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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Cats lose focus in sweep

    Randy Goodenough attempts a block in Arizonas three-set loss to No. 21 Oregon Friday in McKale Center. Goodenough led the Wildcats with 14 kills and six digs.
    Randy Goodenough attempts a block in Arizona’s three-set loss to No. 21 Oregon Friday in McKale Center. Goodenough led the Wildcats with 14 kills and six digs.

    Arizona volleyball head coach David Rubio doesn’t have a prescription for his team’s severe case of “”growing pains.””

    Their latest outbreak helped No. 21 Oregon complete a sweep over the Wildcats on Friday 30-21, 31-29, 31-29.

    Arizona (11-5, 1-3 Pacific 10 Conference) positioned itself with ample opportunities to close out the second and third games but couldn’t capitalize down the stretch.

    “”Teams like ours that are trying to build and climb the mountain, sometimes the biggest obstacle is overcoming your own self-confidence and

    They’re not playing with the self-confidence needed to allow them to execute at that level at the end of the game.
    – Dave Rubio, head coach

    self-doubt,”” Rubio said. “”They’re not playing with the self-confidence needed to allow them to execute at that level at the end of the game.””

    Oregon middle blocker Neticia Enesi slammed the door with an ace to win game three after a back-and-forth battle featuring 15 tied scores and eight lead changes.

    Arizona held a 26-22 lead – the same score before a meltdown at No. 4 UCLA last weekend – after a Jacy Norton kill from setter Paige Weber. But a series of attack errors plagued any chances to force a fourth game.

    Rubio cited sloppy, frustrating play when execution mattered most as the Wildcats’ downfall. Arizona had 27 errors and a .138 team hitting percentage.

    “”You don’t give away two matches in a row against really good teams,”” Rubio said. “”That’s the mark of a team that’s not in the right place mentally. People aren’t stepping up on our team and doing the things necessary to make that happen.””

    Oregon outside hitter Kristen Forristall recorded six blocks, while Heather Meyers collected 14 kills, three aces and three digs for the Ducks (14-2, 3-1). Her kills to tie game three at 26 and at 29 allowed Oregon to crawl back from early deficits caused by faulty play, which included 21 errors and a .221 hitting percentage.

    Opposite hitter Randy Goodenough led Arizona with 14 kills and six digs, including a forceful spike in game two to put the Wildcats up 19-11.

    “”I think when we’re up by so much, it’s really disappointing to see us not finish a game,”” she said “”We just kind of came relaxed, and we can’t relax on any team no matter who we play.””

    Oregon dominated the first game after Arizona posted a mere .083 hitting percentage with nine errors. The Ducks jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and Meyers recorded four kills with a monumental block at 28-20 to maintain Oregon’s cushion.

    Arizona witnessed a fruitless role reversal in game two, going up as many as nine points before free-falling. A Marija Milosevic kill allowed Oregon to rally back to a 24-24 tie.

    Rubio said Arizona played just well enough to lose but believes the team should begin to find its swagger.

    “”When you’re up that big and you lose, it becomes a real psychological battle to come back from,”” Rubio said. “”My feeling is we’ll get this thing turned around. Eventually they’ll get so tired of losing in this fashion that they’ll say, ‘Screw it, we’re beating you.'””

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