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News
Volleyball rebounds on road


By From staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 2, 2003

UA volleyball head coach Dave Rubio expected his young Wildcats to have a rocky early-season road on their way to becoming one of the country's elite teams.

Chances are, though, that he didn't expect it to happen all in the first weekend.

The No. 10 Wildcats (2-1, 0-0) felt both the low of a season-opening loss to unranked Notre Dame on Friday, and the high of beating No. 5 Pepperdine in the Sheraton Four Points Pepperdine Classic over the weekend. Arizona had a .100 hitting percentage and committed 34 hitting errors during Friday's match.

On Friday the UA lost to the Fighting Irish, 3-1 (30-18, 28-30, 30-20, 30-26), in its first season-opening setback since 2000, but beat the Waves on Saturday, 3-1 (22-30, 30-23, 30-28, 30-28). Also on Saturday, Arizona swept Eastern Washington 30-22, 30-27, 30-22, avoiding the school's first 0-2 start since 1986.

Against Eastern Washington and Pepperdine, the UA's passing game improved dramatically, with just five service reception errors on each match. After losing the first game against the Waves, 30-22, the Wildcats stunned the tourney host by winning the next three games on the Waves' court.

In her first action leading the Arizona team, true freshman setter Stephanie Butkus recorded match highs in assists against Notre Dame and Eastern Washington with 36 and 37, respectively, but stepped up her play and improved her consistency against the Waves, tallying 58 assists.

UA's super sophomore duo of outside hitter Kim Glass and middle blocker Bre Ladd shined against Pepperdine, with Ladd earning 17 kills and a .652 hitting percentage in a career day, as Glass tallied a match high 20 kills.

Against the Fighting Irish Glass had a match-high 19 kills Ladd collected 13 but the pair of sophomores also had 19 hitting errors together. In the match with the Eagles of Eastern Washington, Glass had a match-high 15 kills and three service aces and junior middle blocker Jolene Killough posted a career-high seven kills, while committing just one error, and led all players at the net with four blocks

The UA next plays at the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic, their home opener, on Thursday with San Diego State on Thursday at 10 a.m. and Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m.


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