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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA volleyball hits the road to face Oregon schools

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Arizona senior outside hitter Taylor Arizobal (14) walks onto the court during player introductions before Arizona’s 3-1 loss against Washington in McKale Center on Sunday. Arizobal and the Wildcats head to the Oregon schools this week.

There’s little rest for the weary as the Arizona volleyball team has to travel to Oregon to face the No. 11 Ducks in an abbreviated match week.

No. 15 Arizona (16-4, 5-3 Pac-12 Conference) plays Oregon at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks tonight, three days after losing to No. 3 Washington at home.

“We don’t have any time to get ready for Oregon, and they’re just an absolute heart attack to play at their place,” UA volleyball head coach Dave Rubio said. “The schedule is certainly not doing us any benefits.”

The Wildcats got Monday to rest and practiced Tuesday morning.

“The kind of system they run takes some time to get used to,” Rubio said. “You’d like at least two or three practices to duplicate what they do and to get ready and we got two hours.”

Senior outside hitter Taylor Arizobal said the seniors got a choice of practicing Monday or Tuesday and chose Tuesday.

“It’s the schedule,” Arizobal said. “That’s how it’s going to be. You can’t really change it right now. So, we kind of just have to roll with the punches, and just stay in the mindset, and get some good rest and stuff, and be ready for Wednesday.”

The Ducks are fresh off of a 3-1 win over then-No. 18 USC in Los Angeles. That snapped a two-match losing streak for the Ducks, who lost to then-No. 19 UCLA last Wednesday on the road and to Washington.

Oregon is 9-1 at home, though, with the only loss coming to No. 1 Stanford. The Wildcats are 3-2 on the road and 2-3 against ranked teams.

Rubio said he thinks every road team has lost the Wednesday night matches.

“It’s really a disadvantage for the travel, to, on such a short week, go and play on Wednesday,” Rubio said. “The TV likes it because the ratings are way higher on a Wednesday night match, but as coaches, it’s really not fair.”

In late September, the Wildcats played ASU at home on a Wednesday and then traveled to UCLA, playing two days later.“But traveling to LA is a lot different than traveling to Oregon,” Rubio said.

The Wildcats beat ASU 3-2 and UCLA 3-0.

“I think eliminating a lot of our errors, we can hang with any team,” UA senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon said. “I mean, we’ve been so close to beating the No. 1, [No. 2], [No. 3] in the country, and that’s all on us, all the errors that we make.”

Oregon is third in the Pac-12 in kills and assists and fourth in hitting percentage.

“Oregon’s a different team; they have a more faster set tempo,” Arizobal said. “Even though they’re the No. 10 team, I think we can totally beat them.”

On Friday, the Wildcats face Oregon State. Arizona has lost three of its last five matches.

“It’s going to be the most challenging stretch of matches that we’ve played,” Rubio said. “We played Washington [Sunday], Oregon on Wednesday and then Oregon State, who’s no joke, either, on Friday. So, it’s really going to be a challenging week for us.”

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