Volleyball Advances to Fourth Consecutive Sweet Sixteen with Five-Game Win Over Texas

Dec. 6, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz.--Arizona rallied from a 2 games to 1 deficit to defeat the University of Texas by a tally of 3 to 2 in second round action of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship tournament Friday at the McKale Center. The win ensured Arizona of its fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Game scores were 30-25, 25-30, 18-30, 30-22, 15-9.

Kim Glass had 26 kills to lead all players. The freshman from Lancaster, Pa., totaled a hitting percentage of .258 and contributed eight digs. Arizona's offensive attack was anchored by senior setter Laurie Gardner, who dished out 54 assists and added four kills of her own.

Team hitting percentages proved to be the most-telling statistic of the match as the Wildcats' posted marks of .121 and .086 in the frames they dropped. Game four proved to be a see-saw affair as both teams exchanged runs before the Wildcats pulled away to win the game. Arizona hit .306 as a team in game four and a whopping .571 in the fifth and final game. The Wildcats committed zero hitting errors in the decisive fifth game. The match ended fittingly on a kill by Glass.

Texas presented a well-balanced attack to counter the prowess of Arizona's Glass, who was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last week. Four Longhorns posted double-digits in kills; outside hitter Mira Topic led the team with 20. Bethany Howden, a sophomore middle blocker, totaled a hitting percentage of .387 with 16 kills and only four errors on 31 attempts.

The Wildcats advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year and the sixth time under head coach David Rubio. Texas completes the season with 23 wins and nine losses, while the Wildcats' record improves to 19 wins and 11 losses. Arizona faces off against Minnesota in the round of 16 next weekend at a site to be determined.

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