July 3, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona volleyball team has announced its schedule for the upcoming 2002 season. Coming off the first Final Four appearance in school history and a final ranking of fourth in the 2001 AVCA Coaches Poll, the Wildcats are slated to play 29 matches in the regular season, including 18 against schools that took part in the 2001 NCAA Championship Tournament.
In non-conference action, the Wildcats will again take on a number of the premier teams in the nation outside of the Pac-10. Arizona will begin the season on the road on the last weekend in August at the Louisville Labor Day Invitational in Louisville, Ky. The Wildcats will square off against 2001 NCAA Tournament participants American, Texas-Arlington and host Louisville in the two-day tournament, August 30-31.
The home schedule begins on the first weekend in September with the annual Wildcat Classic. Fellow 2001 Final Four participant Nebraska, Sweet Sixteen finisher Pepperdine and New Mexico are all scheduled to play in the two day classic on Sept. 6-7. A final tune up for before conference play beings Sept. 13-14 when the Wildcats will head to Stockton, Calif., for a rematch with 2001 Sweet Sixteen foe Pacific and a meeting with St. Mary's (Calif.) and British Columbia.
The Pac-10, which sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament field of 64 last season, looks to be the top conference in the nation again this year. Arizona will twice face defending national champion Stanford, Elite Eight finishers USC and UCLA and NCAA Tournament participants Washington State and Oregon State, in addition to competitive teams from Cal, Washington, Oregon and instate rival Arizona State.
The Wildcats will close out the regular season in the Beehive State at Brigham Young in Provo, Utah on Nov. 29 and in Salt Lake City against Utah on Nov. 30, for a final tune-up before the NCAA Tournament.