Women's Volleyball Wins Silver at USAV Open Nationals
The UCLA women's volleyball team, playing under its club name of Team Westwood, concluded its spring training season over Memorial Day weekend. Team Westwood earned a second-place finish at the four-day Open Nationals tournament in Dallas, TX, sponsored by the United States Volleyball Association.
The Bruins compiled a 5-1 record in pool play during the first two days of competition, entering the double elimination round as the second seed. Team Westwood advanced to the semifinals, where it suffered a loss to the Exterminators, a team comprised of two former AVCA All-Americans and several other top former collegiate players.
Westwood worked its way back through the losers bracket with three straight victories, and faced Team Trim in the title mach, falling 3-1. Team Trim included former AVCA Player of the Year Misty May, along with other former collegiate stand-outs such as Joy McKenzie (Long Beach), Jen Sanchez (Florida), Jen Flynn (Ohio State) and Kelly Keubler (USC). Two former UCLA standouts, All-American Alyson Randick and Michelle Mauney-Kyman, were the starting middle blockers on this powerhouse team.
Two Bruins, outside hitter Lauren Fendrick and setter Krystal McFarland joined May (MVP), Randick, Elsa Stegemann (Exterminators/former All-American at Pacific) and Christine Garner on the All-Tournament Team. Team Westwood finished with a 9-3 record in the tournament.
This competition was McFarland's debut at setter, after having redshirted the 2001 collegiate season. Fendrick started every match at one outside hitter position, while Brittany Ringel, Heather Cullen and Brynn Murphy each saw playing time either at opposite hitter or at the other outside hitter spot. Middle blockers Angela Eckmier and Cira Wright saw most of the action in the middle with Cullen and Murphy gaining some experience at that position as well.Chrissie Zartman played as the libero for Team Westwood, a position that will debut in the women's collegiate game this fall.
'This was a tremendous way to finish our training season,' said head coach Andy Banachowski. 'The team worked very hard this spring and it was gratifying to see the results come together on the court. We have established a style and level of play that will be exciting for next season. I was most gratified by the level of effort throughout the grueling four days of play.'
UCLA will open its 2002 schedule on Friday, August 30, against Colorado at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, HI. UCLA will also play Ohio State and host Hawai'i in that opening weekend of play.