By Lindsey Frazier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 12, 2004
For the second time this season, the No. 21 Arizona (15-9) volleyball team was brought down by top-ranked and undefeated Washington. The Wildcats' most recent defeat came last night in a sweep (20-30, 27-30, 23-30) at the Huskies home, Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash.
The loss broke Arizona's three-game winning streak and brought the team back to .500 in the Pacific-10 conference with seven wins against seven losses. Washington built on its best start in school history as it improved to 21-0 overall and 13-0 in the Pac-10.
The Huskies topped the Wildcats in almost every statistical category including blocks (7 to 5), assists (55 to 45), service aces (4 to 2), kills (59 to 47) and hitting percentage (.359 to .228). Arizona maintained a slight advantage in digs, recording 54 compared to Washington's 51.
Junior outside hitter Kim Glass led the team in both kills and digs with 20 and 14, respectively, good for her eighth double-double of the season. Junior middle blocker Bre Ladd added 10 kills – the only other Wildcat with double-digit kills - and five digs while senior libero Kelli Mulvany notched 13 digs. Sophomore opposite hitter Meghan Cumpston contributed six kills and eight digs and sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus recorded 42 assists, five digs and three blocks.
The Wildcats first loss against the Huskies this season came on Oct. 16 at McKale Center when Washington defeated Arizona three games to one.
Arizona continues its road trip today as it takes on Washington State today at 7 p.m. in Pullman, Wash.
The Wildcats are 26-11 all-time against the Cougars. In the last contest between the two teams on Oct. 15, Arizona swept Washington State at McKale Center. The Wildcats hold a slight advantage at the Cougar's home, Bohler Gym, with a 10-8 all-time series record.
The Cougars are led by Kelly Rosin and Jennifer Todd, who average 3.75 and 3.70 kills per game, respectively. Todd also contributes a team-high 1.11 blocks per game. Setter Nicole Martin maintains 10.79 assists per game and libero Stacey Holbrook holds a team-high 3.56 digs per game.
UA head coach Dave Rubio said that although Washington State is rebuilding, the team cannot go unnoticed.
"(Washington State) had a mass exodus of players after their coaches left," he said of the Cougar's, who rank ninth in the Pac-10. "Some of their best players ended up all leaving. So now they have players that are really experienced. Any time there is a major exodus of players and coaching changes, there is going to be some struggles. And so it's going to take a little while for them to (improve). They're getting better. That's the thing - what good coaches do is their teams get better as they go along."
Last Friday, Washington State put up a strong fight, taking No.1 Washington to five games but failed to pull off the victory.
"Every team in the Pac-10 is good," said senior libero and defensive specialist Cassidy Crum. "Washington State just took Washington to five (games). I don't think we ever take a team lightly. Even though you think of Washington State as an easier game, but you still have to go out there and play your hardest."