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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball falls to No.12 CSU

    Fourteen Wildcats, 16 Rams and six coaches showed up to the volleyball match in Colorado State’s Moby Arena Saturday night.

    Oh, and 3,252 screaming fans.

    No. 25 Arizona (12-3, 2-1 Pacific 10 Conference) lost to No. 12 CSU (13-1, 4-0 Midwestern Conference) by a score of 3-1 (20-25, 31-29, 22-25, 19-25).

    It was the Rams’ 24th-straight victory in their home center.

    Maybe the home crowd had something to do with it.

    “”They were not the better team skill-wise,”” UA middle blocker Stephanie Snow said. “”But they had a great crowd. It was an intense atmosphere – I’m sure that helped.””

    Snow put up nine kills in the middle position, but said CSU held its ground and set a tough defense.

    “”CSU is scrappy,”” Snow said. “”The ball rarely hit the ground. There was one rally in the forth match where their libero dug three or four of our attacks in a row. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, can we just put the ball down?'””

    UA outside hitter Tiffany Owens is a powerful hitter, said Snow – but this didn’t seem to matter to the opposing squad.

    “”There were times when (Owens) would go up for a quick hit and just pound it over, and their libero would get everything,”” Snow said. “”(CSU) would always get the ball back to our side of the court – that’s when we would make errors.””

    Owens led the team with 14 kills and 10 digs. Senior Brooke Buringrud also contributed 12 kills in the outside and had a match-high of 13 digs.

    CSU out-dug Arizona by 16 (79-63).

    UA head coach David Rubio said the difference in the number of passes was a sign that the Rams out-worked the Wildcats in the match.

    CSU had its 10th-straight win – its longest streak in two years – and Rubio said he thought it was probably the best team Arizona has played thus far in the season.

    The head coach also said his team played a good match, but it made a lot of uncharacteristic errors at the end of each set. What’s more, the Wildcats had opportunities to win each game they lost, he said.

    Overall, it came down to the cold, hard stats.

    “”I didn’t think we did poorly; they just did better than us,”” Rubio said. “”They served and passed better than we did, and we’re typically the better team at serving and passing.””

    Despite the loss, Rubio found something of a silver lining in the second set of the night.

    “”I thought game two was the shining moment for us,”” Rubio said. “”It was close from the first serve to the last.””

    The head coach felt the players fought hard in the second set and it was a good test for them.

    At the same time, he was sensitive to the loss and was proud of the squad’s development and its ability to keep cool in the difficult circumstances.

    “”Losing is never fun,”” Rubio said. “”I liked our maturity and we never lost our composure. It would have been easy for us to break down emotionally and lose some of our focus. (CSU) just kind of out-hustled us at the end, and we can’t let a team do that to us.””

    The squad will begin preparing for the next competitor on the practice court this week.

    And so the road of improvement continues.

    “”I’d like to play that team in a month – I think we’ll be a different team then,”” Rubio said. “”It’s all a process for us and we’re getting better every week. We played a very well-balanced team – it’s good prep us for what we’re going to face next week in the bay area.””

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