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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Goodenough not enough for v-ball

    Dave Rubiohead coach
    Dave Rubio
    head coach

    Rebuilding has been a word that coaches and players have been reluctant to use when describing the Arizona volleyball team’s season, but as the year unfolds the word seems to be becoming more applicable.

    The Wildcats (9-6, 0-3 Pacific-10 Conference) continued their slump as they fell to No. 6 Stanford (35-33, 30-20, 30-15) and No. 7 California (28-30, 30-26, 30-18, 31-29), adding more losses to their Pac-10 record after losing their conference opener to ASU last week.

    Although UA head coach Dave Rubio denied that the team’s attitude is in rebuilding mode, he said they are going through growing pains caused by inexperience.

    “”The fact of the matter is we are relying on players that are freshmen and sophomores,”” Rubio said. “”Whenever you are relying on young players that don’t have too much experience, you are going to have some troubles.””

    Heading into this weekend there was no doubt that Arizona was an underdog for both of its games, and the Wildcats didn’t do anything to prove anyone wrong.

    Both of the Wildcat weekend performances seemed to mirror one another, as they started off close matches but appeared to lose momentum as the games went on.

    In Saturday’s match against the Golden Bears, Arizona started fast, taking the first game 30-28, but a second game loss broke their drive.

    The Wildcats struggled immensely on offense against the Bears, as they had 34 errors on the match, which eventually led to a .096 attack percentage.

    Cal sophomore outside hitter Morgan Beck led the Bears with 11 kills, and Wildcat sophomore, opposite hitter Randy Goodenough paced Arizona with 15.

    “”We play well for a limited period of time and then we break down,”” Rubio said. “”It is hard for a young team to sustain a high level of play for an extended period of time.””

    Added sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud: “”We made a lot of errors at critical times in the match. That is what killed us. We need to keep our errors to a minimum, especially at those critical times.””

    Arizona was able to keep it close in the first game against the Cardinal, but the eventual loss (35-33) proved to carry over into the following game. Stanford used a 10-2 run in game two to knock the wind out of Arizona and cruise to a 10-point victory followed by a 9-1 start to game three, which finished off the Wildcats.

    “”We just

    We play well for a limited period of time and then we break down. It is hard for a young team to sustain a high level of play for an extended period of time.

    -Dave Rubio

    lost our focus,”” said Buringrud, who led Arizona with 15 kills in the game. “”In the third game we fought back to make the deficit smaller, (but) we just couldn’t get the win.””

    The Cardinal showed great balance, leading Arizona in hitting percentage (.429-.220), blocks (7-4) and digs (38-32).

    Even though Arizona’s struggles remain, Rubio said he is impressed with what his team has shown.

    “”I am pleased with where we are so far this season,”” he said. “”I have been doing this a long time, and it is remarkable to see an inexperienced team battle against these high-level teams the way we are.””

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