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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rubio seeks 300th UA win vs. old team

    Volleyball head coach Dave Rubio meets with his team during practice in McKale Center. Rubio, who is in his 16th year at Arizona, will go head-to-head against his former team, Cal State Bakersfield, and will try for his 300th win with the Wildcats.
    Volleyball head coach Dave Rubio meets with his team during practice in McKale Center. Rubio, who is in his 16th year at Arizona, will go head-to-head against his former team, Cal State Bakersfield, and will try for his 300th win with the Wildcats.

    There’s no introduction needed.

    The Arizona volleyball team opens up this weekend of play against Cal-State Bakersfield, the team that UA head coach Dave Rubio coached for five years before coming to Tucson.

    The Wildcats (7-2) kick off the Four Points University Plaza Arizona Invitational, held today and tomorrow in McKale Center, against the Roadrunners (3-7) this morning at 10. The last time the two teams played each other was in 1991, when Rubio coached his team to a win over Arizona in five games in Tucson.

    “”Bakersfield was near and dear to my heart,”” said Rubio, now in his 16th season as Arizona’s head coach. “”I have nothing but good memories at Bakersfield. They took the chance with a guy that was just a regular high school coach, and that doesn’t often happen.””

    While at Bakersfield, Rubio led the Roadrunners to three consecutive NCAA Division-II top-five finishes and won the 1989 national championship.

    In their first year as a D-I team, the Roadrunners have lost their last five matches and hit .229. They average 14.49 kills, 14.70 digs and 1.39 blocks per game.

    Star sophomore Dosty could redshirt year

    For the fourth straight tournament, outside hitter Whitney Dosty will not play for the Wildcats due to tendinitis in her knee.

    “”It’s getting closer to the point where we’re going to have to have serious conversations about her redshirting,”” Rubio said Wednesday. “”She’s out for another week, and we’re going to have to get her re-evaluated next Monday to see where she’s at with her tendinitis.””

    Lance Madden

    Rubio leads a team boasting similar statistics (.235, 14.16, 15.77, 3.61) against the squad under Bakersfield head coach John Price, who attended Cal-State Northridge and coached there later, just as Rubio did before heading to Bakersfield.

    The plot only gets thicker from there.

    Though Rubio has 420 career wins, he is two shy of 300 as Arizona’s head coach.

    The modest Rubio said the numbers don’t matter to him and he is only focused on defeating Bakersfield, California-Irvine (8-2) and Davidson (5-3) this weekend.

    “”When you’re one place long enough, you’re going to win a lot and hope you don’t lose more than you win,”” Rubio said. “”I’ve been really blessed being here. I’m proud that we’ve been able to be successful in the strongest conference in the country. It’s a wonderful feeling, and yet, it’s kind of a grain of salt for me.””

    Rubio’s players said that adding another number to his already impressive resume will feel great.

    “”It will be awesome to be a part of his success,”” said setter Paige Weber. “”I kind of wish we were playing (Bakersfield) for his 300th win instead of 299, but he’ll be happy with a win, no matter what number it is.””

    Coming off a three-match sweep at the Regency Suites Classic in Atlanta last weekend, this weekend’s event will mark Arizona’s last games before opening Pacific 10 Conference play, on the road, no less.

    “”We have to play this weekend like we were playing Pac-10 teams now,”” said outside hitter Tiffany Owens. “”We can’t let up. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the court. We can’t take the other teams for granted this weekend just because they’re not in the Pac-10.

    “”We have to have the mentality that we’re playing Pac-10 teams already.””

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