Dec. 5, 2006
UCLA advanced to its fourth straight Regional Semifinal and seventh in an eight-year span with opening weekend victories over UAB and Utah at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins now advance to the Honolulu, Hawaii, regional where they will face No. 13 Oklahoma. Should UCLA defeat the Sooners, it would set up a rematch with either No. 12 Hawai'i or No. 5 USC, both teams that UCLA has defeated this season. UCLA is the top seed in the Honolulu Regional, and the winner in Hawaii will advance to face the winner of the Gainesville, Fla. bracket. Of the 16 seeded teams, 15 advanced to the round of 16 with the lone upset coming out of San Luis Obispo where California defeated No. 15 Cal Poly. The Pac-10 has five of its seven qualifying teams still alive in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and could have as many as three teams advance to Omaha, Neb., for the National Semifinals.
UCLA vs. #13 Oklahoma (28-5, At-Large, Big XII Conference)
The Sooners advanced to Honolulu with wins over Oral Roberts and Missouri State in Fayetteville, Ark., last weekend. Oklahoma finished second in the Big XII Conference this season, getting swept by top national seed Nebraska and losing in five games at Texas on Oct. 21. Friday's match will be the first-ever meeting between the Bruins and Sooners in women's volleyball. OU is coached by Santiago Restrepo, who is in his third year with the Sooners. Website: soonersports.com Stat Leaders: KILLS- Joanna Schmitt (4.32/game), ASSISTS- Rachel Jackson (13.67/game), ACES- Rachel Jackson (0.32/game), DIGS- Anna Monsen (4.62/game), BLOCKS- Eliane Santos (1.61/game).
UCLA vs. #5 USC (27-4, At-Large, Pacific 10 Conference)
Should USC and UCLA both advance to Saturday's Regional Final, it would be the third meeting of the season between the Bruins and Women of Troy. UCLA has captured both regular season matches this year, snapping an 11-match losing streak to the Women of Troy. UCLA leads the all-time series by a 52-47 margin but trails 9-3 in postseason play. The most recent postseason meeting between these cross-town rivals was on Dec. 13, 2003, in Lincoln, Neb., where UCLA lost in four games to USC after upsetting host Nebraska in the regional semifinal. USC is coached by Mick Haley who is in his sixth year at USC. A USC win against UCLA on Saturday would change the distribution of Lexus Gauntlet points for the 2006-07 season. Website: usctrojans.com Stat Leaders: KILLS- Asia Kaczor (4.96/game), ASSISTS- Taylor Carico (12.76/game), ACES- Asia Kaczor (0.33/game), DIGS- Debora Seilhamer (6.41/game), BLOCKS- Bethany Johansen (1.12/game).
UCLA vs. #12 Hawai'i (28-5, Automatic, Western Athletic Conference)
UCLA and Hawai'i have a long-standing rivalry, with the Bruins traveling to Honolulu annually since 1980. Including a three-game sweep of the Rainbow Wahine in the final match of the Hawaiian Airlines Classic on Sept. 3 of this year, the Bruins trail the all-time series 34-29, but hold a 7-4 advantage in postseason play. UH is coached by Dave Shoji, who is in his 32nd year at Hawai'i. Website: hawaiiathletics.com Stat Leaders: KILLS- Jamie Houston (5.46/game), ASSISTS- Kanoe Kamana'o (13.49/game), ACES- Sarah Mason (0.59/game), DIGS- Jayme Lee (3.84/game), BLOCKS- Kari Gregory (1.63/game).
Banachowski Leads Bruins For 40th Season
A dramatic five-game upset win over then-undefeated Washington on Nov. 12, 2005, made UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski the first women's Division I volleyball coach to win 1,000 career matches. Banachowski, who holds a career record of 1,035-269 (.794), is in his 40th season on the Bruin bench. He trails only UCLA men's coach Al Scates (1,135 wins) and Juniata (Div. III) head women's coach Larry Bock (1,069 entering 2006) for wins by a collegiate volleyball coach. Banachowski was an All-America setter for Scates during his collegiate career at UCLA. The first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Mass., Banachowski has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles (1984, `90, `91).