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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Cats take 2 of 3 in weekend opener

    St. Marys outside hitter Megan York hits the ball as Arizonas Randy Goodenough (17) Paige Weber (34), and Dominique Lamb (10) attempt to defend in the final game of the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic Saturday night in McKale Center. York, the tournaments MVP, led the Gaels past the Wildcats in five games.
    St. Mary’s outside hitter Megan York hits the ball as Arizona’s Randy Goodenough (17) Paige Weber (34), and Dominique Lamb (10) attempt to defend in the final game of the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic Saturday night in McKale Center. York, the tournament’s MVP, led the Gaels past the Wildcats in five games.

    The Arizona volleyball team opened up the season 2-1 as it swept Eastern Washington and Utah State and lost to St. Mary’s 3-2 in the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic this weekend in McKale Center.

    The Wildcats capped off the tournament Saturday night with a battle that went to the very end. Behind 14-13 in game five, the Gaels smacked down three straight kills to win 16-14, bringing their tournament record to 3-0.

    “”It was tough,”” said opposite hitter Randy Goodenough. “”We don’t play a lot of three-hour (matches). We got tired and started making physical and mental errors.””

    It was nonetheless a career night for Arizona, as Goodenough led the Wildcats with a career-high 26 kills on a .328 hitting percentage, coupled with a career-high 16 digs.

    Middle blocker Dominique Lamb posted a career-high 19 kills, as setters Paige Weber (63 assists, 10 digs), a freshman, and sophomore Alanna Resch (11 kills, 12 digs) each posted double-doubles.

    Weber and Goodenough were named to the All-Tournament team.

    But it was senior libero Katie Jackels who posted the statistic that stood out the most. With 37 digs, she broke the school record of 33 set by Anita Moss in 1983.

    Even with the individual achievements, UA head coach Dave Rubio said that the team has room to improve.

    “”We’re still a young team,”” he said. “”We’re gonna take our lumps and we’re gonna lose games that we should win. That’s part of the maturation process.””

    Friday night, the Wildcats defeated Eastern Washington by scores of 30-25, 30-18 and 30-24.

    After an up-and-down beginning to game one, a timeout was called with the score tied at 18. The Wildcats went back onto the court, and Weber looked at her team before the ball was served.

    “”Here we go ladies,”” she said. “”Here we go.””

    Arizona went on to score 12 points to EWU’s seven to win the game.

    “”She’s a terrific competitor, hates to lose,”” Rubio said of Weber, who posted 144 assists over 11 games. “”You want that kind of kid in control of your team.””

    Though the Wildcats hit only .179 on the night, they managed to hold the Eagles to a .008 hitting percentage.

    “”Our strong point going into this year is our blocking and our defense,”” Goodenough said, “”and it shows on paper that we’ve got a great front row. If and when the opponents get around our blockers, we have great defenders to dig the ball up.””

    Middle blocker Jacy Norton led the attack with nine kills and a .750 hitting percentage, but as a whole, the team had 19 attack errors and 10 service errors.

    “”It was pretty chaotic on our side of the net,”” Rubio said. “”We just weren’t very smooth in general.””

    Arizona started the weekend off with a sweep over Utah State on Friday morning, 30-24, 30-26, 30-25.

    Arizona hit .260 in the match and posted 10 blocks while limiting Utah State to a .158 hitting percentage.

    Freshman Tiffany Owens led all players with 13 kills on a .407 hitting percentage in her first collegiate match, despite a stress fracture in her shin.

    Lamb, Goodenough and Resch added 11 kills apiece, and Resch also had 11 digs.

    Weber finished with a game-high 46 assists in her collegiate debut.

    “”I have to say, I wasn’t nervous, which is really surprising because I usually get nervous before every game,”” Weber said. “”It was everything I thought it would be and everything I thought it wouldn’t be at the same time. It’s fun and exciting to finally be here, and I wouldn’t trade this for the world.””

    Extra serving

    Sophomore outside hitter Whitney Dosty did not play this weekend, as she is healing a knee injury suffered last month in Thailand while practicing with the Junior National Team. Rubio said he might work her back into today’s practice.

    – Michael Fitzpatrick contributed to this story

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