Volleyball Notes: Knee injury sidelines Butkus for 6-8 weeks

By Lindsey Frazier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 15, 2005

The No. 20 Arizona women's volleyball team suffered its first major injury of the season in its Sept. 9 win over UC-Santa Barbara when junior setter Stephanie Butkus injured her right knee while digging a ball during the third game.

"I'm not allowed to go through the specifics," said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. "All I can tell you is she's out with her injury for six to eight weeks."

Sophomore setter Amy Dyck will start in the interim.

"I've always thought Amy's had tremendous potential, or else we wouldn't have recruited her," Rubio said.

Dyck considered playing at opposite hitter to get experience in game situations. Rubio said that she will benefit from being able to focus on a single position.

"I think that didn't allow her to really focus all energies into setting," he said. "And now that will change, obviously. Now that she's the person that has to do it, I think that she'll develop quicker."

Dyck started last weekend against Santa Clara and Fresno State and said that her transition to starting was made easier by her teammates.

"I felt they had a lot of confidence in me, so that made it a lot easier to step in," she said. "I would never wish anything ill upon Stephanie, but I think it's a blessing in disguise, because it does give me a chance to be just thrown in there and just dive right in and see what I can do.

"(I do) not have to worry about being yanked if I screw up," she said. "(It's) just a full-on opportunity to just show what I have."

With departures of seniors Kim Glass, Jennifer Abernathy and Bre Ladd at the end of this season, freshmen opposite hitter Randy Goodenough and outside hitter Brooke Buringrud are the future of the Arizona offense.

The two have already logged some minutes on the court in the early season.

"We're trying to give them as much time as we can, because we know that next year, they're the ones who we're going to be relying on," Rubio said. "And we lose so much offense after this year, so I'm trying to give them as many opportunities as we can."

Goodenough has recorded two kills, two assists, two digs and one block, while Buringrud has notched two kills.

"I think Randy right now is a little bit ahead of where Brooke is offensively," Rubio said. "So I think that Randy, even though they play two different positions, is a little bit more able to go in there in the opposite (spot) and really help us out there when we need her."

The Wildcats (5-1) dropped five spots from No. 15 to No. 20 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association/College Sports Television Coaches Poll after winning two out of three matches in last weekend's Bronco Invitational.

The Wildcats take on Connecticut tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Rhode Island Invitational in Kingston, R.I. Action continues at 7 p.m. when Arizona competes against host Rhode Island.