By Lindsey Frazier
Jacob Konst/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Head coach Dave Rubio talks to junior setter Stephanie Butkus during practice this week. The Cats look to continue their winning ways today when they take on UC-Santa Barbara at 4:30 p.m. in California.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 8, 2005
Win over Gauchos today would place Rubio within
striking distance of all-time wins record at UA
With a spotless record, the No. 15 Arizona women's volleyball team has started the season on the right foot.
It looks to continue its winning ways today when the Wildcats meet No. 18 University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Clara, Calif., at 4:30 p.m. in the Bronco Invitational.
In the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic in McKale Center last weekend, Arizona (3-0) swept matches against Winthrop, No. 20 Georgia Tech and Northwestern to earn the tournament championship for the second consecutive year.
UCSB (2-1) also looked impressive last weekend, earning second place in the Aquafina Volleyball Invitational. The Gauchos beat Missouri State and Dayton but were swept by host Florida.
Sophomore setter Ashley Dutro and junior outside hitter Janine Sandell took home all-tournament honors for UCSB. Dutro averaged 12.73 assists per game and 2.09 digs, and Sandell recorded averages of seven kills and 3.82 digs per game.
No. 15 Arizona (3-0) vs.
No. 18 UC-Santa Barbara
Today, 4:30 p.m.
Santa Clara, Calif.
Arizona head coach Dave Rubio said that he expects the Invitational to push the Wildcats to perform at a higher level.
"This (weekend), I think, may be a step up in level of competition," he said. "Plus, playing on the road is always different. It's good for us to kind of get our feet wet there."
"They're a really good team," said senior outside hitter and reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week Jennifer Abernathy. "They're always working really hard to beat us. It's just always a good game when we play them. They're going to be prepared for us and we're going to be prepared for them."
Rubio said that Arizona might have been overmatched in previous years against UCSB but that this season the Wildcats are well suited for the challenge.
"Santa Barbara is always the kind of team that gives us fits," he said. "The Gauchos are always a tough matchup with us. I think they're real smart, savvy players, being that most of them have grown up in California.
"(But) the nice thing this year is we have better ball control, better serving," he said. "I think it should be a really good game."
Should the Wildcats triumph in all three matches, Rubio will become the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history.
He holds a 256-135 record (.655) in his 14-year tenure, while Rosie Wegrich went 258-229-9 (.531) from 1977 to 1991.
"I actually haven't thought much about it," he said. "I read about it last week. Someone mentioned it to me.
"I think (you) look at those things after you finish coaching," he said. "But right now (you) try to win every game you can. It just shows that I've had a lot of good players play for me and a pretty good coaching staff."
The tournament continues tomorrow, as Arizona faces off against host No. 25 Santa Clara at 4:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday against Fresno State at 12:30 p.m.