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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA volleyball hits road for Stanford and Cal series

Owen+Forest+%2F++The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AArizona+volleyball+versus+Utah+on+Nov.+1
Owen Forest
Owen Forest / The Daily Wildcat Arizona volleyball versus Utah on Nov. 1

Arizona volleyball heads to the Bay Area this weekend to face No. 1 Stanford and California. The No. 16 Wildcats (18-6, 7-5 Pac-12 Conference) will try to avenge their loss last month to the Cardinal. It was Arizona’s first defeat at home.

Arizona faces Stanford (22-0, 12-0) Friday at 8:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

On Sunday, the Wildcats face California (8-14, 0-12) at noon on the Pac-12 Networks.

“Stanford is playing maybe the best I’ve seen them play this year,” UA head coach Dave Rubio said on ArizonaWildcats.com. “And then Cal continues to get better. There’s no pressure on Cal now; I mean, you’re going to have to beat Cal. They’re not going to roll over, and they’re not going to play dead. You’re going to have to beat them.”

The Wildcats have split their last five conference series, as they are coming off of a 3-0 win over Utah and a 3-1 loss to Colorado at home.

“The conference is just so brutal this year, the depth of this conference has never been this deep,” Rubio said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing; you’re literally in a fight for your lives.”

On Wednesday, Stanford beat No. 20 ASU 3-2.

Last time:
Arizona lost 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20) to Stanford in Tucson on Oct. 10 in front of 3,238 fans.

The Wildcats pushed the Cardinal to a deuce in the first set and won the second. The UA’s win was Stanford’s eighth loss in a set the whole season up to that point.

Arizona hit .259, and two Wildcats had double-digit kills, but the Cardinal hit .408. Outside hitter Madi Kingdon had 22 kills, her 22nd 20-plus kill match of her career. Outside hitter Taylor Arizobal had 14 kills on 28 swings, and middle blocker Ashley Harris added 13 kills.

The Wildcats beat California 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-11) to record their third conference sweep in their last four matches.

Arizona hit .327, led by a .474 on 19 swings by Harris, who had 11 kills.

Kingdon led the team with 13 kills, and middle blocker Rachel Rhoades had six kills on an errorless 10 swings (.600 hitting percentage).

The series:
Stanford leads the all-time series 61-7 and has won 16 matches in a row. The Wildcats last beat Stanford Nov. 11, 2005, in Palo Alto, Calif., 3-2.

However, the Wildcats lead the series with Cal 35-23. The UA’s win in Tucson last month snapped an eight-match win streak by the Golden Bears in the series.

Who to watch:
Stanford middle blocker  Merete Lutz leads the nation with a .468 hitting percentage.

Cal outsider hitter/opposite hitter Christina Higgins leads the Golden Bears with 3.78 kills per set.

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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