Sept. 16, 2003
The UCLA women's volleyball team opens its Pac-10 and home schedule this Friday night as the Bruins play host to defending NCAA Champion USC at 7 pm in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are 8-1 this season and have won their last six matches, holding all of those opponents to attack percentages under .200, including two opponents who had more errors than kills in the match. Conversely, UCLA has had an accurate offense so far this season, hitting below .300 just twice in nine matches. UCLA has hit over .400 on two occasions this season.
Bruins Win Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational
The Bruins earned their second tournament title last weekend, sweeping Texas-Arlington, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Texas en route to the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational tournament title. UCLA's Brynn Murphy was named the tournament MVP, while fellow Bruins Krystal McFarland and Chrissie Zartman were named to the All-Tournament team. Murphy hit .479 for the weekend while averaging 4.22 kills/game, 0.33 aces/game and 0.89 blocks/game. She led the team with 45 points. McFarland played in seven of the team's nine games and averaged 8.86 assists/game while piloting the Bruin offense to a .322 attack percentage for the weekend. Zartman led the Bruins with 39 digs in tournament play, good for a 4.33 per-game average.
UCLA vs. USC ('03 Record: 9-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
The Bruins hold a 50-40 advantage in the all-time series against the Women of Troy. USC won both meetings between the two teams last season. The defending NCAA Champion Women of Troy are 9-0 this season and are coached by Mick Haley. They have three players averaging over 3.00 kills/game, including Keao Burdine (3.71), Emily Adams (3.59) and April Ross (3.48). USC has yet to lose a game in the 2003 season.
The Lexus Gauntlet: UCLA vs. USC
Friday's match is the first between UCLA and USC for the third annual Lexus Gauntlet Trophy competition. The Bruins won the award for the 2002-03 year, while USC was presented with the inaugural award following the 2001-02 athletic year. Women's Volleyball accounts for 10 points in the Gauntlet standings. The school that wins Friday's matchup will accumulate five points in the standings, with the remaining five awarded following the Nov. 21 matchup at the Lyon Center. There are a total of 110 points available, distributed over 18 sports. For more information on the Lexus Gauntlet, visit www.gauntlettrophy.com
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 37th 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 947-236 (.801), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
Next Week for the Bruins
UCLA will finish out a three-match homestand, its longest of the 2003 season, with matches against Oregon State and Oregon in Pauley Pavilion next Thursday and Friday. Both matches are scheduled for 7 pm starts.
Murphy Named MVP of Texas Invitational
Junior Brynn Murphy is leading the Bruins with 111 kills and 3.96 kills per game through non-conference play, and is second on the team with a .410 attack percentage and 0.93 blocks per game. She has already posted career-high numbers for kills (17 at Hawai'i), aces and points (20.5 at Hawai'i) this season. Murphy has played primarily in the front row, as she is generally replaced by a libero while in the back row. Murphy was named to the All-Tournament Team at all three of UCLA's pre-conference tournaments, the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and the Ruby's Montana Invitational. At the HAL Classic, she led the Bruins with 41 kills (3.73/game) while hitting .307 and recording 10 blocks for an 0.91 per-game average. In Montana, Murphy's numbers were again impressive, as she averaged team-highs of 4.00 kills per game, a .509 attack percentage and eight blocks for a 1.00 per-game average. Murphy was named the uclabruins.com Student-Athlete of the Week after her MVP performance at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, where she had 4.22 kills per game and a .479 attack percentage in UCLA's three victories.
Cullen Named MVP in Montana
Heather Cullen earned MVP honors at the Ruby's Montana Invitational Sept. 5-6, downing 32 kills in nine games with a .397 attack percentage and 12 digs. Cullen led all players with her 17 kills against Idaho in UCLA's tournament opener, hitting .600 (17 K-2 E-25 TA). On the season, Cullen is second on the team with 73 kills for a 2.81 per-game average, has nine service aces (0.35 average) and has 17 blocks for a 0.65 per-game average. She trails only Brynn Murphy in points, as Cullen checks in with 91.5 on the season. Cullen has also set numerous career-high marks so far this season, posting a 17-klill, 19.5 point outing against Idaho on Sept. 5, along with a 15-dig performance in UCLA's five-game loss at Hawai'i.
Ringel Remains Among UCLA's Kill Leaders
A heavy hitter, Brittany Ringel continues to pound down kills with a 2.82 per-game average through UCLA's non-conference play. Replaced by a libero in the back row, Ringel has served five aces this season. She had three aces on Sept. 6 at Montana, setting a new career-high mark. She is averaging a dig per game, and has scored 72.5 points this season.
McFarland Setting Bruins in 2003
Redshirt junior Krystal McFarland is one of UCLA's tri-captains for the 2003 season (with classmates Heather Cullen and Chrissie Zartman), and has been UCLA's primary setter through the early parts of the season. McFarland leads the Bruins in assists, averaging 10.26 per game, and has also averaged 1.78 digs and 0.48 blocks through her first 2 games on the floor. McFarland set the Bruins through the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, but stepped aside through parts of the Montana and Texas Invitationals as sophomore Haley Jorgensborg took over setting duties.
McFarland has already posted a career-high blocking match, recording five block assists at Hawai'i on Sept. 1, a match in which she also posted a career-high with 7.5 points.
The Wright Stuff on the Block
The only senior on the 2003 Bruins to see regular playing time, Cira Wright earned All-Tournament honors at the season-opening Hawaiian Airlines Classic. Wright leads the team averaging 1.12 blocks per game, and is the only Bruin topping the 1.00 blocks/game plateau. Wright has already posted a career-high digging match, recording eight digs in UCLA's five-game loss to then-No. 2 Hawai'i on Sept. 1, a match where she played the whole way around the court for Banachowski's Bruins.
Zartman Digs Role as Bruin Libero
Named the "Top Libero" at the Ruby's Montana Invitational despite playing the position for just seven of UCLA's nine tournament games, junior Chrissie Zartman continues to shine as the Bruin libero. Zartman leads the team with 3.90 digs per game. She opened the season with a 4.45 digs per game at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic over Labor Day weekend, and went on to average 4.33 digs/game as she earned All-Tournament honors at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, UCLA's final tournament of the regular season. Zartman is the only Bruin to have played in all of UCLA's 29 games entering conference play.
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.
Four of UCLA's five freshmen have seen game action through the first two weekends of the 2003 season. Colby Lyman had a big first match against Louisville, posting 14 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and 16 total points with a .478 attack percentage. She started all three matches in Honolulu. She did not participate at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational due to injury, but she is cleared to return to the lineup for conference play.
Becky Green came off the bench in UCLA's five-game loss to Hawai'i on Sept. 1, turning in an impressive performance, particularly during the last two games of the match. Green then set career highs in nearly every category in the Sept. 5 match against Idaho at the Ruby's Montana Invitational, turning in nine kills, four digs, three block assists and 11.5 points with a .467 attack percentage. Her three aces in the tournament finale against host Montana are also a career best. Green continued her impressive play at the Texas Invitational, downing 25 kills in her eight games on the floor and serving seven aces for a 0.88 per-game average. Green leads the Bruins with 11 aces on the season for an 0.52 per-game average.
Katie Carter saw limited action at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, then earned her first career start against Boise State on Sept. 6 at the Ruby's Montana Invitational. Carter posted several career highs in that match against the Broncos, recording 11 kills, two service aces, four digs and 13 points in the match. She is averaging just over two kills per game so far this season. In Texas, Carter was second on the team with a 3.33 kills per-game average, while contributing 2.00 digs/game and two block assists for 22 points on the weekend.
Laura Kroneberger played libero in game three against Boise State on Sept. 5, recording her first career dig in the match. Kroneberger was unable to play at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic due to a pulled abdominal muscle, but is once again capable of playing. She played in six games in Texas, recording nine digs and an assist.
* Freshman Rachell Johnson is out of the lineup with a broken finger in her right hand. The injury occurred in practice on Aug. 24, and will sideline Johnson for at least four weeks.