June 15, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The UCLA women's volleyball team concluded its 2000 spring practice season with a runner-up finish at the USA Women's Open National Volleyball Championship. The Bruins made it to the tournament's championship game, falling to The Dominican Republic Dream Team in the finale with game scores of 24-26, 25-18, 25-21, 25-17 in the rally-scored format. Head Coach Andy Banachowski was also honored with USA Volleyball's "All-Time Great Coach" award during the weekend in Columbus.
The Bruins traveled to Columbus with a core of nine players, including five returning starters from the 1999 varsity season. UCLA, competing as the Westwood Volleyball Club, advanced through the tournament to the championship game, where it met up with the Dominican team comprised of players from its national team training squad, which is currently ranked No. 4 in the NORCECA (North America/Central American/Caribbean) Zone, and No. 18 in the world.
For their performances in the tournament, two Bruins were named to the All-Tournament team, middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman and libero (defensive specialist) Michelle Quon. Both players will be seniors for the Bruins in 2000. The four remaining members of the All-Tournament team were all from the Dominican Republic team. It was the second consecutive USA Women's Open championship for the Dominican team.
As part of the weekend of activities in Columbus, OH, Bruin head coach Andy Banachowski was presented with USA Volleyball's highest honor for a coach, the "All-Time Great Coach Award" in the contemporary/women's category. Banachowski has been involved with the UCLA women's program since its inception in 1966, and has been the head coach of the program in all but two seasons since. Banachowski has led UCLA to six National Championships, including NCAA titles in 1984, '90 and '91 to go along with AIAW titles in 1974 and '75 and a DGWS title in 1972.
Entering his 34th season at the helm of the Bruins, Banachowski has coached 20 U.S. National Team members, six Olympians, and18 AVCA All-Americans. He will enter UCLA's 2000 fall season with a career record of 873-204, and has more career victories than any other coach in women's volleyball history.
UCLA opens its 2000 season at the State Farm/NACWAA Women's Volleyball Classic on Aug. 25 against defending NCAA Champion Penn State. All four matches of the tournament, which also includes Colorado State and host Florida, will be televised on ESPN2.