Dec. 5, 2000
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After a milestone-filled two-hour, 47-minute 3-2 win over Michigan State, the Bruins are headed for their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. This year, the Bruins travel to Madison, WI, for a Mideast Regional Semifinal matchup with No. 7 Pacific. Should the Bruins defeat the Tigers, UCLA would then play either No. 24 Kansas State or the host Wisconsin Badgers, who are ranked fourth.UCLA has not played Pacific since a 3-1 victory over the Tigers on Sept. 18, 1994, at the USA Cup in LaGrange, IL. The last time UCLA and UOP faced each other in a postseason match was the 1990 NCAA Championship match, in which the Bruins won their second NCAA title with a 15-9, 15-12, 15-7 win. The all-time series between the two teams is tied at 12-12, but the Bruins have won six of the last seven meetings. UCLA holds a 2-0 all-time record against Wisconsin with the last meeting in 1994, and is 1-0 all-time against Kansas State, with the only meeting taking place in 1991.
Bruins Down Morgan State, Michigan State in NCAA Play
The Bruins opened NCAA play in Pauley Pavilion last weekend, defeating Morgan State 15-4, 15-6, 15-5 in the first round. Kristee Porter hit .457 in the match with 21 kills to lead the Bruins in both of those categories. Lauren Fendrick had four service aces against the Lady Bears, improving her season total to 52. She finished the weekend with 54 service aces, becoming the first Bruin to record 50+ aces in a season since Elaine Youngs accomplished the feat in 1992 (51).
Sunday's second-round match saw the Bruins face off against Michigan State in a match that lasted 2 hours, 47 minutes before the Bruins prevailed 15-7, 13-15, 14-16, 15-6, 15-9. UCLA players had several notable performances, and were led once again by Porter, who had a career high-tying 38 kills with 18 digs, three blocks and a service ace. It was her eighth 30-kill match of the season, and tied for the fifth-best single-match performance in Pac-10 history. With those kills, Porter set a new UCLA record for kills in a season with 684. She is closing in on the Pac-10 record of 703 set in 1986 by Oregon's Teri Kramer.
Ashley Bowles had her first career 20-20 match with 25 kills and 21 digs. She was just one assist shy of a triple-double. Elisabeth Bachman had eight blocks in the match, increasing her career total to 605. That makes her the first Bruin and fifth Pac-10 player ever to record 1,200 career kills and 600 career blocks. She currently has 1,273 career kills and 605 total blocks. The final milestone in the match went to Michelle Quon who had 10 digs against the Spartans and now has 1,002 career digs. She is the ninth Bruin to reach that milestone.
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 34th season on the Bruin bench, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski remains one of the top coaches in his profession. On Oct. 24, 1997, he was the first women's volleyball coach to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, MA. He was the first women's coach in history to record 800 career wins (897-211, .810), and is now just three victories shy of 900 for his career. Additionally, Banachowski was honored with USA Volleyball's "All-Time Great Coach" award last May in Columbus, OH. Under Banachowski's leadership, the Bruins have won six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
National Player of the Year candidate Kristee Porter opened the 2000 season by becoming the first player this year to record 30 kills in a match, and has now accomplished the feat eight times, against Penn State (30 kills, Aug. 25), vs. Texas A&M (33, Sept. 3), vs. Oregon State (30, Sept. 28), at USC (30, Oct. 6), at Arizona (35, Oct. 12), at Arizona State (36, Oct. 13), at Oregon State (30, Oct. 27) and vs. Michigan State (38, Dec. 3) ... She tied her career-high with 38 kills on Dec. 3 in the NCAA Second Round ... The Arizona trip saw Porter post back-to-back 30-kill, 20-dig matches, and earn her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor of the season ... The Texas A&M match, Porter's 10th career 30-kill match, was a 33-kill performance that set a new UCLA record for kills in a four-game match ... Porter leads the Pac-10 with UCLA record 684 kills, good for a 5.95 per-game average and the second-best single-season total in Pac-10 history ... She also ranks fourth in the current NCAA standings (11/29) with that average ... Her 1,700th kill came in the first game against Pepperdine (Nov. 7), and 1,800 was downed on Nov. 24 against UConn ... With her 5.95 per-game average, she'll hold four of the top-six season averages in conference history ... With 16 career 30-kill matches, Porter nearly triples the totals of Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan (six each) for the Pac-10 and UCLA career lead in that category ... Porter was named All-Tournament three straight weekends during the Bruins pre-conference schedule, including MVP honors at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and Baylor Thanksgiving Classic ... She also earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 5, following the Hawaiian Airlines Classic ... Porter now has four career Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, one each as a freshman and sophomore and two as a junior.
Porter's Career Numbers
Last year, Kristee Porter became the second-fastest person in NCAA history and 16th Bruin to record 1,000 career kills, doing so in her 50th career match. Her 1,882 kills is third-best in Bruin history and is tops among the Pac-10's active players. For more information on Kristee Porter, please refer to pages 20-21 of the UCLA media guide.
Bachman Blocks for Pac-10 Lead
Senior middle blocker Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman currently leads the Pac-10 in blocks with a 1.40 per-game average. With eight blocks against Michigan State (Dec. 3) Bachman became the first Bruin and fifth Pac-10 player to post both 1,200 kills and 600 blocks in her career. She posted two career milestones on Sept. 22 in Berkeley, earning her 1,000th career kill on the third rally of UCLA's 3-1 win over Cal, and stuffed her 500th career block on the next-to-last rally of the same match. At the time, she was the fourth player in UCLA history and 14th in Pac-10 history to record both 1,000 kills and 500 total blocks in her career, and currently has 1,273 kills and 605 career total blocks. Bachman recorded her first career double-double on Sept. 28 in Pauley Pavilion, posting 12 kills and 11 blocks (2 BS/9 BA) against Oregon State. Bachman earned her nickname of "Wiz" at the age of two, when a childhood friend couldn't pronounce an "L", turning "Liz" into "Wiz." For more information on All-America candidate Elisabeth Bachman, please refer to pages 14-15 of the UCLA media guide.
Seven Bruins Earn Pac-10 Postseason Honors
Two Bruins, senior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman and junior outside hitter Kristee Porter were named first-team All-Pac-10. Joining Bachman and Porter on the All-Pac-10 team as honorable mention selections were junior Ashley Bowles, sophomore Lauren Fendrick and junior setter Erika Selsor. Ella Harley was named to the honorable mention All-Freshman team.
Three Bruins earned All-Academic notice, with Bachman's 3.65 GPA in Communications Studies earning first-team recognition. Fendrick, who has not yet declared an academic major, was a second-team selection with a 3.90 GPA. Senior defensive specialist Michelle Quon was an honorable mention All-Academic selection with a 3.34 GPA in Psychology. Bachman and Fendrick also earned All-District VIII All-America honors, with Bachman named to the first team and Fendrick named to the second team.
Bowles Resumes Dual Role
Junior Ashley Bowles returned to opposite hitter in time for the team's matches at Arizona State and Arizona after spending several weeks on the right side, and played a key role in UCLA's two five-game wins. Bowles is positioned opposite setter Erika Selsor in the team's rotation, and can set when Selsor is in the front row and is replaced for defensive reasons. Bowles notched nine assists against the Wildcats on Oct. 12 and checked in with 15 assists on Oct. 13 at ASU. She nearly triple-doubled on Dec. 3 in the NCAA Second Round vs. Michigan State with 25 kills, 21 digs and nine assists. On Sept. 29 against Oregon, Bowles became the 18th Bruin to reach 1,000 career kills and now has 1,204 kills for her career. She is the third current Bruin to reach the 1,000 career kill mark, joining Wiz Bachman and Kristee Porter in that accomplishment.
Setting Everyone Up
Junior setter Erika Selsor currently ranks second on UCLA's all-time career list with 4,700 to her credit. That number is also tops among the Pac-10's active setters. Selsor currently leads the Pac-10 and is fifth in the NCAA standings (11/29) with 14.41 assists/game. With 72 assists at Arizona on Oct. 22, 1999, Selsor set a new UCLA standard with her seventh career match with 70 assists or more, breaking the previous record held by Ann Boyer (1985-88) and Selsor's predecessor, Kim Coleman (1994-97). Since then, she has upped that total to 12, most recently a career-high 89 assists (the third-best total in Bruin history) in the NCAA second-round match against Michigan State. Selsor was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic.
Opposing Hitting Percentage Bottoms Out
Opponents in 16 of UCLA's 31 matches this season, including then-No. 3 USC on Nov. 3 (.147), have hit below .200, with Texas A&M (.215), Hawaii (.203), Oregon State (.204), Arizona (.208), Arizona State (.203) and Baylor (.204) barely breaking the Mendoza line. When the Wildcats checked in at .208 on Oct. 12, it was just the second time this season that Arizona finished a match below .300. In the first weekend of Pac-10 play, Washington checked out at -.010, while Washington State hit .101 for the match. Oregon followed two weeks later with a .041 team attack percentage. Cal checked in at .073 in the Oct. 20 match in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA held first-round opponent Morgan State to a .091 percentage.
In matches against the top-four teams in the Sept. 18 AVCA poll, the Bruins held No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Hawaii, No. 3 Penn State and No. 4 Nebraska to a combined .219 attack percentage. Following UCLA's Sept. 10 match against the Cornhuskers, those four teams were averaging an attack percentage of .322 for their 2000 seasons.
Five of UCLA's seven freshmen have seen match action this season. Redshirt freshman Ella Harley stepped in to UCLA's second middle blocker spot when Angela Eckmier was lost for the year with a torn ACL. Harley has done an admirable job stepping into that role, ranking second on the team with 0.91 blocks/game.
In the back row, Stacey Lee and Alyssa Rylander have shared the defensive specialist role opposite senior Michelle Quon, with Lee playing in 101 games and averaging 2.05 digs/game with 21 aces, and Rylander posting four to go along with 1.94 digs/game. Rylander stepped in for Fendrick during the second half of UCLA's second-round win over MSU.
Other freshmen seeing court time include Krystal McFarland, who has subbed for both Ashley Bowles and Lauren Fendrick in various situations and started her first career match on Oct. 6 at USC. Cira Wright has subbed in as a front-row defensive replacement for Selsor, and has racked up 25 blocks in 35 games played.
The Nation's Toughest Schedule?
Considering both mileage traveled and the teams being played, the Bruins could very well have the nation's toughest schedule in 2000. Eight of UCLA's first 10 matches were against top-25 teams. Opponents in 16 of UCLA's 29 regular sesaon matches were ranked at match time, with seven of those matches against opponents ranked in the top-five at match time. Thirteen of UCLA's 18 regular-season opponents are among the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament field.Six of those teams advanced to the round of 16.
UCLA's academic schedule is on a quarter system, therefore the Bruins did not begin classes until Thursday, Sept. 28. UCLA had already finalized its 2000 schedule when the Bruins were invited to the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic, adding the nation's premier tournament to the team's pre-conference schedule.
Criss-Crossing the Country
If you think that Presidential Candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore logged a lot of miles on the campaign trail, just take a look at the Bruins schedule during the first month of the season.
UCLA departed Westwood on Aug. 23 for Gainesville, FL (round-trip of approx. 4,850 miles) before heading to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (round-trip: 5,100 miles) and going back east for the Adidas Invitational in South Bend, IN (round-trip: 4,190 miles). The month concluded with a Pac-10 road trip to the Bay Area schools, a comparatively miniscule 760 mile round-trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Along the way, UCLA faced off against eight teams away from Pauley Pavilion that appeared in either poll at match time.
Total mileage for the Bruins between the start of the season and Oct. 1? Approximately 14,900 miles.
Many Bruins continue to move up on the school's career lists. Senior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman is now ranked in all three of UCLA's career block categories with 121 block solos (2nd), 484 block assists (2nd) and 605 total blocks (2nd). She ranks at the top of the list among active Pac-10 players in total blocks. Ashley Bowles has also achieved the 1,000 kill milestone, checking in with 1,236. With 4,700 career assists, sophomore setter Erika Selsor leads the Pac-10 list of active setters. Senior defensive specialist Michelle Quon earned her 1,000th career dig on Dec. 3 against Michigan State. She is the ninth player in UCLA history to reach the milestone and enters the Mideast Regional with 1,002 career digs.
Bruins Lose Eckmier to Torn ACL
Junior middle blocker Angela Eckmier suffered a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee on Monday, Aug. 14, while the team was in Mammoth, CA, for pre-season double day workouts. She will be lost to the Bruins for all of the 2000 season. Eckmier had surgery on the knee on Sept. 7.