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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball returns to NCAA tournament

Rebecca Marie Sasnett

Rebecca Marie Sasnett / The Daily Wildcat

After beating its arch rival on Saturday, Arizona indoor volleyball earned a spot in the NCAA tournament after missing out last year.

The Wildcats (20-12, 10-10) finished the regular season with the most wins since 2010.

After the achievements during the weekend, the Wildcats got together as a team on Sunday night to watch the NCAA Division 1 2013 Selection Show. They will head to San Diego to play New Mexico State in the opening round of the tournament on Friday.

Arizona beat ASU (19-13, 8-12) in McKale Center on Friday, which evened the Territorial Cup Series.

Arizona was not invited last year, and head coach Dave Rubio said the team is excited they got the chance to continue competing this year.

“We are pleased,” Rubio said. “Everyone is pretty excited because we know we will have a good supporting crowd.”

With most Arizona players being from California, the Wildcats are looking forward to traveling there for the first round of the tournament.

The UA is not planning on changing anything as far as preparation for the first match of the tournament, continuing their regular season routine to prepare for the tournament hoping they get far enough to be able to host a team inside McKale Center.

“Hopefully, we will keep our fingers crossed if the committee happens to feel charitable and allows us to host, [it] would be terrific,” Rubio said.

Senior Candace Nicholson said she is looking forward to the tournament and wants to be able to accomplish new things before her career as a Wildcat is over.

“The ultimate goal is us going to the playoffs and winning our first match of the playoffs,” Nicholson said. “We haven’t gotten past the first round since I’ve been here so that would be the ultimate goal for me.”

New Mexico State was part of the tournament last year and lost the first match against BYU.

This year, the Aggies are 22-10 and earned their second straight Western Athletic Conference Tournament title this season.

“We are well aware that we are playing against some good opponents,” Rubio said.

—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal

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