Bruins Hosts Cross-Town Rival USC

October 26, 1998

This Week's Schedule
Continuing one of the biggest rivalries in collegiate volleyball, the UCLA women's volleyball team looks to extend its six-match winning streak this Friday, when it hosts the USC Women of Troy in a Pac-10 Conference showdown beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. This week's match will mark the second meeting between the two schools this season, as the Women of Troy beat UCLA 3-1 at USC's North Gym back on Oct. 2.

Friday Oct. 30 vs. USC at 7:00 p.m.
KIEV 870 a.m. Radio at 8:00 p.m.

Recapping Last Week

UCLA Sweeps Oregon Schools For the Second Time This Season
The Bruins extended their win streak to six matches as they posted road victories over Oregon State and Oregon. Following a sweep of the Beavers on Friday, UCLA traveled to Eugene and pulled out a five-game thriller with the Ducks on Sunday. With the two victories, UCLA now owns an impressive 56-1 record against the Oregon schools. UCLA's only defeat was a 1-3 away loss to the Ducks back in 1987.

10/23: Won 3-0 (15-6,15-13,15-10) vs. Oregon State
With its 3-1 defeat of the Beavers earlier this season, UCLA's 3-0 victory Friday night in Corvallis completed the season sweep of OSU. In doing so, UCLA also extended its unblemished record over the Beavers to 27-0. UCLA's top performer on the evening was middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman, who hit .393 with 14 kills and a season-high tying nine kills (4,5). Leading the Bruins in kills was freshman Kristee Porter, who notched 19 on the evening, including a team-high 10 digs. Fellow freshman Ashley Bowles fell just short of her ninth double-double of the season, registering 13 kills and nine digs. Setter Erika Selsor set a career high with four kills, while recording 45 assists in the 3-0 victory.

10/25: Won 3-2 (12-15,15-12,12-15,15-4,15-12) vs. Oregon
Unlike its Friday night match with the Beavers, UCLA had a much tougher time with the Ducks on Sunday. Down 1-2 heading into game four, the Bruins needed a rally in games four and five to pull off the 3-2 victory. Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman turned in her second outstanding performance of the weekend, notching 15 kills and nine blocks (2,7). Kristee Porter registered her ninth 20-plus kill outing of the season, blasting a team-high 26, with 13 digs. Sunday's match also marked the her 14th consecutive double-figure kill outing. Not to be left out, Ashley Bowles recorded her seventh 20-plus kill match of the season, finishing with 22. Freshman Erika Selsor added 70 assists in the victory, the third time this season she has reached the 70 assist plateau.

This Week's Opponent

USC "Women of Troy"

Current Ranking: No. 11 AVCA/USA Today, No. 12 Volleyball mag
1998 Record: 14-4 Overall; 9-2 Pac-10
Series History: UCLA leads the series 47-34
Most Recent: USC defeated UCLA 3-1 on Oct. 2 at USC's North Gym. Last season, the Women of Troy knocked off the Bruins twice, winning 3-2 at Pauley Pavilion and 3-0 at home.
Notable: USC has taken the last four matches dating back to 1996, however the Bruins own a 12-5 series advantage in the 90s and are 21-13 against USC at home.

Porter Named Pac-10 & AVCA National Player of the Week

UCLA freshman outside hitter Kristee Porter (Tyler, Texas) was named the Pac-10 Conference and AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 19, after helping lead UCLA to three victories, including an upset of No. 4 ranked UCSB.

For the week, Porter hit .321 and recorded 80 kills, 39 digs, five blocks and four aces. She averaged 6.67 kills, 3.25 digs and .42 blocks per game in 12 games played. Against the Gauchos, Porter tallied career-highs with 38 kills and 24 digs to go along with two blocks an ace and a .412 hitting percentage. She had 22 kills, six digs, two blocks and a .279 hitting percentage in a four-game victory over Washington, and finished the week with 20 kills, nine digs and three aces in a three-game win over Washington State.

Her 38 kills against UC Santa Barbara is the second highest single-match total at UCLA, just five shy of four-time AVCA All-American Natalie Williams' record of 43 set in 1991. She also posted 24 digs against UCSB to become the first freshman and only the fifth player ever in UCLA history to record over 30 kills and 20 digs in the same match.

Porter becomes just the second freshman to earn AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors. Stanford senior Kerri Walsh earned the honor in 1995.

Brief Bruin Overview
This year's theme of "Winning Hand In Hand" builds on the foundation of excellence which is second to none. The UCLA women's volleyball program is joining hands in a quest to bring home its seventh national title. The 1998 Bruins combine nine newcomers, including the second ranked recruiting class in the nation, with nine returners, including a pair of redshirts from last year. This year's squad is extremely young with six sophomores, one junior and only two seniors. Three freshman received the starting nod in the season opener at Hawaii and six have already made significant contributions. Captains for the season are senior Chaska Potter and sophomore Elisabeth Bachman.

Youth Movement
One half of the 18-player UCLA roster is made up of freshman (the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation) and six more are sophomores. Needless to say the starting lineup is dominated by underclassmen. In fact all three of the Bruins upperclassmen have been hampered by injuries thus far. Seven rookies have already seen action and five have earned starts, including three mainstays (Erika Selsor, Ashley Bowles and Kristee Porter) who have played every game. Although several people have seen action in the opposite hitter slot, the remainder of the starting rotation belongs to a trio of sophomores. Middle blockers Elisabeth Bachman and Amy Nihipali have owned the starting nods inside while defensive specialist Michelle Quon has shared the rotation with one of them.

Seniors Key Turn Around
A major factor in the Bruins recent success is the return of both seniors to the lineup. Co-captain and fourth-year Bruin Chaska Potter returned to the starting rotation at Arizona as the opposite hitter, while second-year Bruin Mandi Lawson returned as a defensive specialist in the same match. The Bruins lost at Arizona in five games and have been on a six-match win streak since then. Potter had been hampered by a shoulder injury, while Lawson had a pulled muscle.

Rookie Report
As the starting setter, Erika Selsor has not missed a rotation and is averaging 13.23 assists per game. Outside hitter Kristee Porter leads the team with 335 kills and ranks third in the conference with a 4.86 per game average. Outside hitter Ashley Bowles is right behind Porter with 290 total kills and a 4.20 per game average (eighth in the Pac-10) and leads the team with 187 digs and a 2.71 per game average. Angela Eckmier has seen considerable action (24 of 61 games) in the opposite slot and earned the starting nod in Chicago. Lauren Hogan started the first two home matches. Taylor Rodger and Danielle Ryba have also seen action.

Double Dips
The hottest player on the court, freshman Kristee Porter has notched 20-plus kills in nine of the last 12 matches and has reached double-figures in 14 consecutive outings. Porter notched her fifth double-double in incredible fashion as she registered 38 kills and 24 digs against UCSB to become the first freshman and only the fifth player in UCLA history to record 30-kills and 20-digs in the same match. She now has seven on the season. Earlier in the season she fell just shy of the prestigious 30-kill and 20-20 clubs with 29 kills and 18 digs at Stanford.

Fellow rookie Ashley Bowles was the first Bruin to register double figures in kills this season when she notched 21 against Ohio State. Bowles has also posted double figure kills in the last 14 matches, including seven 20-plus outings. She has a total of 13 double-dips thus far and owns nine double-doubles (kills and digs). Bowles also came close to the 20-20 club with 20 kills /18 digs at Stanford and 20 kills/17 digs vs. Washington.

Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman has reached double figures in kills in 10 matches, including the last five outings. Her career total in this category is now 21. She fell just shy of a triple-double vs. Oregon (9/25) when she registered nines in kills, digs and blocks. Bachman posted a career-high 24 kills against UCSB.

Senior defensive specialist Mandi Lawson reached double-figures in digs for the first three times in her Bruin career this season. She notched 11 at Santa Clara , 12 at Stanford and 13 against UCSB. Fellow specialist, sophomore Michelle Quon improved her career-high with 16 digs vs. Oregon this past weekend and has reached double figures in digs on eight occasions this season.

Setter Erika Selsor has notched five double-figure dig matches, including a career-high 16 against UCSB. Rookie Angela Eckmier notched her career-high 12 digs at Santa Clara. Senior Chaska Potter put up her first double-digit performance with 10 digs at Arizona and has reached double figures in four of the last five matches. She notched a career-high 25 digs against UCSB.

Sophomore middle blocker Amy Nihipali reached double figures in kills twice last week and has four double-digit matches in her career.

Building Blocks
Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman posted a new career-high nine blocks (two solo, seven assisted) vs. Oregon on 9/25. This past weekend, Bachman again reached the nine-block plateau, notching that number against Oregon State (4,5) and against Oregon (2,7). She now has a total of four matches this season in which she has reached nine kills. Bachman is currently ranked fifth in the Pac-10 Conference with a per game blocking average of 1.46.

Fellow sophomore Amy Nihipali put down three solo blocks in three straight matches and had four at Cal. She ranks second on the team with 21 solo blocks, 15 of those coming during Pac-10 matches. She tied her career-high by registering eight blocks (3 BS, 5 BA) at Arizona State.

Coach Banachowski
A great teacher of the game, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski achieved one of the highest honors possible when he became the first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the national Volleyball Hall of Fame as a coach last year. Now in his 32nd season guiding the Bruins, Banachowski is not only the owner of more victories than any other NCAA Division I women's coach, but also mentor to numerous individual success stories during and after college. He has led the Bruins to six national championships, top-four national finishes in 20 of the last 27 years and compiled 30 or more victories in seven of the last 10 seasons.

Bruin Sidelines

  • Sophomore outside hitter Celeste Peterson underwent knee surgery during the spring and has not made sufficient progress to be cleared to participate yet this season.
  • Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Wittenburg will undergo surgery this week, thus her status is not yet known.
  • Rookie Taylor Rodger missed the Chicago and Bay Area trips due to a strained muscle, then suffered a sprained ankle which caused her to miss further action. Her return date is not yet determined, but could be soon.
  • Senior defensive specialist Mandi Lawson missed the Bruins' home opener due to a pulled muscle, but returned to action at Arizona.
  • Senior outside hitter Chaska Potter saw limited action due to a shoulder injury until the trip to Arizona when she was cleared for full action. She has started every match since, and is a key the Bruins recent win streak.
  • Junior Tamika Johnson has been slowed by injuries all season and missed the Arizona trip with the flu. She has been cleared to return, but must now contend for playing time.

    Elite Performances
    Freshman outside hitter Kristee Porter gave Bruin fans a night to remember when she drilled 38 kills and recorded 24 digs in leading UCLA to a come-from-behind five-game win over No. 4 UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 14. Porter's kill total is the second highest in UCLA history, just five shy of the 43 posted by Natalie Williams against Hawaii in 1991. Porter is the first freshman in Bruin history to drill 30-plus kills. In addition, Porter joined a very elite group as she became the first rookie and only the fifth player in UCLA history to notch 30-kills and 20-digs in the same match. Other members of the 30-20 club are Liz Masakayan (three times), Jenny Evans, Elaine Youngs and Kara Milling.

    Rookie setter Erika Selsor etched her name deep in the UCLA all-time leaders lists when she provided 88 assists vs. UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 14. With this accomplishment, Selsor became the first freshman in UCLA history to have over 80 assists in a single match and put her name third on the all-time best list behind only Holly McPeak's outings of 97 and 95 during the 1990 season.

    Selsor also became only the seventh player and third freshman in UCLA history to notch 70-plus assists in a single match when she tallied 70 at Stanford on Sunday, Sept. 20. She then equalled that feat against Oregon on Oct. 25, again finishing with 70. Unlike the match with Oregon State, the Stanford meeting was a four-game match and that has only happened six times in the total of 22 matches with 70-plus assists by a Bruin.

    Bruin Honors:

    Bowles Named All-Tournament in Hawaii
    Earning All-Tournament honors in her first collegiate tournament, freshman Ashley Bowles (Manhattan Beach, Mira Costa High) is already establishing herself as a force in the UCLA lineup and in the nation. Bowles was impressive in each outing during the weekend, and posted her best numbers (21 kills, .395, 9 digs) in UCLA's 2-3 loss to Ohio State. She hit .299 and totaled 39 kills for a team-high 3.55 kills per game and added 19 digs over the weekend en route to the honor.

    New Promotion For Home Matches
    The most spirited fan at each home match will receive a "Fan of the Game" prize. Big 5 Sporting Goods is sponsoring the "Fan of the Game" promotions for the weekend matches giving away $25 gift certificates to Big 5 and volleyballs autographed by the 1998 UCLA women's volleyball team to the most spirited fan.

    Pac-10 Conference Standings

                        Pac-10   Overall
    Stanford              11-0      17-2
    USC                    9-2      14-4
    Arizona                8-3      17-3
    UCLA                   8-3       9-9
    Washington State       5-5       8-8
    Arizona State          5-6      8-10
    Washington             4-6       5-9
    California             2-9      6-14
    Oregon State          1-10     11-11
    Oregon                1-10      6-16

    Bruins In The Pac-10 Stats

    Hitting Pct.     Bachman   5th   .342
    Assists          Selsor    3rd  13.23 
    Blocks           Bachman   5th   1.46
    Kills            Porter    3rd   4.86
    Kills            Bowles    8th   4.20 
    Aces             Quon     10th   0.26 

    Bruins Re-emerge in National Polls
    For the first time since the preseason rankings came out back in September, UCLA is ranked in both the AVCA/USA Today and Volleyball magazine national polls. The Bruins are currently ranked No. 23 by the AVCA/USA Today and No. 20 by Volleyball magazine. Prior to the start of the season, UCLA was ranked No. 18 by the AVCA and No. 14 by Volleyball.

    Bruins in the Rankings

                     AVCA/USA Today    VB Magazine
    Preseason              18              14
    Week 1 (9/8)           20              NR
    Week 2 (9/15)          RV              NR 
    Week 3 (9/22)          NR              NR 
    Week 4 (9/28)          NR              NR
    Week 5 (10/5)          RV              NR 
    Week 6 (10/12)         NR              NR
    Week 7 (10/19)         25              NR
    Week 8 (10/26)         23              20 

    The Polls

    AVCA/USA TODAY            Volleyball Magazine
     1. Long Beach State       1. Long Beach State
     2. Penn State             2. Penn State
     3. Nebraska               3. Nebraska
     4. BYU                    4. Stanford
     5. Stanford               5. BYU
     6. Florida                6. Texas
     7. UCSB                   7. Colorado
     8. Wisconsin              8. Florida
     9. Hawai'i                9. UCSB
    10. Pacific               10. Hawai'i
    11. USC                   11. Wisconsin
    12. Texas                 12. USC
    13. Colorado              13. Pacific
    14. Arkansas              14. Arizona
    15. LMU                   15. San Diego
    16. Arizona               16. LMU
    17. Illinois              17. Arkansas
    18. Michigan St.          18. Illinois
    19. Texas A&M             19. Kansas State
    20. USD                   20. UCLA
    21. Kansas State
    22. Louisville
    23. UCLA
    24. Colorado State
    25. Minnesota

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