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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Cats best Cougars, can’t topple Huskies”

    Arizona outside hitter Whitney Dosty smacks the ball over the net during the Wildcats 3-0 win against Washington State in the McKale Center Friday night. Arizona lost 3-2 to No. 9 Washington the following night putting the Wildcats record at 11-2, 1-1 in the Pac-10.
    Arizona outside hitter Whitney Dosty smacks the ball over the net during the Wildcats’ 3-0 win against Washington State in the McKale Center Friday night. Arizona lost 3-2 to No. 9 Washington the following night putting the Wildcats’ record at 11-2, 1-1 in the Pac-10.

    In the first Pacific 10 Conference games of the season, the Arizona volleyball team split the weekend with a win and a loss against the Washington schools.

    The Wildcats (11-2, 1-1 Pac-10) started the weekend with a bang after sweeping Washington State (7-6, 2-2) in three games (25-23, 25-20, 25-19). Despite their efforts and ability to stick to the freshly-learned Washington (11-1, 2-0) scouting report, Arizona fell to the Huskies, 2-3, in a five-game match (22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 28-26, 8-15).

    After winning and losing one set respectively, the squad split off to meet in its locker room, where UA head coach Dave Rubio gave further recommendations about the game.

    “”Dave talked about staying calm and staying true to our scouting report (at halftime),”” said UA assistant coach Brendan Kerr. “”And basically the girls stuck to the scouting report and did what they were supposed to do in order to create the points we were supposed to get.””

    When it came down to crunch time, the Wildcats couldn’t grab onto the majority of the final three sets to take their 12th win of the season.

    Like junior middle blocker Jacy Norton said, “”It takes three games to win, and it doesn’t matter what three they are.””

    The UA coaches and players agreed that they started the 15-point match on a bad note when they missed some key serves, putting them at a disadvantage right from the start.

    “”I think their first four points (in the fifth set) were three of our missed serves,”” said sophomore Stephanie Snow. “”In a game to 15, obviously the first four points are huge. So I think that’s what kind of killed us starting off the game.””

    The entire story of a volleyball match can’t be judged solely on its final game, though.

    Throughout the course of the Saturday night battle in McKale, Snow thought her teammates did really well in all areas of play, but admitted they couldn’t seem to get the ball to hit the floor boards on the other side of the net.

    “”Our passing was great, the set selection was awesome, but honestly we just couldn’t put the ball away,”” Snow said. “”They have a great libero and she was digging up everything. I just don’t think we could put a ball away – on the outside, middle, anywhere.

    “”It was really frustrating,”” Snow added. “”It’s a downer to lose a game like that.””

    The Wildcats pulled a close one in the fourth set when they came from behind and barely slipped by the Huskies with a score of 28-26.

    “”The fourth game battle was something that we haven’t dealt with, especially against a good team, so winning that was definitely a confidence builder,”” said sophomore setter Paige Weber. “”It shows our growth and maturity as a team, and it could have gone either way.

    “”We could have easily folded and we didn’t,”” Weber added. “”I think that really shows how much heart and how much fight we have as a team.””

    In the locker room after the game, Norton said Rubio was proud of his team’s performance and he thought they followed the game plan.

    Now it’s just a matter of making fewer errors. Once that happens, the outcome should be different for the Wildcats, the coaches added.

    “”I think the best part about the game was the fact that even when we were down, we never let up, and we just played as hard as we could,”” Norton said. “”We played a really clean game. I think the worst part was obviously the losing. But besides that, I think we just need to limit our errors and keep doing what we do best.””

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