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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

V-ball drops two at home

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA victory over ASU Friday, Oct 1 at University of Arizona McKale Center
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA victory over ASU Friday, Oct 1 at University of Arizona McKale Center

After winning four straight matches, three of which were on the road, the Arizona volleyball team finally had some momentum in Pacific 10 Conference play. Unfortunately the operative word in that last sentence is “”had.””

Arizona (14-6, 3-4 Pac-10) dropped both of its matches this weekend to No. 10 UCLA (13-5, 3-4) and No. 5 Southern California (15-3, 4-3). Both losses came in five sets.

“”Considering all of the trials and tribulations we’ve had in five games, and the number of five-game matches we’ve played, I thought we would be able to put ourselves in a position to win matches,”” head coach Dave Rubio said. “”We didn’t execute to finish the game. We’re not there yet.””

Against UCLA, the Wildcats took a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set, where they were given a 25-15 pounding at the hands of the Bruins. Arizona then jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the fifth set, but UCLA came back to tie it at six before winning the deciding set 16-14.

“”In game four, we completely just — what’s the best way to describe it — we showed no tenaciousness,”” Rubio said. “”We didn’t show any killer instinct. We come back, they should be deflated, and we should be on our game and execute and take care of the match.

“”Instead, they completely come back and we just roll over. We don’t compete. We don’t fight back. That, to me, is the most disappointing part of this.””

The loss was so deflating that the Arizona players declined to address the media.

Whitney Dosty, UA’s usual starting outside hitter, wasn’t in the starting lineup due to a stress fracture in her ankle. Dosty played sparingly, racking up one kill on three attempts in only three sets of action.

UCLA was also playing shorthanded. The Bruins were missing their starting setter due to injury.

Things didn’t get any easier for UA after facing UCLA. No. 5 USC came into McKale Center trying to rebound from a loss the previous night to ASU.

And rebound is what the USC did, beating Arizona in five sets for the Trojans’ first win in Tucson since 2007.

“”The saying ‘if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger’ is certainly appropriate here,”” Rubio said. “”I think it’s pretty evident that we’re pretty close. The difference in these games that we’re losing, it’s one or two contacts. I’m proud of the way we competed. We had a chance to win the match. I feel bad for our kids, they really laid it on the line.””

Against USC, the offense was run mainly through Tiffany Owens (20 kills) and Courtney Karst (19 kills), who combined for 39 of Arizona’s 69 kills. Cursty Jackson added 17 of her own, and also led UA with a .481 hitting percentage.

Dosty was able to see more action than against UCLA. She appeared in all five sets, and scored 10 kills on 24 swings.

Errors were the story of the weekend. Arizona had over 35 errors, including serving errors, in each match.

Arizona resumes play this weekend when it travels to Washington to take on the University of Washington and Washington State University.

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