Sept. 5, 2001
The Bruin women's volleyball team is off to its best start since the 1997 season, when UCLA won its most recent Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. In order to keep its unblemished record, the Bruins must go through a gauntlet of three top-20 opponents, including Notre Dame, long-time rival Pepperdine and defending NCAA Champion Nebraska.
Four Bruin milestones were recorded last weekend, but there are more on the horizon for the Bruins this weekend. Kristee Porter needs just five digs to become the first player in Pac-10 history to record both 2,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs, while Ashley Bowles is just 17 digs away from 1,000 for her career.
US Bank/Arby's Classic
The Bruins travel to Lincoln, NE, this weekend for the US Bank/Arby's Classic and will face three ranked teams, bringing the Bruins total to five ranked opponents on the year. UCLA will open the weekend against No. 20 Notre Dame, followed by matches against No. 15 Pepperdine and host Nebraska. UCLA won its first-ever meeting with the Irish at last year's adidas Invitational in South Bend, IN, while UCLA holds a 43-6 all-time lead over Pepperdine, with the Bruins winning 3-0 last year in Pauley Pavilion. The top-ranked Cornhuskers hold a 5-2 all-time advantage over the Bruins, including a five-game win at last year's adidas Invitational en route to an undefeated season and NCAA title.
Kristee Porter Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
UCLA senior outside hitter Kristee Porter has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Aug. 27-Sept. 3. The Tyler, TX, native tallied 62 kills (6.22 kpg) and 36 digs (3.60 dpg) as the Bruins defeated Michigan, No. 19 Kansas State and No. 5 Hawai'i. She posted a season-best 25 kills against Hawai'i, pushing her career kills total to 2,001, the second most in Pac-10 history. For her performance at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, Porter was named MVP - the first ever two-time MVP of the Classic. This is the fifth Pac-10 honor of Porter's UCLA career.
Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic Recap
UCLA recorded several milestones last weekend, en route to the 2001 Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic tournament title. It started on Friday, when senior Ashley Bowles recorded her 100th career service ace, recording four of UCLA's 12 aces in a 3-0 win over Michigan. On Saturday, head coach Andy Banachowski became the first women's collegiate volleyball coach in history to record 900 career wins as his Bruins defeated No. 19 Kansas State, 3-1. Sunday's 3-0 win over host Hawai'i saw two additional milestones, as Kristee Porter notched her 2,000th career kill and Erika Selsor posted her 5,000th career assist.
Porter, Bowles and Lauren Fendrick were all named to the All-Tournament Team, and Porter was named the Most Valuable Player. Bowles is the first player in HAL Classic history to be a four-time All-Tournament selection.
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
Beginning his 35th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. Last weekend 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 last March. The first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, MA, Banachowski enters the US Bank/Arby's Classic, with a career record of 901-212 (.810), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
The inaugural Pac-10 Player of the Week for 2001, Kristee Porter recorded her 2,000th career kill on Sept. 2 in UCLA's 3-0 victory over then-No. 5 Hawai'i while averaging 6.22 kills per game for the tournament ...She enters this weekend's US Bank/Arby's Classic just five digs shy of becoming the first player in conference history to record both 2,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs ...The 2000 ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year, Porter already holds the Pac-10 record for 30-kill matches with 17 ...That nearly triples the previous UCLA and Pac-10 record of six, set by UCLA's Natalie Williams (1989-92) ...Williams currently holds a different UCLA and Pac-10 record that Porter is closing in on, with a conference record of 2,115 career kills ...Porter needs just 115 kills to take over the UCLA and Pac-10 career kills record from Williams ...Last season, Porter downed 741 kills, a new UCLA and Pac-10 record en route to earning first-team AVCA All-American honors ...A three-sport athlete at UCLA, Porter also played basketball and triple jumped for the Pac-10 champion Bruin track and field team ...In the cage, Porter was second in the Pac-10 in rebounding with an 8.1 per-game average, and ranked third in the Pac-10 and 28th in the NCAA standings with 1.8 blocked shots per game ...On the track, Porter was third in the triple jump at the Pac-10 Championship, with a mark of 40-11.75 as UCLA won its fifth-straight Pac-10 title.
Porter's Career Stats/Through matches of Sept. 2
2,001 kills (3rd UCLA history, 2nd Pac-10 history. Needs 44 kills to pass Liz Mazakayan for UCLA's second place), 995 digs (10th UCLA history), 45 solo blocks, 188 block assists, 233 total blocks, 78 service aces. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide.
Entering her fourth season as the quarterback of the Bruin offense, senior Erika Selsor is closing in on a career milestone of her own, needing 659 more assists to eclipse Ann Boyer's UCLA career record (5667). On Sunday, Sept. 2, Selsor became the second player in Bruin history and the third player in Pac-10 history to reach 5,000 career assists. Selsor is currently third in Pac-10 history behind Holly McPeak (Cal/UCLA, 5421 assists) and Miya Malauua (OSU, 5368). Boyer's first season an UCLA was prior to Pac-10 play, therefore her conference total for assists is 4840. She has recorded a UCLA record 14 matches with 70 or more assists with three matches in the 80s, including an 89-assist performance in last year's NCAA Second Round match at Pauley Pavilion against Michigan State. That was the third-highest single-match assist total in school history.
Bowles Nears 1,000 Career Digs
The first four-time selection to the Hawaiian Airlines Classic All-Tournament Team in history, senior opposite hitter Ashley Bowles is just 17 digs shy of becoming the seventh player in UCLA history to record both 1,000 career kills and digs, and the fifth Bruin to add 100 aces to that tandem. Additionally, Bowles has the highest career service aces total among the 2001 Bruins, reaching the 100 career aces milestone in UCLA's season opener on Aug. 31 against Michigan. Last season, she became the 18th Bruin to reach 1,000 career kills, recording the milestone on Sept. 29, 2000, in Pauley Pavilion. A "jack of all trades," Bowles is capable of playing on the outside, back row, and can set for the Bruins if need be. During the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, Bowles set for UCLA for portions of each match, when Bruin setter Erika Selsor was subbed out for a defensive replacement
UCLA's senior class of Ashley Bowles, Kristee Porter and Erika Selsor is comprised completely of four-year starters, none of whom have missed a match in their Bruin career. Despite the humble beginnings of an 0-6 start to their freshman campaign in 1998, this trio has gone on to play in two NCAA Regional Finals (1999, losing to Penn State and 2000, losing to Wisconsin), and will rewrite nearly every statistical category in Pac-10 and UCLA history. Selsor has already recorded her 5,000th career set assist, and is closing in on both the UCLA and Pac-10 career assist records. Bowles is just 17 digs shy of joining an elite group of players that compiled 1,000 kills, 1,000 digs and 100 service aces during their careers, while Porter is on pace to destroy the Pac-10 and UCLA kill record of 2,115, set by Pac-10 Player of the Decade Natalie Williams. In addition, Porter enters the US Bank/Arby's Classic needing just five digs to become the first 2,000 kill/1,000 dig performer in Pac-10 history. Liz Masakayan is the only other Bruin to achieve that tandem (2,044 kills/1,142 digs from 1982-85), but she completed her career before the inception of Pac-10 women's sports.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Angela Eckmier started her first career matches last weekend at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic in Honolulu. The third match of the weekend, against then-No. 5 Hawai'i, featured a duel at the net between Angela and her younger sister Melody, a freshman starting middle blocker for the Rainbow Wahine. The Bruins swept to a 3-0 win, as Angela recorded six kills (.308 attack percentage), one dig and seven block assists while Melody notched one kill (.167 attack percentage) and five block assists. For the weekend, UCLA's Eckmier led her team in blocks with two solo blocks and 11 block assists for a 1.86 per-game average.
Fresh Faces Find Time on Court
At last weekend's Hawaiian Airlines Classic, head coach Andy Banachowski utilized several players that were either new to the team or new to UCLA's regular rotation. Both Bruin starting middle blockers, Angela Eckmier (who redshirted the 2000 season due to a knee injury) and freshman Brynn Murphy, are new to the rotation, as are freshman DS Chrissie Zartman and middles Cira Wright and freshman Heather Cullen. Wright played in just 36 of a possible 124 games a year ago, but saw action in more than half of UCLA's games over the weekend. Zartman and Murphy serve as a pair in the rotation, with Zartman playing in the back row with a 3.10 per-game dig average while Murphy plays in the front row and averages 0.67 blocks per game with 15 kills in nine games played. Cullen and Wright both saw extended action in the Michigan match and served as defensive subs for Bruin setter Erika Selsor at other points during the weekend.
Zartman Participates in U-21 Beach World Championships
Freshman defensive specialist Chrissie Zartman missed most of the last week of UCLA's preseason training, as she was in LeLavondou, France, for the Under-21 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Zartman and her partner Kristin Ursillo (a sophomore setter at Northeastern) finished tied for ninth after advancing from pool play into the elimination round, where they lost their first match.
Bruins Ranked No. 7, No. 13 in Preseason Polls
The AVCA/USA Today coaches poll chose UCLA as the seventh-ranked team in its preseason poll, while Volleyball Magazine has the Bruins picked as No. 13 on their preseason list. Nebraska, which went 34-0 en route to the 2000 NCAA Championship, is the consensus No. 1 pick, earning 63 of a possible 65 first-place votes for the AVCA poll. UCLA will play the Cornhuskers on Sept. 9 in Lincoln, NE, at the US Bank/Arby's Classic. UCLA's regular season schedule includes four additional top-10 AVCA teams, including conference rivals USC (No. 2), Arizona (No. 6) and Stanford (No. 10).
UCLA Picked Fourth in Pac-10 Preseason Poll
Pac-10 coaches selected UCLA to finish fourth in their annual preseason poll. 2000 Pac-10 Co-Champion USC was picked first, followed by Stanford, Arizona, UCLA and Washington State to complete the top-five. Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, California, Oregon State, Oregon and Washington, respectively.
U.S. Women, UCLA's Bachman Win Grand Prix Gold
The U.S. National Women's Volleyball team, including 2000 UCLA senior Elisabeth Bachman, won the gold medal at the FIVB's World Grand Prix 2001, the top international indoor volleyball tournament of the year. Bachman was among the 12 players on the U.S. roster, and saw action primarily as a front-row specialist, playing in all four games of the championship final win over China and all five games of the semifinal win over Russia. This is the second time that the U.S. has won the World Grand Prix, having previously captured the tournament title in 1995.