THIS WEEK: The No. 17 Arizona volleyball team (8-4, 0-2) continues Pacific-10 play with matches at home against No. 10 UCLA (8-3, 1-1) and No. 3 USC (6-2, 1-1). The Wildcats face the Bruins at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, followed by a 7 p.m. match Saturday, Oct. 2, against the Trojans. Live video streaming of both matches is available at www.arizonaathletics.com.
Friday’s match is Poster/Autograph Day as the players will be on the floor after the match to sign autographs. Saturday is Cox Kids Day. All kids under 18 will receive $2 admission, while Cats Kids Club members will receive free admission with a valid membership card. There will be special promotions and prizes will be handed out all night.
A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: The Wildcats went 0-2 on the road last week to start Pac-10 play, falling at Stanford in three games (23-30, 26-30, 22-30) and losing a five-game match (30-20, 22-30, 16-30, 30-22, 13-15) on Friday at Cal.
On the season, Arizona is led by junior Jennifer Abernathy, who averages 4.15 kills and 2.35 digs per game. Junior Kim Glass adds 3.88 kills, 2.25 digs and a team-high 1.38 blocks per game, while sophomore Meghan Cumpston averages 3.84 kills and 2.45 digs per game. Setter Stephanie Butkus is averaging 11.60 assists per game, while senior Kelli Mulvany leads the team in digs with a 2.52 average.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
UCLA -The Bruins opened Pac-10 play with a four-game loss to then-No. 3 Washington (18-30, 30-24, 18-30, 22-30) before rebounding with a sweep (30-19, 30-22, 30-26) of Washington State on Saturday.
UCLA is led this season by Brittany Ringel and Brynn Murphy, who average 3.50 and 3.18 kills per game, respectively. Setter Krystal McFarland dishes out 12.36 assists per game and has a .246 digs per game average. Colby Lyman leads the team in digs with 2.59 per game, while Nana Meriwether boasts a Pac-10-leading 1.78 blocks per game average.
USC - After opening the conference season with a 3-0 victory over Washington State last Friday, then-No. 2 USC and No. 3 Washington battled it out through five games on Saturday, with the Huskies prevailing in five games (22-30, 30-25, 20-30, 30-26, 18-16) to end their 12-match losing streak to the Women of Troy. The loss is the second for USC this season, but both have been against Top 20 opponents.
On the season, USC is paced by Keao Burdine, who averages 3.59 kills and 2.75 digs per game. Emily Adams adds 2.97 kills and 1.66 blocks per game, while Debora Seilhamer has a 4.87 digs per game average. Setters Allison Dillon and Kimi Freeburg average 6.71 and 6.50 assists per game, respectively.
UCLA -Arizona is 14-42-1 all-time against the Bruins. The last time the two teams met, on Nov. 6, 2003, the Wildcats swept UCLA at home. Arizona is 8-17 at home, 5-22 away and 1-3-1 at a neutral site vs. the Bruins.
USC- Arizona is 15-42 all-time vs. the Trojans. The two teams last faced each other last Nov. 7, 2003, with USC winning 3-1 in Tucson. Arizona is 10-16 at home, 5-21 away and 0-5 at a neutral site vs. USC.
POLL FACTS: Arizona has been ranked in the Top 25 in 92 of the last 101 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Polls. The nine-week lapse occurred last year.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Junior Jennifer Abernathy leads the Wildcats with five double-doubles this season, while sophomore Stephanie Butkus has four and Meghan Cumpston has three. Juniors Kim Glass and Bre Ladd have one apiece.
REACHING MILESTONES: Setter Stephanie Butkus dished out her 1,700th career assist last Thursday at Stanford. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston recorded her 100th career dig at Stanford. Junior Kim Glass got her 150th career block at Stanford, while senior Jolene Killough notched her 350th career kill at Cal last Friday. Junior Bre Ladd recorded her 700th career kill and 275 career block at Cal.
CLOSING IN: Junior Jennifer Abernathy is seven kills away from 600 and 16 digs away from 400 on her career. Sophomore Kristina Baum is 34 kills away from 300 on her career, while fellow sophomore Meghan Cumpston is 20 kills away from 200 on her career. Setter Stephanie Butkus is 28 kills away from 150 and 42 digs away from 300 on her career. Junior Kim Glass is 13 kills away from 1250 and 15 digs away from 650 on her career, while junior Bre Ladd is four digs away from 200 and 24 blocks away from 300 on her career. Senior Kelli Mulvany is 44 digs shy of 1,000 on her career.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: Junior Jennifer Abernathy ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in kills per game, while sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus ranks seventh in assists per game. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston is ninth in kills per game, while sophomore Kristina Baum ranks fifth in hitting percentage. Senior Jolene Killough is third in hitting percentage and ninth in blocks per game, while freshman Dominique Lamb is sixth in blocks per game.
As a team, the Wildcats rank in the top half of the conference in hitting percentage, blocks and opponent hitting percentage.
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, the Wildcats rank 29th nationally in blocks per game with a 2.91 average.
GLASS’ STREAKS: Junior Kim Glass has several remarkable streaks during her career. She has at least three kills and three digs in each of the last 43 matches and 65 of 66 on her career. The one-match lapse was actually a mistake. Due to a sore calf muscle, Head Coach David Rubio decided to hold Glass out of a match at Oregon on Nov. 15, 2002. However, out of habit, Rubio listed Glass as one of the starters and she was forced to play one point before being taken out of the match. Thus, her streak should be 65 career matches, even though she’s credited with playing in 66.
MIRROR, MIRROR: This is the second year in a row that Arizona has opened Pac-10 play on the road with an 0-2 record. Last year, the Wildcats fell at Washington State and Washington. Hopefully that’s where the similarities end, as the 2003 Cats went on to lose three more conference matches for the worst Pac-10 start in school history.
RUBIO APPROACHING ARIZONA WINS RECORD: Head Coach David Rubio currently has 242 wins in his 13 seasons at the helm. He needs just 17 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.
NEXT UP: Arizona travels to Oregon to face the Oregon schools next weekend. The Wildcats face Oregon State at 7 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 8, and Oregon at 7 p.m. next Saturday, Oct. 9.