The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

97° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    V’ball goes for 6th straight over ASU

    Junior Dominique Lamb connects on a right-handed spike Aug. 26 against San Francisco in McKale Center. The Wildcats play their first Pacific 10 Conference opponent today when they face ASU.
    Junior Dominique Lamb connects on a right-handed spike Aug. 26 against San Francisco in McKale Center. The Wildcats play their first Pacific 10 Conference opponent today when they face ASU.

    Pacific-10 Conference play begins tonight for the Arizona women’s volleyball team as it hosts ASU at 7 in McKale Center.

    Arizona (9-3) has won the last five meetings between the two schools, but UA head coach Dave Rubio said that all the extra intangibles about the game are not going to be a distraction for his team.

    “”Certainly ASU, being an in-state rival, you want to beat them,”” he said, “”but every Pac-10 opponent is a rival for us. I guess because it is in-state it adds a little more, but I am just concerned about putting ourselves in a position to win.””

    Although ASU (8-3) had a sub-par season a year ago, when they went 8-20 and 3-15 in Pac-10 play, Rubio said the Sun Devils are pretty close to looking like an upper-echelon Pac-10 team this year.

    “”(The Sun Devils) are playing with a lot of confidence,”” he said. “”Just watching them play out there, they have really improved. They are a year older, and they are carrying themselves with a type of swagger.””

    Junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb also acknowledged that ASU is looking like a much-improved team.

    “”It is a new year and a new team,”” she said. “”They are looking good, but we are just going to worry about playing our game and they are just going to worry about playing theirs.””

    But that task might be easier said than done.

    Several Arizona players have admitted throughout the season that they sometimes have a problem coming out of the gates ready to play, but the Wildcats can hardly afford for that to be their fate in their conference opener.

    Arizona is an even 10-10 in conference openers since conference games began in 1986, and sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud said the Wildcats would like nothing more than to break the .500 mark.

    In order to accomplish that feat, Rubio said they must improve on some of the tendencies they have shown in the past.

    “”Offensively, we are just not scoring,”” he said. “”We definitely need to score more, and it just seems like we are not there yet.””

    Said Buringrud: “”We just need to focus on staying disciplined and try to come out and play like we train.””

    The Wildcats also realize that starting off at home is a big help, and a win could restore what some could say was an iffy start to the season with losses to unranked Dayton and Rice.

    “”It’s always fun to play in front of a home crowd, especially against ASU and especially on a night like this one,”” Buringrud said. “”It’s going to be important for us to gain confidence with our crowd there, and it gives us energy and momentum.””

    The Wildcats are hoping that they can put their early season shortcomings in the rearview mirror and focus on what they have ahead of them.

    The team knows that having a fast start in Pac-10 play, like in the past, can lead to good things.

    “”It is always important to start off strong,”” Rubio said. “”Any win in the conference is going to be a much-needed win for us.””

    Spikes

    Tonight’s match against ASU will be a “”Rivalry Red-Out”” contest, with free rally towels to the first 500 fans and post-match autographs from the Arizona players immediately following the game.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search