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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Norton could miss Bay Area trip

    Freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton reacts to a questionable call in Arizonas 3-1 loss to ASU last Friday in McKale Center. Norton likely had a different reaction when she suffered a concussion from an incident with her alarm clock that may cause her to miss todays game at Stanford.
    Freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton reacts to a questionable call in Arizona’s 3-1 loss to ASU last Friday in McKale Center. Norton likely had a different reaction when she suffered a concussion from an incident with her alarm clock that may cause her to miss today’s game at Stanford.

    After a disappointing loss to rival ASU in the Pacific-10 Conference opener last weekend, it didn’t seem like it could get much worse for the Arizona women’s volleyball team.

    But it did.

    When the Wildcats (9-4, 0-1) travel to the Golden State to take on No. 6 Stanford tonight and No. 7 California tomorrow for a pair of 7 p.m. contests, they could be without freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton.

    Norton, who is filling in for injured senior Kristina Baum, suffered a mild concussion on Monday morning after hitting her head on her wall when her alarm went off, and it is unclear whether she will be available to play this weekend, UA head coach Dave Rubio said.

    “”We aren’t deep enough to sustain someone like Jacy being out like this for the week,”” he said. “”If Jacy doesn’t play this weekend, it is going to take us out of our normal rotation, and it will be tough for us to get any sort of rhythm in the middle.””

    Norton ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in blocks, averaging 1.49 a game.

    “”She brings the heat,”” junior libero Katie Jackels said. “”She brings the fire that we need, but we are a good team. We will be able to adjust.””

    That won’t be easy against the Cardinal (10-2, 1-1), who split their conference openers last week. They swept Washington State to begin their Pac-10 schedule, only to have that trick turned against them when they got swept by defending national champion Washington the next day.

    Sophomore outside hitter Cynthia Barboza leads Stanford with 4.38 kills a game, and sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo is the leader in blocks, as she averages 1.61 a game.

    The Wildcats want to make history repeat itself as they try to pull off the season sweep of Stanford for the second consecutive year.

    “”We have a winning mentality going into this weekend,”” junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb said. “”We need to come out on fire and play well.””

    But it doesn’t stop there.

    After meeting the highest ranked opponent they have faced this year, the next day the Wildcats turn around and face their second highest-ranked opponent in Cal (12-1, 1-1).

    Of the Golden Bears’ 12 victories, 10 of them have come by way of a 3-0 sweep. Junior outside hitter Angie Pressey leads the conference with 4.86 kills a game, and freshman outside hitter Hana Cutura is in a close second on the Bears with 4.19.

    “”We are really excited to get out there and earn our respect back,”” sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud said. “”We have no other choice but to rise up to the challenge. We are ready to get back up into the rankings and raise our team morale.””

    The Wildcats know that is easier said than done. Rubio said that these teams are better than any other squads they have seen so far this season.

    “”You are talking about a whole other level of athletes we are playing now,”” Rubio said. “”They are all good. They are all talented. They all have some game stoppers.””

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