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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball hosting Arizona Invitational

Arizona will be back on home territory this weekend as they host Iona, Lipscomb, and TCU at McKale Center for the Arizona Invitational. The first game will be against Iona at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, followed by TCU at 7 p.m. and Lipscomb at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

It’s been a bumpy road for the Wildcats recently, losing two games last weekend. One was an exibition game against Jiangsu, the other a close-contested match against No. 13 Pepperdine. Against Pepperdine, the Wildcats dropped the first two sets, but were able to come back and take the Waves to five. Arizona just couldn’t pull out the win.

“For this group everything is an experience,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “You hope that your team can fight and go through an experience like that and come out with a W. Of course, that’s not always the case and that’s a tough lesson to learn.”

This weekend, the Wildcats will try and use the tournament to help prepare for upcoming Pac-12 conference play. Practice hasn’t gone so well recently, so this weekend is viewed as an important one among players and Rubio.

“We’re here to have a good time but do what you know how to do,” sophomore middle blocker Rachel Rhoades said. “As a middle blocker I should be talking the most out of anyone on the court and that is missing a little bit is the communication.”

Coach Rubio has expressed disappointment in the lack of enthusiasm and focus during practices but hopes a little tough coaching will continue to push the team to work harder every week.

“We give other teams opportunities by making unforced errors and when you’re in a two point game that makes a big difference,” head coach Dave Rubio said.

Arizona needs two wins this weekend to pull out the program’s 700th all-time victory. Wildcat volleyball currently boasts a 698-478-9 record.

“With the team kind of where we are with our personnel you have to go through these painful moments,” Rubio said. “It kind of cauterizes you as a group and makes you a little bit stronger and a little bit tougher so hopefully next time you respond and execute better.”

Arizona goes into the weekend with a 3-2 record, and is facing both Iona and TCU for the first time in school history. The UA holds a 1-0 record against Lipscomb after a 2007 showdown ended in the Wildcats’ favor.

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