Sept. 25, 2001
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Upcoming: The defending Pac-10 Co-Champion Arizona volleyball team heads out on the road for the most challenging trip of the season. The Wildcats will face UCLA in Pauley Pavilion on Friday night and 2000 Pac-10 Co-Champs USC in North Gym on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. and Wildcat fans can listen to Internet broadcasts provided by the Bruins and Women of Troy. The UCLA match will be shown on a tape-delay basis on Fox Sports Net. FSN Arizona viewers can see the match replayed on Sat. at 10 a.m. and Sun at 2 p.m.
The Opposition: UCLA - The eighth-ranked Bruins dropped their only match last week, a 3-0 loss to crosstown rival USC in North Gym. UCLA has lost two matches in a row, albeit to top-ranked Nebraska and fifth ranked USC on their home floors. UCLA returns four starters and 10 letter winners from last season's Elite Eight team, including first-team All-American Kristee Porter. UCLA owns 41-9-1 record over the Cats all-time, but the two teams spilt the season series last year. The Bruins defeated Arizona, 3-2, in Tucson and the Cats returned the favor, 3-1, in Los Angeles. USC- The Women of Troy defeated two top 25 teams at home last week, downing no. 18 UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday and no. 7 UCLA on Friday. USC returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from its 2000 Final Team, including second-team All-Americans Jennifer Pahl and April Ross. USC holds a 36-12 advantage all-time, but, like the UCLA series from last season, the two teams split their two matches in 2000 on the way to the co-championship. Arizona swept USC, 3-0, in front of a Pac-10 record crowd in Tucson and fell, 1-3, in L.A.
The Polls: The Arizona volleyball remains third in the latest edition of the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll. The ranking is the highest for the program in school history, eclipsing the previous best of fourth set last season. The Wildcats are the highest ranked Pac-10 team, also a school first. Volleyball Magazine places Arizona fourth in its week four poll.
Arizona's Last Action: The Wildcats won their Pac-10 opening matches over Oregon and Oregon State last week in Tucson. Arizona downed the Ducks, 3-1, with a mix of offense (60 kills to 46) and defense (60 digs to 46). Arizona also dominated on the serve with a season-high 12 aces. The Ducks were able to take game three of the match, the only game Arizona has lost this season. The Cats dominated from the start of the match with Oregon State. Hitting a season-high .436, Arizona cruised to a 3-0 win. The Wildcats out-hit the Beavers (54 kills to 35) and out-dug them, 46-29, as well. Oregon State's 13 points in game two of the match were the fewest points in a game scored against the Cats under the new rally scoring format.
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 7-0
Totals 15 years 299-157
Triple-Doubles: Arizona senior setter Dana Burkholder has recorded three triple-doubles in her Wildcat career, two of which have come against Pac-10 foe UCLA. Burkholder tallied her first triple-double against the Bruins in 1999 when she dished out 70 assists, tallied 11 kills and had 14 digs. Almost a year to the day later she posted her third career trifecta with a 67 assist, 15 kill, 22 dig effort, again, against the Bruins. The good news is that it seems that UCLA brings out the best in Burkholder, the bad news is that Arizona lost both matches, 3-2.
The Wildcats vs. Top 25: Since 1992 the Wildcats have played 115 matches against top 25 teams. In those matches the Wildcats have been the higher ranked team 29 times and own a 19-10 (.655) record. A season ago, Arizona played 14 matches against top 25 teams and were the higher ranked team in 13 of them. The Wildcats went 9-4 in those matches. So far this season Arizona has played two matches against top 25 teams (at #9 Florida and home vs. #19 Utah) and have swept them both.
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 / Shannon Torregrosa
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, David 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 175 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.