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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball not worried about postseason

Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA VB vs. UCLA

The Arizona volleyball team is ranked No. 23 in the country, but its postseason future might be in jeopardy. The Wildcats lack an impressive out of conference win, and are average, 5-5, in Pacific 10 Conference play.

“”I stay away from thinking about those things,”” Arizona head coach Dave Rubio said. “”You can’t really control any of those things. The only thing you can control is what we do every day in practice and we do in (matches).””

What might save Arizona come tournament time is the strength of the Pac-10. Seven of the conference’s 10 teams are ranked in the top-25, including four teams in the top-10.

Then again, the ranking of those teams doesn’t mean a whole lot if Arizona doesn’t beat them. Of Arizona’s five Pac-10 wins, four have come against teams not ranked in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll top-25.

Two wins against rival ASU, one against winless Washington State and another over one-win Oregon State. Arizona’s lone impressive conference victory came in a road win over No. 20 Oregon in early October.

On the flip side, all five of Arizona’s conference losses have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top-15.

As far as tournament résumés go, this isn’t a very impressive one.

“”You can’t let (postseason) be the sole focus of why you’re doing what you’re doing,”” senior Paige Weber said. “”If you haven’t been taking all the time along the way to get better, then once you actually get to the postseason, it’s almost pointless to be there because you spent so much time on getting there but no time on what you need to be successful there.””

She’s right. Well, sort of.

Although a team’s only focus can’t be reaching the postseason, it still needs to be a main focus – especially for a team as talented and experienced as Arizona.

Rubio might be worried right now about where his team is going to end up after the regular season ends on Nov. 26, but he knows that getting to the NCAA Tournament takes an entire body of work.

Arizona’s most, and maybe only, impressive victory in non-conference play came against Louisville, which leads the Big East Conference.

Once you get past that victory, what stands out is the number of matches that the Wildcats have lost in which they appeared to be the better team, at least on paper.

“”You’ve just got to kind of let it go,”” Weber said. “”It’s one of those things that it’ll happen at the end of the season if you’ve taken care of what has been in front of you the entire time.””

And therein lies the problem with Arizona so far this season. The Wildcats haven’t taken care of what has been in front of them.

Six of Arizona’s eight remaining games are against ranked teams. After that stretch, we’ll know where Arizona’s headed, and if things keep going the way they have, there’s a good chance the Wildcats will be headed home.

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