Arizona Defeats Pacific 3-0 In NCAA Regional Semifinal At Sports Arena
Dec. 6, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Shannon Torregrossa had a match-high 14 kills Thursday (Dec. 6) as the No. 4-ranked Arizona Wildcats defeated the No. 12 Pacific Tigers, 30-26, 30-24, 30-27, in an NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Pacific Regional semifinal match at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Stefani Saragosa and Erin Sebbas aided the Wildcats' attack with 10 kills each.
Arizona improved to 24-4 overall while Pacific finishes the season with a 28-8 record.
The Wildcats hit .299 for the match while holding Pacific to a .153 mark. Arizona also held an 8-3 advantage in team blocks.
Misty Swails and Courtney Miller led the Tigers with 12 kills each.
'This is the kind of match we needed to play to advance in the tournament,' said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. 'A couple of things went well for us, including our service which I thought was excellent. Pacific is a good passing and ball-handling team and I thought we did a nice job of keeping them off balance. When we did that, I knew their offense could not be as deceptive as they can be. We were able to side out right away.'
Saragosa hit a team-high .444 for the match while Arizona setter Dana Burkholder recorded 46 assists.
Arizona jumped out to an early 5-2 lead in Game 1 and its lead never fell below three points. Saragosa and Rutledge had four kills each in Game 1 as the Wildcats hit .300 for the game.
Both teams played evenly in the second game until Arizona pulled out to the lead at the halfway point. Arizona hit .385 while holding Pacific to a .102 clip in Game 2. Torregrossa rattled off eight kills to lead the way.
Pacific held a lead early in Game 3 before Arizona was able to control play at the net. Despite only hitting .229 for the game, the Wildcats used a stingy defense to hold the Tigers to a .102 percentage again in the game.
'Volleyball is a game of momentum and serve and pass and we didn't do either well tonight,' said Pacific head coach Jayne McHugh. 'The momentum always goes to the other side of the net when you don't serve and pass, that's what happened in the match. We were out of system all match long. When that happens, it doesn't put any pressure on the other team. Arizona has some seniors that would rather run through fire than lose and they put us on our heels.'
On Friday (Dec. 7), Arizona will face the winner of tonight's USC-Ohio State semifinal at 6 p.m. in the Pacific Regional final for the right to advance to the NCAA Final Four next weekend in San Diego.
NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT POST-MATCH QUOTESPacific Regional Semifinal - December 6, 2001 - Los Angeles Sports ArenaArizona vs. Pacific
Arizona Head Coach Dave Rubio'We are excited to make it to the next round. Pacific is a good team and gave us a good match tonight.'
'This is the kind of match we needed to play to advance in the tournament. A couple of things went well for us, including our service which I thought was excellent. Pacific is a good passing and ball-handling team and I thought we did a nice job of keeping them off balance. When we did that, I knew their offense could not be as deceptive as they can be. We were able to side out right away.'
'We moved our serve receive around quite a bit tonight and that gave us a different look. We were able to find a couple of different lines of attack.'
(on Shannon Torregrossa's performance)'Shannon was on fire tonight. She was as good as I have seen her. It's been a tough week for her and she did a good job of coming back. She got us out of a lot of jams.'
Arizona senior setter Dana Burkholder(on contribution of many players on offense)'It lets our offense open up with the balanced attack. We want to come out and do the same thing tomorrow. It doesn't matter who we face, whatever we do on our side is what we need to focus on.'
(on comparison between this year and last year's postseason play)'I think we played tense last year, but this year we have played very relaxed as a team. I know I have to rely on my teammates instead of trying to do it all myself.'
Arizona senior opposite Jill Talbot(on play of Torregrossa)'Shannon is huge for us on the left side and that is the key. She is an intimidating force and other teams see that. She is a great presence and it really opens up the middle and right side.'
Pacific Head Coach Jayne McHugh'Volleyball is a game of momentum and serve and pass and we didn't do either well tonight. The momentum always goes to the other side of the net when you don't serve and pass, that's what happened in the match. We were out of system all match long. When that happens, it doesn't put any pressure on the other team. Arizona has some seniors that would rather run through fire than lose and they put us on our heels.'
'There is only one team that will win the final game of the season, but the post-season is something special. The further you go, the more exciting it is. It's devastating when your season is over.'
'We just had major breakdowns from the service line and passing. Our offense was potent when we did serve and pass well. We don't have any one person that can bail us out so passing is critical for us and we didn't do it well tonight.'
Pacific sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Joines'We didn't have rhythm all three games and it was obvious. We wanted to focus on serve and pass and we didn't do either well. We didn't have that spark at times that we needed to have.'
Pacific senior outside hitter Jamie Hamm'It's hard going out tonight in three knowing that we didn't play the volleyball that we normally play, but I think back on all the season-ending games that we have played and I wish some of those games were different. I would never change the jersey I play with here. You don't get many chances to play with players who are great and a great coach and I had both here at Pacific.'
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
Wed 12/12 | 7:00pm PTLive