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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Volleyball gives coach Rubio wins 299, 300, 301”

    Opposite hitter Randy Goodenough drives the ball over the net during Arizonas sweep of Cal-State Bakersfield on Friday morning in McKale Center. oodenough, who was named the tournaments MVP, posted a match-high 25 kills against UC Irvine later that day.
    Opposite hitter Randy Goodenough drives the ball over the net during Arizona’s sweep of Cal-State Bakersfield on Friday morning in McKale Center. oodenough, who was named the tournament’s MVP, posted a match-high 25 kills against UC Irvine later that day.

    The Arizona volleyball team won all three of its matches in the Four Points University Plaza Arizona Invitational this weekend in McKale Center. The three victories gave UA head coach Dave Rubio his 299th, 300th and 301st wins as the boss of the team.

    The Wildcats (10-2) swept Cal-State Bakersfield Friday morning, downed California-Irvine in four games Friday night and swept Davidson (North Carolina) Saturday.

    “”It feels good to see the team play well,”” said Rubio after the win over UC Irvine. “”Getting 300 wins is more about where we are in our progression.””

    The win over UC Irvine (10-3) gave Rubio his 300th win as Arizona’s head coach and the sweep over

    Davidson (5-6) gave him his 301st. He now has a 423-226 (.652) career record and a 301-160 (.653) record at Arizona.

    “”I’m proud of D-Rube,”” said opposite hitter Randy Goodenough, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player. “”It’s nice to be part of a program that has so much pride in its history and its athletics. To play for a coach like Dave is just an honor.””

    The road to the milestone was not an easy one, as the Wildcats and Anteaters stayed close throughout most of the match, which Arizona won by scores of 30-27, 30-24, 31-33 and 30-17.

    “”(Friday night) we played a very good team and they’re very well coached,”” Rubio said. “”It was a lot of good defense and good, high-level volleyball.””

    Goodenough led the Wildcats with a match-high 25 kills and outside hitter Tiffany Owens registered a career-high 15 kills on a .379 hitting percentage. Libero Alanna Resch – a member of the All-Tournament team – posted a career-high 20 digs and outside hitter Brooke Buringrud added 13 kills, 10 digs and five blocks.

    The Wildcats nearly had a sweep, but fell in the third game that had 27 ties and seven lead changes. Rubio took the blame and said it was a rotation error on his part.

    Still, he felt good about the performance.

    “”The passing was on the money and couldn’t be any better than it was,”” he said. “”Irvine, they scrapped. It was the battle we knew it was going to be.””

    But a battle it was not in the tournament-closing match against Davidson. Though it held Davidson to a -.027 hitting percentage, Arizona hit just .167.

    “”It wasn’t our best match,”” Goodenough said. “”It was quiet and we couldn’t find a rhythm, but we found a way to get the win and get it out of the way.””

    Arizona opened up the tournament with a sweep over Cal-State Bakersfield (4-9) by scores of 30-14, 30-13 and 30-20 Friday morning.

    The Wildcats hit .354 in the match against the school that Rubio coached for five years

    before coming to Arizona, posted 13 blocks and a season-high 10 service aces. The Roadrunners hit just .010, more than 200 percentage points less than the team’s season average going into the tournament.

    Goodenough had her fifth double-double of the season with a match-high 12 kills on .333 hitting to go with 10 digs.

    But it was middle blocker Stephanie Snow who impressed the most in her collegiate debut, as she registered nine kills on .571 hitting. The 6-foot-4-inch freshman also had two digs and four blocks. The freshman started in place of middle blocker Jacy Norton, who rolled her ankle in the last half-hour of practice Thursday.

    “”It was awesome,”” fellow freshman Paige Weber said. “”I was so proud. I wasn’t surprised at how she played though because Stephanie is good. We all know she’s good. She just hasn’t had the chance to play yet because Jacy and (middle blocker Dominique Lamb) were doing great.””

    The Wildcats begin conference play this week in what is known as the toughest conference in the nation, the Pacific 10. They head into the week on a six-match winning streak.

    “”It’s always good to sweep at home and start our preseason 10-2,”” Lamb said.

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