The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

65° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball’s ‘Wild’ side comes out in anticipation of weekend matches

    UA outside hitter Tiffany Owens swats the ball into a Washington State front line in a 3-0 win over the Cougars in McKale Center on Sept. 26. The Wildcats have been preparing for this upcoming weekend in the Bay Area by running through a drill called Man vs. Wild.
    UA outside hitter Tiffany Owens swats the ball into a Washington State front line in a 3-0 win over the Cougars in McKale Center on Sept. 26. The Wildcats have been preparing for this upcoming weekend in the Bay Area by running through a drill called “”Man vs. Wild.””

    You would think the week of practice prior to playing two top-five teams would be arduous – far from a relaxed atmosphere.

    The Arizona volleyball team, however, sees it differently.

    The squad took Monday off because it traveled to Colorado the weekend before. As far as improving before facing Stanford and California this upcoming weekend goes, UA head coach David Rubio is big on repetition and consistency.

    “”A lot of it is just a progression of getting better and doing the drills, which can be mundane sometimes,”” Rubio said. “”But every practice you gotta bring it, every practice you gotta bust your tail.””

    One drill in particular didn’t allow much room for anything of a mundane nature – busting tails and flat out bringing it closer to home.

    Man vs. Wild, a two-minute drill created by former UA assistant coach Chris Lamb, involves every player on the team, unlike the typical specialized drills in practice.

    Rubio explained that the “”man”” side solely focuses on defense. The defense can score points in a variety of different ways: each dig is a point; each block is three points; a “”positive touch”” off the block is two points; a kill is one point.

    Rubio said there are many ways to score points on the man side.

    As for the “”wild”” side, well, it’s pretty wild to say the least.

    “”All they’re doing is getting ball after ball after ball,”” Rubio said. “”And every time the rally ends, they’re getting another ball (hit to them by the volunteer assistants). And they’re just getting their stats (documented).””

    Then man becomes wild and vice versa and the fun started all over again.

    “”It’s pretty intense, but I think it’s a good drill to help us get better and work on blocking,”” said freshman Dana Hutchinson. Her favorite part about the drill is “”that it’s just rapid fire and you have to play crazy defense, so it gets pretty fun. (My least favorite part is) that you’re like dead after it because you can’t breathe.””

    If the players make errors or lack effort during the drill, they can get negative points, Rubio explained.

    “”And you kick people out of the drill if they’re not doing their job,”” the head coach said. “”And then they go run and touch the wall and come back. We got a clock on it. It’s a two-minute, all-out drill and you go as many times as you can (in that time). It’s a butt-kicker cardio-wise, too.””

    One round of Man vs. Wild is two games, one for each side. The squad plays four or five rounds in a row, so in the end the team played 10 games of nonstop madness.

    “”It’s really hard, physically, but it’s perfect because that’s how the game is – you don’t ever have time to catch your breath,”” said senior Randy Goodenough. “”The play starts and you gotta go. You gotta dig deep and work your hardest.””

    Hutchinson, who was part of the Man vs. Wild discussion jumped in with a little flavor: “”You have to release the beast within.””

    “”Oh, that’s a good one,”” Goodenough said. “”You can’t give up because you have to hold yourself accountable for the next play. So you really have no choice but to get through it.””

    Goodenough, an opposite hitter, said her favorite part about the drill was playing front row because it’s all defense and she’s blocking constantly. Her least favorite part, on the other hand, was not being able to catch her breath.

    Rubio said the Wildcats were competing and fighting hard in practice Wednesday. He is hoping to see some things that will carry over from their drills into the Friday and Saturday matches.

    “”Part of it is continuing to push the girls to work harder and to get a little bit better,”” Rubio said. “”The better you get, the harder it is to get better. So the same effort level you had two weeks ago may have gotten you better then, but it’s not going to make you better now.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search