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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball defeats ASU in opening conference match

Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA volleyball team plays ASU in McKale Memorial Center on Sept. 18, 2012.

The Arizona volleyball team took on rival Arizona State for the first Pac-12 matchup of the year and came out on top winning 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21) to a crowd of 1,623 at McKale Center.

“Well it’s certainly good to get the opening conference match and play well enough to win,” head coach Dave Rubio said.

Freshman hitters Halli Amaro and Olivia Magill brought the heat on the net with a combined 15 kills. Magill wrote up a career high seven blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Madi Kingdon led the team with 20 kills.

“Early on in the season you win and lose based on how many unforced errors you have,” Rubio said. “If you can really minimize those errors and get the most out come you’re going to come out on top.“

An active offense kept Arizona setters, junior Chanel Brown and freshman Lauren Fuller, busy at the net.

“I definitely feel like Chanel and I are a lot more comfortable,” Fuller said. “I just need to keep working hard in practice and keep talking and hopefully it will all come together.”

Rubio said that after three tournaments at home the atmosphere was nothing like it was in the Wildcats’ first conference matchup with the Sun Devils.

“I think we fed off the energy of the crowd and that was very exciting to see everyone come out. It was helpful,” Fuller said.

Despite close sets across the board, Arizona was able to pull away.

It kept leads within two points throughout the match, until the third set when the Wildcats fell behind and trailed 10-15. Magill responded with back-to-back blocks to bring Arizona within four.

Kingdon believes a schematic switch to a 6-2 system has made a big difference.

“I think actually running the 6-2 is really good for us because it lets us split up our offense a little more and run more hitters, so that takes a lot of pressure off me as a hitter,” Kingdon said.

A couple of unforced errors from the Wildcats kept the Sun Devils ahead to prevent the sweep. Arizona came out with a quick offense in the fourth set but gave up the early lead. The Sun Devils tied it up 12-12 but dropped the fourth set to give Arizona the win.

“I don’t really have much experience playing against other Pac-12 teams but if it’s anything like it was tonight then its really exciting,” Fuller said.

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