November 26, 1998
LOS ANGELES - When the Pac-10 All-Conference honors were released on Tuesday, Nov. 24, UCLA fans should have been pleased. Not only did rookie sensation Kristee Porter (Tyler, TX) earn the Freshman of the Year honors, but head coach Andy Banachowski nabbed the Coach of the Year Award.
Add to that news the fact that three Bruins were named to the All-Pac-10 Team, including an unprecedented two rookies, and UCLA faithful had yet another reason to celebrate. Joining Porter as all-conference selections were red-shirt sophomore Elisabeth Bachman (Lakeville, MN) and freshman Ashley Bowles (Manhattan Beach, CA). In addition to the all-conference honors, both Porter and Bowles were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and fellow rookie Erika Selsor (Linden, CA) received honorable mention.
Never before have two UCLA rookies been named to the All-Pac-10 Conference Team in the same year. In fact only two Bruin rookies have claimed all- conference honors (Natalie Williams in 1989 and Elaine Youngs in 1988). The last time UCLA landed three players on the All-Pac-10 Team was 1993 when Julie Bremner, Annett Buckner and Jenny Johnson all received the honor.
Coach Banachowski was rewarded for guiding a very young UCLA team to a third place finish in the Pac-10 race. The Bruins posted a 13-5 league record and finished the regular-season 15-11 overall, despite losing the first six matches of the season. This is the fifth time Banachowski has been chosen the Pac-10 Conference Coach of The Year.