Bruins Prepare For The Central Regional Semifinals
Dec. 6, 1999
LOS ANGELES - Following home-court victories over Eastern Washington and Ohio State in the first weekend of NCAA play, No. 8 UCLA now has an opportunity to avenge one of its three regular season losses, facing off against No. 9 Pepperdine in the Central Regional semifinal on Thursday at Penn State. Should the Bruins advance and Minnesota upset the host Nittany Lions, a second rematch would take place, between UCLA and the Golden Gophers.
The Bruins now hold an all-time record of 47-15 (.758) in NCAA Championship play, a mark that includes three NCAA titles (1984, '90, '91). UCLA also won national titles in 1972, '74 and '75 when the sport was under the DGWS (1972) and AIAW. The Bruins have a 121-24 (.834) all-time record in postseason play.
No team in women's collegiate volleyball has appeared in more postseason tournaments or final fours than UCLA. Head coach Andy Banachowski leads his squad into postseason play for the 30th time in his 33 years at the helm. Banachowski's teams have appeared in 21 final fours, earning six titles, seven runner-up finishes, five third-place trophies and three fourth-place finishes.
This Week's Schedule December 6-12
With victories over Eastern Washington and Ohio State last weekend at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins now advance to their first NCAA Regional since 1995. The Central Regional will be hosted by top-seeded and No. 1 Penn State in Rec Hall on the PSU campus. All remaining UCLA matches will be available on broadcast.com with Lou Riggs and Paul Nihipali calling the action.
Thu. Dec. 9 UCLA vs. Pepperdine State College, Pa. 5:00 p.m. ET Thu. Dec. 9 Minnesota (22/NR) at Penn State (1/1) State College, Pa. 7:30 p.m. ET Fri. Dec. 10 Central Regional Final State College, Pa. 7:30 p.m. ET
Last Time vs. Pepperdine
When the NCAA Tournament bracket was announced, Banachowski was asked if first-round opponent Eastern Washington would go straight out and find tape of the Bruins Nov. 23 loss at Pepperdine. His response was 'if they do, they'll see two different matches on the same tape.' The matchup between the two teams in UCLA's regular season finale was indeed a night-and-day performance for the Bruins. UCLA struggled following 15-8 and 15-7 victories in the first two games, allowing the Waves to take a 4-0 lead in game three and a 6-0 game four lead, resulting in 15-7, 15-7 Pepperdine game wins. The deciding fifth game was hard-fought, but the Waves came away with the 15-12 fifth-game win. NOTE: Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies played for Banachowski at UCLA in 1974-75 and was named one of UCLA's 25 Greatest Players in a 1997 ceremony.
Last Time vs. Minnesota
In the season's second match, the Bruins survived a scare and defeated the Golden Gophers 9-15, 11-15, 16-14, 15-5, 15-9 at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic on Sept. 5. For further details on this match, please see 'Five Game Match Notes' on page 4 and the box score in the back of this postseason guide. NOTE: Minnesota senior Linda Shudlick lettered at UCLA in 1995 and 1996 before transferring home to Minnesota.
Last Time vs. Penn State
The Nittany Lions were a part of UCLA's brutal early-season schedule in 1998, taking a 15-3, 15-7, 15-9 victory from the Bruins in the opening match of the Chicago Challenge. Penn State was the fourth consecutive ranked opponent for UCLA NOTE: Julie Bremner, older sister of PSU's Bonnie Bremner, was UCLA's setter the last time the Bruins won an NCAA title (1991, Julie's sophomore year).
Head Coach Andy Banachowski
In his 33rd 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, and was the first women's coach in history to record 800 career wins (872-203, .811). The only other collegiate volleyball coach, men's or women's, with more career wins than Banachowski is UCLA men's coach Al Scates, who notched career victory number 900 during the 1997 season. Banachowski played under Scates at UCLA and also got his start in coaching with Scates. Under Banachowski's leadership, the Bruins have won six national championships, including three NCAA titles.
Seven Bruins Tabbed for Pac-10 Postseason Honors
Four Bruins were named to the 12-member All-Pac-10 Team, including junior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman (Lakeville, MN/Lakeville HS), sophomore outside hitter Ashley Bowles (Manhattan Beach, CA/Mira Costa HS), sophomore outside hitter Kristee Porter (Tyler, TX/John Tyler HS) and sophomore setter Erika Selsor (Linden, CA/Linden). Senior middle blocker Tamika Johnson (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral HS) and junior defensive specialist Michelle Quon (Dana Point, CA/Dana Hills HS) were named to the Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 team, and Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, CA/Carlsbad HS) was honored as a member of the six-player Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
UCLA, which completed conference play as co-champions with Stanford, led the league in All-Pac-10 Team honorees, with four. The Bruins seven total selections were just one behind the Cardinal, who had four players honored on the honorable mention team.
Bachman, Quon Recognized for Academic Excellence
Junior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman was recognized on Nov. 18 as a first-team member of the Academic All-District VIII team. Bachman's name will now be included on the national Academic All-America ballot. The 1999 GTE Academic All-America team will be announced on Tues., Dec. 14. Additionally, Bachman and junior Michelle Quon earned Pac-10 recognition as members of the conference's All-Academic Women's Volleyball Team. Bachman earned first-team honors with a 3.71 GPA in communications, while Quon was a second-team honoree with a 3.27 GPA in psychology with a business specialization.
Many Bruins have been busy moving up on the school's career lists this season. 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 1,145 kills (as of 12/6) is 15th in Bruin history and is third among the Pac-10's active players. Junior middle blocker Elisabeth Bachman is now ranked in all three career block categories with 85 block solos (5th), 349 block assists (7th) and 434 total blocks (7th). Among active Pac-10 players, she ranks second behind Stanford's Kerri Walsh (470 TB). With 2,907 career assists, sophomore setter Erika Selsor ranks leads the Pac-10 list of active setters, and is fifth in Bruin history.
It Took Three Tiebreakers
Pac-10 co-champions UCLA and Stanford finished with identical 17-1 records and are therefore the first volleyball co-champions in conference history. The following tiebreakers were used to decide which team received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament: 1) head-to-head competition in the conference (tied), 2) most games won head-to-head in conference matches (tied), 3) team with highest for-against ratio of points in head-to-head competition (Stanford held the advantage, 89-86).
Bruins Lead Four Pac-10 Individual Statistical Categories
Four Bruins have accumulated statistics that are Pac-10 bests. Bachman holds the top spot in hitting percentage (.441) and is third in a close race in blocks (1.33 per game), just 0.02 per game away from the top spot. Two other Bruins, Tamika Johnson (.385) and Kristee Porter (.305), rank second and ninth in hitting percentage, respectively. Among conference setters, UCLA's Erika Selsor is the best, averaging 13.74 assists/game. Kristee Porter leads the conference in kills per game with a 5.31 average, and is the only player in the conference averaging over 5.00 kills/game. As a team, the Bruins are tops in assists (15.88/gm) and kills (17.38/gm).
Freshman Stacy Millichap is playing with a broken finger on her left hand, an injury suffered in practice last week. Redshirt sophomore Celeste Peterson will not travel with the team this weekend, as the knee injury that forced a medical redshirt a year ago continues to act up.
Kristee Porter has 536 kills through 30 matches, 220 more than the next closest Bruin (Ashley Bowles). Porter's 36 kills at Arizona is the top total by a Pac-10 player this season. She has two 30-kill matches this season (tops in Pac-10) and six for her career, tying Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan for the career lead in that category. She also is ranked 13th in the most recent available NCAA statistics (11/28) with a 5.25 kills per game average. Despite being only a sophomore, Porter ranks third on the Pac-10's list of active career kill leaders (1,145 kills), behind Stanford senior Kerri Walsh and Washington senior Kristina Laffling.
Opposing Hitting Percentage Bottoms Out
UCLA held 22 of 28 regular season opponents and both postseason opponents to a team hitting percentage under .200, and are responsible for three of the Pac-10's top-five hitting percentages this season. Three times, Sept. 11 against Idaho State at the Pioneer Classic, on Oct. 1 at Washington State, and Nov. 11 against Oregon, opposing teams finished the match with a negative team hitting percentage. In all, the Bruins have held 24 of 30 opponents (including the opponents in 15 of 18 Pac-10 matches) under .200, and 13 teams have been held under .100.
Bruins vs. 1999 NCAA Tournament Field
UCLA played eight members of the 1999 NCAA field during its regular season schedule, and accumulated a 9-3 record against those schools. Two of UCLA's losses were on the road against top seeds Stanford (Nov. 5) and Hawai'i (Sept. 7). Pepperdine was the Bruins third loss against the field, and the Waves are seeded second to UCLA's third in the Central region. Other schools in the tournament field the Bruins played this season include Minnesota (Sept. 5, W), USC (Oct. 13, W, Nov. 19, W), Arizona State (Sept. 25, W, Oct. 21, W), Cincinnati (Sept. 18, W) and Arizona (Sept. 24, W, Oct. 22, W).
1998 vs. 1999
A year ago, with three freshman in the starting lineup, the Bruins struggled against a powerhouse early season schedule, in which the first five matches were against teams ranked in the top-15. From an 0-6 start, the team recovered for a 16-12 (13-5/3rd Pac-10) season and NCAA Tournament berth. Last year's Bruins played seven matches that went the full five games (3-4 in those matches), and had 12 matches that went four games (8-4). By contrast, this season's UCLA club lost to then-No. 3 Hawai'i on Sept. 17 and proceeded to put together a 19-match winning streak, the program's longest since the 1993 squad won its first 21 matches.
The 1999 Bruins have played just three five-game matches (2-1), six four-game matches (4-2), and have earned sweeps in 21 of their 27 victories, without being swept. The proof can be seen in the team's numbers. At the conclusion of the 1998 season, UCLA's 28 matches consisted of 110 games played, while the 1999 stats through 28 matches, showed just 96 games played.This explains why players such as Bachman, Porter and Selsor have higher per-game averages than a year ago, but their raw numbers are significantly lower.
Three Bruins are on pace to etch their names in the UCLA record book for hitting percentage in a single season. Elisabeth Bachman leads the way with a .441 hitting percentage, a mark that would easily improve upon the Pac-10 and school record of .416, set by Natalie Williams in 1992. Tamika Johnson is next in line with a .385 mark that would rank third, behind Bachman and Williams, while Kristee Porter has a chance to join the group with a .305 hitting percentage for the season. To qualify for the list, players must average three attempts/game.
Setting Everyone Up
Sophomore setter Erika Selsor started the 1999 season ranked eighth in Bruin history with 1,506 career assists. Since then, she has added 1,401 to her total and currently ranks fifth on UCLA's all-time career list with 2,907 to her credit. With 72 assists at Arizona on Oct. 22, 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).
Bowles Playing Double Role
Sophomore Ashley Bowles has spent much of the season at opposite hitter, but also has set for the Bruins at the end of numerous matches. Her setting experience paid off for the Bruins in the key match on Oct. 22 at Arizona. With regular setter Erika Selsor in the front row in game five, Banachowski was able to replace Selsor with middle blocker Angela Eckmier, giving UCLA a better blocking weapon in the front row. Bowles was the only setter on the floor for seven rallies in game five, and finished the match with eight assists.
Five-Game Match Notes
There are several similarities between UCLA's five game victories over Minnesota (Sept. 5) and Arizona (Oct. 22). The most interesting coincidence is probably that the Bruins faced a match point in both matches at 14-10. On Sept. 5, the key moment was in game three, when the Gophers had apparently won the match before an overturned call gave UCLA new life. They eventually won game three 16-14, and posted victories in games four and five to win the match. On Oct. 22 at Arizona, the Bruins were down 14-10 in game four, facing match point to the Wildcats. Arizona served for the match three times before UCLA rallied to a 16-14 game four win, eventually winning the fifth and deciding game, 15-13. The Bruins dropped their first five-game match of the season on Nov. 23 in Malibu, Calif., losing to Pepperdine 3-2.
Yes, the Bruins did play one less match than originally scheduled at the Kent Invitational (Sept. 17-18). Due to the remnants of Hurricane Floyd, UCLA's Friday evening opponent, Seton Hall, was unable to leave South Orange, N.J., and was forced to cancel its trip to Northeast Ohio. Kent and Cincinnati made up for the lost match by facing off twice in tourney play, once in the originally-scheduled match on Friday (a 3-1 Cincinnati victory) and an additional match on Saturday (3-0 Cincinnati).
With a record of 27-3 (17-1 Pac-10), UCLA not only earned its first Pac-10 title since 1993, but has its best overall record since the 1994 season, when the Bruins lost in the NCAA Championship match to Stanford.. Ashley Bowles holds the team lead in service aces with 29, but is just two ahead of Selsor, who checks in with 27 É Only three Bruins have played in every game of the season: Selsor and defensive specialists Michelle Quon and Stacy Millichap. Quon is the only current Bruin with 700 or more career digs, ranking seventh among active Pac-10 players with 738. Either Bachman or Bowles will be the next Bruin to reach 1,000 kills. Both rank among Pac-10 top active players with 862 (8th) and 807 kills (10th), respectively É UCLA is averaging more than four kills/game more than their opponents (17.4-12.9) and are out-blocking (2-8-2.0) and out-digging (15.4-13.2) their opponents on average.
AVCA/USA Today Poll (11/29/99)
Volleyball Magazine Poll (11/29/99)
1999 UCLA Record
Tournament Ticket Minnesota
1999 Bruins in the Rankings
Pac-10 Final Standings
#-NCAA Tournament Participants
1999 All-Pac-10 Team
HM: Paige Benjamin, WASH, Sydney Chute, ORE, Holly Harris, WSU, Lauren Killian, USC, Stafani Saragosa, ARIZ, Melissa Wright, WSU
Player of the Year: Kerri Walsh, STAN
Freshman of the Year: Logan Tom, STAN
Coach of the Year: Jerritt Elliott, USC
UCLA's NCAA Championships History
1981 W Purdue (3-2) 15-11, 6-15, 11-15, 15-8, 15-13 Regional Semifinal @ BYU W Stanford (3-2) 4-15, 15-10, 15-10, 10-15, 15-3 Regional Final @ BYU W San Diego State (3-1) 4-15, 15-8, 15-9, 15-8 NCAA Semifinals @ UCLA L USC (2-3) 15-9, 7-15, 15-10, 13-15, 7-15 NCAA Championship @ UCLA
Division I Fastest to 1,000 Kills
*-indicates 1,000th kill recorded during 1999 season
%-Vtyurina recorded her 1,000th kill in either her 156th or 157th game. The exact number is unavailable. 157 is used on both lists.
1999 UCLA Bruins Inside the NumbersMatch Highs
Notable: 10/18 and 11/1 Pac-10 POW, UCLA-record and NCAA's 3rd-best .938 hitting percentage (15K-0E-16TA) against Washington 10/28
Notable: 17 matches with double-figure kills, 17 with double-figure digs
Notable: Reserve setter, has traveled on Denver and Arizona trips
Notables: Second-fastest in NCAA history to 1,000 kills (50 MP/183 GP) Tied Natalie Williams and Liz Masakayan with sixth career 30-kill match on 10/22
Notable: Defensive specialist, 1 of 3 Bruins to play in every possible game this season
Notable: 5th in UCLA history with 2,907 career assists
Notable: Ranked 8th in the NCAA (11/28) with a .394 hitting percentage
Notable: Returning from medical redshirt season in 1998, started at Stanford Nov. 5.
Notable: Had six kills on six swings @ Kent 9/18
Notable: Defensive specialist, 1 of 3 Bruins to play in every possible gamethis year
Notable: Has played in 15 matches this season, incl. 12 Pac-10 matches
Notable: Saw action in all four matches of the Pioneer Classic
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