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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sand volleyball ends year on high note

Arizona sand volleyball played its last matches of the season on Friday in Boise, Idaho, as the Wildcats took on Oregon and Boise State.

The Wildcats pulled out a 5-0 victory against conference rival Oregon that improved their season record to 17-3.

Arizona’s No. 1 team of Madison and McKenna Witt defeated Oregon’s Kacey Nady and Maggie Scott, 21-19, 21-12.

Senior pair Madi Kingdon and Kaitlyn Leary of Arizona’s No. 2 team dominated on the sand and got a straight set victory (21-7, 21-7) over Oregon’s Liz Brenner and Shellsy Ashen.

Arizona’s No. 3 team of Kendall Polan and Rachel Rhoades took down the Ducks’ Taylor Agost and Serena Warner, 21-12, 21-15.

Arizona’s No. 4 team, Taylor Arizobal and Taylor Lane, went to three sets against Oregon’s Frankie Shebby and Natalie Bookout Gonzalez. The Wildcats won the first set 21-16 and then were defeated in the second set (14-21). Arizobal and Lane powered through the third and final set, winning 15-4 to secure an Arizona victory.

Sarah Seiber and Hailey Devlin, Arizona’s No. 5 team, got a straight set victory over Oregon’s Roni LaPierre and Marine Hall-Poirier, 21-17, 21-3.

Arizona took on Boise State on the Broncos’ home courts for the final match of the season. The Wildcats swept the day’s play as they got another 5-0 victory.

Kingdon and Leary took back their place as Arizona’s No. 1 team and defeated Boise State’s Maddy O’Donnell and Hannah Hubbard, 21-12, 21-13.

Madison and McKenna Witt, back as the No. 2 team for the Wildcats, took down the Broncos’ Sarah Baugh and Sierra Nobley, 21-19, 21-13.

Polan and Rhoades remained Arizona’s No. 3 team in their match against the Broncos. The duo defeated Boise State’s Katelyn Kinghorn and Aly Duffin, 21-9, 21-11.

Arizobal and Lane got a straight set victory against Boise State’s Taylor Murphey and Laney Hayes, 21-17, 21-14.

Arizona’s No. 5 team was comprised of Seiber and Olivia Macdonald, who defeated the Broncos’ Maddi Osburn and Jaymee-Lee Bulda after three close sets. The Wildcats lost the first set 22-24 but came back to win the second and third sets 28-26, 15-10, respectively.

Arizona’s Allie Cook and Emily Kiser took the sand for an exhibition match against Boise State’s Osburn and Hayes. The Wildcat pair defeated the Broncos, 21-13, 21-17.

Arizona ended its second season with an overall record of 18-3, which is a 10-win improvement over last year’s overall record of 8-12.

Arizona coach Steve Walker said there are a few things that have contributed to the team’s success this season.

“The improvement of the players that returned from last year, the strides they’ve made, how they’ve committed to this entirely, and what they’ve been able to do and then how well the new players have adapted. … I just like the style of volleyball we’re playing and how hard we are competing,” Walker said. “All of those things are really a byproduct of all of the hard work that we’ve put in.”

After a sweep of both Oregon and Boise State on Friday, on top of an 18-3 season record, a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Conference Invitational, and two pairs headed to the AVCA Championships, this team looks like one to use as a model of success.

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Follow Jordyn Owen on Twitter.

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