Dec. 6, 2005
UCLA posted wins over Kansas and San Diego last weekend in Pauley Pavilion to earn a trip to a sixth NCAA Regional in a seven-year span. For the second time in three years, that Regional will be hosted by the Nebraska, this time at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. UCLA is one of just three Pac-10 teams to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, as fifth-seeded Stanford and 12th-seeded USC were upset in second-round matches on their respective home courts on Saturday night. This is UCLA's 18th Sweet 16 appearance all-time, and Saturday night's win over San Diego gave the Bruins their seventh consecutive 20-win season and 33rd season in program history with 20 or more victories.
Nana Meriwether Named AVCA All-Pacific Region
Junior middle blocker is now eligible for AVCA All-America honors
Junior middle blocker Nana Meriwether (Potomac, Md.) continues to accumulate postseason honors as she was named to the AVCA All-Pacific Region first team on Tuesday. She is now eligible for AVCA All-America honors, which will be announced next week.
Meriwether is fourth in the NCAA Division I standings in blocking with a 1.77 per-game average, and is also 22nd in the national rankings with a .379 attack percentage. Meriwether has had a season for the record books, tying school records for blocks in a match and solo blocks in a match during the month of November. With five more blocks, she will become the fourth player in UCLA women's volleyball history to record a season with 200 or more total blocks.
UCLA advanced to its sixth NCAA Regional in a seven-year span with victories over Kansas and San Diego last weekend in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins return to action on Friday night at 5 pm Pacific Time against top-seeded Nebraska at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. More than 13,000 tickets have been pre-sold for the Regional.
UCLA vs. #1 Nebraska Cornhuskers (30-1; At-Large Bid, Big 12 Conference)
Nebraska leads the all-time series with UCLA by a 6-3 margin, including a 2-1 record in postseason play, but UCLA won the most recent meeting between the two teams, a 20-30, 30-27, 30-21, 30-23 Bruins victory in the Regional Semifinal on Dec. 12, 2003 at the NU Coliseum. John Cook's Nebraska squad was undefeated until the Big 12 Championship Match, falling to Texas in five games in Austin. Stat Leaders: KILLS- Chris Houghtelling (3.66/game), ASSISTS- Maggie Griffin (7.43/game) and Dani Busboom (6.58), ACES- Jordan Larson (0.39/game), DIGS- Jennifer Saleaumua (3.82/game), BLOCKS- Melissa Elmer (2.17/game).
UCLA vs. #8 Florida Gators (32-2; Automatic Bid, Southeastern Conference)
Florida holds a 3-2 lead in the all-time series with UCLA, having won the last three meetings. The most recent meeting between the two schools was on Sept. 5, 1998 at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic with the Gators winning 15-2, 15-8, 15-9. That was the second loss of an 0-5 start from a freshman-dominated UCLA team that would make it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before playing in the NCAA Regional Finals the next two years. The Bruins lead 1-0 in postseason play with a 15-12, 15-12, 15-10 victory on Dec. 17, 1992, in the National Semifinal in New Mexico. Florida is coached by Mary Wise, who is in her 15th season with the Gators. Stat Leaders: KILLS- Jane Collymore (4.58/game), ASSISTS- Angie McGinnis (13.54/game), ACES- Jane Collymore (0.50/game), DIGS- Rachel Engel (5.20/game), BLOCKS- Kisya Killingsworth (1.32/game).
UCLA vs. #9 Louisville Cardinals (31-2; At-Large Bid, BIG EAST Conference)
UCLA holds a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series against Louisville, including a 1-0 mark in postseason play. The teams last met in the 2003 season opener, a 30-24, 30-13, 32-30 win at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic on Aug. 29. UCLA's postseason win over the Cardinals came on Dec. 4, 1982 in Pauley Pavilion, with the Bruins prevailing 15-6, 15-4, 15-8. Louisville is coached by Leonid Yelin, who is in his ninth year at the U of L. Stat Leaders: KILLS- Lena Ustymenko (5.31/game), ASSISTS- Jennifer Craven (7.29/game) and Elena Pilnikova (6.55), ACES- Lena Ustymenko (0.55/game), DIGS- Nicole Bateman (2.83/game), BLOCKS- Jennifer Hoffman (1.64/game).
Banachowski Wins 1,000th Match with Upset of Washington
A dramatic five-game upset win over then-undefeated Washington on Nov. 12 made UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski the first women's Division I volleyball coach to win 1,000 career matches. Banachowski, who holds a career record of 1,004-265 (.791), is in his 39th season on the Bruin bench. He trails only UCLA men's coach Al Scates and Juniata (Div. III) head women's coach Larry Bock (1,069) for wins by a collegiate volleyball coach.
Banachowski was an All-America setter for Scates during his collegiate career at UCLA. (Scates holds a career record of 1109-200.) The first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Mass., Banachowski has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles (1984, `90, `91).