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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Devils drop UA volleyball in 3 sets

    The in-state rivals are split 1-1 this season as a result of Sunday’s battle in Tempe.

    The Arizona volleyball team lost to the Sun Devils in three sets (22-25, 17-25, 23-25), giving the two teams an equal conference record.

    It could have been the nerves from the match’s live broadcast on FSN Arizona or even the rowdy ASU fans who gave the Sun Devils (12-11, 3-7 Pacific 10 Conference) an edge over the Wildcats (13-9, 3-7), but UA head coach Dave Rubio said the loss was a result of certain pressures coming from within the squad.

    “”Ever since we beat USC (on Oct. 19) we’ve been pressing a bunch, so we never really get relaxed on the floor and get any sort of flow,”” Rubio said, citing three straight losses after defeating the Women of Troy. “”We carry this huge burden on our shoulders that every match counts so much for us going to playoffs. (Sunday) was the same thing.””

    The Wildcats made multiple errors that played into their loss – 18 that came from attacking errors and 10 from serving. ASU committed 10 and five blunders, respectively.

    “”We made so many errors that were uncharacteristic of us,”” Rubio said. “”We’re getting good performances, but we can’t seem to get out of our own way at this point.””

    The Wildcats had a .189 hitting percentage while their rivals put up a cumulative hitting percentage of .307 over the three-set match.

    Despite the loss, Rubio said he saw a lot of positive things produced by his team.

    He was particularly impressed with outside hitter Whitney Dosty’s match-high 16 kills and five digs.

    “”We had some terrific performances,”” Rubio said. “”Whitney played I think her best offensive match of the season.””

    Freshman Hutchinson said her teammates did a good job of communicating despite the outcome. The freshman also said the remedy for the Wildcats’ current losing streak is going to come down to trust.

    “”I think as a team we need to all realize that we totally can do this, but everyone has to trust each other more,”” Hutchinson said. “”It’s a long process and we’re getting close, but we have to realize that once things start working together, we’re going to be a really good team.””

    Rubio said the team tends to self-destruct and break down at times as a result of its own pressure – his reasoning behind this was ironic, to say the least.

    “”I think that anytime you want something so badly you tend not to get it,”” Rubio said of the squad’s desire to excel. “”And I think the key for us is we have to understand that the only way we’re going to start playing better or consistent is to not worrying about the postseason. Once we do that, we’re going to lift the burden off our shoulders.””

    Certain players missed serves and attacks at key moments in the match – and at times near the end of sets caused the most damage – that was uncharacteristic of them, Rubio said.

    “”We don’t tend to make attacking errors at the end of games,”” he said. “”Again, I think we want it so bad that we’re playing poorly. We just have to relax and learn not to worry about what’s going to happen in the future.””

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