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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Volleyball wins one for Rubio

    He had two reasons for staying home.

    One reason weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long: Dylan. The other reason was 6 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 18 1/2 inches long: Lucille.

    The birth of his twins was more than reason enough for Arizona volleyball head coach Dave Rubio to stay with his wife in Tucson while his team beat Washington State in four games, 24-30, 30-22, 30-14 and 31-29, Friday in Pullman, Wash., and lost at Washington on Thursday.

    “”It was a feeling that I’ve never really experienced before,”” Rubio said. “”When they took off and left for the airport and I was left standing in front of the (McKale) Ticket Office, it was a discomforting feeling. I didn’t like it at all.””

    It only got worse as he watched score updates during Thursday’s game on the computer in Tucson, he said.

    It was “”agonizing”” to watch, not being able to do anything about it, Rubio said.

    But he knew he made the right decision in staying with his wife when she delivered the twins (their first son and second daughter) at 5 a.m. Saturday morning.

    Assistant coaches Chris Gonzalez and Dana Burkholder led the team to its victory in place of Rubio, as Arizona (13-16, 4-13 Pac-10) hit a season-high .323 hitting percentage against Washington State (15-15, 3-13) and five Wildcats tallied double figures in kills.

    “”I think our two assistant coaches stepped in very well,”” said junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb. “”It was just sad that Dave couldn’t be there.

    “”He wrote us letters, and he was just so depressed he couldn’t be with us. So we (dedicated) this trip to him. We are his second family, and being away from your second family is obviously sad.””

    But the team was not hurt being led by Gonzalez, who had several years of high-level coaching experience at Long Beach State and also in Europe before coming to Arizona.

    “”It was different, but I think that Chris did a really good job and our team stayed steady and confident,”” said sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud. “”I don’t think it affected our style of play.””

    Tied at 29 in the fourth game, the Wildcats clinched the win with a kill by sophomore opposite hitter Randy Goodenough and a service ace by freshman outside hitter Alanna Resch.

    Lamb led Arizona with a career-high 18 kills on a .481 hitting percentage, and Goodenough upgraded her recent play with a career-high 16 kills.

    “”It feels good that me and her and the whole team did very well,”” Lamb said.

    Buringrud had 13 kills during the contest while freshmen outside hitter Whitney Dosty and middle blocker Jacy Norton collected 11 each.

    While in the hospital with his wife and two newborns on Friday night, Rubio received text messages from Arizona’s team manager after every five points or so.

    Even from Tucson, he said he liked that the team was able to play consistently well in back-to-back games during the match.

    “”It was a really good night because we won the match, and I was here with my wife and my new kids,”” Rubio said.

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