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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball sweeps Utah, hosts Colorado on Sunday

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat UA Junior Taylor Arizobal spikes over Utah Thursday night. UA volleyball swept Utah, 3-0 at Mckale Stadium.

Arizona (18-9, 8-7 Pac-12) bounced back from its previous home loss against Washington and swept Utah (17-10, 6-9 Pac-12) in three sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-16) on Thursday night at McKale Center.

Arizona’s offense was solid throughout the match. The Wildcats hit .306 and the defense held Utah to .077 attack efficiency.

Head coach Dave Rubio said he was pleased with the way the Wildcats executed on the court.
“After Sunday night’s match it was nice to come back and play a little bit cleaner and better,” Rubio said. “I was pleased.”

Sophomore Halli Amaro led Arizona in the match with 12.5 points. Amaro finished with eight kills and a .615 hitting percentage. She also contributed seven blocks for the night.

Freshman setter Penina Snuka finished with 30 assists and nine digs, one dig away from recording another double-double on the season.

“Penina in general was really good,” Rubio said. “She’s hard on herself; she’s got super high expectations and I try to talk her through those things and relax her as much as I can. She’s such an exceptional competitor.”

Amaro and Snuka connected throughout the night to contribute to Arizona’s sweep.

The “signature set” that the Wildcats have been working on the whole season came together Thursday night.

“Halli and Penina have connected much better,” Rubio said. “The beginning of the year, it was really hard for Halli to connect with [Snuka].”

Amaro said he was pleased by the way she and her teammates performed coming back from Sunday’s upset.

“We really came together as a team,” Amaro said. “We talked a lot and I think that this weekend it showed that we’re making steps into the right direction.”

Arizona rolled through the first set as junior Taylor Arizobal began her night with two straight kills, helping Arizona begin the set with a 4-2 lead.

Arizona was able to keep the lead throughout the entire set and won it 25-16. Utah took the lead during the second set, but it didn’t take Arizona a long time to catch up. After back-and-forth play, Utah was leading Arizona 15-14 and the Wildcats went on a timeout.

Arizona was able to regain its momentum after the timeout, taking the 20-16 lead and only allowing Utah to score two points. Arizona took the set 25-18.

During the third set, Arizona hit .186 and the defense held Utah to .085.

Junior Jane Croson had five kills for the set, which helped the Wildcats win it 25-16.

“I know how good Utah can be and I was relieved at the end of the game that we were able to win,” Rubio said.

Arizona has a short two-day break before it takes on Colorado for the second time of the season. Colorado defeated the Wildcats in three sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) on Oct. 25.

The Wildcats will host the Buffaloes on Sunday at 2 p.m. at McKale Center and on the Pac-12 Networks.

— Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal

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