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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Powerhouse Washington sweeps Arizona volleyball

Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics

Freshman outside hitter Tyler Spriggs (35) leaps for the ball at Arizona Stadium on Nov. 8. The Wildcats were swept by No. 3 Washington to drop to a record of 6-8 in Pac-12 Conference play. Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics.

It was a sad Sunday afternoon for No. 19 Arizona volleyball fans in McKale Center as the Wildcats fell to No. 3 Washington in a sweep.

Washington swept the season series with the win as the Huskies beat the Wildcats three sets to one in Seattle.

“I think Washington, if it plays like that, has a chance to win the whole thing,” said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio.

Penina Snuka led the Wildcat attack with 32 assists and 11 digs to give her a conference-high 16 double-doubles.

Kalei Mau tallied 12 kills and 10 errors, while Laura Larson added 12 digs. It was Larson’s ninth straight match with 10 or more digs for the Wildcats this season.

Sophomore setter Bailey Tanner led the Huskies’ attack with 24 assists and four kills on .500 hitting, while senior defensive specialist Cassie Strickland added 20 digs and four assists.

The Huskies jumped out to early leads in the first two sets and rode the momentum to 25-16 and 25-17 victories.

The Wildcats put up a better fight in the last set by opening with a lead, but the Huskies proved to be too much, as they came back and defeated Arizona 25-20.

Washington limited the Wildcats to a .152 attack percentage while out-digging Arizona 55 to 52 during the match. Washington consistently kept the Wildcats from getting into a rhythm as they out blocked the Wildcats 8.5 to four and kept every Wildcat but Mau from tallying more than six kills.

With the loss, Arizona drops to 16-10 on the season and 6-8 in conference play. Arizona could very well be the only ranked team with double-digit losses when the new Coaches’ Poll is released.

The Huskies snapped what was Arizona’s first winning streak since mid-September as the Wildcats have been wildly inconsistent in Pac-12 Conference play.

Washington improved to 22-2 on the season with its two losses coming to No. 2 USC and No. 7 Stanford. Washington defeated two ranked teams this weekend in Arizona and ASU, so it could potentially be in play for the top spot as it has received first-place votes since knocking off then No. 1 USC last week.

After starting the season 8-0, including a five-game streak of sweeps, the Wildcats have been pedestrian at best with an 8-10 record since.

Arizona heads north this week as it faces Utah and Colorado before returning to McKale Center on Nov. 20.

The Wildcats’ remaining home games this season are against No. 2 USC, No. 9 UCLA and No. 20 ASU to end the season.

With all those ranked opponents, the Wildcats have their work cut out for them as the season comes to a close.

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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