Volleyball downs Pepperdine
The No.19 Arizona volleyball team (4-2) pulled off an impressive three-game upset victory (30-23, 30-24, 30-25) over No. 9 Pepperdine (1-3) in the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic at the McKale Center tonight. The Wildcats hit .333 on the match and held the Waves to just .177. Arizona also won every other statistical category, including kills (56 to 44), assists (49 to 37), digs (40 to 38), service aces (6 to 4) and blocks (4 to 2).
"We played much better against a better opponent tonight, which was nice to see," Head Coach David Rubio said. "Our serving really made the difference. Overall, we were a lot smoother. Our hope is that we continue to get more consistent."
Junior Jennifer Abernathy led all players with 21 kills on .381 hitting. She also added five digs. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston finished with 17 kills on .343 hitting, to go along with nine digs. Junior Bre Ladd turned in a complete match with eight kills, five assists, four blocks and two digs. Setter Stephanie Butkus dished out 42 assists on the match and had a team-high 11 digs.
Pepperdine jumped out to an early lead in game one, scoring the first three points, but the Wildcats tied it at seven on a block by Ladd and senior Jolene Killough. Arizona took its first lead of the game at 14-13, then used a 7-0 run to take an eight-point lead (22-14) and never looked back. The Wildcats combined for a .267 hitting percentage on the game, compared to the .238 of the Waves. Cumpston led Arizona with seven kills, while Ladd had four blocks and Butkus had six digs.
Game two was played closely throughout until Arizona used a late 7-0 run to put it away. The Wildcats hit .368 on the game and held Pepperdine to just .111. Cumpston led Arizona with six kills, followed by Abernathy with five.
In the third and final game, there were six ties before the Wildcats used an 11-2 run to take a 22-13 lead. Despite a fierce comeback attempt by the Waves, the Wildcat lead proved too much and Arizona pulled off the 30-25 win. Abernathy had 11 kills on the game.
Soccer suffers first setback
The University of Arizona women's soccer team (4-1-0, 0-0-0) faced its first ranked opponent tonight in No. 16 West Virginia University (4-1-0, 0-0-0). The Wildcats fell to the Mountaineers 2-0 for their first loss of the season.
The Mountaineers first goal came from Marisa Kanela. She put West Virginia on the board first at 19:49 when she took a through ball from Laura Kane and placed it into the close side of the goal from 12 yards out.
The goal was the first allowed for freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith. Previous to tonight, Smith had four consecutive shutouts with fourteen saves.
The Mountaineers' Ashley Weimer scored her first goal of the season in the 39th minute when she nailed a drop pass from junior midfielder Mollie Merkel into the upper right corner of the goal past Smith.
Head Coach Dan Tobias felt the Wildcats were just unable to capitalize on their chances.
"I thought we played very well," Tobias said. "We had our chances. West Virginia is a great team. We just got staggered defensively and got caught in transition. We credit West Virginia for putting away its chances. We were able to improve our performance in the second half, but it just wasn't good enough.
Tobias is confident the team will come out prepared for Sunday's match against Duquesne University.
"We have to regroup. Sometimes we forget how young this team is. I am confident we will rebound for Sunday."
The Wildcats will travel to Pittsburg, Pa. to take on the Duquesne Dukes on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. EST.
Cheseret wins cross country opener
The University of Arizona's men's and women's cross country teams opened the season at home on Friday afternoon. The Wildcats played host to the second annual Dave Murray Cross Country Invitational. Along with the Wildcats, men's and women's teams from Arizona State, Central Arizona College and Pima Community College competed.
Sophomore Robert Cheseret won the men's race for the second consecutive year in 19 minutes, 8 seconds on the 6.3-kilometer course. Cheseret was running even with Central Arizona's Obed Mutanya until the final 250 meters, where he pulled away to win by a margin of two seconds.
Junior Josh Ludwig was the second Wildcat to cross the finish line. Ludwig ran a strong race and finished fifth with a time of 19:43. He was followed by freshman Mohamed Trafeh's 11th place finish. Trafeh, a Southern California prep standout, clocked a time of 20:07 in his first collegiate race.
A trio of Wildcats claimed 16th through 18th place. Redshirt freshman Chris Ogle led the way in 16th with a time of 20:23. Sophomore Kenny Frank finished 17th in 20:35. while sophomore Eric Chavez rounded out the group in 18th with a time of 20:40.
Senior Kevin Engelhardt was 21st with a time of 20:57, and junior Aaron Powell placed 35th in 21:57.
The UA women looked strong as a team in the first race of the season. The Wildcats were led by junior Amber Steen's 12th-place finish. Steen covered the 4.3-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 16 seconds. Sophomore Ashley Ippolito was right behind Steen. Ippolito placed 13th in 16:17.
The next six Arizona women ran in a tight pack for most of the race and finished 18th through 23rd. Leading the way junior Susan Mortensen, who finished 18th in 16:32. Newcomer Emily McGregor, a transfer from Colorado State, was 19th with a time of 16:33. Sophomore Karen Langdorf crossed the line in 16:34 for 20th place. Junior Michi Hirakawa-Wong was 21st, crossing the finish line in 16:41.
Freshman Shannon Durkin looked very strong in her first collegiate race as she finished 22nd in 16:50. Junior Adrienne Goeller rounded out the pack in 23rd with a time of 16:59. Closing out for the Arizona runners was freshman Angelina Cabrera, who finished 28th in 17:46.
The Wildcats will take two weeks to prepare for one of the biggest regular season meets of the year. Arizona will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. for the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 25.
Volleyball pounds Nichols State
The No. 19 Arizona volleyball team (3-2) opened the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic with a sweep (30-23, 30-20, 30-22) of Nicholls State (0-5) at the McKale Center this morning. The Wildcats dominated the match, out-hitting Nicholls State .323 to .021 and nearly doubled the Colonels in kills (53 to 27), assists (45 to 24) and digs (35 to 19). Arizona also out-blocked Nicholls State 11-2.
"The positive thing is that we got the win," Head Coach David Rubio said. "I wasn't pleased with our execution -- we need to be more steady. We had too many errors because the concentration was lacking. The statistics only tell one part of the story. Our struggles are from a lack of concentration. We need to address that."
Sophomore Meghan Cumpston paced the Wildcat attack, finishing with 15 kills on .310 hitting. She also added eight digs. Jennifer Abernathy finished with 10 kills and eight digs on her birthday, while setter Stephanie Butkus dished out 31 assists. Junior Bre Ladd tallied five blocks on the match, followed by freshman Dominique Lamb with four, and senior Jolene Killough, sophomore Kristina Baum and Butkus with three apiece.
Arizona led throughout game one, building its lead to as many as nine. The Wildcats hit .371 on the game and held Nicholls State to .120. Arizona also out-blocked the Colonels 4-0. Abernathy had six kills and Cumpston had five.
In game two, the Cats used a pair of 7-0 runs en route to a 30-20 win. Arizona hit .333 on the game, compared to the .000 of Nicholls State. Lamb and Cumpston had four kills apiece.
In the third and final game, Arizona trailed early before tying the game at seven. The Cats then built the lead to as many as eight before Nicholls State rattled off five straight points late in the game, giving Arizona a score before they put the game away. The Wildcats hit .270 on the game and held the Colonels to a dismal -.029.
Women's golf fourth in Japan
The Arizona women's golf team finished in fourth at the 2004 Topy Cup Thursday after its final day of competition in Tokyo, Japan.
The Wildcats shot a 37-over-par 901 to trail tournament champion Tohoku Fukushi by 30 strokes after Tohoku Fukushi shot a 7-over-par 871. Florida came in second after carding a 17-over-par 881. Senshu (900) finished in third and Nagoya Commerce (938) came in fifth.
Individually, junior Cassandra Kirkland lead the Wildcats finishing tied for eighth after shooting a 2-over-par 74 in the final round. By shooting 74 in the final round, Kirkland finished the tournament 6-over-par 222.
Senior Mar Garcia tied for 17th after shooting 10-over-par 226. Senior Miriam Kraschinski tied for 19th at 12-over-par 228. Junior Lani Elston finished in 21st place after shooting 13-over-par 229. While junior Whitney Welch shot a 21-over-par 237 to finish in 27th.
The Wildcats will tee off next in the NCAA Fall Preview Sept. 20-22 in Bend, Ore. The tournament will be held at the Sunriver Resort's Meadows Golf Course.
Soccer wins Invite, fourth straight
The University of Arizona women's soccer team (4-0-0, 0-0-0) continued its best start in the program's history today with a 7-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The win also made the Wildcats the Arizona Invitational Champions.
The Wildcats came out in the first half and wasted no time in getting the first goal as senior Kamaya Damwijk scored a goal off of an assist by freshman Kaity Heath eight minutes into the game. Senior Candice Wilks then scored just minutes later thanks to a pass by junior Mallory Miller. Later in the half, freshman Sally Thurner scored the third goal of the game off of a mishandle by the goalkeeper.
The Wildcats continued to dominate in the second half. Miller scored her first goal of the afternoon off of a pass by senior Vanesha Bailey. Junior Jennifer Klein, Bailey, and Miller all scored in the last 20 minutes of the game to give the Wildcats the 7-0 win over the Knights.
Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith had one save on the afternoon and has yet to be scored on in her collegiate career. Smith has been the lone keeper behind a defense that has kept Arizona's four opponents scoreless.
Senior Candice Wilks was named Offensive Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while freshman Kaity Heath was named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The two honors in addition to the championship gave the Wildcats the sweep of the awards at the Arizona Invitational.
Head Coach Dan Tobias was pleased with the 7-0 win by the Wildcats.
"We definitely finished our chances today," he said. "Every game we continue to make progress. We know that we are going to continue to face quality teams week after week. The experience that the young players are getting only helps us to build confidence."
Overall, Tobias was pleased with the Wildcats' performance throughout the tournament.
"I was nice for us as a program to win this tournament," he said. "Today's game was a championship game and that gave both teams a lot of motivation. We wanted to start out well at home in front of the fans and that was even more motivation for us."
Arizona will next travel to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on West Virginia University on Fri., Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
Volleyball loses to Hawaii
The No. 17 Arizona volleyball team dropped a five-game heartbreaker (24-30, 31-33, 30-26, 30-26, 11-15) to No. 13 Hawaii this evening, coming from behind to even the match at four games, only to lose in the fifth and deciding game. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 2-2 on the young season. Arizona surpassed the Rainbow Wahine in kills, assists and digs, but managed just four service aces on the match, compared to the nine of Hawaii.
Sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus dished out 72 assists, the seventh-highest total in Wildcat history. She also added 16 digs for her second double-double of the season. Junior Jennifer Abernathy led the Wildcat attack with 24 kills, which she coupled with 10 digs. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston added 19 kills and a match-high 23 digs, while sophomore Meghan Cumpston finished with 16 kills, seven digs and three blocks. Junior Bre Ladd rounded out the group of Wildcats in double-digit kills with 11. She also added four blocks.
San Diego hands volleyball season's first setback
The No. 17 Arizona volleyball team suffered its first defeat of the season, a 3-0 loss (17-30, 16-30, 24-30) at the hands of San Diego at the Wahine Classic on Saturday. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 2-1 on the season.
Arizona was edged by the Toreros in nearly every statistical category, including kills (33 to 51), hitting percentage (.139 to .315), assists (31 to 49), service aces (2 to 7) and digs (32 to 61).
The Wildcats were led by sophomore Meghan Cumpston with 12 kills, while freshman Krista Chin led the team with nine digs. Sophomore Stephanie Butkus dished out 26 assists to go with seven digs.
Soccer blanks Irvine
The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-0-0, 0-0-0) competed in its first home game of the season as the host of the Arizona Invitational. The Wildcats scored midway through the first half and held on win, 1-0, over the UC-Irvine Anteaters (1-2-0, 0-0-0). The 3-0 start by the Wildcats marks the first time in the program's history that the team has opened a season with three straight wins. The program earned another first thanks to freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith. This marks the first time the Wildcats have had three straight shutout wins.
Early in the first half neither team was able to put one in the back of the net. The game was scoreless until freshman Kaity Heath scored on a corner kick. Heath took the corner kick and placed it in the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Arizona had 17 shots in the first period, while UC-Irvine had six.
In the second half, both goalkeepers stood strong, as neither team was able to score. Arizona's Smith had nine saves in the game, while UC-Irvine's Marissa Welliver had 18 saves on the day.
The Wildcats once again relied on youth, as six of the 11 starters were freshmen. Claire Bodiya, Amanda Urtuzuastegui, Heath, Shaylyn Scott, Nicole Scheid and Smith were the six freshmen that started for Arizona.
Head Coach Dan Tobias felt UC-Irvine played a strong defensive game.
"UC-Irvine is such a strong and organized defensive team," he said. "We were able to get numbers behind the ball and around the ball. We struggled to possess the ball early in the first half and that led to trouble getting good chances."
Tobias liked the way the Wildcats started the second half of play.
"In the second half, we played a much tighter game defensively," he said. "Being such a young team, we are learning how to close out the game."
He also feels that making the best start in the program's history shows the team is making progress.
"It is nice to get another first," Tobias said. "I am pleased with the program's progress and I feel we are still making progress. This team is determined to make good things happen."
In the first game of the Arizona Invitational, Fairleigh Dickinson took out Buffalo, 3-1 to improve to 1-2 on the season. The Arizona Invitational will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 5 with Buffalo taking on UC-Irvine at 11 a.m. followed by Arizona against Fairleigh Dickinson at 1:30 p.m. All games will take place at Murphey Stadium at 15th Street and Plumer Ave. Admission is free.
UA volleyball downs SDSU in season opener
The No. 17 Arizona volleyball team opened the 2004 season with a 3-0 sweep (30-26, 30-26, 32-30) of San Diego State on the road tonight. The Wildcats hit .301 as a team, including a blistering .516 in game two. Arizona edged the Aztecs in nearly every statistical category, finishing with more kills (55 to 40), assists (48 to 34), digs (32 to 23) and blocks (10 to 7).
"It's always nice to start the season with a win on the road, especially considering we have players playing in different spots with our new lineup," Head Coach David Rubio said. "We started off shaky and we're still rough in some areas, which we'll need to clean up before we face the teams in Hawaii."
Junior Bre Ladd put together a well-rounded match, finishing with 13 kills, a team-high 10 digs and six blocks. Junior Jennifer Abernathy led the Wildcats with 16 kills on .538 hitting, while sophomore Meghan Cumpston added 10 kills. Sophomore setter Stephanie Butkus finished with 41 assists and senior Jolene Killough notched six blocks on the night.
UP NEXT: The Wildcats travel to Hawaii to participate in the American Airlines Wahine Classic this Friday-Sunday, Sept. 3-5. On Friday, the Wildcats face Eastern Washington at 5 p.m. (HST). Arizona plays San Diego at 2 p.m. (HST) on Saturday, followed by a 6 p.m. match against No. 13 Hawaii on Sunday.
Soccer wins first two matches
The University of Arizona women's soccer team (1-0-0, 0-0-0) opened its 2004 season with a 1-0 win over Iowa State (0-1-0) in the Cyclone Classic.
Arizona senior forward Candice Wilks scored the first goal of the game and the season for the Wildcats off of an assist by freshman Nicole Scheid in the fourteenth minute of the first half.
In the second half, freshman Sally Thurner had a break away opportunity but was unable to score. Arizona held off Iowa State for the 1-0 victory.
The goal was Wilks' 17th of her career, which leaves her one goal away from tying Christine Keeley for second on the all-time goals list, and eight goals away from passing Arizona's all-time scorer, Nikki Jones.
Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith made her collegiate debut by shutting out the Cyclones and earning her first win as a Wildcat. Freshman Nicole Scheid also made her debut memorable with an assist on the loan goal of the match.
Last season Arizona lost its opener, 2-1, to the Cyclones at home. Although it was less than a year ago that the two teams met, the Wildcats brought a very different team to Ames. Arizona started six freshmen, and substituted another in the game against Iowa State.
"It was nice to start the six freshman," said Head Coach Dan Tobias. "Everyone contributed in our first match of the season."
Tobias was also impressed with the way the Wildcats battled throughout the game.
"We had great chances in the first half and we were able to finish the one goal," Tobias said. "In the second half, the last 15 minutes was a battle and we did a good job of keeping our shape. We were able to keep our composure and close it out."
The last time the Wildcats won a season opener was in 2002 under Head Coach Cathy Klein. The Wildcats defeated Drake University, 2-0, in that match. The last time the Wildcats won a season opener on the road was in 1999 against Northern Arizona, 4-1.
The Wildcats will next look to tomorrow's match against Drake University (0-0-0, 0-0-0). The match is also a part of the Cyclone Classic and will take place at 7 p.m. CDT in Ames, Iowa.
Soccer blanks Drake
The University of Arizona women's soccer team (2-0-0, 0-0-0) competed in the second day of the Cyclone Classic and came away with a 3-0 victory over Drake University (0-1-0) to win the tournament.
Arizona junior midfielder Mallory Miller scored the first goal of the game in the tenth minute to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead. Freshman Nicole Scheid received the assist on the goal to give her two assists in as many games.
Later in the first half, senior Kamaya Damwijk scored her first goal as a member of the Arizona soccer team to put the Wildcats on top, 2-0. Miller and freshman Kaity Heath assisted on Damwijk's goal. The assist by Heath is her first point as an Arizona Wildcat.
Arizona then came out in the second half with a 2-0 lead. Junior Nikki David added to the lead by scoring a goal off of assists by Damwijk and Miller.
Head Coach Dan Tobias was pleased with the effort by the Wildcats.
"It was nice to be up 2-0 early in the game" said Tobias. "We were a little lose defensively in the first half. We came out much tighter defensively in the second half and we knew that we couldn't let our opponent in the game. That resulted in a nice goal by Nikki David early in the second half."
With the victory, the Wildcats come out of the Cyclone Classic as the undefeated winners of the tournament.
The last time the Wildcats opened the season 2-0 was in 2002 under Head Coach Cathy Klein. The last time the Wildcats began the season 2-0 with two wins on the road was in 1997.
The Wildcats will return home to prepare for the Arizona Invitational. The first game for the Wildcats will take place on Friday, Sep. 3 against UC-Irvine.