No. 18 Wildcats Head To Tempe

Oct. 13, 2009

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Arizona (14-3, 3-3 Pac-10) vs. Arizona State (11-7, 1-5 Pac-10)
Wells Fargo Arena | Tempe, Ariz.
Friday, Oct. 16
7:00 p.m.

TV Broadcast:  Fox Sports Network (delay)
Television Talent: Karch Kiraly (play-by-play); Holly McPeak (analyst)


This Week: Coming off a sweep this weekend over Oregon State and No. 11 Oregon, the No.18 Arizona volleyball team will look to continue its hot play vs. the Sun Devils in Tempe.  UA, which has hasn’t won on the road in Pac-10 play since Oct. 4, 2007, will look to its depth to end the streak as five players recorded double-digit kills against Oregon on Saturday.      


Last time out: On Friday night, Arizona dropped its opening set against Oregon State, but came roaring back to win the next two, and ultimately the match, 3-2.  Paige Weber posted a season-high 52 assists while Tiffany Owens accounted for 18 kills and 23 digs.


In the rankings:  Arizona moved up four spots to No. 18 in the latest AVCA weekly poll after sweeping the weekend.  It’s the sixth consecutive poll in which the Wildcats have appeared after starting the season unranked.  The Pac-10 has seven teams ranked in the top 25, led by Washington and Stanford at No. 4 and 5, respectively.  In the first set of RPI rankings released by the NCAA, Arizona leads the Pac-10 with a No. 6 national rating. 


Scouting this week’s opposition:

Arizona State – The Sun Devils (11-7, 1-5) enter tonight’s match against Arizona after losing to both Oregon schools last weekend. ASU opened conference play by sweeping then ranked No. 14 UCLA, 3-0.  They have since lost five straight.  The team hits at a .225 clip and are lead individually by Sarah Reaves who has 287 total kills.


Series History and Last Head-to-Head:

Arizona vs. Arizona State  – Nov. 02, 2008 in Tempe, Ariz. – The Cats and Sun Devils meet up for the 74th time in school history on Friday. In their last meeting, the Sun Devils swept the Wildcats, 3-0 in front of 1,801.  As a team, Arizona committed 18 hitting errors and 10 service errors compared to ASU's 10 and five. The Wildcats were also out-hit by their rivals .307 - .189. Sophomore Whitney Dosty lead all players with 16 kills, including 13 in the matches first two sets. Classmate Tiffany Owens added 10 kills of her own in the losing cause.  Arizona State holds a series record advantage over Arizona with 38 wins to 36 losses.


Head Coach Dave Rubiois in his 18th season as head coach of Arizona.  In that time span, Rubio has a record of 335-192 Rubio also boasts a career record of 454-255 in 23+ career years.  In the last ten seasons, Rubio has guided the Wildcats to five Sweet 16s, four Elite Eights and to Arizona’s first-ever Final Four. His teams have won over 200 matches during this ten-year stretch, including 16 in the NCAA Tournament, which is six more than the previous 14 postseason teams combined.  Rubio and the Wildcats finished above .500 in 2008 with the Wildcats posting a 16-14 record, just missing the NCAA tournament. Arizona pulled off three upset wins over top-11 teams, including No. 11 USC, No. 8 Oregon and No. 6 Cal.


Wildcat Quarterback:  Junior Paige Weber continues to be amongst the top setters in women’s collegiate volleyball.  Weber, who has played every set in her college career, has totaled 630 assists this season, good for sixth in the Pac-10.  The Indianapolis native is also an aggressive setter as she has put up 19 aces through 60 sets.


She’s Baack:  Whitney Dosty, after recovering from an early season broken pinkie, has begun to find her groove.  Although she only missed five matches, it has taken Dosty sometime to get her bearings back on the court. Due to what head coach Dave Rubio termed as the team evolving, the Tucson native initially came off the bench after her injury.  After falling down 1-0 to Oregon State Friday night, Rubio inserted Dosty who immediately rewarded him by punishing the Beaver defenders with several violent attacks.  For the weekend vs. the Oregon schools, Dosty turned in 25 kills, eight blocks and 14 digs. Perhaps more impressively, she recorded a hitting percentage of .263 on 57 swings. 


Always Reliable:  Tiffany Owens has been one of Arizona’s most dependable point-scorers this season. The 5’11 outside hitter averages 3.82 kills per set and is one of the most powerful hitters in the conference and nation.  The San Bernardino native also can give after on the defensive end as she leads the Cats in total digs with 181, just ahead of libero Alanna Resch at 172.


The Snow Has Returned: Another change-up to the Wildcat lineup saw middle blocker Stephanie Snow receive significant playing time for the first time since early in the season.  Snow, who was a regular starter in 2008, recorded season-highs in kills (11) and attempts (18) against Oregon on Saturday evening.  The Tempe, Ariz. middle also appeared in all five sets against Oregon State, posting seven kills on 19 attempts and six blocks.    


Special K: Hitter Courtney Karst very well may be one of Arizona’s most significant players.  The Colorado native seems to put up big numbers in each of the teams’ top wins and that stat held true this past weekend.  Against Oregon State, Karst was second on the team with 14 kills while hitting an impressive .324. The following night vs. Oregon, Karst was just as efficient, tallying 12 kills on 32 swings with just four errors.  In addition to her kills, Karst also helped out with 5 block assists on the weekend.


400 Club: With two blocks against Oregon on Saturday night, Jacy Norton became the sixth Wildcat to post 400 blocks for her career. Norton is additionally the current active leader in career blocks in the Pac-10 with now 401.


Total Blocks

Player                                   Years                    Blocks

1. Kelly Waage               1986-89            532

2. Dominique Lamb          2004-07            527

3. Charita Johnson          1991-94            506

4. Bre Ladd                    2002-05            466

5. Marisa DaLee              1997-00            415

6. Jacy Norton               2006-present     401


One More ‘til 1,000: Alanna Resch currently has 999 total digs in her career as a Wildcat.  The San Diego, Calif. native needs seven additional digs to move into 10th place on the Arizona all-time record list.  After beginning her career as an outside hitter and recording 77 digs as a freshman, Resch moved to libero and has since been on a terror, posting 345 digs in 2007 and 405 last season.


Outkilled, but Not Beaten:  Usually when a team records more kills than its opponent, chances are, they will be victorious.  This wasn’t the case however last weekend against the Oregon schools, as on both nights Arizona finished with less kills than the opposition, yet still won.  In fact, Arizona has been behind in kills eight occurrences this season and has a record of 6-2.      


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 42 points in the vote, as defending champion Stanford was third with Washington being the preseason favorite.  The Huskies claimed 90 points, 10 more than second-place Cal, including nine of the 10 first-place votes.  Cal was the only other team to receive a first-place vote. UCLA fell into fourth with 62 points and USC was picked fifth with 60 points.  Oregon came in sixth with 48 points.  Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.


Up Next: UA stays on the road next weekend as it will travel to the Bay Area to play California on Friday, Oct. 23 and Stanford on Sunday, Oct. 25.


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