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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball looks to improve in tournament

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

In every game the Arizona volleyball team plays at the Wolf Pack Invitational — hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno — it will be the most talented team on the floor.

However, every sport has a great equalizer — something that can level the playing field — and head coach Dave Rubio says that in volleyball it happens to be the only weakness that UA has shown this season: serving.

“”We’re working on being a little bit tougher on our serving. We’ve asked the kids to go back and serve a little bit deeper, which forces them to hit the ball harder, which is what we’re looking for,”” Rubio said. “”I’m less concerned about the errors than our ability to serve accurately. The person with the different color jersey tends to be the best passer, and we’re serving that person way too much.””

Serving is clearly something that Rubio has been stressing to his team, and junior middle blocker Courtney Karst reiterated the importance of accuracy in the serving game.

“”I think we need to improve on not making as many errors,”” said Karst. “”We need to clean up the game and make it look more crisp like we do in practice. It just seems like in the games we tend to panic.””

Because it’s still early in the season, there are a number of other things that Rubio is hoping to see out of his team that will show signs of progress.

“”We need to be more efficient within our system … we need to be more precise with our digging and ball handling,”” continued Rubio. “”There are so many moving parts to this thing and you can only address so many at a time, so you have to decide which ones matter the most. To me, it was serving and some of our systems.

The Wildcats won’t necessarily be concerned with their record this weekend, because if they improve on the things that Rubio has pinpointed, he says that wins will take care of themselves.

One of the things that Rubio has constantly talked about in the young season is always being focused. He brings up their practice patterns and even the early season loss to Cal Poly as examples of where focus needs to be better, and junior middle blocker Cursty Jackson agrees with him.

“”One thing that we’re trying to focus on is being really focused throughout the whole entire game,”” said Jackson. “”We play really well in the first and second game, but in the third game that’s when we kind of lose focus, so we really need to concentrate.””

Arizona opens the Wolf Pack Invitational with two games today — the first at 10 a.m. against Pacific University and the second at 7 p.m. against Nevada — before wrapping up the tournament Saturday against Northern Arizona University at noon.


Statistically Speaking

Whitney Dosty is off to the best start of her career — with 98 kills in 22 sets, hitting at a .274 clip.

Tiffany Owens  is nearly averaging a double-double through Arizona’s first 6 matches, with 10.6 kills per match and 9.5 digs per match.

Now in her senior season, setter Paige Weber has yet to miss a set in her career at Arizona, totaling 346 consecutive sets.

The Wildcats have displayed their dominance against weaker teams, going 4-0 in matches that have resulted in a three-set sweep.

At this point in the season, the Wildcats have more service errors (42), than service aces (29). That is definitely a number that Rubio has pinpointed as being unacceptable.

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