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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona Volleyball wins Borderline Invitational

Jose Toro

Arizona outside hitter Elizabeth Shelton (17) kills the ball over the net against the No. 16 Oregon Ducks Sunday, Nov. 12 at McKale Center. 

Arizona volleyball went on the road for the second time this season. This time, the team traveled east to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the Borderland Invitational.

This week, Arizona got their first loss handed to them by New Mexico State, after winning its first eight games of the season.

In the weekend triple-header, Arizona squared off against Montana and UTEP on Friday and finished play against New Mexico State Saturday morning.

          RELATED: Volleyball sweeps Cactus Classic

Saturday, Arizona swept Montana (25-18, 25-23, 25-14) and defeated UTEP in four sets (25-21, 28-26, 20-25, 25-23) to get its seventh and eighth wins of the season, respectively.

Sunday, Arizona lost to New Mexico State in a devastating five-set match (25-16, 17-25, 23-25, 27-25, 15-12).


Senior Kendra Dahlke entered the week second in the NCAA in kills per set and was able to narrow the margin even more as she gets closer and closer to leading the country in both categories.

In her first match against Montana, Dahlke notched 18 kills on 0.417 hitting. Her dominant performance against Montana marked her seventh straight 15-plus-kill match.

Junior middle blocker Devyn Cross added another eight kills on 0.350 hitting, adding to Dahlke’s impressive numbers.

Junior Makenna Martin led Arizona in digs for the fifth time this season, posting 16 in the three sets of the match.


Arizona dominated UTEP in its second match of the tournament but was not able to sweep them in three sets.

UA’s third-set loss ended its 15-straight victorious sets for the team.

“We didn’t play our best, but I thought a lot of that had to do with UTEP,” said head coach Dave Rubio to Arizona Athletics. “I thought UTEP played really well. It was nice to be able to grind out a win despite some of our best players not playing their best match. Paige [Whipple] was terrific. Paige and our littles kept us in the match.”

Martin led Arizona with 18 of the team’s 56 digs in the match. Her 18 digs tied a season high for the standout junior.

New Mexico State:

Arizona volleyball lost for the first time in its 2018 season, dropping a five-set match to New Mexico State.

The Aggies stormed back from large deficits in both the fourth and fifth sets, earning themselves a come-from-behind victory.

          RELATED: Arizona Volleyball clinches Hornet Invitational with dominant play

Arizona’s had a career-high 30 kills, UA’s first 30-kill match since Kalei Mau’s 31-kill effort in 2016 against Washington State. In addition to the 30 kills, Dahlke also had 15 digs and three blocks against the Aggies.

Arizona’s Cross posted a career-high 11 kills on just 23 swings, in addition to four blocks on the afternoon.

Julia Patterson added 61 assists on the match, as well as nine digs in total to end the weekend play.

The Aggies and Wildcats will meet again this weekend, this time in Tucson for the Wildcat Classic where the ‘Cats are looking for their revenge.

What’s Next:

After a 2-1 performance this weekend, Arizona volleyball moves to 8-1 on the season.
The ‘Cats are back in action this weekend in McKale Center for the Wildcat Classic against Tennessee-Martin, New Mexico State and UC Davis. 

Follow Amit Syal on Twitter

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