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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Volleyball winless vs. Stanford, California”

    It wasn’t your ordinary trip to the Sunshine State. Instead of tan lines and suitcases full of sand, the Arizona volleyball team returned to Tucson only to unpack two losses.

    The Wildcats (12-5, 2-3) lost their second and third conference matches of the season this weekend to No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 California in two fell sweeps. The scores were 22-25, 18-25, 16-25 and 18-25, 19-25, 20-25, respectively.

    Going 0-2 against the high-ranked competitors was expected on paper, but that’s never an excuse for the Wildcats.

    UA head coach Dave Rubio said he saw factors from the UA team’s performance that caused the losses.

    “”We came out unfortunately pretty flat emotionally (against Stanford),”” Rubio said. “”We just didn’t play well enough and we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities provided for us; I’m not sure why we came out like that. Then we couldn’t muster any rhythm or flow.””

    Rubio said the gym had a low-energy atmosphere in general, which seemed to rub off on the Wildcats.

    On top of that, one Wildcat said she felt a big cause behind her team’s downfall against Stanford was its lack of unity and confidence.

    “”I didn’t feel like we came together as a team for Stanford,”” said sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Owens. “”It didn’t seem like we had enough energy. It seemed like we were scared just because they were Stanford. In the Cal match, we did a lot better with that. We were composed. Obviously not enough, though.””

    Owens led the team with 12 kills and five digs against Stanford, then contributed six kills and eight digs the following night. Junior Alanna Resch led the squad both nights with 15 digs against Stanford and 10 against Cal.

    The lack of oomph against Stanford was more frustrating to Rubio than the loss to Cal the following night.

    “”The first set (against Stanford) really dictated the match,”” Rubio said. “”We had plenty of chances there – if we would have played with emotion, we could have won the first game, and that would have made a big difference for us.””

    Aside from the results, certain players saw some good things from the matches they played.

    “”I thought (outside hitter) Brooke (Buringrud) stepped it up this weekend,”” Owens said. “”She helped out a lot in carrying the team – normally that’s just how she is – she’s someone you can always count on emotionally. Hopefully everyone on the team will see that and follow in her footsteps.””

    When asked about her leadership role, Buringrud said regardless of her performance on the court, she will always try to play that role for her teammates.

    “”I’m just doing the best I can to play consistently every game,”” said Buringrud, who contributed 11 kills and eight digs to the Stanford match, then nine kills and five digs against Cal. “”It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Chicago State or Stanford. I think my team can always rely on me to be emotionally there for them. … Hopefully I’m (a) leader in that way.””

    Though the Wildcats came home with two losses, they are going to lick their wounds clean and put these defeats behind them.

    “”Now we just need to forget about the last game and focus on the next one,”” Owens said.

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