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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball down but not out

Colin+Prenger+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AUA+volleyball+vs+Washington+on+Sept.+22%2C+2012%0A%0A
Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA volleyball vs Washington on Sept. 22, 2012

Arizona traveled to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC on Friday and Sunday, and after losing twice, the Pac-12 conference has continued to be unforgiving this season.

The team continues to show temporary moments of potential, but the lack of execution keeps the squad chasing their second conference win.

“We still have a lot of maturing to do, but I think that by the second round of conference we will be fine,” junior libero Candace Nicholson said.

The conference season opened with arguably the toughest opponents on the schedule with No. 2 Washington, No. 5 USC, No. 6 UCLA and No. 7 Stanford, plus the loss to Cal.

As a result, Arizona has now dropped to 9-8 after starting 9-3. The schedule is beginning to unwind, however, with upcoming opponents that are not nationally ranked. Head coach David Rubio said he hopes the Wildcats will be able to catch a break against teams like Utah and Colorado, though that doesn’t mean Arizona is looking past the two schools.

“Every week is a different challenge and every match we have something new to work on,” Rubio said. “It’s just a matter of when are we going to get to the point where we can put ourselves in a position to be successful. The good news is that there’s some progress and we have the talent.”

On paper —and with its current record — Arizona looks a lot like Rubio’s 2011 team that squeezed into the NCAA tournament last year, but were defeated out in the first round by Michigan State.

The baby steps of improvement may be hard to see for a frustrated team who is tired of losing, but Rubio said he wants his team to get angry enough about losing to turn a corner and do something about the recent struggles. Only time will tell just how close the team is to getting back on the saddle.

“We just need to be more ready on the court to take it and I don’t think any of us are always ready to go out there and fight as hard as we need too,” sophomore middle blocker Rachel Rhoades said.

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