Sept. 14, 2000
LOS ANGELES -- This week marks a first for the 2000 UCLA women's volleyball team: no travel. The Bruins have been on the road since pre-season camp opened on Aug. 5, but this week the team will remain in Westwood and play host to two Pac-10 opponents, Washington and Washington State, in Pauley Pavilion this Thursday and Friday.
The Bruins hold impressive all-time series leads against both schools, holding a 31-5 all-time lead against the Huskies and a 23-5 advantage over Washington State. UCLA swept the season series against both schools last season. Bruins Earn Runner-Up Finish at adidas Invitational
For the first time this season, a player other than Kristee Porter led the Bruins in kills last Friday, when senior Elisabeth Bachman posted 22 kills last Friday vs. Michigan State, one more than Porter and two shy of her career high total. Porter rebounded on Saturday evening against host Notre Dame with 23 kills in the three-game match, and also led five Bruins in double-figure kills with 18 in Sunday's match against Nebraska. Porter and Bachman were named to the All-Tournament team for the adidas Invitational. With 62 kills over the weekend, Porter now checks in with 1,389 kills, a mark that is tied with Davia Tomkus (1986-89) for 10th place on UCLA's all-time list. Additionally, Bachman enters this week's homestand just 20 kills shy of 1,000 for her career. She had 46 kills in 12 games played at the adidas Invitational for a 3.83 per-game average. Pac-10, Home Schedules Open Thursday
After eight matches away from home in the last three weeks, the Bruins will make their season debut at Pauley Pavilion this Thursday night as they play host to the Washington Huskies. In a special pre-match presentation, the Bruins will receive their Pac-10 Championship watches from the 1999 season. Friday evening, Washington State will be the opponent, with a Sideout Bruins social to follow the match against the Cougars. WSU broke into the Volleyball Magazine poll this week at No. 19, and they are just out of the top-25 in the AVCA poll, ranking 27th with 76 votes. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start in Pauley Pavilion. Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 34th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. On Oct. 24, 1997, he was the first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, MA, and was the first women's coach in history to record 800 career wins (878-207, .809). Additionally, Banachowski was honored with USA Volleyball's "All-Time Great Coach" award last May in Columbus, OH. Under Banachowski's leadership, the Bruins have won six national championships, including three NCAA titles. Porter Points
Player of the Year candidate Kristee Porter opened the 2000 season by becoming the first player this year to record 30 kills in a match, and has now accomplished the feat twice ...She opens the Pac-10 season with 191 kills, good for a 5.97 per-game average ... The first NCAA statistical rankings will be released Wednesday afternoon ... Porter now has 10 career 30-kill matches, easily outdistancing Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan (seven each) for the Pac-10 and UCLA career lead in that category ...Her 10th career 30-kill match was a 33-kill performance against Texas A&M that set a new UCLA record for kills in a four-game match ...Porter has been named All-Tournament three straigh weekends, including MVP honors at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic over the Labor Day weekend ... She also earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after that tournament on Sept. 5, following the Hawaiian Airlines Classic. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide. Westwood's "Wiz": Elisabeth Bachman
In 1999, middle blocker Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman posted a .429 attack percentage that ranked second in the NCAA and smashed the previous Pac-10 and school record mark of .416, set by Natalie Williams in 1992. En route to that final number, Bachman posted eight error-free matches and a .938 match of 15K-0E-16TA that set a new UCLA record and is third-best in NCAA history. That match, against Washington in Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 28, was the second in a string of 11 consecutive matches in which Bachman posted a hitting percentage of .450 or higher. Bachman earned her nickname of "Wiz" at the age of two, when a childhood friend couldn't pronounce an "L", turning "Liz" into "Wiz." For more information on All-America candidate Wiz Bachman, please refer to pages 14-15 of the UCLA media guide. Bruins Top Pac-10 Preseason Poll
In a vote of the Pac-10's coaches, the Bruins were chosen as the preseason favorite to take home the Pac-10 crown. UCLA earned all nine possible votes, as coaches are not allowed to include their own team on their preseason ballot. UCLA topped the poll with 90 points and nine first-place votes, followed by Stanford (78 points, one first place vote), USC (74), Arizona (70), Arizona State (56), Cal (42), Washington State (39), Oregon State (38), Washington (35) and Oregon (18). UCLA has not captured an outright Pac-10 women's volleyball title since the 1993 season, although the Bruins did share the 1999 title with Stanford. Setting Everyone Up
Junior setter Erika Selsor currently ranks third on UCLA's all-time career list with 3,459 to her credit. That number is also tops among the Pac-10's active setters. With 72 assists at Arizona on Oct. 22, 1999, Selsor set a new UCLA standard with her seventh career match with 70 assists or more, breaking the previous record held by Ann Boyer (1985-88) and Selsor's predecessor, Kim Coleman (1994-97). Since then, she has upped that total to nine, most recently with a 70-assist performance against Texas A&M on Sept. 3. Selsor was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic. Career Updates
Many Bruins continue to move up on the school's career lists. Last year, Kristee Porter became the second-fastest person in NCAA history and 16th Bruin to record 1,000 career kills, doing so in her 50th career match. Her 1,389 kills is tied for 10th-best in Bruin history and is tops among the Pac-10's active players. Senior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman is now ranked in all three of UCLA's career block categories with 97 block solos (t3rd), 382 block assists (5th) and 479 total blocks (5th), and ranks at the top of the list among active Pac-10 players in total blocks. Bachman is just 20 kills shy of 1,000 for her career. With 3,459 career assists, sophomore setter Erika Selsor leads the Pac-10 list of active setters, and is third-best in Bruin history. Freshman Forum
Five of UCLA's seven freshmen have now seen match action this season. Redshirt freshman Ella Harley stepped in to UCLA's second middle blocker spot when Angela Eckmier was lost for the year with a torn ACL. Harley has done an admirable job stepping into that role, ranking second on the team with 0.88 blocks/game.
In the back row, either Stacey Lee or Alyssa Rylander have shared the defensive specialist role opposite senior Michelle Quon, with Lee playing in 21 games and averaging 2.10 digs/game with eight aces, and Rylander posting one ace to go along with 1.69 digs/game.
Other freshmen seeing court time include Krystal McFarland, who has subbed for both Ashley Bowles and Lauren Fendrick in various situations. Cira Wright has subbed in as a front-row defensive replacement for Selsor, and has racked up four block assists in eight games played. Bruins Lose Eckmier to Torn ACL
Junior middle blocker Angela Eckmier suffered a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee on Monday, Aug. 14, while the team was in Mammoth, CA, for pre-season double day workouts. She will be lost to the Bruins for all of the 2000 season. Eckmier had surgery on the knee on Sept. 7.
Opposing Hitting Percentage Bottoms Out
In the opening weekend of the season, Penn State checked in with a .161 team hitting percentage, while Colorado State posted a .284 clip. Overall, four of UCLA's eight opponents this season have hit below .200, with Texas A&M (.215) and Hawaii (.203) bearly breaking the Mendoza line. Last season, UCLA held 25 of its 32 opponents (including the opponents in 15 of 18 Pac-10 matches) under .200, and 13 teams were held under .100.
Criss-Crossing the Country
If you think that Presidential Candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore are logging a lot of miles on the campaign trail, just take a look at the Bruins schedule during the first month of the season.
UCLA departed Westwood on Aug. 23 for Gainesville, FL (round-trip of approx. 4,850 miles) before heading to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (round-trip: 5,100 miles) and going back east for the Adidas Invitational in South Bend, IN (round-trip: 4,190 miles). The month concludes with a Pac-10 road trip to the Bay Area schools, a comparitively miniscule 760 mile round-trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Along the way, UCLA will face off against eight teams away from Pauley Pavilion that appeared in either poll at match time.
Total mileage for the Bruins between the start of the season and Oct. 1? Approximately 14,900 miles.
The Nation's Toughest Schedule?
Considering both mileage traveled and the teams being played, the Bruins could very well have the nation's toughest schedule in 2000. The only team in the AVCA/USA Today top-eight that UCLA does not play is No. 5 Long Beach State. Seven of UCLA's first eight matches were against top-25 teams. Washington State and Stanford, UCLA opponents in the next two weekends, will take the number of ranked opponents to start the season to nine of 12. UCLA has already played the top-four teams in the AVCA poll.
UCLA's academic schedule is on a quarter system, therefore the Bruins do not begin classes until Monday, Sept. 25. UCLA had already finalized its 2000 schedule when the Bruins were invited to the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic, adding the nation's premier tournament to the team's pre-conference schedule.