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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona beach volleyball team dominates Cactus Classic

Marison Bilagody
The Arizona beach volleyball team huddles to celebrate their win. Arizona swept Stephen F. Austin State University, 5-0.

It was a perfect weekend at the Cactus Classic for the No. 15 Arizona beach volleyball team, as they swept Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Boise State at Bear Down Beach on March 6-7 by a combined match score of 15-0. 

The Wildcats first took on SFA, where they won four out of the five matches in two sets. Senior Jonny Baham and freshman Abby Russell were the only pair pushed to a third set. They were not there for long, as they handled their opponents by a final set score of 15-4.

After defeating SFA, the Wildcats resumed action just a few hours later against Corpus Christi. Freshman Mady Noble and fifth-year senior Olivia Hallaran dominated the court, ending their match in two sets by the same set score of 21-16. 

The final opponent for the Wildcats of the Cactus Classic was Boise State and early on the Broncos caused some trouble. 

After dropping their first set, sophomores Alana Rennie and Alex Parkhurst were put into a tight spot. The Wildcats slowed down, regained their composure and dominated the next two sets 21-6 and 15-8.

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Natalie Anselmo and Carly Lowry were also forced into a third set, but they emerged victorious by a final set score of 15-11. Lowry was thankful for the opportunity to see all her teammates again.

“The team was really excited about getting back together on Bear Down Beach,” Lowry said. “It was a positive experience of everyone supporting one another … and it was really fun.” 

Fifth-year senior Brooke Burling was just as excited as Lowry to return and play the sport that she loves.

“I am so grateful for every day,” Burling said. “There’s no pressure. I’m here with my best friends, my teammates and coaches who have been here forever alongside me.”

Arizona will head to California to face UC Davis at Howard Field on March 12 at 1 p.m. MST. 

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