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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball faces No. 16 Oregon

Keith Hickman-Perfetti
The University of Arizona’s Women’s Volleyball Team plays Eastern Washington at the McKale Center in Tucson Ariz., on Sept. 3, 2011. The UA team won 3-0. Keith Hickman-Perfetti / Arizona Daily WIldcat

It’s conference time for the Arizona volleyball team, and the Wildcats are ready to take on the other 11 teams.

“I’m just ready to get out there and prove to everyone that we’re here and we’re going to make some noise,” said freshman setter Chloe Mathis.

Today, the Wildcats will make their opening statement in the Pac-12 Conference against the No. 16 Oregon Ducks at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore.

Their visible progress is making head coach Dave Rubio optimistic.

“I think that we’ve certainly made some good improvement from the first week of play,” Rubio said. “But I like where we are at, everyone’s in the same boat, and we’re going to try and win on the road now.”

Oregon recently defeated last year’s national champion, No. 5 Penn State — a major upset in college volleyball.

“Oregon is a year older and they’ve added a couple of different players, who have really added to their ability to play at a higher level,” Rubio said. “Not only are they a year older, which means they’re probably a bit steadier and making less unforced errors, but they added some really good pieces too. I think that’s why they went in and were able to beat Penn State.”

The day after it faces Oregon, Arizona will take on the Oregon State Beavers at the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.

“Oregon State has been somewhat of an enigma,” Rubio said. “They had a couple early season losses to teams that you wouldn’t think they’d lose to, then last week they beat (No. 24) Long Beach State (at home), which as we know, is a very good team.”

As for the Wildcats’ probability of sweeping the teams for the third consecutive week, Rubio remains pragmatic.

“Until we are actually there in the heat of battle, will I look and say, ‘Holy smokes, we don’t have a chance’? Or will I look at it and say, ‘OK, we’re in the game, we just need to do some things better?’”

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