garnered Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors as well.
2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year David Rubio: In nine years as Arizona's head coach, Rubio has taken the Cats from the abyss of a winless Pac-10 season to the pinnacle of a conference championship. Inheriting a team that did not win a single match in the conference the year before he arrived, he has turned the Wildcats into a club that has made seven postseason appearances in eight years, won a Pac-10 Championship and 11 NCAA Tournament matches. Rubio has recruited and coached two All-Americans, the 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year, 13 All-Pac-10 performers, six All-Pac-10 freshman players and eight academic all-conference athletes at Arizona. Also, UA athletes have earned 13 Pac-10 Player of the Week honors under his guide. During his tenure at Arizona, Rubio has led the Wildcats to 177 victories and a winning league mark over the last eight seasons. Last year's 16-2 Pac-10 record smashed the school mark for conference victories.
Rule Changes in 2001: Into play in 2001 is the faster paced "rally scoring". In a departure from the previous scoring format, a team may score a point whether it is the serving or receiving team, there are no longer "side-outs" in which the service receiving teams cannot score. Simply stated, every time the ball is put in play, each team will have an opportunity to score. Now, in order for a team to win a non-deciding game (the first four games of the match) it must be the first to reach 30 points and lead by at least two using rally scoring. In a match deciding game (the fifth game of the match) the first team to reach 15, again in rally scoring format (i.e. no side-outs), and lead by two or more points is the winner of that game. Another change is that served balls that touch the net and continue on to the opponent's side will remain in play. Balls that strike the net and fall on the serving team's side or out of play will result in a point for the opposition. Previously, any ball that struck the net on a serve was ruled dead and resulted in a side-out.
New Statisitc: With implementation of the new rules comes a new stat. Players responsible for socring a point for their team are also credited with a point of their own. Points are a combination of kills+service aces+solo blocks+1/2 block assists. For example, Lisa Rutledge leads the team with 133.5 points. This is derived from her 119 kills + her seven service aces + her three solo blocks + her nine block assists (1/2 point each)= 133.5 points. Arizona's point totals are included in the stats on the final page of the release.