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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball roadtrip a return home for six ‘Cats

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA victory over Oregon State volleyball at McKale Center Sat, Nov 6.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA victory over Oregon State volleyball at McKale Center Sat, Nov 6.

The No. 20 Arizona volleyball team travels to California this weekend to take on No. 6 Southern California and No. 10 UCLA. A trip to the bright lights of “”La La Land”” might sound like a vacation to most, but for the Wildcats it’s more of a homecoming.

“”I’m from (Los Angeles), so I’m really excited for this weekend,”” said outside hitter Cursty Jackson. “”Half of the team is from there, so to play in front of our families and to try and get that win — it’ll be great.””

Jackson, along with five other Wildcats, hails from the greater Los Angeles area. Even though those players get a chance to see friends and family this weekend, Jackson doesn’t see that being a distraction.

“”I think (going home) is actually a good thing,”” she said. “”It puts people in good moods and ready to work hard and win, you know? If you’re playing in front of all of your family, I’m thinking you’ll do a little better.””

Getting a chance to go home might not be the only factor in Arizona’s play this weekend. The Wildcats (18-7, 7-5 Pacific 10 Conference) are coming off a sweep of both Oregon schools in McKale Center, their current home, last weekend.

“”I would say it was one of our better weekends,”” said middleblocker Courtney Karst. “”We’re not making as many errors as a team. Serving errors are coming down, which really helps us out, and our hitters are making better decisions. We’re pretty excited about this weekend. We know we have a chance to come out, hopefully, with a sweep.””

Revenge might also play a factor for Arizona’s this weekend. In the SoCal schools’ trip to McKale this season, both matches went five sets — including the UCLA (17-7, 7-6 Pac-10) match in which Arizona let a 2-1 lead slip out of its grasp.

“”The complexion of every match changes. It’s really unpredictable in that way,”” said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. “”It was agonizing to lose those matches, but that doesn’t hold much meaning to me about what’s going to happen the second round.””

Even though Rubio doesn’t much believe in the revenge factor in helping his team, he is pleased with where UA is at this point in the season.

“”I like where we’re at. I think we played some of our best volleyball of the year last weekend,”” he said. “”I feel like we can still get better, but it’s just small things now. If we can just take care of some of those, it’ll have a big impact for us.””

Arizona will take on USC tonight, followed by UCLA on Saturday. The Wildcats will play their final homestand of the year next weekend when the Washington schools head to Tucson.

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