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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball seeks revenge vs. Utah

Rebecca Noble
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat UA volleyball head coach Dave Rubio coaches his team during a timeout during the Washinton game on Sunday at the McKale center. Washinton defeated the Wildcats 3-0.

Arizona indoor volleyball (17-9, 7-7 Pac-12) hosts Utah (17-9, 6-8 Pac-12) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at McKale Center.

The Wildcats lost to Utah 3-1 on Oct. 27. Although Utah frustrated Arizona in the past match during the four sets (27-29, 28-26, 25-20, 25-17) that were played, some Wildcats said they will adjust.

“Utah is a really good blocking team,” said junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon. “I noticed last time that we played them we got blocked a lot so I think that we just need to mix up our shots and know where the block is this time.”

After falling to No. 3 Washington (21-1, 13-1 Pac-12) the Wildcats went into the gym and worked on the communication they lacked during Sunday’s match, in order to battle Utah.

“[The communication] has been significantly better. I wasn’t sure why we didn’t play as cohesively as we had been,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “We met about it and had a good meeting.”

Falling to the Huskies seems to have motivated the Wildcats to work extra hard during practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The two practices we’ve had have been excellent,” Rubio said. “Maybe two of the best we’ve had. The energy has been good; the communication has been good. I’ve been really pleased.”

The Wildcats played Thursday night last week and had two days off before the last match on Sunday — an unusual schedule for the team.

It has the same schedule this week, but Rubio and Kingdon said that won’t be an issue this time around.

“I think we figured it out,” Kingdon said. “Last weekend was a weird week … but I think now we kind of know what to expect.”

Utah juniors Shelby Dalton, Bailey Bateman and Chelsey Schofield combined for 33 kills when they faced Arizona. Utah outhit the Wildcats .211 to .110.

Arizona has only lost one Pac-12 match at home, to Washington, and the team doesn’t want to add a loss to Utah on the home record.

“The reality is that at the end of the season, with three weeks left, there’s not a lot of secrets now,” Rubio said. “It’s a matter of coming out and executing.”

Arizona’s only other home loss was 3-1 to Kansas in August.

“I definitely think we can beat them; we just need to play well and not play like we did on Sunday,” Kingdon said.

— Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal

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