Sept. 30, 2010
Arizona State (0-2, 5-9) at Arizona (0-2, 10-4)
7 p.m. MST | McKale Center | Tucson, Ariz.
Tape Delay TV Broadcast: Fox Sports Net
Television Talent: Jim Watson (play-by-play), Holly McPeak (analyst)
All-Time Series: Series is tied at 38-38 in 76 matches played
First Meeting: Sept. 30, 1977 (ASU 2 UA 0 in Tempe, Ariz.)
Last Meeting: Nov. 13, 2009 (UA 3 ASU 0 in Tucson, Ariz.)
Ahead This Week for UA Volleyball: Arizona Volleyball this week hosts in-state rival Arizona State in a 7 p.m. Friday match televised by Fox Sports Net…The Cats, after suffering two bitter defeats against Cal and Stanford, look to right the ship against its neighbors from the north…Last season vs. the Devils, UA made sure to take care of business vs. Sparky, winning both matches…Lets see if a repeat is in-store…
Stay Connected: There are many mediums for you to stay connected with Arizona Volleyball…First and foremost, check out recaps, schedules, releases, GameTracker and general updates at ArizonaWildcats.com…If you want more in depth news straight from the coaching staff, check out the Arizona Volleyball twitter feed at twitter.com/arizonavball…Additionally, all home matches will be streamed live through UA’s Comcast All-Access player.
State Farm Territorial Cup: Since last season, UA and ASU’s head-to-head match-ups took on an added bonus with the inception of the State Farm Territorial Cup. The Cup, which was awarded in previous years to the winner of the annual football game, is now an across-the-board contest that includes 18 sports from volleyball to track and field. Last season, Arizona beat ASU 10.5 to 7.5 in the inaugural race. Arizona Volleyball looks to get the ball rolling again for the department as it did in 2009. In cases such as volleyball where teams meet twice, the point is awarded to which ever team wins twice. If a split occurs, each side is awarded ½ point.
Last week: UA had a tough week by all accounts in opening Pac-10 play at home against the Bay Area schools…After leading No. 8 Cal 2-0 and on its way to a sweep, the Cats couldn’t finish the Golden Bears off, eventually leading to a deciding fifth set and a 3-2 Cal victory. After the demoralizing loss where UA had many opportunities to win, there was an obvious hangover effect Sunday afternoon vs. Stanford. The Cardinal, the nation’s top-ranked team, was more than happy to capitalize on UA’s woes and handed down the Cats’ first 3-0 loss of the season. Additionally it was Arizona’s first 3-0 loss at home since falling to Stanford back in 2007.
In the rankings: The Cats find themselves unranked for the third consecutive week after appearing in the polls three times including the preseason ranking to begin the season. Currently, UA is receiving the third-most votes of teams not included in the AVCA’s Top 25. Arizona State has not been ranked in 2010. Six Pac-10 teams appear in the poll highlighted by all six in the top 12 including No. 1 ranked Stanford.
Head Coach Dave Rubio …is in his 19th season as head coach of Arizona. In that time span, Rubio has a record of 350-202. Rubio also boasts a career record of 472-268 in 24+ career years. In the last ten seasons, Rubio has guided the Wildcats to five Sweet 16s, four Elite Eights and to Arizona’s first-ever Final Four. His teams have won over 200 matches during this ten-year stretch, including 16 in the NCAA Tournament, which is six more than the previous 14 postseason teams combined. Rubio is assisted by associate head coach Steve Walker, assistant coach Allison Napier and volunteer coach Melissa Ohta.
Active Wins Leader in the Pac: Coach Rubio, in his 19th season with the Wildcats, is the active leader in Conference wins with 350. The “dean” of Pac-10 head coaches, Rubio’s been at the helm of UA seven years longer than the second longest tenured coach (Cal’s Rich Feller). Rubio also owns a conference winning percentage of .634 in the always tough Pac-10 and has guided the Cats to 13 NCAA appearances.
Chart the Hitting Percentage: If you were to focus on only of one the multitude of stats in predicting whether Arizona will be victorious on the evening, look to the hitting percentage. This season in matches where UA has had the higher percentage, the Cats are a perfect 10-0. In cases where they trail their opponents in overall hitting percentage, Arizona is 0-4. Look for UA to limit its errors and force the Sun Devils into tough situations come Friday evening.
COBRA Magazine Preseason All-Americans: Tiffany Owens was named to this season’s COBRA Magazine National Player of the Year Watch List. Owens is currently second on the team with 184 kills and first in digs with 131. After starting off 2010 relatively slowly, Owens has been UA’s catalyst, leading the team in kills the last three matches including recording 22 kills against New Mexico State and 25 kills vs. Cal Berkeley. Also garnering praise from COBRA was hitter Whitney Dosty who was named to the publication’s All-American Preseason Second-Team list.
Watch TO’s Double-Double’s: One stat of note during the 2009 season was Tiffany Owens’ double-doubles. When Owens amassed double-digit kills and digs, the Wildcats usually had success. Currently, Owens has five double-double performances, including two in her last three matches. Her total is good for third currently in the Pac-10.
Learning on the Fly: It has got to be quite the whirlwind experience for freshman Maddie Lozano. Originally expected to be redshirting the season and playing the outside hitter position, Lozano was thrust into the starting lineup due to a series of injuries and players leaving the program. The Roseville, Calif. product has been taking a crash course in front row-middle blocking as she tries to prepare for conference play. If anything, this experience will make her that much more versatile in years to come. To date, Lozano has 43 total blocks and 30 kills in 47 sets played.
Dosty Cracks the Whip: Outside Hitter Whitney Dosty has been arguably one of the nation’s most powerful hitters during her time with the Cats. This season, though, she has been able to find better accuracy and thus leads the team in overall kills with 197. Her kill-to-set ratio is 3.94 and has a hitting percentage of .227. She’s one of four Wildcats to appear in every set this season for UA, joining senior Paige Weber, Tiffany Owens and junior Cursty Jackson.
Nicholson Earning The Minutes: Freshman libero Candace Nicholson has been earning some serious playing time as of late for the Wildcats. The Long Beach, Calif. native currently shares time with senior Danielle Holloway as UA’s main back row defensive player. Her ability will surely help Arizona as the season progresses. Nicholson is second on the team in digs, behind only Tiffany Owens, with 101.
Acquiring Some Help: UA was helped two weekends ago with Tarryn Luafalemana and Kaylen Bannister returning off the proverbial DL. Both players will look to factor in at the middle blocker position. Luafalemana worked in sparingly against Cal and Stanford, but look for Bannister to get some PT on Friday vs. the Sun Devils.
Quite the Streak: Paige Weber has put together quite an impressive streak, playing in every set of her Wildcat career. That amounts to 376 consecutive sets over three plus seasons. The Wildcats will look to Weber’s durability again this season to take them to the postseason. Her active streak is currently third on the UA all-time consecutive sets played list. Weber also ranks in at No. 11 on the matches played all-time list with 105.
Digs Leader: Tiffany Owens gets most of her praise on the offensive end, as she often times sparks UA rallies, and is second overall on the team in kills. But her most vital asset to the team, might be her defensive prowess. Owens, who passes in all six rotations, currently leads the team in digs with 131 and is essential to the teams serve-receive.
Karst Holds the Key: If the Wildcats are to put their early losses behind them, hitter Courtney Karst perhaps holds the key on the scoring side. The Centennial, Colo. native has recorded double-digit kills on just three occasions through 14 matches played. Look for that number to increase as Karst and the Wildcats right the ship in matches to come.
Action Jackson: Cursty Jackson is one of six newcomers for the Wildcats in 2010. A transfer from UNLV by way of Los Angeles, Jackson attacks with force and great leaping ability. Through nine matches, Jackson leads the team in total blocks with 55. Her quick set attacking ability with setter Paige Weber is an asset the Cats will be able to exploit come conference time. Jackson also leads the Wildcats in hitting percentage with a .406 clip with 123 total kills.
A Few New Faces: In 2010, Arizona Volleyball welcomes in six newcomers to the line-up. Freshman middle blockers Madeline Lozano and Tarryn Luafalemana will contend for immediate playing time along the front row while freshmen liberos Candace Nicholson and Emily Helm look to provide defensive depth. Transfers Cursty Jackson (previously mentioned) and Marketa Hanzlova are also new on the roster for Arizona.
Pac-10 Preseason Poll: In this year’s Pac-10 Coaches Poll, Arizona was slated to finish fourth overall behind Stanford (1), Washington (2) and USC (3). It’s the Wildcats highest poll position since the 2005 season. Seven Conference teams were ranked among the AVCA preseason poll. Currently six are in this week’s top 25.
Up Next: The Wildcats take to the road for their final non-conference match of 2010 with a Sunday jaunt over to Las Cruces, N.M. to take on New Mexico State. UA previously topped NMSU 3-0 on Sept. 18.