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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Volleyball seniors set for final series at UA

    Arizona middle blocker Dominique Lamb leaps for a block in a 3-0 win over Washington State Nov. 2 in McKale Center. Lamb is one of four seniors on the team.
    Arizona middle blocker Dominique Lamb leaps for a block in a 3-0 win over Washington State Nov. 2 in McKale Center. Lamb is one of four seniors on the team.

    With the postseason out of the question, four Arizona volleyball players will don their high socks, kneepads, spandex and Wildcat jerseys for the last time this weekend.

    The Wildcats (13-16, 3-13 Pacific 10 Conference) close out their season in McKale Center against No. 5 USC on Friday and No. 10 UCLA on Saturday. First serve for both games is 7 p.m.

    “”I’m not too emotional,”” said senior middle blocker Dominique Lamb. “”I’m just upset that we don’t have a chance to get into the (NCAA) Tournament anymore.””

    Seniors Amy Dyck, Emily Harper and Katie Jackels – who is completing her third Wildcat season after attending Golden West College in California – will also finish their Arizona careers.

    “”It’s always sad when seniors have to go,”” said UA head coach Dave Rubio. “”As a coach, you become attached to players. It’s not easy to participate in Division-I athletics, especially with the season we’ve had. This year we lost a lot and the kids have really stepped up to the challenge and made each practice really good.””

    Despite the two matches being the last for the seniors, Rubio’s approach to the games has not changed. Though the Wildcats have lost 11 of the last 12 matches and the postseason is intangible, the team will still play its heart out – if not for pride, for the seniors, Rubio said.

    Amy Dyck
    Hometown: Sandpoint, Idaho
    Emily Harper
    Defensive Specialist
    Hometown: Oceanside, Calif.
    Katie Jackles
    Hometown: Playa Del Rey, Calif.
    Dominique Lamb
    Middle Blocker
    Hometown: Chandler, Ariz.

    “”My expectations of the players’ learning and their effort level is the same as it was four months ago,”” he said.

    The Wildcats are hitting .209 going into the weekend, behind opposite hitter Randy Goodenough’s 3.80 kills per game. Freshman Tiffany Owens averages 3.43 kills per game.

    The Bruins (18-9, 8-8) are led by outside hitter Ali Daley, who averages 3.90 kills per game.

    The Women of Troy (23-4, 12-4) are led by 6-foot-4 opposite-outside hitter Asia Kaczor, who is second in the conference in points (5.74 per game), second in kills (4.96 per game) and second in service aces (0.37 per game).

    Kaczor, a senior, has posted 20 or more kills in six of her last seven matches, averaging 6.25 kills in the span.

    Rubio said the team’s four-game loss against Stanford gave the Wildcats a positive mindset that they hadn’t seen since the last time they faced USC in September, losing in five close games.

    “”The Stanford match was the first time since the USC match that we put ourselves in a psychological position to perform at a level without burden,”” he said. “”The effort level and the teamwork was terrific. My hope is that this weekend – whether we win or we lose – we play with that same fluidity that we did against Stanford and USC.””

    And win or lose, the last two matches for the Arizona seniors will be bittersweet, Rubio said.

    “”You feel sad because you hate to see them go,”” he said. “”But on the other hand, the kids are ready to move on to another chapter in their lives.””

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