Oct. 28, 2008
The Arizona volleyball team (13-8, 3-6 Pac-10) heads north to face in-state rival Arizona State (11-11, 2-7) on Sunday, Nov. 2nd at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The match between the Wildcats and Sun Devils will be the second of the season and be Arizona’s only televised game of the season. The contest will be shown live on FSN.
Scouting the Opposition:
Arizona State- The Sun Devils are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season when they upset then No. 24 Oregon State 3-0 in Covrallis, Ore. Head coach Jason Watson is in his first season at Arizona State after coming over from BYU. The Sun Devils have been up and down most of the season. The team started the season winning nine of its first 11 matches and played several nationally ranked teams tough before getting the upset of the Beavers.
Arizona State – The Wildcats have faced the Sun Devils more than any other team in the program’s history with the schools playing 73 times since 1977. The Sun Devils hold a slight edge, 37-36, with the Wildcats winning the first meeting of 2008, 3-0. The Sun Devils had won the previous four matches before Arizona broke that stretch this season.
October 1, 2008 at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. – The No. 25 Wildcats used a 20-5 run in the second set and a 45-15 run to close out the match and beat in-state rival Arizona State 3-0. Arizona got by the Sun Devils 25-23, 25-20 and 25-10 to get a win in the rivalry for the first time in two years. In the match, the Wildcats recorded a season-high 15 total team blocks, led by sophomore Stephanie Snow who had a career-high 10. The team had a stretch of five straight points in the second set that were earned in blocks. Junior Alana Resch also had a season-high 26 digs in the win.
Arizona @ No. 24 Oregon State: Playing one of its worst matches of the season, the Wildcats fell to No. 24 Oregon State 3-0. Arizona recorded a season-low 29 kills and built a season-low .124 hitting percentage on its way to the loss, 27-25, 25-21, 25-19. Sophomore Tiffany Owens led the team with 14 kills and sophomore Whitney Dosty added six kills, while no one else on the team had more than three.
Arizona @ No. 7 Oregon: Arizona fell to 1-7 against ranked opponents with a 3-0 loss to No. 7 Oregon., 25-20, 25-21 and 25-20. The Ducks outhit the Wildcats .304-.221. No Arizona player recorded double digits in kills, with senior Randy Goodenough leading the way with eight.
The Dreary Pacific Northwest – Arizona combined for just 62 kills in two matches in Oregon over the weekend. The Wildcats collected a season-low 29 against Oregon State and followed that with 33 the next night against Oregon. Those are the two lowest outputs on the season for Arizona and they had a season-worst .124 hitting percentage against the Beavers.
One Bright Spot – Junior Alanna Resch recorded 35 digs in the two losses in Oregon. With 22 digs against Oregon State, the libero had three straight game of 20+ digs. Resch has 283 digs on the season and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in that category
Rough Stretch – Arizona finished a streak of seven straight games against ranked opponents. The Wildcats ended that stretch 1-6 with their lone win coming to then No. 11 USC. On the season, Arizona is 1-7 against ranked teams and its one those that came to an unranked opponent happed against Santa Clara, who is now ranked 24th.
The Real T.O. –Sophomore Tiffany Owens has been the most consistent player so far for Arizona. The outside hitter is averaging 2.97 kills per set and 2.62 digs per set, good enough for second on the team in both. Owens holds the team high in kills in a match at 23 and has led the squad in kills in four of the last seven matches.
Block party – The 2008 Wildcats have been a team known for their blocks. Arizona continues to lead the Pac-10 in blocks-per-set with 2.77 and is 11th in the nation. Arizona recorded a season-high 15 blocks in their 3-0 win over ASU. Sophomore Stephanie Snow is sixth in the league in blocks with 1.14 per set. Snow picked up a career-high 10 blocks in the 3-0 win over ASU.
Cover Paige –The sophomore setter leads the team in assists with 750 in 21 matches and irecorded a season-high 61 assists in the team’s win over USC. That mark was just two assists below her career-high of 63 set last season as a freshman against St. Mary’s. Weber is six in the Pac 10 in assists per set at 10.27. She is also fourth in the league in aces per serve at 0.33. Weber has won two tournament MVP awards this season, one in the opening Wildcat Classic and one in the CSU Bakersfield Invitational.
Dosty’s best? – According to head coach Dave Rubio, sophomore Whitney Dosty played her best match of her young Wildcat career when she recorded 20 kills with a .429 hitting percentage in the team’s 3-2 upset over No. 11 USC. The .429 mark was a career high for the outside hitter and making the performance even more impressive was the fact that she played just one set in the team’s previous match and didn’t record a kill, with three errors on five attempts and a -.600 hitting percentage. Dosty continues to lead the team in kills with 3.08 per set.
Double-Double X 3 (Correction) – Sophomore setter Paige Weber was one of three Wildcats to record a double-double in the team’s loss at Colorado State with 46 assists and 12 digs. In previous releases, only senior Brooke Buringrud (12 kills, 13 digs) and sophomore Tiffany Owens (14 kills, 10 digs) were credited with double-doubles.
Digging towards the top – Senior Brittany Leonard recorded her 1,000 career dig in the team’s 3-2 win over UC Riverside. The libero continues her climb up the career digs list. The Menlo Park, Calif. resident is ninth on the career list. Leonard is still 267 digs from the career leader Terry Lauchner who has 1,297, while Leonard sits at 1,030.
Arizona’s place – The Wildcats sit in first in the conference in blocks (2.77 per set), second in services aces (1.37 per set) and third in opponents hitting percentage (.168). Nationally, the team is 11th in blocks per set .
‘Cats in the poll – As fast as Arizona showed up in the AVCA Top-25, they fell out. After being ranked for the first time since Sept. 11, 2006, the Wildcats dropped out after their 3-1 loss at No. 12 Colorado State, but are climbing back up the rankings. Arizona is currently in 27th in the poll.
Pac-10 in the Top-25 –The Pac-10 has six teams in the top-12 and eight in the top-31. Cal sits at the top at number four, Stanford’s at five, Washington is sixth, Oregon seventh, UCLA ninth, USC 12th . Arizona is the 27th team listed and Oregon State is the 31st.
2008 award winners - Throughout the season, a handful of Wildcats have been awarded tournament honors. Three players were named to the CSUB All-Tournament Team. Paige Weber brought home tournament MVP, while Jacy Norton and Whitney Dosty were named to the all-tournament team. Ttwo Wildcats were named to the Arizona Invitational All-Tournament Team, Stephanie Snow and Tiffany Owens. The week before Paige Weber was named Wildcat Classic MVP, Alanna Resch was named Wildcat Classic Most Outstanding Libero and Tiffany was named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team, her first or two awards in as many weeks.
13-set win streak - Arizona started the season winning the first 13 sets it played in before losing its first set and match to Santa Clara on 9/5/08. 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 sets before dropping a set to Oregon to open Pac-10 play.
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.
Head coach Dave Rubio boasts a 318-183 record in his 17 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 440-249 career record.