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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball staying focused for ASU

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA loss to California Volleyball at McKale Center Friday, Sep 24

Rivalries are what make sports the greatest spectacle on Earth — at least to fans. Many players and coaches, on the other hand, know that one game is just a blip on the radar of a long season.

“”There’s no more emphasis, it’s the same game, the same preparation as there would be for any match,”” said head coach Dave Rubio. “”The value of this match isn’t any greater than the ones we played last week or the ones we’ll play next week.””

The reason for Rubio’s indifference to facing ASU might lie in the roster’s makeup. Only two players are from Arizona, and only one of those, freshman Emily Helm, is from the Phoenix area.

Senior outside hitter Whitney Dosty, a Tucson native, echoed Rubio’s sentiment on Friday’s game against ASU, but admitted that it’s hard to ignore the factthat they will be taking on Arizona’s biggest rival.

“”Maybe in times before there was (a different kind of intensity leading up to the game), but now I think we’re a mature enough team to be able to treat every team the same,”” said Dosty. “”Even though it is ASU, and we want to give it to them and beat them more, we just keep it steady and come out and play.””

Even though her teammate and coach downplayed the matchup, Helm has feelings similar to those of most UA students from the Phoenix area.

“”I think this game has a lot more meaning,”” said Helm. “”Stanford was a really big deal … but this week will obviously be more intense because it’s ASU and it’s always a duel between the two teams.””

She then went on to say that the rivalry is important to her for many of the same reasons that it’s important to most UA students and alumni — because of daily interaction with the enemy.

“”I know three or four players on the team … and I also have a lot of friends that go there,”” Helm continued. “”They’ve been saying that they’re going to beat us, but I’m just like ‘whatever’.””

Another reason for the lack of build-up for Friday’s game could be Arizona’s recent success against ASU — the Wildcats have taken three of four from their rival to the north, with two of the three wins being sweeps.

However, Rubio is making sure that the recent success against the Sun Devils doesn’t get to his team’s head.

“”By no means should we be considered the favorite,”” said Rubio.

Weber questionable vs. ASU

Senior setter Paige Weber — who has played in every set in her Arizona career, now totaling 374 — suffered an undisclosed injury at practice on Tuesday.

Weber missed practice Wednesday, won’t practice today and will be a game-time decision on Friday.

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