November 23, 1998
This Week's Schedule
The No. 15 ranked UCLA womens volleyball team concludes the regular-season playing host to local rival Pepperdine in its home finale.
Home Finale Important In NCAA Selections
Now that UCLA is certain to finish above the .500 mark overall, the pressure is lessened slightly for Tuesdays home finale against local rival Pepperdine. However, the outcome will be important to the NCAA selection committee which will be choosing 64 Division I womens volleyball teams for the first time in history. Since both teams are in the same AVCA district and in need of an at-large selection, the outcome of the match may weigh heavily in the committees choice not only for selection, but also when considering host sites.
UCLA brings a No. 15 national ranking into the match, while Pepperdine is among the top others receiving votes. The selection committee takes results from the last 10 matches into close account and Pepperdine is 6-3 in its last nine, while UCLA is 7-2. The Bruins are 14-11 overall with their only losses during the second half of the season coming in five-game matches to top-20 teams. Pepperdine brings a 17-9 overall record into the match and is riding a five match win streak which includes a win over another local rival in No. 25 Loyola Marymount which avenged an earlier loss at LMU.
Seniors To Be Honored
Two UCLA seniors playing in their final regular-season home match will be honored prior to the match. A key in the Bruins success during the second half of the season, starting opposite hitter Chaska Potter is a co-captain and the only fourth-year senior on this years squad. Also a mainstay in the lineup and key in the Bruins success, defensive specialist Mandi Lawson is in her second year at UCLA after transferring from NC State.
NCAA Tournament Pairings To Be Announced
The 64-team bracket for the NCAA Division I Womens Volleyball Championship will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. (PT). The selection show can be seen via satellite on Galaxy 6, Transponder 9 (C Band), however this can not be seen via DSS (e.g. DirecTV, Echostar, Primestar, etc.). Members of the media wishing to listen to the news conference or ask questions should contact the media relations office to obtain instructions.
Pac-10 Overall Stanford 17-1 24-3 USC 16-2 21-4 UCLA 13-5 14-11 Arizona 12-6 21-6 Wash. Ste. 8-10 11-13 Arizona Ste. 8-10 11-14 Washington 7-11 8-14 Oregon State 3-15 13-16 Oregon 3-15 8-21 California 3-15 7-22Bruins In The Statistical Rankings
Category Player Pac-10 Pace Hitting Pct. Bachman 3rd .374 Assists Selsor 2nd 13.88 Blocks Bachman 4th 1.51 Kills Porter 1st 5.38 Kills Bowles 6th 4.51 Service Aces Bowles 7th 0.30Bruins 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 Week 11 (11/16) 16 18 Week 12 (11/23) 15 181998 UCLA Roster
1 Elisabeth Bachman MB 6-3 So. 2 Ashley Bowles OH/S 6-0 Fr. 3 Kate Dwyer S 5-7 Fr. 4 Kristee Porter OH 5-11 Fr. 5 Taylor Rodger OH 5-8 Fr. 6 Chaska Potter OH 6-1 Sr. 7 Mandi Lawson DS 5-7 Sr. 8 Erika Selsor S 5-6 Fr. 10 Tamika Johnson OH 6-3 Jr. 11 Suzy Morris OH 5-10 So. 12 Celeste Peterson OH 5-11 So. 13 Jackie Levin S/DS 5-7 Fr. 14 Jennifer Wittenburg OH 6-2 So. 15 Michelle Quon DS 5-5 So. 16 Angela Eckmier MB 6-1 Fr. 17 Amy Nihipali MB 6-1 So. 18 Danielle Ryba MB 6-0 Fr. 19 Lauren Hogan OH 5-11 Fr.
Recapping Last Week
Bruins Finish Third In Pac-10 Race, Take Stanford To Five and Defeat Cal
UCLA wrapped up Pac-10 Conference play in third place after taking conference champion Stanford to five games and defeating Cal in four. The win over Cal also guaranteed the Bruins will finish above the .500 mark overall making them eligible for the NCAA Tournament.
Lost 2-3 (10-15, 15-7, 5-15, 15-10, 10-15) vs. No. 4 Stanford
Ranked No. 16 entering the match, UCLA became the first team to take No. 4 Stanford to five games during Pac-10 action this season. This marked the third time this season that UCLA battled a higher ranked opponent for five games in Pauley Pavilion. Although short of the victory, UCLA made it clear that this team can play with anyone.
UCLA freshman Kristee Porter continued to carve her place in the UCLA record books with her third 30-plus elite performance of the season as she drilled 35 kills in the match. Fellow rookie Ashley Bowles added 23 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman led the Bruins with a .343 hitting percentage as she put away 16 kills. Freshman setter Erika Selsor provided 72 assists tying her for the UCLA record with six 70-plus matches. Stanford was led by junior Kerri Walshs 25 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks.
Won 3-1 (15-4, 8-15, 15-4, 15-4) vs. Cal
The final Pac-10 match of the season saw UCLA defeat Cal in four games. As a team the Bruins hit above the .300 mark in three games, but faltered in game two and finished with a .252 mark for the match. Cal was held to an attack percentage of .086, despite hitting .226 during game two. Four UCLA players reached double figures as freshman Kristee Porter led the way with 20 kills for her 15th 20-plus kill effort. Sophomore Amy Nihipali led the Bruins with a .400 attack percentage as she totaled 12 kills, collecting six of those during the third game. Ashley Bowles chipped in 13 kills and Elisabeth Bachman 10 kills and five blocks, including three solo. The lone Cal player in double figures was Alicia Perry who collected 14 kills and added four blocks.
This Week's Opponent...
Current Ranking: Received Votes in AVCA/USA Today poll
1998 Record: 17-9 Overall; 11-3 WCC
Series History: UCLA leads 40-5
Most Recent: The two teams faced off twice last season, with the Bruins taking both matches. UCLA beat Pepperdine 3-1 at the Bankers Classic and 3-1 a week later in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Santa Barbara.
Series Notable: The Bruins are 26-1 against the Waves since 1980.
Fan of the Game At Home Matches
The most spirited fan at each home match will receive a Fan of the Game prize. Dominoes Pizza and Big 5 Sporting Goods are rotating sponsorship of the promotion. A $25 gift certificate to Big 5 or a volleyball autographed by the 1998 UCLA womens volleyball team will be given away by Big 5, while Dominoes delivers hot pizza to the most spirited fan. The prize for the remaining home matches against Pepperdine will be from Big 5.
UCLA Inches Up In National Poll
The Bruins improved one notch to No. 15 in the AVCA/USA Today national poll after holding at No. 16 for two weeks. Last week, UCLA battled then-No. 4 Stanford to five games and defeated Cal in the final Pac-10 Conference action. UCLA remained No. 18 in the Volleyball magazine rankings for the third consecutive week.
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.
Brief Bruin Overview
This years theme of Winning Hand In Hand builds on the foundation of excellence which is second to none. The UCLA womens 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 years 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 made significant contributions. Co-captains for the season are Chaska Potter and Elisabeth Bachman.
Check Out The Power Ratings
According to the latest AVCA/Sagarin Ratings, (through last week) which determine a teams ranking using a combination of win-loss record, strength of schedule, and record vs. top 25 and 64 teams, UCLA is ranked No. 23 in the nation with an overall power rating of 92.76. Most impressive is the fact that the youthful Bruins schedule is currently ranked as the second toughest in all of NCAA Division I womens volleyball. UCLAs schedule has featured matches against 10 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.
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 become one of the hottest teams in the nation. UCLA has won 11 of its last 13 matches, including sweeps in five of those outings and an upset of then-No. 4 UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins last three losses have come in five-game matches with top-20 ranked teams. UCLA is currently ranked No. 15.
Individuals Among The Best
Freshman sensation Kristee Porter has brought her statistics to a new level. Last week she climbed to No. 7 in the national rankings. She has now improved her kill average to 5.38 per game and taken over as the Pac-10 leader. Close behind Porter is classmate Ashley Bowles with a 4.51 kills average which is sixth in the conference. Last week Bowles broke into the conference leader list where she remains at 7th with an 0.30 per game average.
Sophomore middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman has also climbed to new heights as she was listed No. 12 in the nation for blocking last week. Her blocking average is now 1.51 per game which puts her fourth in the Pac-10. She is also listed third in the league with a .374 hitting percentage. Rookie setter Erika Selsor was listed No. 10 in the nation last week for assists. Her assist average is currently 13.88 per game which is second in the Pac-10.
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, Three Freshmen Start
Starting setter Erika Selsor is averaging 13.88 assists per game, which is the second highest average in the conference. Starting outside hitter Kristee Porter leads the team with 522 total kills and the conference with a 5.38 per game average. She is also listed seventh in the national leaders. Also a starting outside hitter Ashley Bowles is right behind with 437 total kills and a 4.51 average (6th in Pac-10). Bowles also leads the team with 257 total digs and a 2.65 per game average.
Angela Eckmier has seen action in 27 of 97 games in the opposite slot, earning the starting nod in Chicago. Lauren Hogan started the first two home matches. Taylor Rodger and Danielle Ryba have also seen action.
Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman reached double figures in blocks for the first time when she posted a new career-high 12 blocks (two solo, 10 assisted) at Washington on Nov. 15. Bachmans previous high of nine had been set then equalled four more times this season, including in three consecutive outings. Bachman has put down at east five blocks in 16 matches and leads the team with 146 total and 34 solo blocks. She currently ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with a per game blocking average of 1.51 and was last 12th in the nation.
Fellow sophomore Amy Nihipali put down three solo blocks in three straight matches and had four at Cal. She is 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. Nihipali has posted at least five blocks in eight matches this season and at least three in seven others.
A great teacher of the game, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski achieved one of the highest honors possible when he became the first womens 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 womens 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.
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. Wittenburg has already utilized her redshirt year.
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.
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 second-half turn around.
Porter: 30-plus Kills Three Times Including One 30k/20d
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. Porters 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. Her assault on the record book continued when she drilled 35 kills in a 2-3 loss to No. 4 Stanford on Nov. 20. These are the fifth and sixth highest kill totals in UCLA history. Porter is only the fifth Bruin to have multiple entries in this prestigious club and just the fourth with three or more.
Bowles: 30-plus Kills
Also making an entry into the UCLA elite performance club was freshman Ashley Bowles who made her mark at Washington on Nov. 15. Bowles became the only the second UCLA rookie and ninth Bruin player in history to surpass the 30-kill mark in a single match when she drilled 35 against the Huskies. This effort ties Bowles with Porter for the sixth highest kill total in UCLA history.
Bachman: 12& Over Blocks
Preventing the rookies from being the only ones impacting the elite clubs, sophomore Elisabeth Bachman became only the eighth player in UCLA history to record 12 or more blocks in a match. Bachman joined the 12& Over Blocks Club, when she stuffed two solo and 10 assisted blocks at Washington on Nov. 15.
Selsor: 70-plus Assists Six Times
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 McPeaks 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 27 matches with 70-plus assists by a Bruin. Selsor made her fourth entry in the 70-plus club when she provided 73 assists against USC on Oct. 30. Her fifth 70-plus entry and second highest total of the season came at Washington on Nov. 15 when she provided 78 assists. Selsor tied the record for most entries in the category with 72 for her sixth 70-plus effort vs. Stanford on Nov. 20.
One of the hottest players on the court nationwide, freshman Kristee Porter has notched 20-plus kills in 15 of the last 19 matches and has reached double-figures in 21 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 now has nine double-doubles on the season. Porter continues to write her name in the record book as she has registered 30-plus kills a total of three times. She drilled 36 ills against USC on Oct. 30 and 35 against Stanford on Nov. 20. 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.
The latest member of the 30-plus kill club, fellow rookie Ashley Bowles recorded a career-high 35 kills at Washington on Nov. 15. She was the first Bruin to register double figures in kills when she notched 21 against Ohio State on Sept. 6. Bowles has also posted double figure kills in the last 21 matches, including 10, 20-plus efforts. She has a total of 22 double-dips thus far and owns 13 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 17 matches, including the last 12 outings. Her career total in this category is now 28. She fell just shy of a triple-double vs. Oregon (9/25) when she registered nines in kills, digs and blocks and again at Washington with 16 kills, nine digs and 12 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 four times, including two of the last three matches, and has seven 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 10 times this season. Setter Erika Selsor has registered eight double-figure dig matches, including a career-high 17 against USC. Senior Chaska Potter has double-digit digs in nine matches this season, including a career-high 25 digs against UCSB and 20 at Washington. Rookie Angela Eckmier notched her career-high 12 digs at Santa Clara.
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 UCLAs 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
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.
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. This is this first Pac-10 POW honor for Bachman.
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.
Bowles Named Pac-10 Player of the Week Freshman outside hitter Ashley Bowles, from Manhattan Beach, CA, became the third Bruin in five weeks to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after she helped lead UCLA to a pair of Pac-10 victories over Washington State and Washington. Just last week, sophomore Elisabeth Bachman received the acclaim, while four weeks ago fellow rookie Kristee Porter claimed the award and also garnered the national honor. This is this first Pac-10 POW honor for Bowles and the 38th time a UCLA player has won the award.
Over the weekend, Bowles was impressive as she hit .328 and totaled 56 kills (7.0 kpg), 29 digs (3.63 dpg), seven service aces and seven blocks. She opened with 21 kills, 13 digs and a career-high six aces as she was one of three Bruins over the 20-kill mark at Washington State. She capped the exceptional weekend by becoming only the second freshman in UCLA history to register over 30-kills in a match (the other being Porter twice this season) when she put away a career-high 35 kills at Washington. She also added 16 digs and a career-high four blocks at UW. With double figures in the last 19 matches and 20 times this season, Bowles owns nine 20-plus outings and has 12 double-doubles on the year.
Three Bruins Earn Pac-10 All-Academic Honors Elisabeth Bachman received first team recognition while Chaska Potter and Michelle Quon garnered honorable mention on the Pac-10 Conference Womens Volleyball All-Academic teams. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average, be either a starter or significant contributor and have attended the University for a minimum of one academic year.
A sophomore communication studies major, Bachman boasts a 3.77 GPA. A senior psychology student, Potter carries a 3.16 average. A sophomore yet to declare her major, Quon owns a 3.30 mark.
Bachman Chosen Academic All-District Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman (Lakeville, MN) was chosen to the GTE/CoSIDA District VIII Womens Volleyball Academic All-American First Team. A sophomore communications studies major with a 3.77 GPA, Bachman will now advance to the national ballot. First, second and third team national selections will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
A student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average, be a starter or significant reserve and be in at least their second year at their current school in order to be eligible for Academic All-America honors. Forty-eight eligible student-athletes were nominated by 26 schools from California, Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Washington and British Columbia on the District VIII ballot.