No. 16 Women's Volleyball Makes Final Regular-Season Trip

November 10, 1998

UCLA Quick Facts
Overall Record: 11-10
Pac-10 Record: 10-4
Ranking: No. 16 AVCA/USA Today
Last year's record: 17-13
Head Coach: Andy Banachowski
Career Record: 840-198 (32nd year)

This Week's Schedule. The No. 16 ranked UCLA women's volleyball team takes to the road for the final time during the regular-season, traveling to the state of Washington for a pair of Pac-10 Conference matches.
Friday Nov. 13 at Washington State 7:30 p.m.
Live telecast on Fox Sports Net (Pac-10 Match of the Week)
Sunday Nov. 15 Washington 4:00 p.m.

Bachman Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman, from Lakeville, MN, became the second Bruin this season to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors as she helped lead UCLA to a pair of Pac-10 sweeps with victories over Arizona State and Arizona. Rookie Kristee Porter claimed the award just three weeks ago and also garnered the national honor. This is this first Pac-10 POW honor for Bachman and the 37th time a UCLA player has claimed the award.

Bachman hit .509 for the week with 29 kills (4.83 kpg) and nine blocks (1.5 bpg) in the two sweeps. In the win over ASU, Bachman hit .370 with 12 kills and seven blocks, including three solo. She was near perfect against Arizona as she drilled 17 kills without an error in 26 attempts for an impressive .654 attack percentage and added two blocks. Bachman also recorded the 500th kill of her career and has now hit above .350 in each of the last nine matches.

Down The Stretch, Bruins Aim To Stay Above .500
With only five regular-season matches remaining, every match is an important one for the Bruins who must keep their overall record above the .500 mark in order to receive consideration for an at-large invitation to the quickly approaching NCAA Tournament. This week's results will also be significant in the Pac-10 Conference race as UCLA is currently in third place, only two games behind USC, which also plays at Washington and Washington State this weekend.

Streaking Bruins
Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country has advantages and disadvantages, for the Bruins this has led to streaks of two different kinds. UCLA opened the season with six straight losses, five against teams ranked in the top-15 at match time. The Bruins' youth played a major factor in that poor start, but the team has shown consistent improvement and has now become one of the hottest teams around. UCLA has won eight of its last nine matches, including sweeps in five of those outings against Pac-10 opponents and has climbed to No. 16 in the rankings.

Recapping Last Week
Bruins Sweep Both ASU & Arizona To Go Over .500 Overall UCLA swept a pair of Pac-10 Conference matches over the weekend and brought its overall record above the .500 mark for the first time.

11/6 Won 3-0 (15-13, 16-14, 15-4) vs. Arizona State
The No. 20 ranked Bruins started the weekend sweeping Arizona State. Three Bruins again reached double figures as freshman Kristee Porter led the way with 19 kills. Classmate Ashley Bowles followed closely with 18 kills and served a pair of aces. Leading the team in hitting percentage was sophomore Elisabeth Bachman who hit .370 with 12 kills and also added seven blocks, including three solo. Also contributing with eight blocks at key points and eight kills was fellow sophomore Amy Nihipali. Freshman setter Erika Selsor provided 50 assists and senior Chaska Potter led the squad with 12 digs. ASU was led by sophomore Amanda Burbridge who totaled 15 kills and a match-high 17 digs. Freshman Jami Coughlin added 13 kills for the Sun Devils.

11/8 Won 3-0 (15-10, 15-3, 15-13) vs. No. 18 Arizona
UCLA avenged an earlier five-game loss and completed a sweep of the weekend series by upsetting No. 18 Arizona at the John Wooden Center. The Bruins posted a season-high team attack percentage of .418 as sophomore Elisabeth Bachman, who went on to claim Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, led the way. Bachman was near perfect as she drilled 17 kills without an error to hit .654 and also contributed two blocks. Rookie sensation Kristee Porter came up just shy of the UCLA three-game single match record with 28 kills. Fellow freshman Ashley Bowles drilled 19 kills with only one error to hit. 450. Both Porter and Bowles have now reached double figures in the last 17 consecutive matches. UCLA also tied its team season-best with nine aces as both senior Chaska Potter and sophomore Michelle Quon tied their personal career highs with four and three aces respectively. Arizona was led by Marisa DaLee who hit .556 in the match with a team-high 12 kills. The rest of the Wildcats were held under double figures.

This Week's Opponent...
Washington State "Cougars"

Current Ranking: Received Votes in AVCA/USA Today poll
1998 Record: 11-9 Overall; 8-6 Pac-10
Series History: UCLA leads the series 20-5
Most Recent: UCLA defeated Washington State 3-0 back on October 18 at Pauley Pavilion. With its win over Washington the previous Friday, UCLA's victory over WSU marked the first time since 1995 that the Bruins have swept the Washington schools in a weekend series. Last season, the Bruins dropped both matches to the Cougars, falling 3-1 at home and in Pullman. Notable: In 25 total meetings, dating back to 1986, there has only been one five-game match between the Bruins and Cougars. In 1987, UCLA defeated WSU 3-2 in Pullman.

Washington "Huskies"
Current Ranking: Unranked
1998 Record: 7-11 Overall; 6-8 Pac-10
Series History: UCLA leads the series 28-5 Most Recent: The Bruins defeated the Huskies 3-1 back on Oct. 16 at Pauley Pavilion. Last season, Washington swept the Bruins, winning 3-0 at home and 3-1 at Pauley Pavilion. Notable: UCLA is 14-3 when playing in Seattle, however three of the Huskies's five wins have come on their home court.

UCLA Continues Climb In National Poll .
The Bruins continue to climb in the AVCA/USA Today national poll improving four slots after last week's victories. Ranked No. 20 at match time, UCLA swept vote getter Arizona State, then repeated the feat with a 3-0 win over then No. 18 Arizona. UCLA is now No. 16 in the coaches' poll and also reappeared in the Volleyball magazine top-20 in the No. 18 slot.

Prior to the start of the season, UCLA was ranked No. 18 by the coaches and No. 14 by Volleyball. The Bruins remained in the AVCA rankings for a week before falling out, then reappeared on Oct. 19 after posting an impressive upset of then-No. 4 UCSB. UCLA was ranked by both the AVCA (23) and Volleyball (20) on Oct. 26 for its first appearance in both polls since the preseason. Oddly, the Bruins fell out of the magazine poll last week, yet climbed to No. 20 in the coaches poll.

Check Out The Power Ratings .
According to the latest AVCA/Sagarin Ratings, which determine a team's ranking using a combination of win-loss record, strength of schedule, and record vs. top 25 and 64 teams, UCLA is ranked No. 24 in the nation with an overall power rating of 88.54. Most impressive is the fact that the youthful Bruins' schedule is ranked as the third toughest in all of NCAA Division I women's volleyball. UCLA's schedule has featured matches against nine top 25 teams, including No. 1 Penn State in a string of five top-15 teams to open the season and a win over No. 4 UCSB.

Individuals Among The Best .
Freshman sensation Kristee Porter brought her statistics to a new level last week when she climbed to No. 12 in the national rankings by improving her kill average to 5.22 per game. Porter is currently listed third among Pac-10 leaders and is followed by classmate Ashley Bowles' 4.31 kills average which is sixth in the conference. Rookie setter Erika Selsor's 13.64 assist per game average is second in the Pac-10.

Sophomore middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman also climbed to new heights last week as she broke into the national top-20 in blocking. Bachman's 1.49 per game average is 19th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-10. She is also listed third in the league in hitting percentage at .371.

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. Co-captains for the season are Chaska Potter and Elisabeth Bachman.

Youth Movement .

One half of the 18-player UCLA roster is made up of freshman (including 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. Elisabeth Bachman and Amy Nihipali have owned the starting nods inside while defensive specialist Michelle Quon has shared the rotation.

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 went on a six-match win streak after that. Potter had been hampered by a shoulder injury, while Lawson had a pulled muscle.

Rookie Report .
Starting setter Erika Selsor is averaging 13.64 assists per game, which is the second highest average in the conference. Outside hitter Kristee Porter leads the team with 418 kills and ranks third in the conference with a 5.22 per game average. Outside hitter Ashley Bowles is right behind with 345 total kills and a 4.31 per game average (6th in Pac-10) and leads the team with 210 total digs for a 2.63 per game average.

Angela Eckmier has seen significant action (26 of 80 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.

Building Blocks .
Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman posted a new career-high nine blocks (two solo, seven assisted) vs. Oregon on Sept. 25 and has equalled that total four more times this season, including in the three consecutive matches. Bachman assisted on nine blocks at Arizona, then notched 4 BS and 5 BA at Oregon State, 2 BS and 7 BA at Oregon, and 3 BS and 6 BA against USC. She currently ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with a per game blocking average of 1.49 and leads the team with 119 total and 28 solo blocks.

Fellow sophomore Amy Nihipali put down three solo blocks in three straight matches and had four at Cal. She is right behind Bachman with 22 solo blocks, 16 of those coming during Pac-10 matches. She tied her career-high by registering eight blocks (3 BS, 5 BA) at Arizona State and matched that (1 BS, 7 BA) at home against ASU.

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. She became only the eighth player in UCLA history to reach the 30-kill milestone.

Not about to let up, Porter etched her name onto the 30-plus kill list for the second time on Oct. 30 when she drilled 36 kills in the Bruins' 2-3 loss to No. 11 USC. This is the fifth highest kill total in UCLA history and makes Porter only the fifth Bruin to have multiple entries in this prestigious club.

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 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. Selsor made her fourth entry in the 70-plus club when she provided 73 assists in the Bruins 2-3 loss to USC on Oct. 30.

Bruin Sidelines .

  • Sophomore outside hitter Celeste Peterson underwent knee surgery during the spring and will redshirt this season.
  • Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Wittenburg underwent surgery to her right shoulder on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and will be out for the remainder of the season.
  • 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 in the next week or two.
  • 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.
  • 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 in the Bruins recent turn around.

    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.

    Double Dips .
    The hottest player on the court, freshman Kristee Porter has notched 20-plus kills in 11 of the last 15 matches and has reached double-figures in 17 consecutive outings. Porter recorded her fifth double-double in incredible fashion as she registered 38 kills and 24 digs against UCSB on Oct. 14 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 has seven double-doubles on the season. Porter continued to write her name in the record book as she registered 30-plus kills for the second time this season with 36 against USC on Oct. 30. Earlier in the season she fell just shy of the 30-kill and 20-20 clubs with 29 kills and 18 digs at Stanford. She came up just short of the three-game match record against Arizona when she put away 28 kills in the sweep.

    Fellow rookie Ashley Bowles was the first Bruin to register double figures in kills when she notched 21 against Ohio State. Bowles has also posted double figure kills in the last 17 matches, including seven 20-plus outings. She has a total of 18 double-dips thus far and owns 10 double-doubles. Bowles also came close to the 20-20 club with 20 kills /18 digs at Stanford and 20k/17d vs. Washington.

    Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman has reached double figures in kills in 13 matches, including the last eight outings. Her career total in this category is now 24. 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 and equalled that mark against USC. Sophomore middle blocker Amy Nihipali reached double figures in kills twice and has four career double- digit outings.

    Senior specialist Mandi Lawson reached double-figures in digs for the first four times in her career this season. She notched 11 at Santa Clara , 12 at Stanford, 13 vs. UCSB and 12 against USC. Fellow specialist, sophomore Michelle Quon improved her career-high with 16 digs at Oregon and has reached double figures in digs eight times this season. Setter Erika Selsor has registered six double-figure dig matches, including a career-high 17 against USC. Senior Chaska Potter has double-digit digs in six matches this season, including a career-high 25 digs against UCSB. Rookie Angela Eckmier notched her career-high 12 digs at Santa Clara.

    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.

    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 junior Kerri Walsh is the only other rookie to earn the honor.

    Porter Named UCLA Athlete of the Month.
    Freshman outside hitter Kristee Porter (Tyler, Texas) was selected the UCLA Female Athlete of the Month for Sept. - Oct. after getting her collegiate career off to a fantastic start. Porter received the honor along with Male Athlete of the Month honoree Cade McNown, the Bruins' Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback on the highly ranked football team, during Basketball Preview Day on Sunday, Nov. 8.

    Pac-10 Conference Standings

    School,         Pac-10/ Overall
    Stanford,         14-0/ 21-2
    USC,              12-2/ 17-4
    UCLA,             10-4/ 11-10
    Arizona,           9-6/ 18-6
    Washington State,  8-6/ 11-9
    Arizona State,     7-8/ 10-12
    Washington,        6-8/ 7-11
    California,       2-12/ 6-19
    Oregon,           2-13/ 7-19
    Oregon State,     2-13/ 12-14
    Bruins In The Statistical Rankings . Category, Player, Pac-10/Nation, Pace Hitting Pct., Bachman, 4th, . 357 Assists, Selsor, 3rd, 13.32 Blocks, Bachman, 4th / 19th, 1.49 Kills, Porter, 3rd / 12th, 5.01 Kills, Bowles, 8th, 4.16 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
    Week 9  (11/2)  20 NR
    Week 10 (11/9)  16 18

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