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CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The University of Cincinnati volleyball team opens its home season by hosting the Miami (O.) RedHawks on Tues., Sept. 3 at 7 pm in the Shoemaker Center. The Bearcats close the week by facing Michigan in Ann Arbor on Fri., Sept. 6 at 7 pm.
UC went 1-2 at the Shamrock Invitational last weekend to start the season, falling to Cal Poly and Notre Dame before sweeping Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Trish Ladusaw and Julie DuPont were named to the all-tournament team as Ladusaw averaged 5.55 digs per game and DuPont had 5.00 kills per game.
The RedHawks are 2-1 after hosting a tournament last weekend, beating IPFW and Delaware before losing to Washington. The Bearcats lead the all-time series between the schools, 16-12, but MU has won eight of the last 11 meetings. The teams have split 12 meetings in Cincinnati.
The Wolverines are also 2-1, beating South Florida and Clemson and falling to No. 8 Pepperdine. UC has met Michigan only once, beating the Wolverines, 2-0, at the DePaul Invitational in 1977.
About the Bearcats: UC is 1-2 after opening the season at the Shamrock Invitational hosted by Notre Dame. The Bearcats fell to Cal Poly and the No. 25 Irish before sweeping Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Trish Ladusaw averaged 3.64 kills and 5.55 digs a game and Julie DuPont had 5.00 kills and 2.82 digs a game. Both were named to the all-tournament team. Rachel Torblaa has a team-high .236 hitting percentage and 15 blocks.
About Miami (O.): The RedHawks went 2-1 at the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Classic last weekend, beating IPFW and Delaware before falling to Washington. OH Tara Buroker is hitting .300 and averaging 3.40 kills and 4.20 digs per game. OH Erika Eagan is averaging 3.10 kills and 3.60 digs per game.
About Michigan: The Wolverines went 2-1 at the Howdyís Pepperdine Classic, defeating South Florida and Clemson before falling to No. 8 Pepperdine. Setter Lisa Gamalski is hitting .357 and averaging 13.55 assists and 2.91 digs per game. OH Jennifer Gandolph is recording a team-high 3.82 kills and 3.91 digs per game.
Last Time Out: The Bearcats went 1-2 at the Shamrock Invitational to open the 2002 season. Trish Ladusaw averaged 5.55 digs a game and Julie DuPont had 5.00 kills per game to be named to the all-tournament team.
Match One - Cal Poly 3, UC 2: The Bearcats hit just .163 and committed 45 errors to Cal Polyís 25. Ladusaw had a career-high 24 kills and 28 digs and DuPont added 25 kills and 17 digs.
Match Two - No. 25 Notre Dame 3, UC 0: UC was outhit .325 to .146 in the three-game loss. DuPont recorded a team-high 16 kills and Ladusaw had 19 digs.
Match Three - UC 3, Wis.-Milwaukee 0: The Bearcats got in the win column by holding UWM to .058 hitting. Ladusaw had 10 kills and 14 digs and Rachel Torblaa recorded 10 blocks.
Last Time vs. Miami (O.): UC defeated the host RedHawks, 3-1, on Sept. 22, 1999. The Bearcats dropped game one, 15-10, but rebounded to take the next three, 15-11, 15-12, 16-14. Bonita Wise had a team-high 15 kills and five blocks. Jill Waltemeyer recorded a match-high 22 digs and 13 kills and Trish Ladusaw added 14 kills and 16 digs. For Miami (O.), Alissia Thompson had a match-high 19 kills and 14 digs and Mindy Collins had 13 kills and 15 digs.
Last Time vs. Michigan: The only previous meeting between the Bearcats and Wolverines was at the DePaul Invitational in 1977. UC won the Oct. 1 match, 2-0.
Tournament Success: Despite going 1-2 at the Shamrock Invitational to open the season outside hitters Trish Ladusaw and Julie DuPont were both named to the all-tournament team. Ladusaw averaged 5.55 digs per game, including 28 in the five-game loss to Cal Poly. In that match she also set a career high with 24 kills. DuPont recorded 5.00 kills per game, with at least 14 in every match.
Ladusaw Goes for Another Dig Record: Trish Ladusaw became UCís all-time digs leader last season, surpassing the mark of 1,303 set by Becky Tenkman from 1995-98. Ladusaw now has 1,615 career digs, ranking second in Conference USA history, just 231 behind record holder Stephanie Bishop (DePaul, 1998-2001).
Moving to the Outside: Julie DuPont was named to the C-USA All-Freshmen Team last year as middle blocker after finishing second on the team with 120 blocks, 265 digs and a .236 hitting percentage. This season she has moved to outside hitter to get her more offensive chances, and the move has worked. In the first three matches of the season she averaged 5.00 kills per game.
The Leaders: Senior co-captains Trish Ladusaw and Bonita Wise are the unrivalled leaders of the Bearcats, as the classmates have combined for five first-team all-league honors and have written their names all over the UC record book. Wise is on seven career top 10 lists, including ranking fifth in kills. Ladusaw owns all of UCís dig records, surpassing the career total last year and owning three of the top four single season marks. She is also in the top 10 in kills, kills per game and attempts.
Ladusaw on the NCAA Digs Chart: Trish Ladusawís career digs per game average of 4.34 ranks her fifth all-time in Division I history. Catalina Suarez, who played for both Kansas and Missouri-Kansas City, holds the record of 5.13, with Kerry House of Loyola Marymount (4.89) standing second. Kylie Hunter of Chattanooga (4.44) and Nia Kiggundu of Louisiana-Lafayette (4.41) round out the top four.
Continued Bearcat Success: Last season continued the tremendous success that Cincinnati volleyball has enjoyed since the creation of Conference USA. The Bearcats won the 2001 regular season C-USA championship after winning division titles the previous two years, making their third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament. UCís quarterfinal win in the C-USA Tournament gave it its seventh-straight 20-win season. UC had three first team All-C-USA selections last year and has had 15 in the last seven years.
Bearcats in Conference USA: In the seven years of Conference USA play, UC volleyball teams have gone 83-23 for a .783 winning percentage. Both the total wins and the percentage are third-best among C-USA schools, trailing Louisville and South Florida. The Bearcats have now won 44 of their last 52 matches against C-USA opponents. Four of the eight losses have been to Louisville.
Searching for National Ranking: The Bearcats recieved 12 points in the USA Today/AVCA preseason poll , 39th-best, but fell completely out in the Sept. 2 poll. UC spent the last half of 2001 in the others recieving points category, climbing as high as 26th and finishing the year at 30th.
UC Picked Second in Preseason Poll: The defending Conference USA champion Bearcats were picked to finish second in 2002 in the coachesí preseason poll. Louisville, who finished one match behind UC last season, were picked to win the league. Three-time all-conference pick Bonita Wise was named to the preseason all-C-USA team for the second-stright year.
Winning Game Fours: In their 13 matches that were extended past three games in 2001, UC won nine of the game fours, losing only to Charlotte, Saint Louis, Louisville and DePaul. In the nine game four wins, the Bearcats outscored their opponents 270-190 and outhit them .300 to .094. UC won its only game four of the opening weekend despite allowing Cal Poly to hit .310 in the frame.
Freshmen Tradition: UC has won at least a share of the last three C-USA Freshman of the Year awards. Bonita Wise and Laura Lauder each were co-winners of the award in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and Becky Stahl was the unanimous choice last season. Attempting to continue the string in 2002 is UCís best-ever recruiting class, featuring high school all-Americans Maddie Barron, Shannon Parker and Suzi Terrell, as well as Haley King and Lindsey Garrison.
Turning Up the D: After holding just two of their first six opponents under .200 hitting, the Bearcats did so in 17 of their last 24 matches in 2001, including nine of the last 12. UC held a 17-2 record when holding a team below .200 and were 6-6 when they did not. In the first three matches of 2002 the Bearcats held one opponent under .200, and that was the one match they won.
Season of Streaks: From Sept. 23 to Nov. 4, 2001 the Bearcats won a school-record 16-straight matches, including 14 in Conference USA. The streak came on the heels of five consecutive losses, including three to teams ranked in the top 15. The streak of 16 is the third-longest in C-USA history, trailing only the South Florida teams of 2000 (20) and 1997 (17).
Breakthrough Win: Last yearís NCAA first round win over Xavier was UCís first in four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Before that win, game three against Santa Clara in 1999 was the only game UC had won in three matches.
Bearcats In Regional Rankings: Cincinnati finished second the Midwest in the final 2001 regional rankings released by the NCAA. Fellow Conference USA members Louisville, South Florida, DePaul, Houston and Marquette were also ranked. Seven of the other nine teams in the rankings are on the 2002 schedule for UC. The Bearcats were 8-2 vs. teams ranked in their region and 12-7 vs. those ranked in all eight regions. The Bearcats reached No. 1 for the first time in 2000 and finished the year ranked third.
Toppling a Ranked Foe: The Bearcatsí win at No. 22 Louisville on Oct. 10, 2001 was the first ever over a nationally-ranked team by UC. It was also the first loss suffered by the Cardinals in the month of October since 1998. U of L was 102-17 all-time in Cardinal Arena before the Bearcatsí comeback from an 0-2 deficit.
Bearcat Award Winners: Besides collecting their trophy for the regular season championship, several Bearcats players were honored at the 2001 C-USA Awards Banquet. Trish Ladusaw was named defensive player of the year for the second-straight year. Bonita Wise joined Ladusaw and Stahl on the All-Conference USA first team, her second-straight such honor. 2000 first-teamer Rachel Beran and 2000 co-freshman of the year Laura Lauder were named to the second team and Julie DuPont joined Stahl on the all-freshman team. The evening was capped off with Reed Sunahara being named coach of the year in his second year at the helm.
Bearcats in the NCAA Rankings: A pair of Bearcats finished 2001 ranked among Division I leaders. Laura Lauder averaged 12.68 assists per game to rank 26th and Trish Ladusaw ranked 18th with 4.06 dig per game.