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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball loses to ASU in 3

    Only if.

    It’s the term that UA volleyball head coach Dave Rubio used to describe last night’s 3-0 loss to ASU in McKale Center. It’s the first time the Wildcats have lost to the Sun Devils twice in a season in back-to-back years since 1994-1995.

    “”That match unfortunately is about ‘only if,’ “” Rubio said. “” ‘Only if’ we would have made the right play. ‘Only if’ someone would have kept the serve in. … ‘Only if’ we could have played a little better between (points) 25 and 30.””

    In a match

    We gave them the (match). Typical Arizona volleyball. We have the lead or it’s (tied), and we make mistakes at critical times.

    -Dominique Lamb,
    middle blocker

    that featured 30 tie scores and 15 lead changes, ASU hit .305 to Arizona’s .246 hitting, leading to the 30-28, 30-28, 30-27 loss. The Wildcats (13-13, 3-11 Pacific 10 Conference) allowed the Sun Devils (15-12, 7-7) to win the last three points in each game, including the last five in game two.

    “”We gave them the (match),”” said middle blocker Dominique Lamb. “”Typical Arizona volleyball. We have the lead or it’s (tied), and we make mistakes at critical times.””

    Despite the loss, UA outside hitter Tiffany Owens shined bright, leading all attackers with 25 kills on .435 hitting, equaling a season high.

    Taking over scoring duties for a sick Brooke Buringrud and an injured Randy Goodenough (foot) – though both played – Owens had seven kills in the first game and nine in each of the last two.

    The sad part of this is you get an absolutely exceptional performance from Tiffany,”” Rubio said. “”She put the team on her back and said, ‘I’m winning this.’ … She was clearly, in my mind, the best player in the gym.””

    Said Owens: “”Hitting-wise, (I felt) confident, but you can only do so much out there.””

    Game three was a tight one, with Arizona teetering on the fence down 2-0 in the match. In a game that saw 13 tie scores and six lead changes, the Wildcats tied the game at 26 on a soft kill
    by Owens.

    Arizona scored another point before ASU registered four unanswered points behind a .500 hitting percentage to put the match to rest.

    “”When things get tough and teams start to make a run at us, for whatever reason we’re just too immature during those times to really bear down, score points and get a side-out,”” Rubio said.

    Game one was a block party for the Wildcats, as they had six block assists and a solo block by Owens. But en route to putting up eight stuffs as a team in the match, Arizona was called for more than a dozen net violations.

    You can say that it’s ‘too aggressive’ or ‘not disciplined,’ “” Lamb said.

    With a solo block and four assists, Lamb registered five total blocks, tying Charita Johnson (1991-1994) for second on the school’s all-time list with 506. She also put up 12 kills.

    Outside hitter Sarah Reaves sparked the Sun Devils with 16 kills and 13 digs, steering Arizona to its seventh three-game loss in conference play.

    Our kids train hard and we show we’re just as good as every team in the conference,”” Rubio said. “”We just can’t do the things necessary to get over the hump.””

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