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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Volleyball seeks to impress LA family, friends at USC, UCLA

Amy+Phelps+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AUA+junior+outside+hitter+Madi+Kingdon+spikes+the+ball+against+Colorado+on+Sunday+at+the+McKale+Center.++
Amy Phelps
Amy Phelps / The Daily Wildcat UA junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon spikes the ball against Colorado on Sunday at the McKale Center.

Arizona indoor volleyball (19-9, 9-7 Pac-12) had to make adjustments to regain its momentum for what’s left of the season.

After sweeping Utah and Colorado at home and moving up five spots in the RPI to No. 20, the Wildcats travel to Los Angeles for their last road matches of the season against No. 8 USC (22-5, 12-4 Pac-12) and UCLA (14-12, 5-11 Pac-12) on Friday and Sunday.

It looks like the adjustments they’ve been working on have been paying off.

“If we can continue on with the trend that we’re on right now, then I think by the time we get to tournament, hopefully we will be even … better than we are right now,” said head coach Dave Rubio.

Many players have been making changes, which has helped the team improve overall.

“I think our attackers are making some pretty good choices,” Rubio said. “Our middle [blockers] are more efficient.”

The team practices have become more positive, Rubio said, adding that the team has had the best practices of the year recently. The Wildcats have four games left in the regular season.

“Practices have been a little bit harder, so that helps us a lot to just be more prepared for the game,” said junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon.

Arizona swept USC 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-21) at home on Oct. 20, when the Trojans were ranked No. 1. Before the win, the Wildcats hadn’t beaten a No. 1 team in 20 years.

USC will host Arizona while having its first two-game losing streak of the season.

When UCLA visited McKale Center on Oct. 18, the UA swept the Bruins (25-22, 25-20, 25-20).

The Bruins’ offense is ranked in the top half of the conference in almost every offensive category. However, their defense is ranked in the bottom half.

Kingdon led the offense for Arizona when the team swept the Bruins. She recorded 13 kills, followed by junior outside hitter Jane Croson with 10 kills.

With 12 Wildcats on the team coming from California, members of the team said they are really looking forward to Friday and Sunday’s matches.

“We’re going to L.A., where everybody’s from, so I think everybody wants to play well in front of all their friends and family,” Kingdon said.

Friday’s match against USC is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday’s UCLA game is scheduled for 2 p.m. They will be streamed live on Pac-12.com.

— Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal

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