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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Volleyball wins 2 of 3 in Illinois

    Less than a week after learning that senior middle blocker Kristina Baum was lost for the season, the No. 24 Arizona women’s volleyball team won two of its three matches over the weekend in the Northwestern Wildcat Classic in Evanston, Ill.

    If it weren’t for a slow start in its third match Saturday against host Northwestern (6-3), Arizona (9-3) could have come away with three wins on the weekend.

    After digging itself a 2-0 hole at the hands of Northwestern with 30-26 and 30-21 losses, Arizona took the next two games, 30-27 and 30-20.

    But, after knotting the score at 11, Arizona’s rally fell short in the fifth game of the match, with Northwestern’s version of the Wildcats going on a 4-1 run to down Arizona’s Wildcats, 15-12.

    Senior setter Stephanie Butkus and junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb were both named to the all-tournament team after Arizona took down Pittsburgh (10-4) by a score of 31-29, 31-29, 30-13 and Eastern

    Illinois (5-5), 30-26, 21-30, 30-20, 30-19, on Friday.

    “”I am disappointed that we lost to Northwestern,”” UA head coach Dave Rubio said. “”It was a very winnable game for us, but we just didn’t get the job done.””

    Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud said that coming out slow is a big issue that needs to be fixed.

    “”We need to learn how to come out and be ready to play from the start,”” she said. “”It is just a matter of discipline, and we need to work on fixing it.””

    Arizona has struggled with coming out strong the entire season, and it happened once again as they finished their season schedule against nonconference opponents.

    In the opening game of the tournament against Pittsburgh, the Wildcats came out in game one and took the lead, 6-2, only to give it up later and trail, 29-27. Arizona then mounted a four-point run to snag the first game.

    In game two, the Wildcats found themselves victim to a slow start once again, as they were looking up at Pittsburgh 23-17. Still, Arizona was able to go on a 7-1 run and win the second game and eventually the match.

    The tendency continued in the second match against Eastern Illinois, as the Wildcats found themselves down 18-11 in the second game, but it didn’t really haunt Arizona until the final contest against Northwestern.

    Buringrud said the team’s resiliency is a huge factor in their success.

    “”We are a very competitive team,”” she said. “”We fight very hard, and we know how to come back from being down.””

    Even though they fell short against Northwestern, his team’s ability to come back had Rubio impressed.

    “”One great characteristic of this team is that they fight very hard,”” he said. “”There is no question that this team gives their best effort every single time they are out on the court.””

    Though he feels his team hasn’t yet hit its peak, it’d be fair to say the season has gone the way Rubio expected.

    “”I told my assistants at the beginning of the year that we were going to be 9-3 after nonconference games,”” he said,”” but it is funny because I am disappointed.

    “”I know we could be as good as 11-1.””

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