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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball set for Utah, Colo., matches


Arizona then-junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon (9) spikes the ball during Arizona’s 3-0 win against Utah in McKale Center last season. The Wildcats continue Pac-12 Conference road play against Utah and Colorado, looking to extend their seven-game winning streak.

No. 14 Arizona women’s volleyball will look to extend its current seven-game winning streak to nine when it faces Utah and Colorado on the road this weekend.

The UA’s match against the Utes will take place Friday at 8 p.m. in Crimson Court instead of Utah’s usual venue, Huntsman Center — which has recently undergone renovations and will remain unavailable until after Oct. 5. Arizona will finish the road trip with a duel against Colorado on Sunday. Both matchups will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.

“We’re playing two really good teams who are extremely tough on the road,” UA head coach Dave Rubio said. “They’re talented. We can only control what happens on our side of the net, but we’ll be ready to play. We took care of business this week in practice, and now it’s time to roll the dice and see what we can do at Colorado and Utah.”

The Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12 Conference) return to action after beating two ranked opponents in the same week for the first time since 2005. Last week, the UA defeated then-No. 19 ASU in five sets at home, before traveling to Southern California and sweeping then-No. 20 UCLA in consecutive sets two days later.

While Arizona has dispatched the Utes in seven of its last eight contests, the Wildcats cannot afford to go into the match with complacency.

Utah (10-3, 0-2 Pac-12) has only dropped 12 sets this season and strikes early. The Utes have won eight of their 10 victories via straight-set sweeps and rank fifth in the conference in limiting opponents to a .170 hitting percentage.

Most recently, Utah lost in five sets against Colorado and Oregon State to open Pac-12 play.

Colorado (9-5, 1-1 Pac-12) enters the weekend having come up short in four of its past five showdowns. Last week, the Buffaloes began the conference season by beating the Utes before traveling to No. 13 Oregon and subsequently falling 3-1.

The UA possesses a 6-1 overall advantage over Colorado in the all-time series with Arizona’s only loss coming last year in Boulder. Senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon said the team has been working especially hard in practice this week in order to prepare for the upcoming change in environment during this road trip.

“We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning,” Kingdon said, “but we’re going to need it going into the altitude.”

Senior middle blocker Rachel Rhoades said the team really “burnt out their lungs” this week in order to simulate conditions in higher elevations and make sure they have no stamina issues when they get to the mountains.


Follow Evan Rosenfeld on Twitter @EvanRosenfeld17

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