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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Volleyball splits weekend

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Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

After a disappointing showing on Friday night against the No. 5 Washington Huskies, Arizona volleyball rallied to knock off No. 21 Washington State on Saturday night.

The Wildcats (15-6, 5-6 Pac-10) played two completely different matches over the weekend, and their focus and energy showed in the match against the Cougars.

“”They knew what was at stake. They knew it, and they were able to execute it,”” said head coach Dave Rubio about Arizona’s ability to bounce back after its loss to the Huskies.

Arizona started out its third-to-last match at home strongly, taking set one 25-18 over Washington State (15-6, 5-6 Pacific 10 Conference). The Wildcats took advantage of junior setter Paige Weber’s play in the first set. She notched two aces, 11 assists, one block and one kill.

The Cougars would not go quietly, however. They took the second set from Arizona 25-20 after posting a 7-2 run when the score was tied at 15.

In contrast to Friday night’s match, Arizona took control in the third set. The Wildcats won by a score of 25-11 — their largest margin of victory all year.

Whitney Dosty and Tiffany Owens set the offensive pace for the Wildcats over the weekend. They both tallied double figures in kills in each of the matches.

“”We played cleaner, our serving was good and we reduced our errors to get the win,”” said head coach Dave Rubio. “”I thought offensively we did well.””

By defeating Washington State, Arizona was able to stay competitive in the Pac-10. It now stands tied with the Cougars for sixth place in the conference.

Arizona couldn’t take advantage of a Washington team that had just been upset by the rival Cougars.

The Wildcats looked to start the home stand strong after taking the opening set against the Huskies (19-2, 9-2). Their luck, however, ran out in the second set and Arizona eventually fell 3-1 to the Huskies.

The Wildcats put up 21 errors in the match, and had nine fewer kills than Washington. Both coaches and players attributed the loss to a lack of focus.

“”When you start to do too much, you end up doing nothing good,”” said Weber. “”You do everything, but we weren’t executing anything in the order it has to be to win.””

“”I just don’t know if we have enough belief in ourselves yet that we’re good enough to beat (them),”” Rubio said.

The match turned sour for the Wildcats in the second set when Washington’s Kindra Carlson notched six kills and tied the match at 1-1.

The Huskies also continued to score in bunches after the break, rattling off five straight points to take a 24-15 lead before winning the third set 25-18.

The change in attitude and style of play from the first set to the third was dramatic — Arizona looked defeated after the third set.

“”When you start to make errors, you have to make the conscious decision not to make errors,”” Weber said. “”When it’s not that way, you have to find another way to win.””

Although Arizona split the weekend at home, the second meeting with the Washington schools was much kinder to the Wildcats. Arizona failed to win a set in the Pacific Northwest, but snapped their three-game losing streak at home this weekend.

“”It’s hard to know when you’re going to win again,”” Rubio said. “”That’s always at the back of your mind.””

Next weekend, the Wildcats will make the trip to Oregon to take on No. 15 Oregon and Oregon State.

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