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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball heads to Northern California for No. 12 Stanford, California

The+Arizona+volleyball+team+huddle+together+hand-in-hand+before+their+final+match+against+Oregon+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+1+in+McKale+Center.
Carmen Valencia
The Arizona volleyball team huddle together hand-in-hand before their final match against Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 1 in McKale Center.

Arizona women’s volleyball finally pushed passed its inability to defeat ranked teams with a sweep of No. 22 USC and No. 18 UCLA last week. Now, the Wildcats look to keep the streak going as they head to Northern California to face No. 12 Stanford and unranked California.

After last week, Arizona received 93 votes in the AVCA Coaches Rankings, putting it at 26th in the nation, and creating potential to break the top 25 with another sweep this weekend. 

The Cardinal are 10-4 this season with a 3-3 record at home combined with a 4-2 conference record.

Nine of Stanford’s 14 matches have been against ranked teams and the Cardinal were victorious in five of those matches, including a win over No. 3 Minnesota.

Stanford’s sophomore All-American outside hitter Hayley Hodson has taken medical leave for the rest of the season, forcing the team to regroup and look for new leadership.

Without Hodson, true freshman Kathryn Plummer is having a standout year. In her debut at Cal, she set her career high of 16 kills to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.

RELATED: Arizona volleyball gets first sweep of LA schools in program history

Stanford is a dominant team on the block. The Cardinal lead the conference with 3.52 blocks per set as a consequence of four players averaging over one block per set.

Last Sunday, the Cardinal lost at home to No. 21 Utah for the first time since 2000. Arizona will look to follow the Utes’ example and hand Stanford their fifth loss of the season on Friday.

After what should be a competitive match at Stanford, Arizona will face its first unranked opponent since Sept. 30 at Berkeley.

Cal is 7-9 this season with a 1-5 conference record. The Bears’ only win in conference play came last week at home against Colorado. The victory knocked the Buffs out of the Top-25 and terminated the Bears’ five game losing streak.

In conference play, Cal has rallied behind its setter Alyssa Jensen and leading blocker and attacker Jenelle Jordan. Jensen is second in the Pac-12 in assists per set this season with 10.27.

Arizona’s weekend matches begin Friday at 8 p.m. at Stanford and resume Sunday in Berkeley when the Wildcats will face Cal at noon. Both games will air on Pac-12 Networks.


Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.


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