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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball swept by ‘Devils

    Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough (17) and middle blocker Jacy Norton (12) attempt to block an attack by ASU outside hitter Danielle Fernandes in a 3-0 Sun Devils win in the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe Friday night.
    Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough (17) and middle blocker Jacy Norton (12) attempt to block an attack by ASU outside hitter Danielle Fernandes in a 3-0 Sun Devils win in the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe Friday night.

    TEMPE – It was the hotly contested match that UA head coach Dave Rubio said it would be. But he wasn’t counting on losing – at least, not the way it happened.

    The Arizona volleyball team was swept by ASU on Friday night in the Wells Fargo Arena by scores of 31-29, 30-25 and 30-28.

    Down 2-0 in the match, Arizona (12-7, 2-5 Pacific 10 Conference) trailed the Sun Devils (11-9, 3-4) 22-15, but went on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 24-23. In the end they came up short, losing by two points.

    “”The only thing that was going through my mind was putting ourselves in a position to win,”” Rubio said after a postgame discussion with his team in the locker room that lasted more than 30 minutes. “”You really don’t think of much other than that.

    “”At the end of game three – during the last 10 points,”” he added, “”I felt that was the (most) aggressive match that I’ve seen us play since the season started. That was the first time we really played with the eye of the tiger.””

    Coming into the night with an identical conference record and having beaten the same teams, the squads posted some similar numbers in the match. Even though the Wildcats hit .280 to ASU’s .351, each team had 49 assists, 40 digs and 54 kills.

    “”It was intense because we didn’t execute when we needed to,”” said middle blocker Dominique Lamb, who led the Wildcats with 15 kills on .591 hitting.

    “”We put the pressure on ourselves and let the other team put even more on us.””

    Not only did each team show aggressive attacking, but it showed crafty play as well, as many kills by each squad were lightly dumped balls over the net to an empty area on the court.

    “”Double block, you tip,”” Lamb said. “”If you’ve got too much in front of you, you tip the ball away and try to score.””

    Arizona took an 11-6 lead in the second game, but a 5-0 run down the road gave the Sun

    Devils a 15-14 advantage. The referee made three calls against Arizona for being out of rotation, but Lamb said it wasn’t the reason for the Wildcats’ loss by five.

    “”You’ve just got to shake it off,”” she said. “”The ref was just doing his job and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t control our side to avoid those calls.””

    Arizona could not hold on to a 16-11 lead in game one behind a .220 hitting percentage. There were 15 tie scores and four lead changes in the game. Outside hitter Sarah Reaves led the way for the Devils with a match-high 20 hills in .459 hitting.

    “”ASU certainly played aggressively,”” Rubio said. “”They were a little more aggressive than we were, especially with attacking.””

    Extra Serving

    The atmosphere in the arena was intense with 2,003 in attendance. Though the ASU fans helped spark the Devils to a sweep – the second time in as many matches for the Wildcats – Arizona fans were not shy.

    One Arizona fan caught an ASU shirt launched by Sparky the Sun Devil from the floor during a timeout. He responded by throwing the knotted shirt at the Sun Devils’ cheerleaders.

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