Nov. 19, 2010
No. 22 Arizona (7-7, 18-9) vs. Washington State (0-14, 6-18)
Friday, Nov. 19
7 p.m. MST | McKale Center| Tucson, Ariz.
No. 22 Arizona (7-7, 18-9) vs. No. 11 Washington (7-7, 18-7)
Saturday, Nov. 20
7 p.m. MST | McKale Center| Tucson, Ariz.
Ahead This Week for UA Volleyball: No. 22 Arizona looks to take advantage of its final homestand of the season when it hosts Washington State and No. 11 Washington this weekend. The Cats, currently at 18-9 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-10 try to improve upon their conference standing in a couple pivotal matches. Washington State, winless in the conference, will be playing with nothing to lose as it hopes to sour some of the Wildcats' aspirations. In Pullman, Wash. earlier this season, UA ended a four-match losing streak in topping the Cougars in straight sets, 3-0. On Saturday, when the Cats face UW, it will arguably be Arizona's biggest match of the season as each team is tied at fifth place with a record of 7-7 in league. UA will be looking to beat Washington for the first time in eight years.
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...And lest we forget about the Arizona Athletics Facebook page, check us out over the world's largest social network through either the general Arizona Athletics page or sport specific page.
Last week: Playing two Top 10 teams on the road is never a thrill, and the Wildcats didn't have its best effort on either Friday or Saturday, falling in straight sets to No. 6 USC and 3-1 vs. No. 10 UCLA. The losses are disheartening considering how close the Wildcats played each when they faced off in Tucson in October. Whitney Dosty was the only Cat in double figure kills with 16 while Candace Nicholson mustered the only double digit dig effort with 11. After a regroup, UA looked to salvage things against the Bruins only to be blitzkrieged by a couple UCLAans going for 20 plus kills in rout to the win. In the Wooden Center. Tiffany Owens and Courtney Karst rebounded for 16 and 15 kills, respectively.
In The Rankings: Arizona, after faltering on the road at USC and UCLA, fell two spots to No. 22 in the AVCA weekly poll. It's the fifth consecutive poll in which Arizona has been ranked and eighth overall. The Pac-10 continues to lead the country in teams ranked with seven for the fifth straight week. In the RPI, the Cats chart in at No. 32 overall.
Head Coach Dave Rubio ...is in his 19th season as head coach of Arizona. In that time span, Rubio has a record of 358-209. Rubio also boasts a career record of 480-275 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.
Here's Looking at You: No. 22 Arizona and No. 11 Washington are quite similar in overall and conference records and thus, are tied for fifth place in the conference. Both slated at 7-7 in the league, their Saturday evening matchup will prove crucial to their final positioning. In their previous match vs. the Huskies in Seattle, Arizona hung tough after falling down 2-0, but it couldn't complete the comeback, falling in five sets 3-2.
A Glance At The Conference: The Pac-10 race is coming down to the wire this season with No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 California and No. 6 USC with a chance at the conference championship. In addition, all seven ranked teams are fighting it out for the best position heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Cats, currently tied for fifth with No. 11 Washington, have much fluidity in their final position in the standings before Selection Sunday.
Arizona vs. Ranked Teams in 2010: After missing a ranked opponent over its non-conference schedule, Arizona has not fared well when playing ranked conference teams. Holding a record of 2-7, UA has defeated a ranked Oregon team twice this season. The Wildcats will get a couple more chances though with No. 11 Washington this weekend at home and next week they look at upsetting either Top 5 team in Stanford or Cal.
Double Double Leader: Over the course of the season, Tiffany Owens has been the Cats' top scorer and defender. The versatile outside hitter passes and serves in every rotation and has a knack for racking up double-digit kills and digs. She continues to lead the Pac-10 in double-doubles, recording a total of 15 matches with a 10 spot in the kills and digs category.
All-Academic Paige: Senior setter Paige Weber has been able to find that perfect balance between her studies and volleyball during her four seasons at Arizona. The Indianapolis native, studying accounting at the Eller College of Management, carries a 3.88 grade point average and on Wednesday was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team for the third consecutive season. Way to go, Paige.
Conference Efficiency: Cursty Jackson continues to rank among the conference's elite when talking about attack percentage. Jackson, a middle blocker from the City of Angels, charts in with 143 kills for an attack percentage of .356. Jackson is also one of three UA players to appear in every set this season.
Arizona's Offensive Spark: Senior Paige Weber is proving to be one of the nation's top setters yet again in 2010 as she has totaled 1126 assists for an a/s ratio of 11.26. Now in her final year at UA, Weber has recorded 4, 759 total assists, good for second on UA all-time assist chart, trailing only All-American Dana Burkholder. Weber is also third among active Pac-10 setters in total assists. Additionally, Weber has tallied at least 1,000 kills all four seasons at Arizona.
Quite the Streak: Weber has put together quite an impressive iron-woman streak, playing in every set of her Wildcat career. That amounts to 428 consecutive sets played over three plus seasons. In terms of matches started, Weber is currently third on the UA list with 118. Should Weber start UA's last four matches and a possible NCAA Tournament match, she'll tie Bre Ladd's record of 123 matches started for a career.
Fall Signing Class: Arizona brings in arguably a Top 10 recruiting class for the 2011 season after singing five highly touted recruits. Halli Amaro, Shaquillah Torres, Chloe Mathis, Taylor Arizobal and Rachel Rhoades comprise this year's class. This season, Amaro and Mathis were each named to the Under Armour All-America team. Mathis, from La Jolla, Calif., is a First Team selection while Amaro was on the Second Team.
NCAA Selection Sunday: This year's annual NCAA Selection show will be November 28 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on ESPNews. Tune in to find out who the Wildcats will face should they get a bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.