Bruins Ready For Home Stretch

Nov. 10, 2003

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The Bruins enter their final regular season home weekend on Thursday night in third place in the Pac-10. With a win on Thursday against Stanford, the Bruins will tie with the Cardinal for second place in the Pac-10 standings. Meanwhile, California enters this weekend's play in fourth place, a half-game behind the Bruins. UCLA has just four matches left on its regular season schedule, all against teams ranked in the top-10 of the AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. After this weekend's set with Stanford and Cal in Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins travel to USC and fourth-ranked Pepperdine to close the regular season.

Bruins Split in Arizona
UCLA played a pair of three-game matches in Arizona last week, dropping the week's opener at Arizona before dispatching Arizona State in a three-game match on Friday night in Tempe, AZ. Friday's loss saw the Bruins hit just .098 as a team for the match, and the Bruins trailed in kills, digs and blocks in the match. Freshman Colby Lyman was a bright spot for the Bruins in the match, as she had a team-high 13 kills and 16.5 points with a .306 attack percentage, two service aces, 13 digs and three block assists.

The following night in Tempe, the Bruins had an impressive first game, recording 14 kills on an error-free 28 attacks for a .500 team attack percentage, and built from there to sweep the Sun Devils. Lyman again led the Bruins with nine kills on an error-free 14 attacks for a .643 attack percentage with two aces, 10 digs and a block assist for a match-high 11.5 points. Chrissie Zartman became the fourth player in UCLA women's volleyball history to record 1,200 career digs in the match, reaching the milestone with her 20th and final dig of the match. Brynn Murphy led the Bruins with three block assists as they out-blocked ASU by an 8-2 margin.

UCLA vs. Stanford (17-5, 10-3 Pac-10)
UCLA holds a 34-28 lead in the all-time series against the Cardinal, including a 16-11 record in Westwood. Stanford is coached by John Dunning, who has a 82-12 record in his three seasons on The Farm, and a 519-114 record in 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Last Time (Oct. 16, 2003): UCLA had a chance to win the match in three games, but instead dropped a five-game decision to the Cardinal in Maples Pavilion. Brynn Murphy led the Bruins with 19 kills and 23.5 points in the match. UCLA vs. California (19-4, 10-4 Pac-10)

UCLA holds a 43-0 all-time advantage over the Golden Bears, and is 19-0 in the series at home. Cal is coached by Rich Feller, who has a 75-64 record in five years with the Golden Bears, and a 374-231 record in 19 seasons as a head coach. Last Time (Oct. 17, 2003): UCLA won a five-game thriller in Haas Pavilion on Oct. 17, winning the match 30-22, 14-30, 24-30, 30-22, 15-12 in front of 1,140 fans in Berkeley. Brynn Murphy led the Bruins with 21 kills and 23.5 points while Cira Wright led the team with five blocks in the match.

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 959-240 (.800), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.

Next Week for the Bruins
UCLA closes out its 2003 Pac-10 schedule next Friday night when the Bruins travel downtown to face the top-ranked and undefeated Women of Troy in a Lexus Gauntlet match.

Murphy Named Texas MVP, 10/6 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Junior Brynn Murphy is leading the Bruins with 341 kills and 3.79 kills per game, and is second on the team (among non-setters) with a .310 attack percentage and 1.04 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 4.55.

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 260 kills for a 2.95 per-game average, has 12 service aces and 66 blocks for a 0.75 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 10.90 per game, and has also averaged 2.24 digs and 0.60 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.

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 1.22 blocks per game, and is sixth in the Pac-10's statistical rankings for blocks. Playing all the way around for the first time in her career, Wright has already 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. She has had three three-ace matches this season.

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 206.0 points. She had 10 kills, including five in game five, of UCLA's five-game win at Washington on Oct. 3. Ringel sat out the previous weekend's matches with an ankle sprain, an injury that has slowed her production for much of the season.

Need an Anthem Singer?
UCLA's home opener against USC featured freshman Rachell Johnson singing the "Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start of the match. She also stepped in to sing the anthem on just a few minutes notice on Oct. 31 against Washington State. Johnson has yet to see game action for the Bruins due to a broken bone in her right hand (see Injury Update). 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.

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 4.29 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 1,200 career digs, good for fourth on UCLA's all-time list. She needs 15 more digs to pass Jenny Johnson (1,214) for third on UCLA's all-time list; next in line would be Ashley Bowles at 1,269. 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 86 games thus far. In UCLA's Pac-10 opener against No. 1 USC, Zartman led the Bruins with 19 digs and she holds a 4.13 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.

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. She had a carer-high four aces on Oct. 17 at Cal and continues to lead the Bruins with 24 aces on the season for an 0.33 per-game average.

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 1.91 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.

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 is not expected to return to the lineup.

  • 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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