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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Weekend Club Roundup

    Members of the Arizona mens club rugby team (left) find themselves in a scrum with ASU on Friday night at the Rincon Vista Complex. The Wildcats faltered in the muddy and wet conditions, losing 15-3.
    Members of the Arizona men’s club rugby team (left) find themselves in a scrum with ASU on Friday night at the Rincon Vista Complex. The Wildcats faltered in the muddy and wet conditions, losing 15-3.

    Sloppy field, opportunistic Devils sink UA men’s rugby

    A torrential downpour did more than put a damper on the Arizona men’s club rugby game against ASU on Friday night. The sloppy conditions forced the Wildcats to play a different style than they are used to, and it cost them, as they fell to the Sun Devils 15-3 at the Rincon Vista Complex.

    “”I’ve seen every ASU-UA rugby game. I played in the first one in October 1975, and it’s the only time it has ever been played in those conditions,”” said Arizona head coach Dave Sitton. “”There was nothing to showcase out there. It was very similar to last week’s Monday Night Football game (between the Steelers and Dolphins). It was a stupid game, and no team has an advantage in a slop-fest like that.””

    Arizona (1-2) was unable to capitalize on Sun Devil (3-0) mistakes. After ASU built a 8-3 lead five minutes into the second half, Arizona seemed as if it could get back into the game, but it didn’t happen.

    ASU made the big play by blocking a kick and recovering it in the try zone; the ensuing point after gave the Sun Devils its decisive 15-3 lead. Arizona tried to claw its way back, but poor decision-making proved to be the difference in the game.

    “”We played about half of the second half in their red zone, but we couldn’t get a score,”” Sitton said. “”We missed 10 opportunities that on dry land are no-brainers for us.””

    “”We played with a good attitude and heart, but we didn’t play smart,”” Sitton added. “”The effort level was there but it wasn’t a good effort. When you’re playing a tight game on a nasty course like that, decision-making is a big deal.””

    Although the conditions were poor, both teams had to deal with them, and ASU did a better job of navigating its way through the quagmire.

    “”(The conditions) were the worst I’ve ever played in, but it’s not like it’s an excuse for anything,”” said Arizona captain Kevin Hills. “”In a game like that, it comes down to who makes less mistakes than their opponent. We made one or two more than (ASU) did, and they capitalized on it.””

    The muck also caused All-American center Jordan Kohn to badly twist his knee.

    “”It just popped in and popped out real quick,”” Kohn said. “”I just got stuck in the mud and somebody tackled me from behind, but it’s fine now.””

    There were some positives to draw from, as the team was able to build on the unique experience. Because Arizona was forced to play a different style, the younger players were able to gain valuable experience and the starters added more to their repertoire.

    “”It will help us in the future because now we know we can play in diverse conditions,”” Hills said. “”I like how the team is playing together, and I think spending just a little more time together can help us really do something good together.””

    Kohn added: “”What we’ve learned from our losses is fixable. We didn’t lose because we didn’t have the right personnel out there, everything can be fixed with practice.””

    Arizona did manage to salvage more than a moral victory from the night’s festivities, though, as the junior varsity squad beat the ASU junior varsity team 25-7.

    Wrestling turns heads, brings home hardware

    The Arizona club wrestling team continued its crusade to gain respect from the national wrestling community last weekend.

    The Wildcats competed in the Ted Reese Invitational Open in Portland, Maine, on Saturday, where they saw top Division-II and D-III opponents and held their own, placing two wrestlers. Junior Tom McCarrick finished in fourth place in the 184-pound weight class with a pair of come-from-behind victories, and team captain Rich Moreno took second place in the 149-pound weight class, a finish that turned the heads of opposing coaches.

    “”Some of the other coaches thought we were really ambitious coming out here, but we wrestled well and beat some good teams and we’re starting to raise some eyebrows,”” said Arizona head coach P.J. Rovinelli. “”It’s a good feeling for the guys because they’re putting in a lot of effort.

    “”From a coaching standpoint, this weekend was incredibly successful. We’re giving ourselves some credibility. Being a club team, it’s tough getting dual meets because the word ‘club’ frightens some coaches, but now our victories should help us get a very good schedule next year.””

    Arizona also won a pair of dual meets on the road against the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s No. 25 University of Massachusetts-Amherst and No. 20 Northeastern University in Boston.

    Arizona handily defeated Northeastern 44-15 with Moreno, Pat Cundiff, J.C. Clark and McCarrick winning their respective matches.

    The Wildcats had a more difficult time with UMass-Amherst, but Jon Rios managed to win his heavyweight match 7-4 and gave the team a 23-22 come-from-behind victory.

    Jose Nido opened the meet with a victory in his 125-pound bout, and Kyle Curtin won his 141-pound battle. Moreno and Clark put Arizona ahead 20-3 before the Minutemen took a 22-20 lead heading into Rios’ match.

    “”We’re wrestling some of the toughest competition out there. Pat lost to the No. 1 ranked wrestler in New England, and some of the other guys wrestled against guys who were in nationals last year,”” Rovinelli said. “”I’m excited to see what we can do the rest of the season.””

    – compiled by Brian Kimball

    Men’s volleyball holds own in Chicago

    The Arizona men’s club volleyball team showed what it’s made of in the Mizuno Invitational Preseason Tournament in Chicago on Saturday, as the team finished 3-2-1 record against top-flight competition.

    “”It was a good experience for some of the guys who haven’t seen a higher level of volleyball,”” said senior Brendan Kerr. “”It was also a good experience for the team in general in regards to our learning process and our team chemistry. I wish we could have done better, but we ran into some difficulties all teams run into and we dealt with them pretty well.””

    Arizona, paced by senior leader Eric Vincent, played six matches in a 13-hour span and held its own in each match.

    The team went 1-1-1 in pool play, with the lone loss coming against Division-I Loyola University, the tournament’s host.

    “”We learned a lot about our team,”” said junior Duff Hearon. “”We started off slowly (against Loyola), but that might have been because we were nervous playing a D-I team. But, pound for pound, we’re just as talented if not more than they were. That game showed our lack of repetitions. Any little errors that came up with us didn’t show up with them.””

    – compiled by Brian Kimball

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