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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No Cali love for Arizona

Arizona middle blockers Courtney Karst, No. 23, and Stephanie Snow, No. 55, defend against a Stanford hit during Sunday?s loss.
Arizona middle blockers Courtney Karst, No. 23, and Stephanie Snow, No. 55, defend against a Stanford hit during Sunday?s loss.

The road hasn’t been kind to Arizona volleyball in the past three seasons, and this weekend was no exception, as the No. 16 Wildcats fell to both California and Stanford in the Bay Area.

“”I think it shows you how tough the conference is,”” head coach Dave Rubio said. “”The only thing (losing) proves is that this conference is deep.””

In their best chance of the weekend to seal a game on the road, Arizona (15-5, 4-5 Pacific 10 Conference) fell in three close games against the Cardinal (14-5, 7-2 Pac-10). Although Arizona tallied more kills and digs in the match, No. 6 Stanford still managed to come away with the victory.

The Wildcats got outstanding efforts from junior outside hitters Tiffany Owens, who recorded her ninth double-double of the season, and Whitney Dosty. Arizona was still unable to claim a set as Owens tallied 12 kills while Dosty notched 15. The next highest kill total after the juniors had four players knotted at three kills apiece.

Their trend of letting teams back into the set hurt the Wildcats against Stanford. Arizona took an 8-3 lead in the first set, but the Cardinal rallied to take the set 25-22. Set two never saw an Arizona lead, and Stanford used a 7-3 run to take the set 25-21.

“”I feel like we had a chance against Stanford,”” Rubio said. “”It was a disappointing match for us because we had our chances each game, we just missed our chances.””

On Friday night, Arizona was plagued by the play of No. 15 California’s Hana Cutura, who racked up 31 kills and 11 digs against the Wildcats. The senior outside hitter from Zagreb, Croatia, was too much for Arizona’s defense as she earned a stellar .638 attacking percentage.

“”Stanford didn’t have the same physical presence as Cal did,”” Rubio said. “”Their foreign player was better than anyone we‘ve every played against since I’ve been here. We played hard against Cal, but she’s just a whole different league; the national team couldn’t have beaten Cal that night.””

The Wildcats weren’t swept against the Golden Bears, however. They claimed the second set 25-21 after strong efforts from junior setter Paige Weber and middle blockers Stephanie Snow and Jacy Norton.

Sets three and four were not as kind to Arizona, as they fell 25-16 in both matches. Limited offense again stalled Arizona’s chances — they hit only .155. Dosty marked double figures again in the match with 14 kills and was helped by sophomore outside hitter Courtney Karst, who recorded 12 kills against the Golden Bears (12-7, 5-4 Pac-10).

Arizona hasn’t won a match in Berkley, Calif., since 2003. Although the Wildcats have been good at defending their home court, the task of beating teams on the road has decided which teams sink or swim in the conference.

“”You can never take winning for granted,”” Rubio said. “”You take a look at how teams in this conference are doing on the road and how they’re doing at home, and you see they’re doing much better at sweeping at home and losing two on the road.””

Arizona’s now sits at sixth place in the conference, one game below a .500 mark. The Wildcats will look to rebound this weekend as they host the Washington schools on Friday and Saturday.

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