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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats volleyball continues to struggle versus top ranked teams

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Arizona middle blocker Jade Turner (33) talks with head coach Dave Rubio during Arizona’s 3-0 win against Alabama State in McKale Center on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.

Arizona volleyball seemed mesmerized in the Land of Enchantment by its first opponent, Texas A&M, and was swept in three sets at the Borderland Invitational in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The first set was a battle for the Wildcats who struggled with the Aggies big block. The Wildcats hung around most of the set until they reached a 19-16 score, but were unable to keep up when Texas A&M scored the next six points, cruising to a victory.

The second set was a nail bitter, Arizona having its best chance to steal one against the 16th ranked opponent. From 0-0 to up 24-23, the game was neck and neck. The Wildcats couldn’t push through in the final points of the set.

Arizona dropped two straight points, giving Texas A&M another win and a 2-0 lead for the match.

Following the competitive second set, Arizona attempted to fight back, but was unable to keep up with the Aggies’ game and fell 25-20.

Arizona broke the spell of Texas A&M in its match against Sacramento State. The team leaders broke out to help the team cruise to a three set victory.

In the first set, Arizona let Sacramento State hang around before breaking out on a seven-point run to take an 11-6 lead. It was all Kendra Dahlke from there. Back to back kills put the Wildcats ahead, 19-12 where they would cruise to a 25-18 victory.

The Wildcats started the second set right where they left off, easing into the lead with a Penina Snuka’s service run. Arizona dominated to gain a 17-6 lead, but just like we’ve seen before with this team, the ‘Cats began to falter late.

Sacramento State worked its way back into the game, but Arizona held off the pesky Hornets, winning the second set, 25-18.

Arizona had all the momentum going into the third set and blew Sacramento State away by limiting the Hornets to 12 points.

The first day of the Borderland Invitational was a memorable one for Snuka who became one of five other Arizona players to reach 4,000 career assists, pushing her close to third in assists in Arizona history.

Friday was a special day for the sophomore Dahkle. At the Wildcat Classic last week, head coach David Rubio confirmed that she is his starting middle for the time being.

Dahkle gave Rubio something to brag about today with a career-high 19 kills in the match against Sacramento State. Combined with her 10 kills in the loss against Texas A&M, Dahkle totaled 29 kills for the day.

The Wildcats split their matches on Friday, but with personal and team records being set, it’s impossible to overlook the bright future ahead for the team.

Arizona will try to match its performance against Sacramento State tomorrow at 1 p.m. against the hosting school, New Mexico State.

Follow Syrena Tracy and Nikki Baim on Twitter

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