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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona drops Territorial Cup match 3-1 in four-set affair

The Arizona volleyball team kicked off Pac-12 Conference play with a matchup against rival ASU yesterday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe as they battled hard, but fell to the undefeated Sun Devils in four sets.

This loss snaps the three-game winning streak Arizona had over ASU as the Wildcats swept last year’s matchup and hadn’t lost to the Sun Devils since Sept. 24, 2013, when ASU won all three sets.

After losing a nail-biting first set to ASU 26-28, the Wildcats dominated the second set to the tune of 25-12 before losing the last two sets 20-25 and 21-25.

Both teams came into the game ranked in the top 20 in hitting percentage with ASU leading the nation at .094 while Arizona was at .142 per game, good for 20th in the nation. Both teams were able to hit reasonably well as ASU hit at a clip of .242 while Arizona hit at .263. Arizona outdug ASU (64-55) and out blocked the Sun Devils (10-8).

Junior setter Penina Snuka led the way with a double-double as she posted 59 assists and 11 digs, while junior outside hitter Kalei Mau registered 27 kills on .258 hitting. Freshman outside hitter Tyler Spriggs chipped in with 16 kills.

Arizona has lost three of their last five games after starting the season with eight straight wins.

ASU improved to 11-0 as the team is off to its best start since 1973 when they opened the season 21-0.

The Wildcats schedule does not get any easier next week as they face multiple ranked opponents, beginning with No. 18 Oregon at home this Sunday afternoon in a matchup that will be televised on ESPNU. After that, the defending Pac-12 champion in No. 8 Stanford comes to town next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center.

October does not get any easier as the Wildcats face No. 6 Washington, No. 13 UCLA and No. 3 USC in a nine day stretch. So the Wildcats will have to dig deep if they hope to win the Pac-12 and make some noise in the postseason. Arizona will get to avenge itself, however, as it gets a rematch against ASU in Mckale Center on Nov. 27 to end the season.

One thing is for sure, after all the tough games the Wildcats will have faced at this season’s conclusion, no team in the tournament will seem too tough to overcome.

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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