Volleyball opens the season strong

The Arizona Volleyball team started the season off strong sweeping three games in Florida before returning home and beating 19th ranked Utah. The Wildcats ventured to Gainesville, Florida and breezed through SunTrust Invitational. Arizona beat South Florida, Marshall and a ranked Florida squad in the tournament. Arizona's three victories helped them move up on place, to fifth, in the USA Today/AVCA top-25 poll.

Arizona began the event by beating the Bulls 3-0. The scores of the games were 30-26, 30-19 and 30-23. The new rally scoring format, implemented into play for the 2001 season, had little effect on the Wildcat offense. The Wildcats hit an impressive .392 for the match.

Lisa Rutledge led the team with 18 kills, while Stefani Saragosa added 11 of her own.

All-American setter Dana Burkholder dished out 37 assists in the match and chipped in with nine kills and eight digs

The second match of the event proved to be even easier for the Wildcats. The Cats cruised to another 3-0 sweep, winning this time 30-19, 30-22, 30-19.

Christina Frost had a perfect game in the fact that she had nine kills on nine attempts. She also had the team's only solo block. Shannon Torregosa, who struggled a bit in the first contest, led the club with 11 kills.

Burkholder split time with freshman Rochelle Ruen, but still managed 25 assists. Ruen added 10 assists of her own. The ease of the victory allowed head coach David Rubio to play a number of freshmen in addition to Ruen. Kelli Mulvany, Kellie Burton and Jolene Killough each saw playing time in the win. Mulvany had eight digs and Burton and Killough recorded their first kills as collegians.

The final game of the event looked to be very good as the fifth-ranked Cats squared off against the ninth ranked Gators. Both teams entered the event at 2-0, but the Gators had a decided home-court advantage. 4,381 fans were on hand to root for the home club.

Although it wasn't easy the Cats swept the Gators 3-0, by game scores of 30-27, 30-28, 30-21.

Four Wildcat players recorded 48 of Arizona's 52 kills. Lisa Rutledge led the team with 16 kills. Stefani Saragosa and Shannon Torregrosa added 11 a piece and Jill Talbot had 10 kills.

Burkholder had 40 assists and was named the Invitational's MVP. Talbot and Rutledge were each named to the All-Invitational Team.

Arizona came back home to host the 18th-annual Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic. The first match featured a match against the ranked Utes of Utah.

Arizona swept the match 30-24, 30-22, 30-22, as three Wildcats recorded double-digit kills. Burkholder also continued her great season racking up a season-high 47 assists.

Shannon Torregrosa led all Arizona players with 16 kills. Rutledge added 15 kills. Talbot, who hit a match-high .533, also recorded a double-double, with 15 digs and 10 kills. Senior Erin Sebbas continued to pace the Cats in the blocks department. She tallied eight more against Utah after posting a seven against the Gators.

In addition to her 47 assists, Burkholder dug nine balls and added five block assists.

The Wildcats' final game of the event, a contest against Louisville, concluded after Cat Tracks went to press. The Wildcats begin Pac-10 play with a road trip to the Bay Area. The Cats will face Stanford on Friday the 14th and face Cal the next day.


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