Volleyball Notes: No harm, no foul: Rubio happy with team's health

By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
August 30, 2005

The No. 17 Arizona women's volleyball team enters the season with some bumps and bruises, but Wildcats head coach David Rubio expects no one to miss Friday's opener against Winthrop in McKale Center.

Last year, more than half the team battled injuries through the year, including senior outside hitter Kim Glass, who missed the whole non-conference slate.

"The health of the team is good, even though we are a little banged up, but not to the degree that we were to last year," Rubio said. "No one at this point is so banged up they can't play."

Rubio, Glass near records

Rubio and Glass will open the season with a couple of school records well within reach.

Rubio needs six wins to become Arizona's career victory leader. Going on his 14th season, he has a record of 253-135 in Tucson.

The record is held by Rubio's predecessor, Rosie Wegrich, who went 258-229-9 over 15 seasons from 1977 to 1991. Wegrich had a .531 career winning percentage, compared to Rubio's .652.

Glass, who already has the freshman records for kills and is No. 1 and No. 2 in most kills in a single season, is nearing the Wildcats' career kill record. She is third with 1,526, behind only Barb Bell (1,859 from 1993-96) and Terry Lauchner (1,636 from 1987-90).

"It doesn't surprise me that she is real close to it since she was a freshman starter," Rubio said.

Last year Glass had 320 kills, but in 2002 and 2003, when she wasn't fighting injuries, she had 556 and 650, respectively.

Glass is first in kills per game with 5.19 over her career. She should approach the record near the middle of the Pacific 10 Conference season.

"She's on pace to having a great senior season," Rubio said. "I think (senior middle blocker) Bre (Ladd), her and (senior outside hitter) Jennifer (Abernathy) are all focused on having a great year providing really good leadership, which I think is something you really need."

Rubio could reach the win record next week at a tournament in Santa Clara, Calif., if the Wildcats go undefeated in it as well as the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic this weekend.

SUBHED: Pac-10 dominates rankings, again

2005 Arizona Volleyball
Season Opener
What: Four Points University Plaza
Wildcat Classic
Where: McKale Center
When: Friday at 10 a.m. (vs. Winthrop) and 7 p.m. (Georgia Tech);
Saturday at 7 p.m. (vs. Northwestern)

Touting the strength of the Pac-10 in women's volleyball can sound like a broken record, but the conference is strong again.

Two Pac-10 teams are in the top five of the preseason CSTV/AVCA coaches' preseason poll, with three in the top 10 and six in the top 25.

"It's strong and as competitive as ever," Rubio said. "Even the lower part of the conference is still very, very competitive."

Washington is No. 2, defending national champion Stanford is No. 3, USC earned a No. 7 ranking, UCLA is No. 13, Arizona comes in at No. 17 and California ranks No. 19.

"We got Washington, Stanford, SC, UCLA, Cal and ourselves in the upper part, but I think ASU is much improved. Oregon and Oregon State are going to be better after coaching changes there, and Washington State is getting better," Rubio said. "The league in general is going to be very competitive."

In the season's opening weekend last week, the Pac-10 went 10-3.

SUBHED: Rubio unsure of Suns' effect on volleyball schedule

McKale Center will get crowded in October, a little earlier than usual, and Rubio said he's not sure yet how the venue's new temporary tenant will affect the volleyball team's schedule.

The NBA's Phoenix Suns have moved their training camp, which runs Oct. 4-10, from NAU to McKale. The Wildcats are on a road trip in Washington that weekend.

Conflicts may arise when the men's basketball team begins preseason practice in mid-October.

Each year, the volleyball team moves their practices from the McKale main floor to Bear Down Gym. Rubio said he wasn't sure what schedule changes would be made if the three teams needed to share two venues.

SUBHED: Season opener free

No Zona Zoo pass? No problem.

The volleyball team's season opener against Winthrop, scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, is free.

Arizona continues the Wildcat Classic at 7 p.m. against Georgia Tech and Saturday at 7 p.m. against Northwestern.