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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

One and done

Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona womens volleyball played Washington.  The Wildcats won.
Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona women’s volleyball played Washington. The Wildcats won.

For the second straight year, the Arizona volleyball team was bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when the No. 20 Wildcats fell 3-1 to Northwestern on Friday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Northwestern got out of the starting block fast, jumping out to a 2-0 lead at intermission by winning the first two sets by a combined 12 points over Arizona.

“”It almost felt like we got ambushed, and that’s my fault,”” said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. “”Even though I thought we were prepared tactically, I thought they were a step quicker than we were. They got us off our game from the beginning because of the serving.””

Northwestern had only three service aces in the match, but Rubio said his team wasn’t prepared for how aggressive the Wildcats from Evanston, Ill., were with their serves.

“”Offensively we struggled, but a lot of that was because we didn’t handle the serve very well,”” Rubio said. “”Our blocking also wasn’t very efficient, and we got steamrolled there for the first two games.””

Offensive struggles were a theme of the night. Senior outside hitter Whitney Dosty had 19 kills, but only senior Tiffany Owens and junior Cursty Jackson were able to reach double-digits with her — both racked up 10 kills.

On top of struggling to spread around the offense, Arizona hit only .221 compared to Northwestern’s .364.

After not being competitive in the first two games, Arizona came out of intermission and won the third set behind some adjustments from Rubio.

However, Northwestern came out with some adjustments of its own in the fourth set, and was able to put Arizona away.

“”In game three, I thought we turned the corner,”” Rubio said. “”In game four, we didn’t get the right matchups, and we just couldn’t create enough opportunities for us.””

Ultimately, Arizona’s season came down to missed chances, and that was more than evident in the team’s final match of the season. The Wildcats totaled 24 errors, while Northwestern had only 19 miscues — nine of which were while serving.

“”There were plenty of times that we could have scored and we didn’t,”” Rubio said. “”It just wasn’t our night, unfortunately.””

 

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