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Women's Volleyball Weekly Release
By: UCLA Athletics

November 2, 1998

This Week's Schedule
The UCLA women's volleyball team will look to get back on the winning track in a pair of important Pac-10 Conference matches this weekend. The Bruins host Arizona State at 7 p.m. Friday at Pauley Pavilion, then play their only match of the season in the John Wooden Center against Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Friday  Nov. 6  Arizona State   7:00 p.m. (Pauley Pavilion) 
Sunday  Nov. 8  No. 18 Arizona  1:00 p.m. (Wooden Center)   

Much on the Line
Both of this week's matches have significance in the quickly approaching NCAA Tournament as Arizona and ASU are currently listed ahead of UCLA in the important NCAA District Rankings. This week's results will also be key in the Pac-10 Conference race as the three schools are stacked in positions three through five and USC, who also plays Arizona and ASU, is still within reach in the second slot.

UCLA Quick Facts

Overall Record: 9-10
Pac-10 Record: 8-4
Ranking: No. 20 AVCA/USA Today
Last year's record: 17-13
Head Coach: Andy Banachowski
Career Record: 838-198 (32nd year)

Recapping Last Week

Bruins' Battle Back, But Fall Short In Five-Game Rivalry Match
The Bruins saw their win streak end at six matches as they suffered their first home loss of the season, falling to USC in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 2,188.

10/30 - Lost 2-3 (6-15,11-15, 15-9,15-11, 16-18) vs. USC
In a match reminiscent of the Bruins incredible comeback victory over No. 4 UCSB just 16 days earlier, UCLA fell just short of an upset of No. 11 ranked rival USC. The Bruins battled back from a sluggish start to tie the match at two games all and actually held the advantage more often in the decisive game, including serving for the match at 14-12. The Bruins' youth showed in the final stretch as USC claimed the match 18-16 in rally scoring.

Freshman sensation Kristee Porter again powered the Bruins, this time notching 36 kills while hitting .321. This marked the 15th consecutive match in which Porter reached double figures, her 10th time over the 20-kill mark and her second 30-plus outing. Also posting another impressive night was sophomore Elisabeth Bachman who equalled her career highs in both kills and blocks while hitting an impressive .524. Rookie setter Erika Selsor also surpassed the 70- assist mark for the fourth time as she provided 73 in the match and also set new career-highs with a team-best 17 digs and three service aces. A change in the USC lineup allowed sophomore setter Heidi Munneke to provide a career-high 61 assists and 10 kills. USC senior Jennifer Kessey led the attack with 21 kills. Jasmina Marinkovic added 18 kills and four blocks and Janae Henry chipped in a career-best 12 kills, five blocks and match-high 20 digs.

"Fan of the Game" Promo For 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 "Fan of the Game" promotions. A $25 gift certificates to Big 5 or volleyballs autographed by the 1998 UCLA women's volleyball team will be given away by Big 5 while Dominoes delivers hot pizza to the most spirited fan. This weekend's matches are sponsored by Big 5 Sporting Goods.

This Week's Opponent...

Arizona State "Sundevils"
Current Ranking: Unranked but received votes in AVCA Poll
1998 Record: 10-10 Overall; 7-6 Pac-10
Series History: UCLA leads the series 40-5
Most Recent: UCLA defeated ASU 3-0 back on October 11 in Tempe. Last season, the Bruins swept the Sundevils in Tempe and at Pauley Pavilion.
Notable: UCLA currently owns a five-game winning streak over ASU, including 3-0 decisions in the last four meetings. In addition, the Bruins own a 20-1 advantage when playing at home.

Arizona "Wildcats"

Current Ranking: No. 18 AVCA/USA Today, No. 16 Volleyball mag
1998 Record: 18-4 Overall; 9-4 Pac-10
Series History: UCLA leads the series 36-7
Most Recent: Arizona registered a thrilling five-game victory over UCLA back on October 9. The two teams split the series in 1997, with each team winning on the other's home court. Arizona won 3-2 in Pauley Pavilion and UCLA took the match in Tucson 3-1.
Notable: Arizona has taken four of the last five matches dating back to 1996, including the last two meetings at Pauley Pavilion. However prior to 1996, UCLA was 19-0 against the Wildcats at home.

Bruins Regain Ground in National Poll
Playing one of the toughest schedules possible allowed UCLA to gain ground in the AVCA/USA Today national poll despite suffering a loss in its only action last week. Ranked No. 23 at match time, UCLA rallied, but fell short in a 3-2 loss to No. 11 USC. Prior to the start of the season, UCLA was ranked No. 18 by the AVCA 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 in both the AVCA (No. 23) and Volleyball (No. 20) last week for its first appearance in both polls since the preseason. Oddly, the Bruins fell out of the magazine poll yet climbed to No. 20 in the coaches poll this week.

Check Out The Power Ratings
According to the latest AVCA/Sagarin Ratings, 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. 25 in the nation with an overall power rating of 88.07. Most impressive is the fact that the youthful Bruins schedule is ranked as the third toughest in all of NCAA Division I womens volleyball. UCLAs schedule has featured matches against nine 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.

Among The Best
Freshman sensation Kristee Porter brought her statistics to a new level this week when she climbed to No. 12 in the national rankings by improving her kill average to 5.01 per game. Porter is currently listed third among Pac-10 leaders and is followed by classmate Ashley Bowles 4.16 kills average which is 8th in the conference.Rookie Setter Erika Selsor is listed third in the Pac-10 with a 13.32 assist per game average. Sophomore middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman also climbed to new heights this week as she broke into the national top-20 in blocking. Bachmans 1.49 per game average is 19th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-10. She is also listed fourth in the league in hitting percentage at .357.

Brief Bruin Overview
This year's theme of "Winning Hand In Hand" builds on the foundation of excellence which is second to none. The UCLA women's 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 year's 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 already made significant contributions. Captains for the season are senior Chaska Potter and sophomore Elisabeth Bachman.

Youth Movement
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. Middle blockers 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
As the starting setter, Erika Selsor is averaging 13.32 assists per game. Outside hitter Kristee Porter leads the team with 371 kills and ranks third in the conference with a 5.01 per game average. Outside hitter Ashley Bowles is right behind Porter with 308 total kills and a 4.16 per game average (eighth in the Pac-10) and leads the team with 198 digs and a 2.68 per game average. Angela Eckmier has seen considerable action (26 of 74 games) in the opposite slot and earned the starting nod in Chicago. Lauren Hogan started the first two home matches. Taylor Rodger and Danielle Ryba have also seen action.

Building Blocks
Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman posted a new career-high nine blocks (two solo, seven assisted) vs. Oregon on Sept. 25 and has equalled that total four more times this season, including in the last three matches. Bachman assisted on nine blocks at Arizona, then notched 4 BS and 5 BA at Oregon State, 2 BS and 7 BA at Oregon, and 3 BS and 6 BA against USC. She currently ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with a per game blocking average of 1.49.

Fellow sophomore Amy Nihipali put down three solo blocks in three straight matches and had four at Cal. She is right behind Bachman with 21 solo blocks, 15 of those coming during Pac-10 matches. She tied her career-high by registering eight blocks (3 BS, 5 BA) at Arizona State.

Elite Performances
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. Porter's 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 in a match.

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. This is the fifth highest kill total in UCLA history and makes Porter only the fifth Bruin to have multiple entries in this prestigious club.

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 McPeak's outings of 97 and 95 during the 1990 season.

Selsor also became only the seventh player and third freshman 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 22 matches with 70-plus assists by a Bruin. Selsor made her fourth entry in the 70-plus club when she provided 73 assists in the Bruins 2-3 loss to USC on Oct. 30.

Bruin Sidelines

  • 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.
  • 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. Her return date is not yet determined, but could be in the next week or two.
  • 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 must contend for playing time.
  • Senior defensive specialist Mandi Lawson missed the Bruins' home opener due to a pulled muscle, but returned at Arizona.
  • 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 the Bruins recent win streak.

    Bruin Honors

    : 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 UCLA's 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
    UCLA 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.

    Coach Banachowski
    A great teacher of the game, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski achieved one of the highest honors possible when he became the first women's 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 women's 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.

    Double Dips
    The hottest player on the court, freshman Kristee Porter has notched 20-plus kills in 10 of the last 13 matches and has reached double-figures in 15 consecutive outings. Porter notched 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 seven double-doubles on the season. Porter continued to write her name in the record book as she registered 30-plus kills for the second time this season with 36 against USC on Oct. 30. Earlier in the season she fell just shy of the prestigious 30-kill and 20-20 clubs with 29 kills and 18 digs at Stanford.

    Fellow rookie Ashley Bowles was the first Bruin to register double figures in kills this season when she notched 21 against Ohio State. Bowles has also posted double figure kills in the last 15 matches, including seven 20-plus outings. She has a total of 16 double-dips thus far and owns 10 double-doubles (kills and digs). Bowles also came close to the 20-20 club with 20 kills /18 digs at Stanford and 20 kills/17 digs vs. Washington.

    Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman has reached double figures in kills in 10 matches, including the last six outings. Her career total in this category is now 22. She fell just shy of a triple-double vs. Oregon (9/25) when she registered nines in kills, digs and blocks. Bachman posted a career-high 24 kills against UCSB and equalled that mark with 24 more against USC.

    Senior defensive specialist Mandi Lawson reached double-figures in digs for the first four times in her Bruin career this season. She notched 11 at Santa Clara, 12 at Stanford, 13 against 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 on eight occasions this season.

    Setter Erika Selsor has notched six double-figure dig matches, including a career-high 17 against USC. Rookie Angela Eckmier notched her career-high 12 digs at Santa Clara. Senior Chaska Potter put up her first double-digit performance with 10 digs at Arizona and has reached double figures in four of the last six matches. She notched a career-high 25 digs against UCSB.

    Sophomore middle blocker Amy Nihipali reached double figures in kills twice and has four double-digit matches in her career.

    Pac-10 Conference Standings

    School             Pac-10   Overall
    Stanford             13-0      19-2
    USC                  10-2      15-4
    Arizona               9-4      18-4
    UCLA                  8-4      9-10
    Arizona State         7-6     10-10
    Washington State      6-6       9-9
    Washington            5-7      6-10
    Oregon               2-11      7-17
    California           2-11      6-16
    Oregon State         1-12     11-13

    Bruins In The Pac-10 Stats

    Hitting Pct.   Bachman ,4th, .357
    Assists        Selsor, 3rd, 13.32   
    Blocks         Bachman, 4th, 1.49
    Kills          Porter, 3rd, 5.01
    Kills          Bowles, 8th, 4.16    

    Bruins in the Rankings

    Poll (Date)      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

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