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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rubio: V-ball wins like drilling cavities

Keith Hickman-Perfetti
The University of Arizona’s Women’s Volleyball Team plays Eastern Washington at the McKale Center in Tucson Ariz., on Sept. 3, 2011. The UA team won 3-0. Keith Hickman-Perfetti / Arizona Daily WIldcat

A trip to the dentist is sometimes unbearably painful, which is how UA volleyball head coach Dave Rubio described watching his volleyball team’s final match of this weekend’s Wildcat Classic.

“My analogy would be, if you ever had a cavity drilled in without Novocaine, that’s about how it was for me,” said Rubio after Arizona’s final match in the Wildcat Classic. “And I’ve had that done without Novocaine, so I know how that is. Watching that may have been more painful than that.”

One might assume the Wildcats lost to the Eastern Washington Eagles on Saturday, but the team won in three games, 26-24, 25-23 and again, 25-23.

Defeating the Eagles was supposed to be a sure feat for the Wildcats, similar to their home opener on Friday against Presbyterian College, where UA won 25-9, 25-15 and 25-12.

But the Wildcats fell victim to complacency and playing down to the other team’s level — that happened more than once throughout the tournament.

“If they’re going to be professionals about it, they should step up and be able to play the game regardless of whether or not it’s a high level team,” Rubio said. “As a result, we almost put ourselves in a position to lose.”

On Saturday, senior outside hitter Marketa Hanzlova made critical offensive plays to help carry the Wildcats, but she too made note of the team’s pitfalls.

“We didn’t perform very well this weekend,” Hanzlova said. “We just made a lot of mistakes and looked like we didn’t have fun. We didn’t work hard.”

After a succession of errors, every player on the court was looking to one other to pick up the momentum. Hanzlova realizes her role as a senior is to set an example and recover the loss of confidence for the team.

“I’m a senior and people have to rely on me,” Hanzlova said. “I have to lead the team; that’s what seniors do.”

Arizona also won its match against the Cal State Fullerton Titans 25-16, 25-19, 12-25 and 25-22. The Titans’ athleticism and skill were comparable to the Wildcats’, and they were the only team to take a game from Arizona all weekend.

Senior Cursty Jackson had extra motivation to beat the Titans. Standing directly across the net from Jackson was her best friend and fellow middle blocker, Leah Maurer.

Yet, Jackson said she was happy to defend her home court.

“It was super exciting, and she (Maurer) did really well, actually,” Jackson said. “I mean, I just wanted to win so bad, and I would never hear the end of it if we didn’t.”

When asked if anything got heated between the two before or after the match, Jackson insisted it was all a friendly competition.

“You know how we slap hands and say ‘Good luck’ (at the start of a match)? Well I said ‘bad luck,’” Jackson said, laughing. “We acted like we didn’t know each other.”

Both Jackson and Hanzlova were named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team. Jackson was also unanimously voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

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