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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Volleyball drops two, falls to 1-10 in Pac-10”

    Stanford senior Kristin Richards, left, goes up for a kill as UA senior setter Stephanie Butkus and freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton attempt to block in Arizonas three-set loss to the Cardinal in McKale Center. The Wildcats didnt have much success blocking as Stanford swept the Wildcats for the second time this season.
    Stanford senior Kristin Richards, left, goes up for a kill as UA senior setter Stephanie Butkus and freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton attempt to block in Arizona’s three-set loss to the Cardinal in McKale Center. The Wildcats didn’t have much success blocking as Stanford swept the Wildcats for the second time this season.

    This past weekend was supposed to be all about changes for the Arizona volleyball team, but it ended up being the same old story.

    The Wildcats lost in similar fashion to their earlier trip to the Bay Area, falling to Stanford 30-17, 30-19, and 30-19 by way of a sweep on Saturday and California 33-31, 30-25, 26-30, 30-20 on Friday in McKale Center.

    With a focus on trying to finish games and lowering errors being high on Arizona’s (10-13, 1-10 Pacific 10 Conference) to-do list going into this weekend, both problems appeared to be present once again.

    “”The problem is the players don’t take it personal enough yet,”” UA head coach Dave Rubio said. “”They’re not strong enough competitors where they just get so angry. Great competitors get angry, and they allow that anger to raise their level of play. Our players are just too nice right now.””

    The Cardinal (19-2, 10-1) had their way with the Wildcats after sweeping them for the second time this season.

    Stanford kept Arizona under the 20-point mark in all three games for the first time this season while out-hitting the Wildcats .350 to .138.

    Sophomore middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo hit .850 for the Cardinal on 20 swings and posted no errors, while adding 17 kills.

    “”Stanford is playing with a lot of confidence,”” Rubio said. “”Out of all the teams I have seen, I think that’s probably the best team we have played against to date.””

    Like the last meeting between Arizona and Cal, the Wildcats kept the game competitive, but showed the same inability to close games that has plagued them all season long, blowing some golden opportunities against the Golden Bears.

    In the first game against Cal (17-5, 6-5), Arizona squandered a 29-25 lead after the Golden Bears put a late charge together.

    With Cal’s freshman outside hitter Cat Dailey serving game point, the ball looked as if it was hit short, but it ended up striking the top of the net and gently fell onto Arizona’s side.

    “”It is just heartbreaking,”” Lamb said of the first game loss.

    Arizona players admitted that their frame of mind changes when they are toward the end of close games.

    “”At the end, everything piles up,”” said freshman middle blocker Jacy Norton. “”It is one thing after another, and it is like a snowball effect.””

    “”At the end of the game we are just playing not to lose,”” she added. “”We are trying to let them make the mistake.””

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