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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball hosting Oregon schools

Arizona volleyball continues Pac-12 play this weekend at McKale Center after consecutive wins against Utah and Colorado last weekend. The Wildcats will host the No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks on Friday night at 6 p.m., followed by a match against Oregon State on Sunday at 11 a.m.

“Our goal going into this weekend is to be one and one,” sophomore middle blocker Rachel Rhoades said. “We’re being realistic. Oregon’s really good. They’ve gotten so much better in the past three years. The same group has been moving along and they’ve had a lot of time.”

The squad took big steps last weekend, breaking a five-game losing streak and improving its record to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-12. Head coach Dave Rubio said the team’s first two wins on the road last weekend were confidence boosters.

“I definitely feel like we’re improving,” junior setter Chanel Brown said. “The placement and tempo of the ball has gotten a lot better.”

This season the Wildcats have one of the toughest schedules in the country, and with the Pac-12 Network covering games live, the schedule has forced the team to sacrifice much needed practice time.

“Where our team is, at this particular point, is not getting enough practice time,” Rubio said. “And when we are practicing it tends to be more in preparation of our next opponent instead of trying to get our players to work on their skill sets.”

This week, the team only had two days of practice in preparation for the Ducks and Beavers.

“One of the keys to our success is to make our players individually better and if we can do that then our team will collectively be better,” Rubio said. “Because of our lack of practice time, we can’t spend as much time together as a team.”

Arizona’s all-time record against the Oregon schools is in its favor at 41-14 against the Ducks and 40-13 against the Beavers.

“With the time constraints we’re focusing more on the other team, our opponent, rather than our skill sets,” Rhoades said. “So basic things like passing or serving might be off for that week where we only have one day of practice before we face the next team.”

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