Nov. 22, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.- The No. 25-ranked Arizona volleyball team capped off a remarkable Pac-10 second-half turnaround with a 3-1 win over Washington State in its conference regular season finale at McKale Center on Friday. Game scores were 30-24, 27-30, 30-16, 30-27.
Arizona, which started the conference season with a five consecutive losses, finished on a 10-3 roll to complete the Pac-10 slate tied with No. 11 Washington for fifth place in the standings at 10-8.
The win also guaranteed that UA will post a record above .500 for the regular season, a minimum requirement in order to be eligible for postseason play. With two matches left to play on the schedule, Arizona is 16-13 overall. Washington State, which completed its 2003 season with the loss to the Wildcats, finished 9-20 overall and 5-13 in the Pac-10
The match with the Cougars was a reflection of UA's season, a lot of ups and downs. The Wildcats won game one despite getting out-hit by the Cougars .400 to .310, then dropped game two with a match-low .118 attack percentage. After a long talk during the break, UA roared back to life with a dominating game three win, which included six of Arizona's season-high 16 service aces, and then won the match in the fourth on 11 kills by sophomore Kim Glass.
Individually, it was another night and another record for Glass. The outside hitter ripped off 31 kills on .351 hitting to lead all players. The 30-kill match was the third of the season for her and marked her school record-breaking 31st match with 20 or more kills in her career. She also added 13 digs and two assists.
Classmate Jennifer Abernathy racked up 16 kills on .250 hitting to compliment Glass' effort and also served up a career-high five aces, including three in the game three win. Freshman Kristina Baum added 10 kills, four aces and seven digs, while middle blockers Bre Ladd and Jolene Killough added nine and seven kills, respectively, in the winning effort.
Other standouts included freshman setter Stephanie Butkus, who dished out 63 assists and posted 12 digs for the Wildcats, and libero Kelli Mulvany, who finished with 18 digs.
Arizona will complete its regular season next week with a pair of non-conference matches. The Wildcats will take on Northern Arizona on Monday at 10:30 am before closing out the regular season on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara.