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Staff picks

Charles Renning
staff writer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 23, 2005
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Who will step up to help Cassandra Kirkland lead the women's golf team this season?

Charles Renning: Rachel Gavin, junior

"T-Loc" Rachel Gavin is ready for a breakout year for the Wildcats. Besides winning the 2003 Arizona State Match Play Championships, she won a 64-person match-play tournament as the only female on the field as a junior at Sabino High School. Even more impressively, she beat her dad to get to the finals. Anyone that ruthless has to be tough. Sorry, Pops.

Shane Bacon: Lani Elston-Marshall

In Arizona women's golf history, you either go with experience or youth, and I'm taking the grandma of the team, Lani Elston-Marshall. The rock on Elston-Marshall's finger not only has made her more comfortable, but also has improved her confidence on and off the golf course. Look for the redshirt senior to improve on her 75.25 stroke average of last year and help Kirkland get the team back to nationals in the spring.

James Kelley: Lani Elston-Marshall

I'm going to be honest with you: I know about as much about college golf as Fox Sports Net knows about picking football games. Last week they picked Southern California vs. Arkansas (70-17) over the Arizona-Purdue game. What, did someone already pick up the Texas vs. South Central Wyoming State game? I am going with Lani Elston-Marshall, who was all-Pac-10 last year.

Shane Bacon
staff writer

Will the Arizona soccer team end with more losses or ties?

Charles Renning: Ties

If ties are like kissing your sister, than it's probably something in sports we should get rid of. Go to a shootout and settle the thing. Play rock, paper, scissors. Flip a coin. Do something and get a winner. But with the Arizona defense, it's more likely than not the team ends up with more ties.

Shane Bacon: Ties

With the soccer team's schedule as it is, the Wildcats will be playing in Tucson seven times and on the road five. With the home-turf advantage on Arizona's side, I will have to go with ties, just because this question couldn't be more boring.

James Kelley: Ties

As long as I am being honest, I have to admit I have never thought about this, despite the fact that I think about stuff like, "Why are there no hurricanes named Courtney or Ashley?" So, since the soccer team is suddenly one of the best programs on campus, I will go with ties.

How many career wins will volleyball's David Rubio (program-best 261 entering the weekend) have at the end of the year?

Charles Renning: At least six more

I'm sure if you asked him, the magic number would be at the very least six more wins, but they've got to be the right six. Rubio and the Wildcats begin play in the Pacific 10 Conference, the toughest volleyball conference in the nation, and all they have to do is survive. But beginning Dec. 1, all it will take is six wins to bring home the team's first national title.

Shane Bacon: 274

Like my grandpa used to tell me in between screaming about the amount of ketchup I put on my fries and tripping over my roller racers, let the numbers do the talking. He's had 261 total wins in his career. There are 18 games left in the season: two games against ASU. One Kim Glass, the All-Pac-10 outside hitter who is Rubio's all-star. All that adds up to his total, 274 wins.

James Kelley
staff writer

James Kelley: 276

There are other conferences that play volleyball besides the Pac-10 - they just matter as much as FSN. So even though the Cats will make a run to the Final Four, Rubio will only rack up 15 more wins, 11 in the conference. The real reason you don't see college volleyball on TV that much? It would put ESPN way over their West Coast quota, and with Barry Bonds back, Pedro Gomez has a lot of stalking to do.

Who is the Arizona athlete to watch this weekend?

Charles Renning: McCall Smith, soccer, goalkeeper

The soccer team heads to Portland to take on the Pilots, perennial contenders for the national championship. This is a huge test for the Wildcats, and it'll let everyone in the country know if Arizona is a contender or a pretender. Goalkeeper McCall Smith and the team's defense is going to dictate what happens, and if they can pitch a shutout, maybe in this case a little kiss from your sister won't be that bad.

Shane Bacon: Cassandra Kirkland

With football on leave, I'll have to go with my next favorite sport to watch, golf. Cassandra Kirkland will begin her senior campaign with a bang, so look for her to finish in the top 10 at the Mason Rudolph Championship. With a win last year, and a tie for third in the Pac-10 Championships, Kirkland has what it takes to be in the hunt for most of the year.

James Kelley: Kim Glass and Jennifer Abernathy

With the super-rare occasion of two unranked Pac-10 teams coming to town, seeing Kim Glass and Jen Abernathy kill the Oregon schools will be as fun as - warning: crappy pun coming - the old computer game "Oregon Trail." Wait, was that fun? OK, then: Missing them in action would be as smart as not paying for the little raft, only you will lose more than some food, 57 bullets, two oxen and three people.

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