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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Volleyball splits at Ducks, Beavers”

Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alan Walsh
Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat

For the second weekend in a row, Arizona volleyball split its matches against the Pacific 10 Conference. This time, however, they did so on the road.

“”Any time you get a road win, it’s good,”” said head coach Dave Rubio. “”It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to take care of business (Saturday) night, but I was very proud of the way we played on Friday. Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry that over to our Saturday night match against Oregon State.””

“”It was really nice getting a win on the road, given how difficult it is, but we failed,”” said junior setter Paige Weber. “”We had the opportunity to sweep on the road and we didn’t do that.””

The Wildcats lost 3-1 in the match at Oregon State (12-12, 3-9 Pac-10) after defeating the then-No. 14 Oregon Ducks (15-5, 5-5 Pac-10) on Friday night. Arizona (17-7, 6-7 Pac-10) couldn’t contain Beaver senior Rachel Rourke, who hit .373 and had 31 kills in four sets.

“”Especially in a four-game match, that’s a ridiculous amount of kills to have. We couldn’t find an answer for her,”” Weber said. “”We didn’t come out to prepare to perform the way we had to, and she came out ready to carry her team and pick them up after the loss they had had the night before.””

The Wildcats, who have made a trend of winning the first set in a match, failed to do so against Oregon State. Arizona fell behind early, and trailed for the entire set until they were able to knot it up at 24-24. The close set would also be tied at points, 25, 26, 27, 28 before the first set went into extra points. Arizona was finally defeated 30-28.

Arizona bounced back to take the second set in the match, 25-23, but the Wildcats could not muster enough offense in the third to swing the momentum back in their favor. They hit just .129 in the third set.

“”They served well, and I didn’t think we serve-received well. It still came down to the two aspects, serving and passing,”” Rubio said. “”They dictated the match more than anything.””

All week, Arizona had been preparing for No. 14 Oregon, and it showed.

“”Against Oregon, we knew what they were going to do every step of the game. We knew it ahead of time,”” Weber said. “”(The coaches) prepared us for every formation we could see, every lineup, every lineup change they could potentially make, who they would set, when they would set them.””

The first night, Arizona was the team to command the match. The Wildcats had three players in double figures and had an attacking percentage of .317 overall.

Junior outside hitter Tiffany Owens notched number 12 on the double-double meter, and Weber had 50 assists and 11 digs for her third consecutive double double.

“”From an execution standpoint, we were probably as clean as I’ve seen us play this year,”” Rubio said. “”We were pretty tuned in. We had to play pretty well to beat those guys and we were very well prepared.””

The win at Oregon brings Arizona’s conference road win total up to two games this season.

The Wildcats will play the second half of the Territorial Cup next weekend when they welcome rival Arizona State to McKale Center. Arizona defeated ASU in Tempe, Ariz., earlier this season for its first road win in more than two years. The match is scheduled for Friday night at 7.

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