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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

V-ball bounces back

Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona Volleyball team meets UCLA in an NCAA womens volleyball match at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., September 26, 2009. Arizona fell to UCLA 3-1, earning its first loss of the season.
Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Volleyball team meets UCLA in an NCAA women’s volleyball match at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., September 26, 2009. Arizona fell to UCLA 3-1, earning its first loss of the season.

All teams that compete against a high level of competition will face adversity at some point during the season. It just happened to the Arizona volleyball team a little sooner than the Wildcats hoped.

After taking a 2-0 set lead over Cal Poly in the opening match, Arizona (2-1) dropped the next three to lose its only match — and sets — of the tournament.

“”We just didn’t play very well (against Cal Poly),”” said head coach Dave Rubio, now in his 19th season at Arizona. “”Some of that was what they were able to do, and some was us not playing our game.””

The Wildcats responded the way that a team expecting to compete for a championship should: with a statement.

Well, two of them.

Arizona swept both Marshall University and tournament host Notre Dame to rally after a less-than-ideal start to the 2010 season.

Instead of sulking after the loss to Cal Poly (2-1), in what could have been a devastating blow to Arizona’s morale, its next-closest set of the tournament was decided by four points in the second match, against Marshall (0-3).

Notre Dame (2-1) couldn’t even get within five points in the Wildcats’ third and final match, and Arizona sent a message early in the match with a 10-point beat down in the opening set.

“”I thought (the weekend) went well for the most part,”” Rubio said. “”Obviously the loss was disappointing, but it’s good to see where we are as a team.””

For the tournament, National Player of the Year candidate Tiffany Owens and senior Whitney Dosty led the Wildcats in kills, both racking up 42 over 11 sets. Owens had a .305 hitting percentage, including a .519 percentage in Sunday’s win against Notre Dame, while Dosty hit at a .222 clip.

Senior libero Danielle Holloway notched a team-leading 37 digs for the Wildcats, including a weekend-high of 16 in the opening loss to Cal Poly.

The tournament format gave Arizona a chance to rest after each match, as the schedule called for only one game a day. Tournaments typically have three games spread over two days, which will be the case this weekend when UA makes its home debut in the Wildcat Classic by Marriott University Park.

UA entered the tournament with a thin bench due to injury, but Rubio liked what he saw out of his veteran team, which includes three All Pacific 10 Conference Honorable Mention selections from the 2009 season in Dosty, Owens and senior setter Paige Weber.

In addition to Weber, Dosty and Owens, transfer Cursty Jackson from University of Nevada, Las Vegas was an all Mountain West Conference selection in 2009.

“”We know what we’re capable of doing,”” Rubio said. “”It was good to see us demonstrate it against some good teams.””

Arizona hosts Butler, Louisville, and California State, Bakersfield, this weekend.

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