Bruins Head To Malibu For Regular Season Finale

Nov. 25, 2003

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The Bruins have just one match remaining on their 2003 regular season schedule, and it will take place on Tuesday night in Malibu, CA, as UCLA visits No. 4 Pepperdine. After that match, the Bruins will enjoy the long holiday weekend before tuning in for the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 5 pm PT on ESPNEWS. UCLA has bid to host a first and second round site in Pauley Pavilion, but UCLA's postseason opponents and destination will not be known prior to Sunday's selection.

Bruins Fall to top-ranked USC, Finish Third in Pac-10
UCLA was unable to spoil USC's perfect season on Friday night in the Lyon Center on the USC campus, falling to the undefeated Women of Troy 30-20, 30-24, 30-22. The Bruins were led by freshman Colby Lyman who had a career-best four service aces to go with team highs of 14 points, nine kills and two blocks. Also notable was junior libero Chrissie Zartman, who had a season-best dig total for a three-game match with 20 digs. Zartman currently has 1,261 career digs and needs just nine more digs to pass Ashley Bowles for second place on UCLA's career dig list.

Seven Bruins Earn Pac-10 Postseason Honors
Three UCLA players, Heather Cullen, Brynn Murphy and Chrissie Zartman were named to the All-Pac-10 Women's Volleyball First Team on Tuesday, as announced by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen. Krystal McFarland and Brittany Ringel earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors, while Colby Lyman was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and Becky Green earned Honorable Mention All-Freshman honors. Cullen (OH), McFarland (S), Murphy (OH), Ringel (OH) and Zartman (L) are all juniors for the 2003 Bruins. Only Zartman has previously earned All-Pac-10 honors, as she was a member of last season's All-Pac-10 team. Green and Lyman are both freshmen. USC's April Ross was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, Stanford's Kristin Richards was named the Conference Freshman of the Year, and Cal's Rich Feller is the Coach of the Year.

UCLA vs. Pepperdine (24-2)
The Bruins hold a 44-9 advantage in the all-time series against the Waves, but Pepperdine has won the last three meetings between the two schools. Pepperdine is coached by UCLA alum Nina Matthies, who has a record of 408-235 in her 21st season at Pepperdine. Stat Leaders: Kills- Katie Wilkins (5.39/game); Attack Percentage- Wilkins (3.08); Assists- Melissa Melhorn (13.21/game); Aces- Wilkins (0.47/game); Digs- Christina Hinds (4.32/game); Blocking- Sophia Milo (1.34/game)

Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 37th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. On Sept. 1, 2001, in Hawaii, he became the first collegiate women's volleyball coach in history to record 900 career wins, and is just the second collegiate volleyball coach for either gender to reach that milestone. UCLA men's coach Al Scates, for whom Banachowski was a setter during his collegiate career, posted his 1,000th career win in February, 2000. The first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, MA, Banachowski currently has a career record of 960-242 (.799), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.

Next Week for the Bruins
UCLA's schedule for next week will be determined by the NCAA Selection Committee, which will announce its 2003 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship field this Sunday, November 30, at 5 pm on ESPNEWS. The Bruins have a chance to host first and second round matches.

Murphy Named Texas MVP, 10/6 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Junior Brynn Murphy is leading the Bruins with 386 kills and 3.82 kills per game, and is second on the team (among non-setters) with a .297 attack percentage and 1.01 blocks per game. Murphy was named the Pac-10 Player of the week on Oct. 6 after posting career-high matches against Washington and Washington State. For the week, she hit .268 with 43 kills (4.30 kpg) on 112 attack attempts with just 13 errors. She also had 16 digs, seven blocks and two service aces as the Bruins won two five-game matches in Washington. Murphy has played primarily in the front row, as she is generally replaced by a libero while in the back row. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at all three of UCLA's pre-conference tournaments, the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and the Ruby's Montana Invitational. At the HAL Classic, she led the Bruins with 41 kills (3.73/game) while hitting .307 and recording 10 blocks for an 0.91 per-game average. In Montana, Murphy's numbers were again impressive, as she averaged team-highs of 4.00 kills per game, a .509 attack percentage and eight blocks for a 1.00 per-game average. Murphy was named the Student-Athlete of the Week after her MVP performance at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, where she had 4.22 kills per game and a .479 attack percentage in UCLA's three victories. She is eighth in the Pac-10 in points per game with 4.61.

Cullen Named MVP in Montana, Hits Highs vs UW
Heather Cullen earned MVP honors at the Ruby's Montana Invitational Sept. 5-6, downing 32 kills in nine games with a .397 attack percentage and 12 digs. Cullen led all players with a career-high 17 kills against Idaho in UCLA's tournament opener, hitting .600 (17 K-2 E-25 TA). On the season, Cullen is second on the team with 291 kills for a 2.94 per-game average, has 13 service aces and 72 blocks for a 0.73 per-game average. Cullen also stepped out in a big way in early October against the Washington schools in UCLA's pair of dramatic five-game victories, hitting a team-high .306 for the weekend with 34 kills, 22 digs and 10 blocks. In UCLA's five-game win over Washington on Oct. 3, Cullen turned in four career-high numbers with 18 kills, 15 digs, seven blocks (1BS/6BA) and 22 points. She had a career blocking night on Nov. 1 vs. UW with eight blocks, four solo and four assisted.

McFarland Setting Bruins in 2003
Redshirt junior Krystal McFarland is one of UCLA's tri-captains for the 2003 season (with classmates Heather Cullen and Chrissie Zartman), and has been UCLA's primary setter this season. McFarland leads the Bruins in assists, averaging 11.12 per game, and has also averaged 2.28 digs and 0.59 blocks per game. McFarland set the Bruins through the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, but stepped aside through parts of the Montana and Texas Invitationals as sophomore Haley Jorgensborg took over setting duties.

McFarland was one of several Bruins to post impressive numbers at Washington State and Washington in early October, turning in then-season-high numbers of 56 assists, five kills (tied her then-career-high) and 20 digs (one shy of career-high) against UW on Oct. 3. On Oct. 16, she posted a career-high 65 assists in UCLA's five-game loss at Stanford. She has since tied her career-high in kills, recording six in the Nov. 14 match against Cal in Pauley Pavilion.

The Wright Stuff on the Block
The only senior remaining on the 2003 Bruins active roster, Cira Wright earned All-Tournament honors at the season-opening Hawaiian Airlines Classic. Wright leads the team averaging 1.11 blocks per game, and is eighth in the Pac-10's statistical rankings for blocks. Playing all the way around for the first time in her career, Wright posted a career-high digging match three times this season, recording eight digs in UCLA's five-game loss to then-No. 2 Hawai'i on Sept. 1 and topping that mark with a 10-dig performance at Washington on Oct. 3 before recording a new career-high of 11 digs at Cal on Oct. 17. She set a new career-high with three aces against Oregon on Sept. 26 in a 20-point performance, and has posted her season-high of 14 kills on three occasions, including both matches against the Washington schools. On Oct. 11 against Arizona State, Wright matched her career-high for aces with three consecutive aces in the early stages of game three.

Ringel Impressive Against Huskies
A heavy hitter, Brittany Ringel continues to pound down kills with a 2.65 per-game average, including a season-high 17 kills and 19 points at Oregon on Oct. 23. Replaced by a libero in the back row, Ringel has served nine aces this season. She had three aces on Sept. 6 at Montana, setting a new career-high mark. She is averaging just under one dig per game, and has scored 234.5 points. She had 10 kills, including five in game five, of UCLA's five-game win at Washington on October 3. Ringel sat out the previous weekend's matches with an ankle sprain, an injury that slowed her production for much of the season.

Need an Anthem Singer?
Freshman Rachell Johnson has performed the 'Star Spangled Banner' prior to the start of three home matches (Sept. 19 vs. USC and Oct. 31 vs. Washington State as a last-minute replacement and on Nov. 14 vs. Cal). She also sang the anthem for UCLA's women's basketball home opener on Nov. 23. When the scheduled anthem singer for UCLA's Oct. 11 match at Pauley Pavilion faltered twice early in the song, Johnson stepped out to the edge of the court and helped her through the remainder of the anthem. On the court, Johnson's season started with an injury and she is expected to redshirt.

Zartman Digs No. 1,000 in Washington
Named the 'Top Libero' at the Ruby's Montana Invitational despite playing the position for just seven of UCLA's nine tournament games, junior Chrissie Zartman continues to shine as the Bruin libero, leading the Bruins with 4.43 digs per game. On Oct. 3 at Washington, Zartman became the 14th player in UCLA women's volleyball history to record her 1,000th career dig, a mark she recorded with her final dig of game four in UCLA's five-game win over the Huskies. She enters the Bay Area series with 1,261 career digs, good for third on UCLA's all-time list. She needs nine more digs to pass Ashley Bowles (1,269) for second on UCLA's all-time list; next in line would be UCLA's career dig leader, Samantha Shaver, at 1,405. Zartman opened the season with a 4.45 digs/game average at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, and went on to average 4.33 digs/game as she earned All-Tournament honors at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, UCLA's final tournament of the regular season. Zartman is the only Bruin to have played in all of UCLA's 103 games thus far. Zartman holds a 4.59 per-game average in conference play, tops in the Pac-10. She posted a season-high 25 digs in UCLA's four-game win at Oregon.

An accomplished beach volleyball player, Zartman has earned her AAA beach rating, and won a gold medal at the World University Games in 2002 while playing with long-time partner Tracy Lindquist. She also finished second at the FIVB Under-21 World Championships with playing partner Keao Burdine.

Freshman Firepower
Four of UCLA's five freshmen have seen game action this season. Colby Lyman had an impressive collegiate debut match against Louisville, posting 14 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and 16 total points with a .478 attack percentage. She started all three matches in Honolulu. She did not participate at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational due to injury, and missed the October series in Oregon due to pink-eye. She started against USC on Sept. 19, assisting on two of UCLA's 16 blocks in the match. Against OSU on Sept. 25, Lyman had a 12-kill, 16-dig, six-block, two-ace performance for a career-high 18.5 points. She was UCLA's top player in Arizona in early November, leading the Bruins in kills (3.67/game), attack percentage (.400) and aces (4) for the week. Against Stanford on Nov. 13, she turned in a new career-high of 15 kills and tied her career high with two aces.

Becky Green came off the bench in UCLA's five-game loss to Hawai'i on Sept. 1, turning in an impressive performance, particularly during the last two games of the match. Green then set career highs in nearly every category in the Sept. 5 match against Idaho at the Ruby's Montana Invitational, turning in nine kills, four digs, three block assists and 11.5 points with a .467 attack percentage. She has continued to improve, and career-high marks of 13 kills, 10 digs and four blocks against the Oregon schools in late October, and plays a solid role for the Bruins off the bench.

Katie Carter saw limited action at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, then earned her first career start against Boise State on Sept. 6 at the Ruby's Montana Invitational. Carter posted several career highs in that match against the Broncos, recording 11 kills, two service aces, four digs and 13 points in the match. She is averaging 1.84 kills per game this season. In Texas, Carter was second on the team with a 3.33 kills per-game average, while contributing 2.00 digs/game and two block assists for 22 points on the weekend.

Laura Kroneberger played libero in game three against Boise State on Sept. 5, recording her first career dig in the match. Kroneberger was unable to play at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic due to a pulled abdominal muscle, but is once again capable of playing. She played in six games in Texas, recording nine digs and an assist. Against Oregon State on Sept. 25, she had a career-high eight digs. She has played in 33 Pac-10 games, primarily as a back-row substitute to serve and play defense. She tied her career-high with eight digs against Cal on Nov. 14.

Injury Update

  • Senior Natalie Ray was sidelined on Oct. 6 when blood clots were discovered in her right shoulder. Ray has had the blood clots removed, and had surgery to remove the top rib on her right side. She is currently at home recovering from surgery. She started on Nov. 14, which was Senior Night at Pauley Pavilion, serving one rally before returning to the bench. She is not expected to play again this season.

  • Freshman Rachell Johnson broke a finger in her right hand on Aug. 24, an injury that held her out of practice and competition through the early weeks of the season. She will most likely redshirt the 2003 season.
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