Dec. 4, 2001
As the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament, the Bruin women's volleyball team advanced through its first and second round matches at Penn State to advance to the NCAA Regional which will be played this week in Long Beach, CA.
UCLA will open in the regional semifinal with a rematch against Hawai'i. The Bruins downed the Wahine, 3-0, on Labor Day weekend in Honolulu. UH leads the all-time series by a
30-27 margin, although the Bruins hold a 6-4 advantage in postseason play.
Should the Bruins advance to the regional final, UCLA would face either Northern Iowa or host Long Beach State. UCLA and Northern Iowa have never met. Meanwhile, UCLA holds a 52-17 all-time advantage over the 49ers, including an 11-2 postseason advantage. UCLA has not played Long Beach State since 1996, when the 49ers won a five-game decision at home.
UCLA Defeats Penn, Penn State to Advance to Long Beach
The Bruins opened their NCAA Tournament run with a 30-26, 30-25, 30-23 victory over Ivy League champion Penn on Nov. 30. UCLA was led by Kristee Porter, who posted match-highs of 17 kills and 17 digs in her first match since Oct. 12. The following night, the Bruins took on a Penn State team that had won all 24 of its previous NCAA Tournament matches in Rec Hall, having swept 22 of those 24 opponents. UCLA stopped that streak immediately with a 30-33, 30-28, 30-18 win. UCLA scored the last 12 points of game one and the last eight points of game three en route to the win. Porter led the Bruins with a match-high 19 kills and a .371 attack percentage. Angela Eckmier led the Bruins with seven blocks (three solo/four assists) and Ashley Bowles chipped in with 11 kills, 11 digs and five block assists for the match.
All 16 Seeded Teams Advance to Regionals
The NCAA Women's Volleyball Committee seeded 16 teams in its 64-team Tournament Championship field, and all 16 of those seeded teams advanced to this week's NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Bruins and five other seeded teams were sent on the road for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in order to minimize travel for the entire 64-team field. Seeded teams who traveled last week include: No. 2 Nebraska (which will host its regional this week), No. 4 USC (which will also host its regional), No. 5 Arizona, No. 7 Pepperdine, No. 8 UCLA, No. 9 Hawai'i and No. 12 Pacific.
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
Now in his 35th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. On Sept. 1 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 February. 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 918-220 (.807), and has coached the Bruins to six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
Selsor Achieves 6,000 Career Assists, NCAA Top-10
In her fourth season as the quarterback of the Bruin offense, senior Erika Selsor has taken over both the Pac-10 and UCLA records for career assists, and became the 13th player in NCAA history to record 6,000 career assists, reaching that milestone on Nov. 19 at Oregon State. On Oct. 12 against California, Selsor surpassed Holly McPeak's 5,421 career assists (Cal 1987-89/UCLA 1990) to take over the Pac-10 career record, and surpassed Ann Boyer's UCLA mark of 5,664 on Nov. 2 at Pauley Pavilion against Washington State. Selsor currently has 6,160 career assists, ranking ninth on the NCAA's all-time list. She needs just nine digs to reach 1,000 for her career.
On Sun., Sept. 2, against then-No. 5 Hawai'i, Selsor became the second player in Bruin history and the third player in Pac-10 history to reach 5,000 career assists. Selsor 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 Ranked in UCLA Top-10 in Four Categories
The first four-time selection to the Hawaiian Airlines Classic All-Tournament Team in the 14-year history of the tournament, senior opposite hitter Ashley Bowles became 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 when she recorded the milestone dig on Sept. 8 vs. Pepperdine. 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.
Bowles currently has 1,637 kills (8th UCLA history), 1,255 digs (2nd), 4,189 total attacks (4th) and 143 aces (6th) for her Bruin career. A "jack of all trades," Bowles is capable of playing on the outside, back row, and can set for the Bruins if need be. This season, Bowles has set for UCLA for portions of every match, when Bruin setter Erika Selsor is subbed out for a defensive replacement.
Fendrick Finds Success on Outside
Junior outside hitter Lauren Fendrick has turned in consistently stellar performances this season, earning All-Tournament honors at both the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic and the US Bank/Arby's Classic tournaments. Fendrick is currently ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in kills per game (4.03) and sixth in points per game with 4.49. This season, she has matched her career-high of 24 kills, recording that mark on Sept. 1 vs. Kansas State, a match in which she hit over .400 (.404 on 24k-5e-47ta).
Eckmier Leads Bruin Block
Redshirt junior middle blocker Angela Eckmier started her first career matches at this year's Hawaiian Airlines Classic, and has earned a spot near the top of the Pac-10 blocks per game list. Eckmier's two best blocking matches of the season occurred in the state of Washington, with 11 blocks at Washington and seven at Washington State in early October. Eckmier is currently third in the Pac-10 in blocks per game with a 1.24 per-game average. Oct. 5 (at WSU) was the second seven-block performance of the season for Eckmier, who reached that previous career-high on Sept. 2 at then-No. 5 Hawai'i. Eckmier's younger sister, Melody, plays for the Wahine.
UCLA's senior class of Ashley Bowles, Kristee Porter and Erika Selsor is comprised completely of four-year starters, with Bowles and Selsor having not 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 eventual NCAA Champion Penn State, and losing to NCAA Runner-Up Wisconsin in 2000), and have rewritten nearly every statistical category in Pac-10 and UCLA history. Selsor has set new Pac-10 and UCLA career assist records this season. Bowles has joined an elite group of players that compiled 1,000 kills, 1,000 digs and 100 service aces during their careers, while Porter became the first Pac-10 player in history with 2,000+ kills and 1,000+ digs. The trio has a career UCLA record of 89-32 (.735) entering the NCAA Regionals.
Collectively, the trio has recorded 4,136 kills, 3,353 digs and 6,542 assists. With nine more digs for Selsor, all three will have reached the 1,000 dig plateau for their Bruin careers. Over that four-season span, UCLA has played 438 games, giving the trio averages of 9.44 kills, 7.66 digs and 14.9 assists per game.
NCAA Restores Porter's Eligibility
Senior outside hitter Kristee Porter had her eligibility restored on Wed., Nov. 21, by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Staff. Porter was declared ineligible by UCLA on Oct. 19 after UCLA became aware of the possibility that Porter inadvertently accepted what would be considered by the NCAA as "extra benefits." She missed UCLA's last 13 regular season matches, equivalent to 50% of UCLA's regular season schedule.
Following her six-week, 13-match layoff, senior outside hitter Kristee Porter returned to the Bruin lineup on Fri., Nov. 30, in NCAA Tournament action vs. Penn with match-highs of 17 kills and 17 digs as the Bruins downed the Quakers 3-0 ...She followed with a 19-kill, .371 attack percentage performance in UCLA's second-round sweep at Penn State ...The inaugural Pac-10 Player of the Week for 2001, Porter became the UCLA and Pac-10 record holder for career kills when she downed her 2,116th career kill on Oct. 4 at Washington in game two of the match against the Huskies ...On Oct. 11, she posted the first and only 30-kill performance in the Pac-10 this season, reaching that milestone against No. 4 Stanford ...She 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 ...At the US Bank/Arby's Classic, she became the first Pac-10 player and second Bruin to record both 2,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs ...The 2000 ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year, Porter holds the Pac-10 record for 30-kill matches with 18 ...That triples the previous UCLA and Pac-10 record of six, set by UCLA's Natalie Williams (1989-92) ...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 Updated Career Stats
2,225 kills (Pac-10 and UCLA career record holder, 16th in NCAA history), 1,107 digs (9th UCLA history), 50 solo blocks, 209 block assists, 259 total blocks, 99 service aces. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide.
Six Bruin Freshmen Playing Important Roles
Five of UCLA's six true freshmen have seen action for the 2001 Bruins. Three players, Chrissie Zartman, Brynn Murphy and Heather Cullen, opened their careers during UCLA's first weekend of play at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic. Brittany Ringel opened her Bruin career on Sept. 7 against Notre Dame, recording two kills on three swings with a dig, and Marissa Borelli earned her first playing time during UCLA's trip to the Bay Area, playing against both Cal and Saint Mary's. Additionally, redshirt freshman Natalie Ray has played in five games over four matches, primarily as a defensive specialist. She also earned a trip across the front row on Nov. 11 at Saint Mary's, recording two kills on three attacks. UCLA's other redshirt freshman, Regan Beam, has not seen game action, but did sing the national anthem prior to UCLA's match vs. Washington on Nov. 3.
Currently, Zartman is sixth in the Pac-10 with a 0.37 aces per game average, while Murphy is averaging 0.73 blocks/game. Cullen has played in 49 games and started the first match of her Bruin career on Oct. 19 against USC, filling in for Kristee Porter during UCLA's last 13 regular season matches. Ringel has seen action in 34 games over 19 matches and earned the first start of her Bruin career on Oct. 4 against Washington.