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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Volleyball sweeps Utes, Buffaloes

Arizona volleyball had its first conference sweep this weekend, defeating Pac-12 Conference newbies Colorado and Utah.

On Friday, the Wildcats (13-6, 5-5 Pac-12) headed to Boulder, Colo., for a 3-0 win against the Buffaloes (25-17, 25-22, 25-18). Friday also marked Arizona’s first match against Colorado since 1990.

Freshman Madison Kingdon led the team in hitting with 12 kills and senior captain Cursty Jackson made seven blocks for her season-high. Fellow senior captain Courtney Karst also contributed 10 kills for the Wildcats.

The team collectively held the Buffaloes to a .052 hitting percentage, the lowest average for any of the Wildcats’ opponents so far.

Within 24 hours, the Wildcats were back on the court to take on the Utah Utes, who proved to be more of a challenge for the Wildcats. Arizona had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. on game day in order to catch a flight to Salt Lake City. By match time, head coach Dave Rubio said his team looked tired.

Kingdon, the team’s lead hitter, was also out due to a bad ankle injury she suffered on Friday night, Rubio said.

“Everyone was thinking, ‘Oh my god, what are we going to do?’” Rubio said.

The entire team stepped up in her absence.

Karst led the team with 17 kills on Saturday while Jackson and fellow senior Marketa Hanzlova had 14 and 11 kills, respectively.

“Cursty and Courtney continue to provide great leadership,” Rubio said. “They’re really setting the tone for the younger players.”

Following the seniors’ lead, freshman Taylor Arizobal had 11 kills. Sophomore libero Candace Nicholson continued to shine in the back row with 23 digs, and freshman Ronni Lewis added a career high of 13 digs. Freshman setter Chloe Mathis made 49 assists for the Wildcats.

The Utes out-hit the Wildcats in the first game, but Arizona came back to win three consecutive games in a row to garner the 3-1 win (18-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22).

Similar to last week’s triumph over No. 6 UCLA, Rubio characterized the match as a brave win.

“This was a really gutsy win for us,” Rubio said. “Our players were so good, so confident and they found a way to get it done.”

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