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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Volleyball takes 2 of 3 over weekend in Louisville, Ky.”

    Stephanie Butkus
    Stephanie Butkus

    The No. 18 Arizona women’s volleyball team is young, and it showed this weekend in the Louisville Tournament.

    This weekend the Wildcats (5-1) defeated Tennessee Tech (1-5) in four games (25-30, 30-24, 30-25, 30-22), suffered their first loss of the season in getting swept by unranked Dayton (5-1) by a score of 27-30, 17-30, 23-30, and bounced back to defeat No. 12 Louisville (4-2), 30-24, 20-30, 30-24, 30-25 in Louisville, Ky.

    Junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb and senior setter Stephanie Butkus were named to the All-Tournament team, while freshman outside hitter Whitney Dosty and Lamb had career highs with 17 kills apiece against Louisville. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud had 19 kills in that contest.

    Sophomore libero Brittany Leonard notched her season high in digs with 20, and junior libero Katie Jackels added 11 kills.

    Although the Wildcats took two of the three games this weekend, their performance was less than impressive, players said.

    “”We didn’t play well,”” Buringrud said. “”Our passing and defense just wasn’t there.””

    And it showed as they struggled to beat unranked Tennessee Tech and were dominated by unranked Dayton.

    “”I think we started off slow,”” Buringrud said. “”We struggled at first. We were lucky to have won against Tennessee Tech.””

    As far as skills go, UA head coach Dave Rubio said that he saw some good things, but he also said that his team is far from where it needs to be.

    “”Technically, we have a long way to go,”” Rubio said. “”The first two games of the tournament were a disappointment. We have new players and new systems, and I think we are going through some growing pains right now.””

    “”Going on the road with the time change also wasn’t easy,”” he added. “”People also forget about the time change. There are some variables that we had to overcome this weekend.””

    But as many reasons as were given, there are still other theories to what plagued the Wildcats early in the tournament.

    Lamb said that she thinks it is because they didn’t come out ready to play.

    “”We need to work on starting better,”” she said. “”We need to come out and play sharp and be ready to play right out of warmups.””

    Even looking back to the weekend before, the Wildcats had trouble coming out and playing out of the gate. In the opening game against San Francisco Aug. 26, they were down to the Dons 9-1 early.

    Rubio also said that it wasn’t all about the team’s technical errors. He said that it was because they weren’t playing as a team.

    “”We never seemed comfortable or confident during the first few games,”” he said. “”It seemed like we weren’t trusting each other and we weren’t playing as a team, and I think it showed.””

    Still, Rubio called it a “”very positive weekend.””

    Even after suffering a loss to Dayton and not coming out prepared early against Tennessee Tech, he said that he was extremely impressed with the way his team responded against a “”terrific”” Louisville team.

    “”I think we always come out and fight hard,”” Rubio said. “”I think we compete well, and I am pleased with the way this team responded.””

    And the win wasn’t just any win; it was a win that coach Rubio would compare to beating an upper-echelon Pacific 10 Conference opponent.

    “”We feel good about this weekend,”” Rubio said. “”To come out and win the last match of the weekend against the best team on their home floor was great.””

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