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Youth being served throughout Pac-10

By Bryan Rosenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 29, 1998
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The one thing every coach talked about as the Pacific 10 Conference finished its second weekend of conference play was the same thing they worried about at the beginning of the year - youth.

Two of the more successful young teams in the conference, Stanford and Arizona, met Friday night at McKale Center in a match full of mistakes. Stanford (8-2 overall, 4-0 Pac-10) won 15-9, 15-12, 13-15, 15-7.

"I think this match was typical of how a lot of Pac-10 games are going to go," Stanford head coach Don Shaw said. "Arizona is going to get better, we're going to get better and that's how it going to be with a lot of the teams."

Arizona junior outside hitter Raelene Elam, the team's only returning starter from a year ago, doesn't see many downfalls with her team's inexperience.

"I think it's going really well," she said. "I don't think there's a problem with youth at all."

Pac-10 Volleyball Standings

Conference Overall
Team         W   L   W   L
Stanford     4   0   8   2
Arizona      3   1  11   1
USC          3   1   7   3
UCLA         3   1   3   7
Arizona St.  2   2   3   6
Oregon       1   2   6   7
Washington   1   2   2   5
Wash. St.    1   2   4   5
Oregon St.   0   3  10   4
California   0   4   3   9

Friday's schedule:
Oregon State at Arizona
California at Washington
Southern Cal at UCLA
Stanford at Washington State
Oregon at Arizona State

Arizona head coach David Rubio was "cautiously optimistic" about this season, but saw his team race out to a school-record 10-0 start before the loss to Stanford.

"The competition is going to be much higher at the end of the year," Rubio said. "We played Washington and Washington State in our first Pac-10 games, but we don't play them again until our very last games. By then, they'll both be completely different teams, and so will we."

Washington (2-5, 1-2) got its first conference victory this weekend by defeating in-state rival Washington State (4-5, 1-2).

The Huskies, who lost to ASU last weekend in a five-set match, beat the Cougars 11-15, 17-15, 10-15, 15-0, 15-9. Washington turned the game around by thumping the visitors in game four and never looked back.

"I was just happy with the way we came back after the third game," senior outside hitter and Pac-10 Player of the Week Leslie Tuiasosopo said. "In the fourth and fifth games we just took it to them, fought and played hard."

Stanford, Southern Cal and Arizona are the only Pac-10 teams in this week's USA Today/AVCA Poll. Stanford is No. 7 and Southern Cal is No. 8, holding the same spots they held a week ago. Arizona, despite the loss to Stanford, went from No. 20 to No. 19.

The TroSeps, who play Pepperdine tonight on the road, face UCLA at home Friday in this weekend's key match.

Bryan Rosenbaum can be reached via e-mail at Bryan