Dec. 3, 2002
UCLA was selected to its 21st NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening, and will begin postseason play this Thursday at Pepperdine's Firestone Field House against No. 9 Long Beach State. The sub-regional site in Malibu also includes No. 8 Pepperdine and Cal Poly. The host Waves are the eighth seed in the tournament, as only the top-16 teams in the 64-team bracket are seeded. UCLA has won six national championships in women's volleyball, including three NCAA crowns (1984, 1990, 1991), all under current head coach Andy Banachowski.
Bruins Win Albuturkey Tournament
UCLA concluded its regular season schedule over the Thanksgiving weekend at the Albuturkey Tournament in Albuquerque, NM. The Bruins won the tournament with 3-0 victories over Rice, Butler and host New Mexico. Sophomore outside hitter Brynn Murphy was named the Tournament MVP, with Cira Wright and Chrissie Zartman. In the final match of the tournament, Zartman became UCLA's all-time record holder for single-season digs, topping the 499 recorded by Samantha Shaver in 1990. Zartman enters postseason play with 504 digs.
UCLA vs. Long Beach State
UCLA holds a 52-18 all-time advantage in the series against The Beach, with an 11-3 record in postseason play. The Bruins and 49ers last met on Dec. 7, 2001, when Long Beach State defeated UCLA 30-25, 30-28, 30-21 in the NCAA Regional Final. Long Beach State was the NCAA Runner-Up a year ago, as the 49ers were swept by Stanford in the Championship match.
UCLA vs. Pepperdine
The Bruins hold a 44-8 all-time record against the Waves with a perfect 9-0 mark in postseason play. Pepperdine won the regular season meeting between the two teams on Nov. 12 in Pauley Pavilion (3-0), but the Bruins won the most recent postseason meeting in dramatic fashion. UCLA was leading the match 2-0, but trailed 0-14 in game three before mounting a stunning comeback to sweep the Waves in the NCAA Regional Semifinal on Dec. 9, 2000 in State College, PA.
UCLA vs. Cal Poly
UCLA has a 12-1 all-time record against Cal Poly, and is 1-0 against the Mustangs in postseason play. UCLA and Cal Poly have not met since the teams battled three times during the 1985 season with Cal Poly winning the first matchup before falling in two subsequent matches.
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 36th 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 938-234 (.800), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
Next Week for the Bruins
UCLA's remaining schedule will be determined by its play in the NCAA Tournament. Should UCLA advance to next week's regional, it would play the winner of the sub-regional hosted by eighth-seeded UC Santa Barbara (UCSB, Fresno State, California, Santa Clara). The regional will most likely be hosted by top-seeded USC.
Fendrick Named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10
The only senior in uniform for the Bruins at the conclusion of this season, outside hitter Lauren Fendrick was named to her third career Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 team on Nov. 26, and was named to the Verizon Academic All-District 8 team on Nov. 14. The Verizon Academic All-America teams will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 5. Fendrick recorded her 1,000th carer kill earlier this season on Sat., Sept. 7 in Minneapolis and went on to notch her 1,000th career dig on Nov. 1 in Pauley Pavilion. Currently, Fendrick ranks ninth in Bruin history with 122 career service aces, ninth with 1,112 digs and 14th with 1,327 career kills. Fendrick, who was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, leads the Bruins with 3.56 kills per game, and is one of just two players (with Chrissie Zartman) to have played in every game of every match this season.
Murphy Named Albuturkey MVP
Sophomore Brynn Murphy played last season as a middle blocker for the Bruins, but has made a successful transition to outside hitter for the 2002 season. Murphy is one of five Bruins averaging more than 2.5 kills per game, and is the only Bruin to earn three All-Tournament team honors this season. She was chosen for the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and Nike Portland Invitational All-Tournament Teams prior to her selection as the MVP of the Albuturkey Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. Murphy is averaging 2.58 kills per game with 279 total kills, and ranks third among active players in blocks, averaging 0.87 blocks per game.
Ringel Remains Among UCLA's Kill Leaders
Brittany Ringel opened Pac-10 play with a bang at Arizona on Sept. 20, downing a career-high 22 kills with a .391 attack percentage with kills on five of her first six swings on in the match. Since that time, she has continued her solid play posting team-high kills in 13 matches, including 10 in Pac-10 play. Ringel, who played both volleyball and basketball last year, currently ranks second on the team with a 3.35 kills per-game average and has played in 106 of the team's 111 games.
McFarland, Jorgensborg Set Bruins in 2002
Head coach Andy Banachowski has adopted a 6-2 offense for the 2002 season, a system that utilizes two setters. The pair that is quarterbacking the Bruin offense includes redshirt sophomore co-captain Krystal McFarland and true freshman Haley Jorgensborg.
McFarland redshirted the 2001 season while Erika Selsor completed her record-setting career, but McFarland was participating fully in team practices. She currently leads the team and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 with 8.59 assists per game. She generally starts matches, and has played across the front row on numerous occasions.
Jorgensborg, an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection, practically played her high school volleyball on the UCLA campus, as she attended nearby Marymount High School. She has set successfully during her 100 games on the court, and has averaged 5.57 assists per game through the end of the regular season.
Barba Solid in Return to Lineup
True freshman middle blocker Nancy Barba played in one game each of the Ohio State and Hawai'i matches in September before being sidelined with a stress fracture. Barba was on track for a medical redshirt season before Angela Eckmier's injury put her back in the lineup. In her first two career Pac-10 matches, Barba responded, posting identical offensive lines against both Oregon schools (7K-0E-12TA, .583 ATK%). For the season, Barba is now averaging 1.30 kills and 0.88 blocks per game.
Zartman Digs Role as Bruin Libero, All-Pac-10 Selection
With the introduction of the libero position to the women's collegiate game in 2002, sophomore Chrissie Zartman has taken the opportunity to shine. On Nov. 26, she became the first defensive player in conference history to be named First-Team All-Pac-10, and was the only Bruin named to the conference first team. Zartman leads the Bruins and the Pac-10 in digs (504), digs per game (4.54), and digs per-game in conference matches only (5.08, leading WSU's Kortney Jamtaas by 0.56 digs per game). In UCLA's regular season finale, Zartman surpassed Samantha Shaver's Bruin single-season digs record (499 in 1990) and become the first player in UCLA history with a 500-dig season. She is on pace to become the first Bruin in history to lead the Pac-10 in digs per game. In the first half of the Pac-10 season, Zartman recorded career-high digs in consecutive matches, posting a 27-dig effort in UCLA's 3-2 win over Washington State on Sept. 28 before coming back with a new career-best of 28 digs in UCLA's 3-1 win at Cal on Oct. 4. That 28-dig effort was just two digs shy of the UCLA record for digs in a four-game match. Zartman matched her career-best mark as part of an outstanding individual defensive effort in the state of Washington, posting 28 digs at Washington State on Oct. 25, and followed with 23 digs in UCLA's three-game loss to Washington on Oct. 26.
An accomplished beach volleyball player, Zartman has earned her AAA beach rating, and won a gold medal at the World University Games this past summer while playing with long-time partner Tracy Lindquist. She also partnered with Keao Burdine for the FIVB Under-21 World Championships last summer, finishing second.
The Wright Stuff
Junior middle blocker Cira Wright completed her pre-conference season in style, earning MVP honors at the Nike Portland Invitational and followed a similar path to conclude the regular season, earning All-tournament notice at the Albuturkey Tournament. Wright is among the team leaders in kills and blocks, leading active players with a 1.13 blocks per game average, and stands fifth on the team with a 2.55 kills per game average.
Cullen Continues to Serve Aces
Sophomore outside hitter Heather Cullen continues to lead the Bruins at the service line with 27 aces on the season. She has been playing in all rotations, and is one of five players averaging at least 2.5 kills per game this season for the well-balanced Bruin attack. She is averaging 2.68 kills and 1.67 digs per game, and has recorded 53 block assists and two solo blocks during her 106 games on the floor this season.
Eckmier Concludes Career with ACL Injury
Senior middle blocker Angela Eckmier's UCLA carer came to a close on Tue., Nov. 5, when she ruptured the ACL in her right knee during practice. Eckmier stuffed her 200th career block at the Nike Portland Invitational, and finishes her career with 253 career blocks to her credit. Eckmier had played in 78 of a possible 80 games for the Bruins this season, recording 146 kills (1.87 per game), 11 service aces, 49 digs and team-highs of 16 solo blocks, 75 block assists and 91 total blocks for a 1.17 per-game average. Eckmier was ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with her 1.17 blocks per-game average at the time of her injury.
"We are all saddened for Angela," said UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski. "She is an ideal player who always gives maximum effort, and it's unfortunate that her senior season is ending this way." Eckmier suffered the injury while participating in a defensive drill during practice on Tuesday, November 5, when she collided with a teammate.
Eckmier did start a final game for the Bruins on senior night (Nov. 22), when injured teammate Lauren Hogan served the first point of the match, then recorded a dig on the second rally. Hogan has missed the majority of her collegiate career due to continuing shoulder problems. Eckmier, who was less than three weeks removed from surgery, started the match without her knee brace, and was replaced by Bruin libero Chrissie Zartman before the ball was put in play.