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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball downs ASU

It was a roller coaster match, but Arizona volleyball outlasted ASU (9-13, 4-6 Pac-10) en route to the Wildcats’ second win over the Sun Devils in as many tries in 2010.

In a back-and-forth affair, the teams alternated wins in each set, with Arizona (16-7, 5-5) burying the Sun Devils 15-10 in the deciding fifth set in Tempe.

“”It was weird,”” said Arizona coach Dave Rubio. “”If we had played a sixth set, ASU would have won that one. That’s just the way it went.””

Weird is an understatement. The first set was the only one that ended in a competitive fashion, with both teams swapping blowout wins in games two through five. Of the twelve lead changes, nine of them came in the first game, and the other three came in the fourth.

“”That’s just how it goes sometimes,”” setter Paige Weber said. “”Sometimes you win a set easily, so you think the next one is going to be just as easy, but it never is. Then that just happens to the other team and it switches around.””

Even though this was Arizona’s seventh match that has gone to five sets in ten Pac-10 games, fatigue won’t be as much of an issue as it normally would be.

“”It’s nice because we get more of a break this weekend, especially not playing Saturday or Sunday,”” Weber said. “”Going five sets (Friday) isn’t going to be that hard on us just because we get some time off.””

The third game, the first following intermission, was a turning point for the Arizona, a common theme this season. The difference between this one and the rest, though, was that the Wildcats were on the good side of the momentum swing.

“”That was great, especially considering the second set we didn’t play well at all,”” Weber said. “”It was nice to go in the locker room and come out for the third set and control the game the way that we’re capable of, and the way, honestly, that we should every week.””

After being blown out 25-15 in the second game, the Wildcats turned around and offered a beating of their own with a 25-13 victory in set three.

A big part of the turnaround was the connection between Weber and outside hitter Tiffany Owens, who led Arizona with 23 kills.

“”Tiffany (Owens) and Paige (Weber) were just out of this world,”” Rubio said. “”Tiffany literally put the team on her back and carried us. We have a great supporting cast — all of those guys are doing an exceptional job. But the ones who carry us and make the team go are Tiffany (Owens) and Paige (Weber).””

Weber added 47 assists to go along with a kill of her own. She also found six different Wildcats to pick up points for Arizona.

With the season sweep of ASU, the Wildcats picked up a point in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series, but the cup was never a rallying point for Arizona.

“”Getting the point is a nice addition to the win,”” Weber said. “”But it’s not something that we focus on or talk about before the match.””

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