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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball gets 2nd chance

    Oregon outside hitter Heather Meyers denies an attack from Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough in the Ducks sweep over the Wildcats in McKale Center on Sept. 28. The two left-handers lead their respective teams on the attack.
    Oregon outside hitter Heather Meyers denies an attack from Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough in the Ducks’ sweep over the Wildcats in McKale Center on Sept. 28. The two left-handers lead their respective teams on the attack.

    What goes around comes around.

    At least that’s the case with Pacific 10 Conference play during the volleyball season. The Arizona squad will see every conference foe for a second time starting tonight at 7 against No. 16 Oregon in Eugene.

    The Ducks have jumped five spots in the national rankings since the two squads last met, but UA senior Dominique Lamb said numbers don’t mean anything.

    “”We just have to go out and play,”” said Lamb, a middle blocker. “”Who cares what number you are? I don’t care. I’m going to bring my same game against the No. 101 team and the No. 1 team.””

    The last time the Wildcats (12-9, 2-7 Pac-10) squared off against the Ducks (15-6, 4-5), they were swept Sept. 28 in McKale Center.

    Arizona hit .131 to Oregon’s .221 in the match and played the Ducks to two 29-31 finishes to end the match.

    “”I don’t think Oregon played particularly well last time we played them and neither did we,”” said UA head coach Dave Rubio. “”They’re going to play better at home and we expect them to. But so will we.””

    Outside hitter Heather Meyers led the charge for the Ducks the last time they faced the Wildcats, slamming down a match-high 14 kills on .440 hitting. The Volleyball magazine “”Fab 50″” pick leads Oregon with a .367 attacking percentage.

    “”From a blocking standpoint, we’re trying to get a better beat on her and make better adjustments than we did last time,”” Rubio said of Meyers.

    On the other side of the net, opposite hitter Randy Goodenough, like Meyers a lefty, leads the attack for the Wildcats, hitting .405. Goodenough and Meyers each have 10 double-doubles on the season.

    Despite Meyer’s presence, Rubio said he is only concerned with the play of his team, and that as long as it plays well, Arizona will be able to weaken the play of its opponent.

    “”It’s more about what we do on our side of the net than what they do on their side,”” he said. “”We’ve been a work in progress for a long time now and we’re certainly improving, as are the other teams in our conference.””

    Arizona is riding a season-long four-match losing streak – losing to three top-10 teams – while Oregon ended a four-match skid of its own last Friday against Oregon State on the road.

    The Wildcats also had a breakout performance Friday, Rubio said, despite how the five-game loss to No. 9 California looked on paper.

    “”Friday night was probably the best volleyball that we’ve played all season, even though we lost,”” he said. “”It’s a match where I felt we turned the corner. It’s hard to say that in a loss.””

    With history on its side – Arizona has beaten Oregon in 36 of 46 matches – the Wildcats look to get back in the rhythm of winning with a win over a ranked team.

    “”We definitely have a lot of confidence,”” Lamb said. “”We know what to do now and we know what to expect.

    “”The second half is a new start,”” she added, “”and this is where we plan on getting over .500 and getting into the (NCAA) tournament.””

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