Nov. 1, 2000
UCLA returns to Pauley Pavilion this Friday to begin a critical four-match homestand that will include No. 3 USC, No. 4 Arizona and No. 9 Pepperdine over a span of nine days. The Bruins still have a shot at the Pac-10 Championship, but can't afford a loss during the upcoming homestand.
First on the docket are the Women of Troy, who come to Pauley Pavilion on Friday evening for a FOX Sports Net match, beginning at 7:30 pm. UCLA lost 3-1 to USC back on Oct. 6, but the Bruins still hold a 49-36 lead in the all-time series.
UCLA Takes Two Matches from Oregon Schools
It was another marathon match on Friday night in Corvallis, as UCLA and Oregon State played a five-game match for the second time this season. This time, however, the Bruins came out on top with a 9-15, 7-15, 15-4, 15-10, 15-7 win against the Beavers. In the match, junior outside hitter Kristee Porter completed her seventh 30-kill match of the season, a mark that leads the NCAA. UCLA's middle blockers also had impressive evenings, as senior Elisabeth Bachman hit .441 with 20 kills and four blocks, while redshirt freshman Ella Harley had 12 kills, hit .450 and had a team-high six blocks on the evening.
On Saturday evening, the Bruins traveled to Eugene, OR, and posted a three-game win over Oregon. Against the Ducks, Porter had a match-high 22 kills while hitting .421 and serving three aces, while sophomore Lauren Fendrick double-doubled with 10 kills and 10 digs, to go along with a match-high four service aces. UCLA spread its nine team blocks around between six players, with Bachman and Harley checking in with four block assists apiece.
With 52 kills last weekend, Porter now has 1,674 for her career, vaulting from eighth to fifth on UCLA's all-time list. Junior setter Erika Selsor chipped in with 112 assists against the Oregon schools, and passed Julie Bremner for second place in UCLA history with 4,150 career assists. Finally, Bachman had an 11-block weekend, leaving her with 555 career blocks, just 11 shy of Kim Krull for third on UCLA's all-time list.
Last Time Against the Women of Troy
Despite the fourth 30-kill performance of the season from junior outside hitter Kristee Porter, the Bruins were unable to leave North Gym with a match victory, falling 11-15, 11-15, 15-8, 11-15 to USC on Oct. 6 in a 2 hour 27 minute marathon. With the game three win, the Bruins were able to halt USC's consecutive games won stretch at 38. Ironically, the last time USC had such a streak, it was ended at 38 games by UCLA in 1977, a five-game match win by the Bruins.
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 (889-209, .810), and is now just 11 victories shy of 900 for his career. 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.
National 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 a nation-leading seven times, against Penn State (30 kills, Aug. 25), vs. Texas A&M (33, Sept. 3), vs. Oregon State (30, Sept. 28), at USC (30, Oct. 6), at Arizona (35, Oct. 12), at Arizona State (36, Oct. 13) and at Oregon State (30, Oct. 27) The Arizona trip saw Porter post back-to-back 30-kill, 20-dig matches, and earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors The Texas A&M match, Porter's 10th career 30-kill match, was a 33-kill performance that set a new UCLA record for kills in a four-game match Porter leads the Pac-10 with 476 kills, good for a 5.88 per-game average She also ranks fourth in the current NCAA standings with that average Her 1,500th career kill was downed on Sept. 29 against Oregon (1,534), with the 1,600th coming on Oct. 13 at ASU ?With 15 career 30-kill matches, Porter more than doubles the totals of Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan (six each) for the Pac-10 and UCLA career lead in that category ?Porter was named All-Tournament three straight weekends during the Bruins pre-conference schedule, 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 Porter now has four total Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, one each as a freshman and sophomore and two as a junior.
Porter's Career Numbers
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 1,674 kills is fifth-best in Bruin history and is tops among the Pac-10's active players. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide.
Bachman Blocks for Pac-10 Lead
Senior middle blocker Elisabeth 'Wiz' Bachman currently leads the Pac-10 in blocks with a 1.41 per-game average. She posted two career milestones on Sept. 22 in Berkeley, earning her 1,000th career kill on the third rally of UCLA's 3-1 win over Cal, and stuffed her 500th career block on the next-to-last rally of the same match. Bachman is the fourth player in UCLA history and 14th in Pac-10 history to record both 1,000 kills and 500 total blocks in her career, and currently has 1,115 kills and 555 career total blocks. The other three Bruins to have accomplished that feat are Davia Tomkus, Kim Krull and the Pac-10's Athlete of the Decade, Natalie Williams. Bachman recorded her first career double-double on Sept. 28 in Pauley Pavilion, posting 12 kills and 11 blocks (2 BS/9 BA) against Oregon State. 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 Elisabeth Bachman, please refer to pages 14-15 of the UCLA media guide.
Bowles Resumes Dual Role
Junior Ashley Bowles returned to opposite hitter in time for the team's matches at Arizona State and Arizona after spending several weeks on the right side, and played a key role in UCLA's two five-game wins. Bowles is positioned opposite setter Erika Selsor in the team's rotation, and can set when Selsor is in the front row and is replaced for defensive reasons. Bowles notched nine assists against the Wildcats on Oct. 12 and checked in with 15 assists on Oct. 13 at ASU. On Sept. 29 against Oregon, Bowles became the 18th Bruin to reach 1,000 career kills and now has 1,096 kills for her career. She is the third current Bruin to reach the 1,000 career kill mark, joining Wiz Bachman and Kristee Porter in that accomplishment.
Setting Everyone Up
Junior setter Erika Selsor currently ranks second on UCLA's all-time career list with 4,150 to her credit. That number is also tops among the Pac-10's active setters. Selsor currently ranks 13th in the NCAA standings with 13.81 assists/game. 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 11, most recently with a 77-assist performance at Arizona on Oct. 12. Selsor was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic.
Opposing Hitting Percentage Bottoms Out
Opponents in 11 of UCLA's 21 matches this season have hit below .200, with Texas A&M (.215), Hawaii (.203), Oregon State (.204), Arizona (.208) and Arizona State (.203) barely breaking the Mendoza line. When the Wildcats checked in at .208 on Oct. 12, it was just the second time this season that Arizona finished a match below .300. In the first weekend of Pac-10 play, Washington checked out at -.010, while Washington State hit .101 for the match. Oregon followed two weeks later with a .041 team attack percentage. Cal checked in at .073 in the Oct. 20 match in Pauley Pavilion.
In matches against the top-four teams in the Sept. 18 AVCA poll, the Bruins held No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Hawaii, No. 3 Penn State and No. 4 Nebraska to a combined .219 attack percentage. Following UCLA's Sept. 10 match against the Cornhuskers, those four teams were averaging an attack percentage of .322 for their 2000 seasons.
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 0.92 blocks/game.
In the back row, Stacey Lee and Alyssa Rylander have shared the defensive specialist role opposite senior Michelle Quon, with Lee playing in 67 games and averaging 2.00 digs/game with 12 aces, and Rylander posting one ace to go along with 1.80 digs/game.
Other freshmen seeing court time include Krystal McFarland, who has subbed for both Ashley Bowles and Lauren Fendrick in various situations and started her first career match on Oct. 6 at USC. Cira Wright has subbed in as a front-row defensive replacement for Selsor, and has racked up 20 blocks in 27 games played.
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. Eight of UCLA's first 10 matches were against top-25 teams. Eleven of UCLA's 17 opponents thus far have been ranked at match time, with five of those matches against oppnents ranked in the top-five at match time.
UCLA's academic schedule is on a quarter system, therefore the Bruins did not begin classes until Thursday, Sept. 28. 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.
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 concluded 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 faced 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.
Many Bruins continue to move up on the school's career lists. Senior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman is now ranked in all three of UCLA's career block categories with 113 block solos (2nd), 442 block assists (4th) and 555 total blocks (4th), and ranks at the top of the list among active Pac-10 players in total blocks. Ashley Bowles has also achieved the 1,000 kill milestone, checking in with 1,096. With 4,150 career assists, sophomore setter Erika Selsor leads the Pac-10 list of active setters. With 112 last weekend, Selsor pased Julie Bremner for second on UCLA's all-time list.
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.
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.