Sept. 9, 2003
Wildcat Classic Quick Hits: The Wildcats had a down and up weekend at the 20th-annual Wildcat Classic ... Arizona opened the three-day event losing twice in four games to San Diego State and No. 20 Santa Clara, but rebounded to sweep previously unbeaten Miami and Rhode Island to finish with a 2-2 mark on the weekend ... Santa Clara ran the table and went 4-0 in the classic ... Dating back to last season's Wildcat Classic, Arizona had lost four straight matches in the event before Friday's 3-0 sweep over Miami ... As a team Arizona hit .301 for the weekend and averaged 15.86 kpg, 1.71 sapg, 13.07 dpg and 2.68 bpg ... Sophomore Kim Glass led all Arizona players with 76 kills (a 5.43 kpg average) and 38 digs. Glass was Arizona's lone representative on the All-Wildcat Classic team ... Classmate Jennifer Abernathy posted a pair of career-highs in the 3-1 loss to Santa Clara on Thursday . The outside hitter tallied 18 kills and a .412 hitting percentage in the match. For the weekend Abernathy finished with 48 kills (3.69 kpg) and 19 digs ... Middle blockers Jolene Killough (15) and Bre Ladd (14) combined for 29 total blocks in the four matches. Ladd added 44 kills and Killough another 33 ... Arizona's two freshmen starters Stephanie Butkus and Kristina Baum added 162 assists (11.57 apg) and 26 kills (2.00 kpg), respectively.
Poor Service: Arizona's pair of losses last weekend can be attributed in part to Arizona's struggle on the service line. In the four matches at the Wildcat Classic Arizona totaled 65 miscues on serve, including a season-high 24 in the 3-1 loss SDSU and 17 more in the defeat to Santa Clara.
The Race To 1,000: Sophomore Kim Glass, who recorded a single-season school record 556 kills in her freshman year, is on pace to become the fastest Arizona player to reach 1,000 kills in a career. After posting 130 kills in her first seven matches this season, Glass has accumulated 686 career kills in 39 matches played. Should she knock down the remaining 314 kills needed to reach the mark, Glass would become the first sophomore in school history to do so. Glass needs to average 13.7 kills per match in Arizona's 23 remaining scheduled contests to reach 1,000 in the regular season. Former Wildcat All-American Barb Bell is currently the fastest to 1,000, having achieved the milestone in the 10th match of her junior year (her 65th career match).
Non-Conference Opponents In McKale Center: Since the Arizona volleyball team first began playing its matches in McKale Center in 1983 the Wildcats have held their own against non-conference opponents at home, including many nationally ranked schools. Arizona is 85-23 all-time against non-conference opposition in McKale, including a 51-12 home non-conference record over the last 12 seasons-plus under current head coach David Rubio.
Youth Reigns: The Wildcats feature a decidedly youthful team in 2003. Arizona's roster of 14 includes just one senior and three juniors. The other 10 spots consist of four sophomores and six freshmen (including redshirt Meghan Cumpston). Arizona's starting lineup through the first seven matches have consisted of two freshmen, three sophomores and a junior.
Polling Place: Arizona's 2-2 record at the Wildcat Classic last weekend dropped it four spots, from 10th to 14th, in the latest AVCA Coaches poll. Arizona trails Santa Clara by 121 points for the No. 13 spot and holds a 29 point lead over Notre Dame which is ranked 15th. Conference foe USC remains the undisputed favorite in the No. 1 spot with all 65 first place votes.
Poll Facts: Arizona's Week Two ranking extends its streak to 81 consecutive polls in the top 25 ... Santa Clara, which won the Wildcat Classic last weekend, jumped from No. 20 to No. 12 in the poll ... UC Santa Barbara, one of three teams Arizona is slated to play this weekend, fell five spots from No. 7 to No. 11 after losing a pair of matches last weekend ... The Pac-10 Conference continues to have six of its 10 member schools in the top 25. The complete poll can be found on pg. 4.
Fast Facts: Led by junior Jolene Killough's four, a total of three Arizona players this season have matched or bettered their career single-match highs this season. Killough has bettered her previous career-highs in kills, attempts, service aces and block assists. Sophomore Jennifer Abernathy has improved her career marks in kills, attempts and hitting percentage, while classmate Bre Ladd equalled her career-high in kills and bettered her single-match mark service in aces mark ... Arizona's win over Miami (Fla.) ended a two match losing streak. The last time Arizona lost three in a row was last season when the Wildcats dropped consecutive matches to USC, ASU and WSU from Sept. 21- Oct. 3 ... The win over Miami also stopped Arizona's overall record from falling below .500. After the first match of the year, the last time Arizona's overall record fell under .500 during a season came in 1992 ... Arizona is 1-1 this season against teams ranked in the Top 25. From 2000-02 Arizona went 24-18 against teams ranked in the top 25 ... The two consecutive tournaments (last week and this week) is the first time Arizona has hosted back-to-back weekend tournaments since 1997.
They're Not Freshmen Anymore: Arizona's heralded freshman class of last season has certainly taken what they learned in 2002 and put it use this year. The sophomore trio of Jennifer Abernathy, Kim Glass and Bre Ladd are ahead today from where they were seven matches into last season.
Abernathy Glass Ladd
2002 2003 2002 2003 2002 2003
Starts 2 7 7 7 7 7
Kills 28 71 97 130 40 83
Attempts 65 185 219 307 100 163
Hit% .215 .162 .311 .238 .220 .344
Digs 29 44 51 59 10 17
Blocks 5 5 13 11 25 26
Setting Them Up: Stephanie Butkus is Arizona's first true freshman to fill the starting setter role since Dana Burkholder took the floor as a first-year Wildcat in 1998. Although Butkus has had her ups and downs this season, her numbers aren't much different from two-time All-American Burkholder's first seven matches in a Wildcat uniform.
Player Year G Assists APG Team Hitting %
Burkholder 1998 25 302 12.08 .266
Butkus 2003 24 293 12.21 .254
Arizona Invitational Field: Coming to Tucson this weekend for six matches in two days at the Four Points University Plaza Arizona Invitational are New Mexico State, No. 11 UC Santa Barbara and American University ... New Mexico State: The Aggies come to Tucson for the first time since 2000 .... NMSU is 3-2 overall this season and returns eight starters and nine letterwinners from last season's 26-7 team ... Leading the way for the Aggies this season are Trinia Cuseo, Stevi Adams and Abby Stines. Cuseo leads all NMSU players with 47 kills in 16 games played, but is followed closely by Adams' 45 kills and Stiens' 41 ... Setter Morgan Reader is as much a threat to dish the ball (173 assists) as she is to attack (31 kills) ... NMSU is coached by Mike Jordan who is 91-74 in Las Cruces ... Arizona and NMSU have played 10 times since 1977 with Arizona owning a perfect 10-0 record during that span ... UCSB: Santa Barbara comes to Tucson as the No. 11-ranked team in the country with a 2-2 record ... The Sept. 12 matchup is the first of two that Arizona will have with UCSB. The two schools will also meet up in Santa Barbara on Nov. 29 for the final match of the regular season ... The Gauchos split their matches last weekend with Florida and San Diego ... UCSB returns four starters and nine letterwinners from last season's 30-3 NCAA regional semifinal team ... Leading the way for the Gauchos this season is Megan Blackshire (37 kills, .411 hitting %) and Erica Menzel (44 kills. 47 digs ... Head coach Kathy Gregory is in her 29th season on the Gauchos' bench and has recorded a 703-296 record. UCSB's first match on Friday, against American, will be her 1,000th career match coached at UCSB ... Arizona is 5-6 against UCSB in its 11 all-time matches. The two last met in 2001 with Arizona scoring a 3-0 win ... American: The Eagles come to Tucson with a 2-4 record in tow ... AU, which has lost its last two matches, returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's NCAA second round team ... Leading the way for American this season are Karla Kucerkova (101 kills, 55 digs) and Kutrina Biddulph (55 kills, 15 total blocks) ... AU is guided by 15th-year head coach Barry Goldberg. Goldberg is 354-140-1 all-time at American ... Arizona and American last met last season with Arizona tallying a 3-0 win in Louisville, Ky. ... Arizona is 2-0 all-time against American.