Dec. 5, 2003
COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The Arizona volleyball team's season came to an end in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. The Wildcats fell in four games to Wisconsin at the G. Rollie White Coliseum on the campus of Texas A&M University. Game scores were 30-24, 25-30, 32-30, 30-26. The Wildcats finished their rollercoaster year with a 17-15 mark.
"I think our play tonight speaks loudly enough," Arizona coach David Rubio said. "Give credit to Wisconsin for the win and their level of play, but we were our own worst enemy out there tonight."
Wisconsin used numerous five- and six-point scoring runs in the victory, as Arizona's season-long struggles in putting together a consistent level of play came to light over and over in the loss. Unable to capitalize on 17 service errors by the Badgers, UA hit just .199 as a team while committing 30 attack errors on the night.
Individually, junior Jolene Killough provided the only consistent offense for UA, finishing with a career-high 16 kills on 25 swings with just one error for a .600 hitting percentage. She also added a match-high-tying four block assists and two digs.
All-America candidate Kim Glass ended her sophomore season with a match-high 20 kills, her school record 18th match of the year with 20 or more, and 14 digs but also added 10 attack errors and four of UA's 12 service errors in the loss. Classmates Bre Ladd and Jennifer Abernathy posted 10 and 11 kills, respectively, but hit just .167 and .188.
Senior Kelly Griffin-Halfaker, who came off the bench to help lead the Wildcats to the game two win, finished her final match at Arizona with 14 assists, four digs and a match-high four service aces. Junior libero Kelli Mulvany posted a team-best 16 digs.
The Badgers, who will play the winner of the Texas A&M-Nicholls State match in the second round on Saturday, were paced Shelia Shaw's 18 kills on .485 hitting and Aubrey Meierotto's 17 kills and .457 attack percentage.
Arizona's first round defeat is the earliest it has exited the tournament since 1997. The loss also snapped UA's streak of three-straight trips to the Elite Eight, four-straight Sweet 16 appearances and seven-straight 20-win seasons.