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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball to start in Pacific-10 Conference

    UA setter Paige Weber tips the ball over the net during a 3-0 win over Weber State on Aug. 29 in McKale Center. The volleyball team takes on No. 9 Washington Friday night at 7 and Washington State Saturday night at 7 in a pair of home matches.
    UA setter Paige Weber tips the ball over the net during a 3-0 win over Weber State on Aug. 29 in McKale Center. The volleyball team takes on No. 9 Washington Friday night at 7 and Washington State Saturday night at 7 in a pair of home matches.

    The Wildcats have easily worked their way to a 10-1 record in the preseason, but with Pacific 10 Conference play starting today each win will be more valuable and tougher to earn.

    The Arizona volleyball team will play Washington State (7-4) tonight and No. 9 Washington (9-1) tomorrow, both are scheduled for 7 p.m.

    In scouting the two teams, UA head coach Dave Rubio saw areas the squad would have to work on, but was more focused on properly preparing his squad.

    “”(Washington State) runs a lot of crossing patterns and a fast slide, so we have to be prepared for that,”” Rubio said. “”But I’m more focused on our side of the net rather than what plays the opponent makes.””

    Instead, the head coach said the Wildcats should be more concerned with their ability to be able to make quick adjustments.

    “”Washington, in the past, has been our most difficult competitor out of the two schools,”” senior Randy Goodenough said of playing the Huskies. “”We definitely have to play our game to beat both teams, though, Washington is going to make less errors.””

    After all of the scouting and the preparation Arizona did on the top 10 team in Washington, Rubio broke it down to just two keys to unlock its door to success.

    “”Serving and passing are the two most important things we do,”” Rubio said. “”If we can manage to be consistent in those two areas, it will be a very competitive match.””

    The week of practice started out to be what looked like negative foreshadowing to the weekend, as the Wildcats got off to a slow start. But toward the end of Wednesday’s practice things started to pick up for the squad.

    Yesterday was the best one yet, said coaches and players.

    “”(Yesterday) was our most focused and competitive practice,”” opposite hitter Goodenough said. “”We were executing and talking really well. I think we’re all ready to go in and play against some sort of competition this weekend.””

    Rubio said he was happy to end the week of practice on such a good note.

    If, for some reason, not all of the Wildcats play as well as they anticipated, the lineup following the starters will make for some pretty solid substitutions.

    “”We count on all of (the players),”” Rubio said. “”Hopefully all of them will be ready to play, but if someone’s not playing like they normally do, we have a lot of pretty talented players ready to come off the bench.””

    Thinking about it’s first games in the Pac-10 could be quite overwhelming for Arizona, but Goodenough simplified it in a positive light.

    “”I think we just have to take it one step at a time,”” Goodenough said. “”Right now, we’re thinking about Washington State and focusing on our game, then we’ll come back (tomorrow) and prepare for Washington.””

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