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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball team wins 6th straight

    After losing its only match to Santa Clara two weeks ago, the Arizona volleyball team set its sights on winning the rest of its preseason matches.

    The Wildcats (10-1) reached their goal after winning their sixthstraight match this weekend.

    In their last-minute quest to the Loyola Marymount tournament after Hurricane Ike forced them out of Houston, the team defeated the University of California Riverside by a close score of 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 15-10) and the host school in three straight games, each won with a score of 25-19.

    The squad hit season highs left and right in the two matches, but the highs were both good and bad for the squad.

    Sophomore Whitney Dosty’s season high of 16 kills was foiled by her season high of 41 attempts in the matchup against the Highlanders.

    The outside hitter was happier with her performance in the first match against UC Riverside, but the team as a whole could have made less errors if it had loosened up, she said.

    “”I think in game four (against Riverside), we started getting more uptight, but I didn’t think they were a lot more physical than us,”” Dosty said. “”The control of the game was in our mistakes, and I think that made us a lot more apprehensive and uptight. It was good to go through, though, because every game isn’t always going to be easy for us.””

    The team also tied its number of attacking and service errors this fall at 25 and nine, respectively, but balanced it out with a peak of 13.5 blocks.

    Despite its 2-0 record this weekend, the roller coaster of high and low points was unimpressive to UA head coach Dave Rubio.

    “”It certainly wasn’t our best effort out there,”” Rubio said. “”We never really got into a good rhythm – even in the two (matches) we won – it just didn’t feel like we played efficiently. There were too many errors.””

    The head coach broke the matches down separately. He thought that the composure against Riverside was lacking, but it was a good learning experience for the squad. He then noted there was a definite improvement in the second match as a whole.

    “”I thought we played best match against LMU,”” Rubio said. “”Even though the first game (of the set) was a little error-prone, it was a good, clean match for us in all areas. I thought our composure was really good. As time progresses, we continue to get better in all areas – not just the physical ones.””

    Sophomore Tiffany Owens attained a team high of 11 kills and 11 digs against LMU, which was her third double-double of the season. Brooke Buringrud also contributed 10 kills to the squad’s victory.

    Senior Brittany Leonard started in the libero position in all five sets against Riverside, where she reached a team-high of 18 digs. But that wasn’t the case the following day.

    The libero started in one set against LMU, the team for which her sister plays the same position.

    Despite the fact that Leonard was disappointed she didn’t get to play as much against her sister, she was more focused on her individual performance because of the ever-changing starting position.

    “”I was excited for (my family) to be there, but I was trying to focus on proving myself as a libero,”” Leonard said. “”Last weekend I started as libero, then Alanna (Resch) ended up going in for me. And this weekend she started, then I ended up going in for her. Basically, we are always switching back and forth.””

    As far as the ambiguity of starting positions and playing time between Leonard and Resch goes, the two will be equally important to the team’s success once the Pacific 10 Conference starts, whether they are playing as a defensive specialist or libero.

    “”I obviously would enjoy being libero more because I’m on the court more,”” Leonard added. “”Sometimes it would be hard to get in a rhythm (as a DS) because you’re going in and out (of the game) at random times. Either way, as long as I’m playing and contributing I’m happy.””

    After the Leonard sisters battled it out Saturday night, they got to spend time with their family at dinnertime, and volleyball was far from the topic of discussion.

    “”It was good to see everyone,”” Leonard said. “”We were saying that it was cool to play each other, but we tried to not talk about it afterward and just spent the time together. I only get to see her once or twice during season because I’m always traveling.””

    Through ups and downs, highs and lows, the Wildcats said they were glad to come out of the weekend undefeated. Now their focus is on the Pac-10 season and their record is a great setup for next weekend.

    “”It’s nice to come out of the weekend with two wins,”” Dosty said. “”Being 10-1 puts us in a really good position going into Pac-10s.””

    As far as the level of error is concerned, Dosty keeps a positive outlook.

    “”Mistakes are always going to happen,”” she said. “”I just think we need to make less of them.””

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