Arizona Volleyball Preseason Notes

Aug. 8, 2003

Looking Back: Arizona returns to action after finishing last season 20-12 overall and tied for third in the Pac-10 at 11-7. The Wildcats finished with 20 or more wins for the seventh straight season and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. Kim Glass not only re-wrote the Arizona freshman record book, but also posted the most kills in a single season in school history to pace the Wildcats.

Looking Ahead: The Wildcats return four starters and seven total letter winners from last year. The team opens preseason practice today (Friday, August 8) to lead up to its season-opening match on August 29 against Notre Dame in Malibu, Calif.

Key Returnees:

So. OH Kim Glass - 2002 AVCA and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, 2002 Second Team AVCA All-American

So. MB Bre Ladd - 2002 Freshman All-Pac-10, Honorable Mention All-Pac-10

Key Losses:

OH Lisa Rutledge - Third all-time in school history for kills

S Laurie Gardner - 2002 Honorable Mention All-Pac-10

Key Newcomers:

Fr. RS/MB Kristina Baum
Fr. S Stephanie Butkus
Fr. L/S Tyler Bowman

Off To Prescott: The team will take off from Tucson on Sunday, August 10, for a three-day camp at Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, Ariz. The Wildcats will engage in two practice sessions a day, while also spending time working on program strategy, goals and team building.

Wildcats Picked Third: The Arizona volleyball team has been picked to finish tied for third with UCLA in the Pac-10 in a vote by the conference coaches. The Wildcats, who went 11-7 in the Pac-10 last year, return four starters this season. Defending national champion USC was selected by the coaches to defend its conference title, while Stanford, last season's NCAA runner up, has been picked second. The conference coaches have correctly named the conference winning team in eight of the previous 14 polls.

Youth Reigns: The Wildcats will feature a decidedly youthful team this season. The 2003 roster has just one senior and three juniors on it. The rest of the squad is composed of four sophomores and five freshmen.

Wildcats On TV: Arizona will play a pair of matches this season that will be aired on a tape-delay basis on Fox Sports Net. The Wildcats' matches against Oregon State on Oct. 17 and against defending national champs USC on Nov. 7 are both scheduled for broadcast.

Ayers Out: Redshirt sophomore Angie Ayers has been lost for the season after suffering a knee injury earlier this summer. Ayers, who moved into the starting middle blocker role last season, was expected to see playing time in all three front row positions this season.

A New/Old Face: Assistant coach Steve Walker returns to the Arizona bench this season. Walker was the volunteer assistant coach for Arizona's 2000 Pac-10 title team. He spent the past two years as an assistant at Alabama. Walker replaces former assistant A.J. Malis.

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