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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona upends ASU on senior day

Rebecca Noble

Arizona sand volleyball player McKenna Witt (21) dives for a volley while Madison Witt (23) looks on during Arizona’s 4-1 victory over Arizona State on Wednesday at Jimenez Field. The Wildcats closed their home portion of the season with a 8-1 record.

Arizona sand volleyball defeated in-state rival ASU 4-1 at Jimenez Field on Wednesday to wrap up the home portion of its schedule this season.  

With the win over ASU, the Wildcats improved to 3-0 against the Sun Devils this season, 8-0 at home and 16-3 overall.

Twins Madison and McKenna Witt played as the No. 1 team for Arizona and defeated ASU’s Bianca Arellano and Macey Gardner in straight sets 21-9, 21-17. Arizona’s No. 2 team of Madi Kingdon and Kaitlyn Leary also took down the Sun Devils’ Jordy Checkal and Bethany Jorgensen 21-11, 21-13.

Kendall Polan and Rachel Rhoades of the Wildcats’ No. 3 team fell to ASU’s No. 3 duo after two hard fought sets, 19-21, 14-21.

Arizona’s No. 4 team of Taylor Lane and Taylor Arizobal picked up a win over the Sun Devils’ McKenzie Willey and Sydney Palmer, 21-9, 21-11. Sarah Seiber and Hailey Devlin, the No. 5 team for the Wildcats, also took down ASU’s Andi Lowrance and Frances Giedraitis in a straight-sets victory, 21-17, 21-12.

In the exhibition match, Arizona’s No. 6 team of Emily Kiser, Allie Cook and Olivia Macdonald defeated ASU’s Mia Rivera and Kwyn Johnson in three sets, 25-23, 21-19, 15-10.

The enormous crowd that came out to Bear Down Beach witnessed Arizona win first hand, while the Pac-12 Networks’ coverage allowed out-of-area fans their first opportunity to catch the action in Tucson.

The crowd was one of the largest of the season and Arizona coach Steve Walker said he hopes to continue this trend of support.

Walker said he thinks what he had deemed “Tucson’s best kept secret” will not be a secret much longer.

“I think we have a great venue and we look to certainly try to get the student body involved as we move forward and see our attendance creep up year by year,” Walker said.

McKenna Witt, like the rest of the team, said she loves playing in front of the home crowds in Tucson, especially when it is against ASU.

“It’s super fun having all of our fans here and to play in front of our friends and family,” Witt said. “We’re really excited that everyone got to come out.”

This match was also the last time that Arizona’s eight seniors ­­— Arizobal, Kiser, Rhoades, Cook, Leary, Polan, Lane and Kingdon — will ever compete on their home courts.

For Kingdon, that realization hasn’t quite hit her yet.

“I’m going to miss it for sure; … I love playing here,” Kingdon said. “It’s just, … I don’t know. I cant really describe the feeling yet.”

The season isn’t over yet, though. The Wildcats travel to Boise, Idaho, on Friday to take on Oregon and Boise State in the final matches of the season.

“Obviously, playing against Oregon, a conference foe, you want to do your best against them,” Walker said. “Also, as a team really spending one last weekend together as a 2015 team, and if we can take care of business there, this will be the team that all future teams are compared to.”


Follow Jordyn Owen on Twitter.

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