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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Round two: ‘Cats and Devils to tangle in Tempe

    Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough leaps to stuff an attack from an ASU player in a 3-0 Wildcat win on Oct. 1 in McKale Center. The Sun Devils will host the Wildcats this weekend in Tempe.
    Arizona opposite hitter Randy Goodenough leaps to stuff an attack from an ASU player in a 3-0 Wildcat win on Oct. 1 in McKale Center. The Sun Devils will host the Wildcats this weekend in Tempe.

    Rivalry is nothing new. The Arizona volleyball team always faces its biggest enemy twice each season, as it does every other Pacific 10 Conference competitor.

    The Wildcats (13-8, 3-6 Pac-10) will make the drive to Tempe to challenge ASU (11-11, 2-7) Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

    The Wildcats are eager to beat the Sun Devils for the second time this season, but their preparation on and off the court remains the same.

    “”I think we’re going into this game just like we go into every other game,”” said UA senior Brooke Buringrud. “”It always helps to know you’ve already beat them once, but teams change and get better as the season goes on, so we’re going to go into it just like we did the first time playing them.””

    The outside hitter said the squad came out pretty strong in the first game of its last encounter with the Sun Devils, but struggled a bit in the beginning of the second set.

    “”I think one of our major focuses for this weekend is to play consistent throughout the entire match. That way we don’t have to come from behind like we did last time we played them,”” Buringrud said.

    UA head coach David Rubio had a similar viewpoint.

    “”The rivalry is always healthy when you play ASU, and it’s expected,”” Rubio said. “”We’re so focused on what we do on our side of the net we don’t pay much attention to the other side or what jersey they have on.””

    Rubio said he anticipates that the squad will play with a high level of focus and emotion, which is true for every game, he said.

    “”As far as I know, every team in our conference can beat any team on any given night,”” Rubio said. “”And we aren’t going to taking anything for granted.””

    Consistency is key to winning a match – especially if it spills over into five sets. If that’s the case, the match often becomes a battle of “”mind over matter.””

    Muscles will ache, reaction time will deteriorate and room for error increases with each serve.

    At the collegiate level, this isn’t an excuse.

    Rubio said the Wildcats had a great week of practice in which they primarily focused on their ability to maintain a high level of play throughout a match-like situation.

    “”This past week we’ve been working on playing with more consistency,”” Rubio said. “”We tend to make too many errors. Right now we’re really working on just cleaning up some of the consistency parts of our game.””

    The head coach said the team has gotten better in this department and hopes for it to transfer over to Sunday.

    It’s Buringrud’s fourth season as a Wildcat, and this will be her eighth and final match against ASU. The outside hitter said she’s pretty good at blocking the noisy distractions out.

    If anything, it just fuels the fire in Buringrud and the squad’s two other seniors.

    “”I’m just excited to beat ASU one last time,”” Buringrud said.

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