Sept. 2, 2008
The Arizona volleyball team (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts its second tournament of the year with the Arizona Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5-6 in McKale Center. The Wildcats will be accompanied Texas State, Santa Clara and Texas Tech. The team starts the invitational against Texas State and Santa Clara on Friday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. respectively. They will close out the invitational with Texas Tech on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Complete classic schedule:
Friday, Sept. 5 Arizona vs Texas State 10 a.m.
Santa Clara vs. Texas Tech 12 p.m.
Texas Tech vs. Texas State 5 p.m.
Arizona vs. Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6 Texas State vs.Santa Clara 10 a.m.
Arizona vs. Texas Tech 12:30 p.m
Wildcat Classic Recap:
Arizona finished 3-0 and won the Wildcat Classic last weekend in McKale Center. The Wildcats won all nine games they competed in and beat their opponents a combined 225- 162. The team placed three players on the All-Tournament Team including the tournament’s M.V.P. Paige Weber and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Libero Alanna Resch. Outside hitter Tiffany Owens was also named to the team. From San Jose State, Niki Clement and Kelly Crow made the team, Brittney Bisaillon made it from Weber State and Gardner-Webb’s Laura Wilcox was placed on the squad. In all, Arizona finished 3-0, Weber State went 2-1, San Jose State 1-2 and Gardner-Webb ended 0-3.
Gardner-Webb vs. Arizona - The Wildcats closed out the classic with a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs. Arizona was came out and beat Gardner-Webb 25-12 in the first set with a hitting percentage of .700 and they recorded no attack errors. The Bulldogs gave the Wildcats a bit of a scare in the second set, failing 25-21 and Arizona won easily in the third 25-15. Freshman Dana Hutchinson led Arizona with nine kills on 22 attempts.
San Jose Sate vs. Arizona – In front of a vocal crowd, Arizona beat San Jose State 3-0. The team finished with a hitting percentage of .302 and a seaso-high 42 kills. Tiffany Owens led the Wildcats with 13 kills and a .455 hitting percentage, while also adding nine digs and three blocks. In front of 643 fans, Arizona beat the Spartans 25-19, 25-13 and 28-26.
Weber State vs. Arizona – To open the Wildcat Classic Friday morning, Arizona beat Weber State 3-0. Again, Tiffany Owens led the team with 11 kills and added 12 digs for the team’s first double-double. Arizona struggled a bit with 20 attack errors and nine service errors but prevailed 26-24, 25-13 and 25-19.
Scouting the Opposition:
Texas State- This will be the two team’s first match-up in school history. The Bobcats are the second of four teams the Wildcats play for the first time. Arizona beat Gardner-Webb in their first meeting with the Bulldogs. The final two are Chicago State and Stephen F. Austin.
Santa Clara – Santa Clara began the season splitting its first two matches. The Broncos opened the year with a 3-2 win over Utah Valley before falling to Utah the next day 3-2. Santa Clara showed up in the AVCA poll this week under Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots. The Broncos had 15 points. Santa Clara is led by Brittany Lowe and Anna Cmaylo, who both had 33 kills in the two matches last weekend.
Texas Tech- The Red Raiders are coming off a 3-0 tournament showing while winning the Mean Green Classic. Texas Tech beat Jackson State, Texas-Arlington and North Texas to start its season unbeaten. Brandi Hood was awarded the tournament MVP and leads the Red Raiders as a middle blocker.
Texas State - Friday’s season-opening match between Arizona and Weber State will be the third time the two schools have faced off. The Wildcats and Wildcats met in back-to-back seasons in 1977 and 1978, which were Arizona’s first two years with volleyball. Arizona prevailed in both contests 3-0 in 1977 in Tucson and 3-0 in 1978 in Ogden, UT.
Santa Clara - The Wildcats and Broncos have met seven times in volleyball with Arizona holding a slight edge 4-3. The schools’ last meeting came in 2005 with Santa Clara coming out on top. The Broncos beat the Wildcats 3-1in Santa Clara, while they were ranked #25 in the nation.
Texas Tech – The Wildcats and Red Raiders meet for the eight time on Saturday. Texas Tech has yet to beat Arizona and the all-time series sits at 5-0-2. The two schools haven’t played since 1995 where Arizona prevailed 3-0.
Perfect so far - Arizona started the season winning the first nine games it played in. The last time the Wildcats began the season on a similar streak was 2005 when they won their first 12 sets. 2005 was also the last time Arizona was in the postseason. Arizona record for starting the season with the most consecutive set wins was 2001 when they won their first 17 matches before dropping a set to Oregon to open Pac-10 play.
‘Cats in the poll – Arizona showed up in the AVCA Coaches poll in the Others Receiving Votes category. The Wildcats were the 31st team on the list with 32 points.
Pac-10 in the Top-25 – After opening the season with six teams in the top-11, the Pac-10 now has six teams in the top-13. Oregon fell two spots from 11 to 13. Stanford moved down one spot from two to three. Cal stayed at five, UCLA stayed at six and USC fell from four to seven. Washington rounds out the list remaining at nine.
Owens-Owens - Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Owens recorded the team’s first double-double in the team’s first game. Owens had 11 kills and 12 digs in the Wildcats 3-0 win over Weber State.
Since records began being kept of Arizona volleyball in 1977, the team is 24-8 in opening-season games and have won its last four including this season’s 3-0 win over Weber State. Under head coach Dave Rubio, the Wildcats are 13-4 to start the year.
2008 career records to look for:
Senior Brittany Leonard holds the current record for digs-per-game at 3.19. Leonard is also 10th on the total digs list at 968. In her first three season, Leonard has averaged 322 digs and if she matches that total it will put her at 1,290, good for second on the all-time list behind leader Terry Lauchner at 1,297.
2007 in the record books:
Junior Alanna Resch also put herself in the record books with 3.38 digs per game. That placed Resch fifth on the list and behind current senior Brittany Leonard’s 2005 total of 3.70 and 2006 total of 3.84, which is tops in program history.
2007 award winners:
Pac-10 Preseason Poll:
Arizona was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference's head coaches. The Wildcats garnered 39 points in the vote, as defending champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 volleyball title. Stanford claimed 90 points, 15 more than second-place UCLA, including nine of the 10 first-place votes. UCLA was the only other team to receive a first-palce vote. USC fell into third with 68 points and Cal was picked fourth with 62 points. Both schools made it to the Final Four last season. Washington came in fifth with 59 points, followed by Oregon in sixth with 51 points. Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.
Arizona will be faced with the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the country in 2007. The Wildcats will participate in four non-conference tournaments before competing in the Pac-10 Conference. Arizona will face nine teams this season that participated in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Matchups with Colorado State, Santa Clara and Texas State highlight a tough non-conference slate that will prepare the Wildcats for the ever difficult Pac-10 which features last season’s national runner-up Stanford, two other Final Four teams in Cal and USC.
Head coach Dave Rubio boasts a 305-175 record in his 16 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program. In 2005, he not only became the winningest coach in Arizona history, he also notched his 400th career victory in the team's win over Ohio in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. In 21 years as a head coach, Rubio has a 427-241 career record.