No. 25 Arizona travels to take on No. 12 Colorado State

Oct. 2, 2008

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This Week:

The Arizona volleyball team (12-2, 2-1 Pac-10) goes on the road and plays its second ranked opponent of the season, facing No. 12 Colorado State Saturday, Oct. 4 in Fort Collins, Colo. The Wildcats and Rams play at 7:00 p.m. in Arizona’s final non-conference game of the season. Following the game against CSU, the Wildcats travel to the Bay Area to play Stanford and California.



Scouting the Opposition:


Colorado State- The No. 12 Rams (11-1, 3-0) have won eight straight matches and 22 straight at Moby Arena. They play Air Force tonight in Mountain West play. Colorado State comes into the match as the nation leader in blocks with 3.14 per set and eighth in the nation in attendance, averaging 2,684 people .


Series History:


Colorado State – The Wildcats have played the Rams 15 times with Arizona holding a slight 8-7 edge. The teams first met in 1977, but last met last season with the then-No. 18 Rams prevailing  3-0 in Tucson.



Last Wednesday: Arizona State @ Arizona

Playing for a ranked team for the first time since 2005, the No. 25 Wildcats used a 45-15 run in the matches last two sets to beat Arizona State 3-0. The win was the first over the in-state rivals since 2005. Senior Randy Goodenough provided a huge spark for Arizona off the bench. The outside hitter recorded five kills and five blocks to lead the Wildcats past the Sun Devils 25-23, 25-20, 25-10. Sophomore Stephanie Snow also played a major factor in the win. The middle blocker led the team to a season-high 15 blocks, adding nine block assists and one solo.


Don’t call it a comeback – Trailing 15-5 in the second set, the Arizona volleyball team went on a 20-5 run to comeback to beat in-state rival Arizona State 25-20 in the second set and 25-10 in the third. With no timeouts left, Arizona head coach Dave Rubio inserted redshirt freshman Kaylen Bannister, who immediately recorded a kill, with freshman Dana Hutchinson and senior Randy Goodenough to give the Wildcats life. In the 20-5 run, the Wildcats had a stretch of five straight block assists with sophomore Stephanie Snow being involved in all of them. To close out the match, Arizona outscored Arizona State 45-15.


Block party – The 2008 Wildcats have been a team known for their blocks. Arizona came into the week leading the Pac-10 in blocks-per-set with 2.83. Arizona recorded a season-high 15 blocks against ASU on Wednesday and recorded 13 team blocks in the 3-2 loss to Washington. At the beginning of the week, Sophomore Stephanie Snow was sixth in the league in blocks with 1.21 per set, while Arizona was ninth in the nation in blocks (2.83 per set). Snow picked up a career-high 10 blocks in the 3-0 win over ASU.


Cover Paige –The sophomore setter has picked up where she left off in 2007. She leads the team in assists with 500 in 14  matches. At the beginning of the week, she was fifth in the Pac 10 in assists per set. Weber was also third in the league in aces per serve at 0.40. Weber added 29 assists and two aces in the 3-0 win over Arizona State. Weber has won two tournament MVP awards this season, one in the opening Wildcat Classic and one in the CSU Bakersfield Invitational.


Dosty’s getting there – After missing all of 2007 with a knee injury, sophomore outside hitter Whitney Dosty seems to be getting better every match.  The Tucson native leads the team with 152 kills and has been the team leader in kills in six of the team’s 14 matches,  including four out of the last five.


Digging towards the top – Senior Brittany Leonard recorded her 1,000 career dig in the team’s 3-2 win over UC Riverside. The libero continues her climb up the career digs list. The Menlo Park, Calif. resident is ninth on the career list. Leonard is still a little under 300 digs from the career leader Terry Lauchner who has 1,297, while Leonard sits at 1,012.


Owens-Owens – Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Owens is the only Wildcat with any double-doubles this season. She has four and sits second on the team in kills and digs.


Arizona’s place – The Wildcats sit first in the conference in opponents hitting percentage (.122),  fifth in hitting percentage (.265) and third in service aces (1.62 per set). Nationally the team is 9th in blocks per set, 55th in aces per set and 23rd in hitting percentage.


Cats in the poll – Arizona showed up in the AVCA Top-25 for the first time in 2008. The No. 25 Wildcats broke the top-25 for the first time since Sept. 11, 2006 when they were No. 24.


Pac-10 in the Top-25 – After opening the season with six teams in the top-11, the Pac-10 now has seven teams in the top-25, six of which are in the top-11. USC is out front at fourth, UCLA fifth, Stanford sixth, Cal eighth, Washington ninth and Oregon 11th. Arizona broke the top-25 at No. 25 and Oregon came in 29th with 37 points in the Others Receiving Votes category.


2008 award winners -  Throughout the season, a handful of Wildcats have been awarded tournament honors. Three players were named to the CSUB All-Tournament Team. Paige Weber brought home tournament MVP, while Jacy Norton and Whitney Dosty were named to the all-tournament team. Ttwo Wildcats were named to the Arizona Invitational All-Tournament Team, Stephanie Snow and Tiffany Owens. The week before Paige Weber was named Wildcat Classic MVP, Alanna Resch was named Wildcat Classic Most Outstanding Libero and Tiffany was named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team, her first or two awards in as many weeks.


13-set win streak - Arizona started the season winning the first 13 sets it played in before losing its first set and match to Santa Clara on 9/5/08. The last time the Wildcats began the season on a similar streak was 2005 when they won their first 12 sets. 2005 was also the last time Arizona was in the postseason. Arizona record for starting the season with the most consecutive set wins was 2001 when they won their first 17 sets  before dropping a set to Oregon to open Pac-10 play.


Season Openers:

Since records began being kept of Arizona volleyball in 1977, the team is 24-8 in opening-season games and have won its last four including this season’s 3-0 win over Weber State. Under head coach Dave Rubio, the Wildcats are 13-4 to start the year.


2008 career records to look for:

Senior Brooke Buringrud is currently sixth on the career aces-per-game list at 0.27. The leader is Kiyomi Morino at 0.47.

Senior Brittany Leonard holds the current record for digs-per-game at 3.19. Leonard is also 10th on the total digs list at 968. In her first three season, Leonard has averaged 322 digs and if she matches that total it will put her at 1,290, good for second on the all-time list behind leader Terry Lauchner at 1,297.


2007 in the record books:

Sophomore Paige Weber collected 1330 saves last season which was the eighth highest assists total for a year. She also averaged 12.13 assists per game, which was good enough for seventh all-time.

Junior Alanna Resch  also put herself in the record books with 3.38 digs per game. That placed Resch fifth on the list and behind current senior Brittany Leonard’s 2005 total of 3.70 and 2006 total of 3.84, which is tops in program history.



2007 award winners:

Sophomore Tiffany Owens was named to the 2007 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and former Wildcat Dominique Lamb was selected to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention.


Pac-10 Preseason Poll:

Arizona was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference’s head coaches.  The Wildcats garnered 39 points in the vote, as defending champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year’s Pac-10 volleyball title.  Stanford claimed 90 points, 15 more than second-place UCLA, including nine of the 10 first-place votes.  UCLA was the only other team to receive a first-palce vote. USC fell into third with 68 points and Cal was picked fourth with 62 points. Both schools made it to the Final Four last season. Washington came in fifth with 59 points, followed by Oregon in sixth with 51 points. Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.


Rubio’s Record:

Head coach Dave Rubio boasts a 314-177 record in his 17 seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program. In 2005, he not only became the winningest coach in Arizona history, he also notched his 400th career victory in the team’s win over Ohio in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. In 21 years as a head coach, Rubio has a 436-243 career record.



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