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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat volleyball to work out kinks

    Outside hitter Tiffany Owens, left, and middle blocker Jacy Norton leap for a block during a 3-0 win over San Jose State in McKale Center last Friday. The Wildcats look to clean up their play in this weekends Arizona Invitational tournament in McKale Center.
    Outside hitter Tiffany Owens, left, and middle blocker Jacy Norton leap for a block during a 3-0 win over San Jose State in McKale Center last Friday. The Wildcats look to clean up their play in this weekend’s Arizona Invitational tournament in McKale Center.

    The Arizona volleyball team will host the Sheraton Four Points Arizona Invitational in the McKale Center this weekend for its second consecutive home tournament. The Wildcats (3-0) battle Texas State (3-2) today at 10 a.m., followed by their matchup against Santa Clara (1-1) at 7 p.m. The squad then faces Texas Tech (3-0) Saturday at 12:30 p.m. to wrap up its busy weekend.

    The teams making the trip to Tucson are of higher caliber than last weekend’s challengers, which is something the Wildcats are aware of but feel they can take on.

    “”I think that the competition will be a lot harder this weekend,”” said UA freshman Dana Hutchinson. “”There’s better teams coming to play us, so we’re going to have to be more mentally strong and play better as a team.””

    Outside hitter Whitney Dosty agreed, saying that she and her teammates should work together as a unit, but for a different reason.

    The rotation, which determines the order and spot the players are in before each match serve, and lineup were tampered with this week.

    “”We’ve been switching some things around and getting used to it because we just had a week (to learn it),”” Dosty said. “”Other than that, I think that if we can stay together with the new lineup and new rotations, we’ll be good.””

    The Wildcats have a confident vibe going into their matches as a result of individually fine-tuning their skills.

    Junior Alanna Resch has proven what she’s capable of as a libero after last weekend’s tournament, according to UA head coach David Rubio, but she said she has been geared toward improving certain skills so she can help better the team as a whole.

    “”For me, I’ve been focusing on my passing and my serving because, right now, my serving has been a little off,”” said Resch, who is tied for second on the team with four service errors in eight sets. “”When I’m out on the court, I want to make sure I’m giving (setter) Paige (Weber) the best passes that I can.””

    Hutchinson said she worked on her passing as well, in serve-receive to be more specific. She also set her sites on strengthening her approach as an outside hitter and terminating the ball more efficiently

    during practice.

    Last weekend, Dosty played in her first match since having knee surgery and missing last season. She may still feel a bit rickety as a result. She collected 17 kills in nine sets last weekend, but also has 17 attacking errors – almost double what any other Wildcat has.

    “”I’ve worked on my timing and on my attacking. It was kind of shaky last weekend,”” Dosty said. “”My serving, too. I need to keep more serves in.””

    The 6-foot-3 outside hitter uses a “”jump-float”” serve that, when done right, has no spin and wobbles unpredictably towards its destination. She had two service aces last weekend but also three service errors.

    The Wildcats have been challenging each other hard each day with a plan to consistently and ultimately reach one goal: to win.

    Every team wants it, but at the end of the day, only one can have it.

    “”I feel that it’s a work in progress for everybody,”” Rubio said. “”We’re a young team, so I feel that we have a lot of room for growth. We’re just taking small steps every practice, therefore every week.””

    In order for a team to be successful – or exist, for that matter – each player must bring something to the table and constantly sharpen it. Once the tuned-up players come together as a whole, good things should happed.

    “”This weekend, we need to just concentrate on our side of the court,”” Resch said. “”Everyone needs to do their job individually, so that we can put it all together and make magic happen.””

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