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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball sweeps game one over Northern Kentucky at Butler Invitational

Zi Yang Lai
Arizona volleyball outside hitter Kendra Dahlke (8) spikes the ball against Savannah State on Sept. 19, 2015 in McKale Center.

Arizona volleyball began its final non-conference tournament of the year Friday against Northern Kentucky in the Butler Invitational in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Norse came into the match with a winning record, but they crumbled against Arizona’s offense in a three set sweep.

Arizona cruised to a 25-14 victory in the first set with a dominate offense that involved the whole team.

Nearly every point for Arizona came as a kill. Kendra Dahlke continued to impress with four kills in the first match, followed by Penina Snuka, Kalei Mau and McKenzie Jacobson who earned three kills each.

Aside from the usual suspects, senior from Croatia, Katarina Pilepic made an impact in her off-the-bench role. Pilepic had a kill, two digs and three aces in the set, which contributed to Arizona’s 13-4 run to close out the match.

Arizona had no errors in the first set and hit an imposing .517 hitting percentage, but strong starts aren’t foreign to the Wildcats, so it was important for the team to keep the success going into the second set.

Arizona jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the second set through service runs and more productive swinging.

Later in the set, Arizona let Northern Kentucky come within five points, but a final push, which included a Laura Larson ace from Kalei Mau, allowing the Wildcats to close out the set 25-18.

Arizona seemed to cool down in the third set, with a tight score in the initial stages, but the Wildcats regrouped and ran off with a 25-13 victory to take the match.

Once again, Snuka led her team both behind the line and at the net. The setter tallied 25 assists, three kills and six aces.

This game was an opportunity for everyone to get involved, even those off the bench. Seven players had three or more kills and Mau led the pack with 11. The team hit a .474 percentage which is the best of any Pac-12 Conference team this season, and the fifth best in school history.

Tomorrow, Arizona will look for more record breaking appearances in its matches against Loyola Chicago and Butler.

Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.

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