The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

81° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball plans for redemption with release of 2024-25 Big 12 schedule

Jackie Cabrera
The Arizona volleyball team cheers after a teammate scored a point against the University of Utah in the first set on Thursday, Nov. 9, in McKale Center. The Wildcats went on to win the game against Utah 3-1.

The University of Arizona volleyball team will enter its 2024-2025 season in the Big 12. The Wildcats’ final season in the Pac-12 was one they are hoping to leave behind as they finished in last place in the conference standings, a full eight games behind second-to-last University of California, Berkeley.

They will enter a Big 12 conference that lost both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma to the Southeastern Conference. Arizona is looking to enter its upcoming season and make some noise. Despite some key losses, the returning players can make a splash.

Big 12 wrap-up and upcoming schedule:

The Big 12 conference had an impressive seven teams in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, including the eventual winner in Texas. Even with Texas leaving the Big 12, the conference is still strong with teams like the University of Kansas, BYU, Iowa State University and the University of Houston.

Arizona will open its season on a tough back-to-back road stretch with games against Baylor University and TCU on Sept. 25 and 27, respectively. Both of these teams made it to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round. With a challenging beginning stretch against some of the best teams in the nation, the Wildcats will need to find their stride early if they do not want to have to play catch-up so early on in the year.

Arizona opens its first conference home match against BYU on Oct. 2, followed by the University of Utah on Oct. 4. The Wildcats will then travel to Tempe to face ASU on Oct. 9. They will then return to Tucson to face the University of Colorado Boulder on Oct. 16, followed by Houston on Oct. 18. The Sun Devils will come down to Tucson to square off on Oct. 24, before the Wildcats have to get back on the road to face Utah on Oct. 31.

Arizona will begin the latter half of its Big 12 season with an away match against BYU on Nov. 2. The Wildcats will travel back to host both Kansas schools, Kansas State University on Nov. 6 and Kansas on Nov. 8. The Wildcats will then depart on their longest road stretch of the season with games against the University of Cincinnati on Nov. 14, West Virginia University on Nov. 17, and Colorado on Nov. 21. Their final home matches are against Iowa State on Nov. 23 and University of Central Florida on Nov. 27. The final Big 12 game of the regular season for the Wildcats will take place in Lubbock, Texas, against Texas Tech University on Nov. 29.

Players leaving and returning:

Arizona enters the upcoming season losing some key players, one of the most important losses being Sofia Maldonado Diaz.

Diaz was one of the most impactful outside hitters and players for the Wildcats during her four-year tenure in Tucson. Diaz put up three consecutive seasons with over 350 kills, including last season where she put up 411 kills. She was also second on the team with 30 aces. In the previous two seasons, she led the team in aces. Her career for the Wildcats has been stunning; her absence from the roster this upcoming season will certainly be felt.

Arizona is bringing back some key players for the upcoming season, who will be crucial if the Wildcats want to improve from their previous season. Two of these players are Ana Heath and Jaelyn Hodge.

Heath has been one of the most important players for the Wildcats with a massive leap in improvement from her freshman to sophomore year. In her freshman year, she was third on the team in assists with 41 and second in service aces with 34. In her sophomore year, she became first in assists with 1,037, first in service aces with 41, first in digs with 258 and fourth in blocks with 49. Her impact will be major if she can replicate or surpass her sophomore season performance.

Hodge is also a player who is currently coming into her element, as she enters her final season for Arizona volleyball. She will be looking to perform at her highest in what will be her last outing for the Wildcats. She has been a consistent player on all sides of the court. This last season, she found herself in the top five on the team in kills, service aces, digs and blocks.

Looking ahead:

The Wildcats will be looking to avenge their 8-23 season with their first scheduled matchup coming on Sept. 25 at Baylor in Waco, Texas.

Follow the Daily Wildcat on Instagram and Twitter/X


More to Discover