Sept. 5, 2000
LOS ANGELES, Calif.---The Bruins will enjoy a brief 30-hour stopover in Los Angeles this week between arriving from Honolulu on Tuesday morning at 5:40 a.m., and taking off for Notre Dame at 12:30 p.m. the following day. Once UCLA arrives in South Bend, they will take on three more teams that appear in the AVCA/USA Today poll in Nebraska, Michigan State and host Notre Dame.
By the time this weekend's trip is completed and the Bruins have returned home to Westwood, the team will have completed 14,140 air miles since departing for the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic on Aug. 23.
UCLA Earns Runner-Up Finish in Hawaii: UCLA opened Labor Day weekend with a quick 3-0 win over Iowa, a match in which Kristee Porter, Ashley Bowles and Elisabeth Bachman each posted double-figure kills with 17, 11 and 10, respectively. As a team, the Bruins posted more service aces than errors for the first time this season.
Following a day off, the Bruins returned to the court on Sunday to face off against No. 19 Texas A&M. In that victory, Porter set a new UCLA record for kills in a four-game match with 33, hitting .483 in the process. Junior setter Erika Selsor posted her ninth career 70-assist match in the win, while Bowles and Porter tied with a match-high three aces.
The featured match of the tournament once again became the Championship match. On Monday night in front of 7,687 fans, the Bruins lost a three-game match to Hawai'i, despite a 23-kill night from Porter
Porter Named Pac-10 Player of the Week: Not only did Kristee Porter's performance at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic earn her tournament MVP honors, but on Tuesday, the Pac-10 Conference named Porter its first Player of the Week of the season. For the weekend in Hawaii, Porter accumulated 73 kills for a 7.30 per-game average, and finished with 73K-17E-133TA for an attack percentage of .421. She also had four service aces and seven blocks in the three matches, and in Sunday's match against Texas A&M, she set a new UCLA record with 33 kills in a four-game match. Adidas Invitational
Adding another 4,000+ miles to an already impressive preseason travelouge, the Bruins turn eastward this weekend, and will face off against three ranked teams at the Adidas Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame. In addition to the third-ranked Bruins, the tournament will feature No. 4 Nebraska, No. 16 Michigan State and No. 22 Notre Dame. UCLA holds the all-time series lead against Michigan State thanks to a 1972 win, while the Huskers lead the all-time series by a 4-2 margin. The Bruins and Fighting Irish have never met on the volleyball court.
Bruins Lose Eckmier to Torn ACL: Junior middle blocker Angela Eckmier suffered a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee on Monday, Aug. 14, while the team was in Mammoth, CA, for pre-season double day workouts. She will be lost to the Bruins for all of the 2000 season. Eckmier is scheduled to have surgery on the knee on Sept. 7.
Head Coach Andy Banachowski:In his 34th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. On Oct. 24, 1997, he was the first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, MA, and was the first women's coach in history to record 800 career wins (876-206, .810). Additionally, Banachowski was honored with USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coach award last May in Columbus, OH. Under Banachowski's leadership, the Bruins have won six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
Criss-Crossing the Country:If you think that Presidential Candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore are logging a lot of miles on the campaign trail, just take a look at the Bruins schedule during the first month of the season.
UCLA departed Westwood on Aug. 23 for Gainesville, FL (round-trip of approx. 4,850 miles) before heading to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (round-trip: 5,100 miles) and going back east for the Adidas Invitational in South Bend, IN (round-trip: 4,190 miles). The month concludes with a Pac-10 road trip to the Bay Area schools, a comparitively miniscule 760 mile round-trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Along the way, UCLA will face off against seven teams that appeared in the AVCA's poll at match time.
Total mileage for the Bruins between the start of the season and Oct. 1? Approximately 14,900 miles.
The Nation's Toughest Schedule?:Considering both mileage traveled and the teams being played, the Bruins could very well have the nation's toughest schedule in 2000. The only team in the AVCA/USA Today top-nine that UCLA does not play is No. 2 Long Beach State. Seven of UCLA's first eight matches are against top-25 teams.
Bruins Top Pac-10 Preseason Poll: In a vote of the Pac-10's coaches, the Bruins were chosen as the preseason favorite to take home the Pac-10 crown. UCLA earned all nine possible votes, as coaches are not allowed to include their own team on their preseason ballot. UCLA topped the poll with 90 points and nine first-place votes, followed by Stanford (78 points, one first place vote), USC (74), Arizona (70), Arizona State (56), Cal (42), Washington State (39), Oregon State (38), Washington (35) and Oregon (18). UCLA has not captured an outright Pac-10 women's volleyball title since the 1993 season, although the Bruins did share the 1999 title with Stanford.
Career Updates: Many Bruins continue to move up on the school's career lists. Last year, Kristee Porter became the second-fastest person in NCAA history and 16th Bruin to record 1,000 career kills, doing so in her 50th career match. Her 1,327 kills is 12th-best in Bruin history and is tops among the Pac-10's active players. She needs 38 more kills to take over 11th place on UCLA's all-time list. Senior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman is now ranked in all three of UCLA's career block categories with 95 block solos (4th), 374 block assists (5th) and 469 total blocks (5th), and ranks at the top of the list among active Pac-10 players in total blocks. With 3,294 career assists, sophomore setter Erika Selsor leads the Pac-10 list of active setters, and is fourth-best in Bruin history.
Porter Points:Player of the Year candidate Kristee Porter opened the 2000 season by becoming the first player this year to record 30 kills in a match, and has now accomplished the feat twice ??Porter now has 10 career 30-kill matches, topping Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan (seven each) for the Pac-10 and UCLA career lead in that category ??Her 10th career 30-kill match was a 33-kill performance against Texas A&M that set a new UCLA record for kills in a four-game match ??Her 31 kills against Pepperdine in the 1999 NCAA Central Regional Semifinal tied the UCLA record for a three-game match, set by Natalie Williams vs. Florida on 12/17/92. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide.
Westwood's "Wiz": Elisabeth Bachman: In 1999, middle blocker Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman posted a .429 attack percentage that ranked second in the NCAA and smashed the previous Pac-10 and school record mark of .416, set by Natalie Williams in 1992. En route to that final number, Bachman posted eight error-free matches and a .938 match of 15K-0E-16TA that set a new UCLA record and is third-best in NCAA history. That match, against Washington in Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 28, was the second in a string of 11 consecutive matches in which Bachman posted a hitting percentage of .450 or higher. Bachman earned her nickname of "Wiz" at the age of two, when a childhood friend couldn't pronounce an "L", turning "Liz" into "Wiz." For more information on All-America candidate Wiz Bachman, please refer to pages 14-15 of the UCLA media guide. Setting Everyone Up
Junior setter Erika Selsor currently ranks fifth on UCLA's all-time career list with 3,294 to her credit. That number is also tops among the Pac-10's active setters. With 72 assists at Arizona on Oct. 22, 1999, Selsor set a new UCLA standard with her seventh career match with 70 assists or more, breaking the previous record held by Ann Boyer (1985-88) and Selsor's predecessor, Kim Coleman (1994-97). Since then, she has upped that total to nine, most recently with a 70-assist performance against Texas A&M on Sept. 3. Selsor was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic.
Bowles Continues to Play Double Role:Sophomore Ashley Bowles spent the majority of the 1999 season at opposite hitter, and set for the Bruins at the end of numerous matches. Her setting experience paid off for the Bruins in the key match on Oct. 22 at Arizona. With regular setter Erika Selsor in the front row in game five, Banachowski was able to replace Selsor with middle blocker Angela Eckmier, giving UCLA a better blocking weapon in the front row. Bowles was the only setter on the floor for seven rallies in game five, and finished the match with eight assists.
Freshman Forum: Four of UCLA's six freshmen saw action during the State Farm Classic, led by the MB/DS combo of Ella Harley and Stacey Lee, respectively. Harley led the Bruins in attack percentage against Penn State on Sept. 25, connecting at a .438 clip. Harley also accumulated eight blocks over the weekend with two solos and six assists. Meanwhile, in the back row, Stacey Lee contributed three service aces and 21 digs while playing all 10 games, including three rotations in the front row during the Penn State match.
Other freshmen seeing court time included Krystal McFarland, who entered the match as a back-row substitute for Bowles in game two vs. Penn State and game three vs. CSU. McFarland totalled an assist and an ace during her court time. Alyssa Rylander subbed in for sophomore OH Lauren Fendrick in game two against Colorado Stateaccumulating two digs and a kill. Returning to the floor for the first time since 1998, Lauren Hogan notched a key game-five block assist against Colorado State while in as a defensive sub for Selsor.
Opposing Hitting Percentage Bottoms Out: In the opening weekend of the season, Penn State checked in with a .161 team hitting percentage, while Colorado State posted a .284 clip. Overall, two of UCLA's five opponents this season have hit below .200, with Texas A&M (.215) and Hawaii (.203) bearly breaking the Mendoza line. Last season, UCLA held 25 of its 32 opponents (including the opponents in 15 of 18 Pac-10 matches) under .200, and 13 teams were held under .100.