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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball loses to visiting California

The Arizona volleyball team lost its third straight game while playing California on Sunday, falling 3-1 (25-22, 13-25, 20-25, 14-25).

Head coach Dave Rubio said he’s beginning to see a pattern from his team’s inability to close out sets.

“Every match unfolds in a different way and requires different strategies,” Rubio said. “I had full expectations that we were going to be on, and we were going to be sharp, and we were going to be good but we weren’t.”

Rubio is still unsure as to the cause of the team’s struggles, but noted Cal’s talent during the game.

“The roles definitely reversed and they were good and we were not,” Rubio said. “I wish I had the answer about why we weren’t as good, but our execution was poor in every facet of the game.”

The Arizona defense was inconsistent, as Cal remained offensively sound throughout the match. The only exception came in the opening set when Arizona took a close set from the Bears. The Wildcats out-hit the Bears 17 kills to 12 in the opening set but could not ride that confidence into the remainder of the match.

By the fourth set, Cal out-hit Arizona with a match-high .667 hitting percentage versus Arizona’s .120 percentage.

“We face these scenarios in practice and our coaches prepare us well,” sophomore middle blocker Rachel Rhoades said. “So we know what to expect but I don’t think we came out ready to play.”

Rubio said he just wanted Arizona to keep the ball in play. He made more player substitutions than usual against the Bears, giving freshman outside hitter Emily Bemis and junior defensive specialist Emily Kiser playing time.

Next week Arizona goes on the road for the first time in conference play to face the southern California teams, USC and UCLA.

“I think we all kind of know that our backs are against the wall here,” junior libero Candace Nicholson said. “We just know we need to have a good week of practice and gain some confidence.”

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