"We should be much improved, much taller, and we're very much looking forward to it."
- Arizona head women's hoop coach Joan Bonvicini commenting about the upcoming season which, for the Wildcats, will feature the addition of the tall Bofia twins from Cameroon.
Reckless sporting abandon is being tossed into the wind at the Creek as soccer and volleyball seasons get underway this week. The Pac-10 is perhaps the nation's strongest in both sports and as evidence of that, UCLA was tabbed as the nation's top team by Soccer Buzz magazine going into the 2006 season.
Meanwhile at NCAA HQ, the new football rules were announced this month and two of the less heralded rules – at least, initially – were the abolishment of tinted eye shields [only clear eye shields will now be allowed] and the change of the kicking tee from a two-inch tee to a one-inch tee, which is expected to result in more line drive-type kickoffs.
Defensive lineman Bryan Tarkington has gained his eligibility for the 2006 season.
In soccer, sophomore forward Natalie D'Amico is recuperating from an injury suffered earlier in the year and is expected to miss the opening weekend's matches against UNLV and Gonzaga in Pullman.
Freshman setter Corina Beyer suffered a rotator cuff injury and may miss this week's season opening volleyball tournament in South Dakota.
In tennis, assistant coach Courtney Steinbock was hired to replace Elissa Kinard [who became head coach at Albany this summer]. Steinbock comes from Kansas where she spent three seasons as a Jayhawk assistant.
Senior goalkeeper Emily Marrer is expected to miss the soccer season opener against Long Beach State while she continues to recover from a shoulder injury.
Senior projected starting linebacker Michael Okwo will miss the season opener against Oregon with a broken right thumb.
Projected starting defensive back Dashon Goldson and defensive lineman Greyson Gunheim are expected to miss the season opener against San Jose State – Gunheim with a knee sprain and Goldson with a high ankle sprain. In addition, receiver Cody Ellis will sit out the opener with a shoulder injury. Washington got a running back transfer from Texas, Michael Houston, who will be eligible to play in 2007.
Projected starting senior quarterback Sam Keller has decided to transfer to Nebraska after head coach Dirk Koetter reversed his decision and named sophomore Rudy Carpenter as the starter. Sophomore safety Rodney Cox and receiver Jeff Gray will miss the season opener against Northern Arizona with shoulder injuries.
Oregon State defeated Trinity Western, 4-1, in a women's soccer exhibition match last week.
The Wildcats agreed to a three-game series with the University of Toledo, with the Rockets coming to Tucson in 2008 and 2012 and Arizona visiting Toledo in 2010.
Senior receiver Joe Cowan, who suffered a knee injury, is expected to miss the season opener against Utah.
Projected starting senior defensive back Tim Mixon is out for the year after suffering ligament injury in his knee. Tight end Julian Arthur suffered a broken leg and is expected to be out indefinitely.
In men's hoop, the Bears received a verbal commitment from forward Drew Viney.
Projected starting junior running back Chauncey Washington could miss the opener against Arkansas while nursing a sore hamstring. Freshman receiver Jamere Holland is expected to redshirt this season.
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