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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 25 Arizona Wildcats volleyball heads to Washington to continue strong play

Simon Asher

Arizona outside hitter Tyler Spriggs (35) spikes the ball over USC Trojans Jordan Dunn (5) and Brittany Abercrombie (6) in Tucson, Arizona Tuesday, Nov. 2.

For the first time this season, Arizona women’s volleyball checked into the AVCA Top 25. The Wildcats are 16-10 overall, with an 8-6 Pac-12 Conference record, putting them at 25th in the nation.

This weekend will provide a test to Arizona’s stamina as it travels to Washington to face Washington State and conference leader No. 11 Washington.

With wins over No. 25 USC and No. 9 UCLA last week, Arizona went undefeated against the Southern California schools in conference play and earned their sixth victory against ranked opponents.

Coming off a historic weekend, the Wildcats understand the importance of learning how to manage their momentous wins. Head coach Dave Rubio admitted that the team can come out slow after those matches, but said he was pleasantly surprised in practice on Monday.

“We had an excellent practice,” Rubio said. “We came in pretty sharp.”

With lackadaisical practices being an issue for the Wildcats earlier in the season, it seems Arizona has turned things around, breeding a positive outlook.

Rubio stressed the importance of having a short memory, and despite their previous success, the Wildcats need to keep their focus on the matches ahead.

“What happened last week has no bearing on what will potentially happen this week,” he said.

The Wildcats are looking for redemption this week against two opponents who beat them on home court. However, confidence is running high for the Wildcats, who looks like a completely different team than they had in their previous matches against the Washington schools.

Senior Laura Larson said she is satisfied with the progress her team has made this season but wants to see her team work harder than ever for their upcoming matches.

“Every night is a battle in the Pac-12. … We need to push these next three weeks,” Larson said. “There’s nothing else to lose.”

Arizona plays at Washington Thursday night at 9 p.m. and Washington State Sunday at noon. Both matches will air on Pac-12 Networks.

Rubio is optimistic for the rest of the season. If Arizona continues to practice hard and transition that work into the games, Arizona could continue to climb up the rankings and find themselves seeded for the tournament, Rubio’s ultimate goal.

“Our fate is in our own hands; our destiny is in our own hands,” Rubio said.

Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.

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