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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

V-ball tries to avoid lull

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona volleyball team’s first two tournaments of the season had big-time opponents to test itself against — Notre Dame in the Shamrock Invitational, and Lousiville in the Wildcat Classic.

When the Wildcats head to Reno, Nev., to take part in the Wolf Pack invitational on Friday, they will be the team that other schools use as a measuring stick.

“”Even though this tournament doesn’t bring the powerhouse teams as we saw against Cal Poly, if you let your guard down or don’t stay focused for an extended period of time you can still drop a match,”” said head coach Dave Rubio. “”We can’t afford to do that. I’m just worried about us playing well. If we play well, winning takes care of itself.””

Because of the lack of elite competition in the next two tournaments, looking ahead to play in the Pacific 10 Conference — which is one of the nation’s elite volleyball conferences — may become an issue.

“”I think we’re pretty motivated because we like to get out against other people instead of playing against ourselves all of the time,”” said junior middle blocker Courtney Karst. “”When we finally get to play a real game, it’s like we get to show off what we’ve been working on, so that’s a pretty good motivator.””

Cursty Jackson, in her junior season after transferring from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, admitted that it might be a little difficult to maintain focus with the opening of conference play looming on the horizon.

“”Oh yeah, definitely,”” said Jackson when asked if she thought it was possible that the team could enter a lull before conference play. “”I think that we’re looking forward to Pac-10 play starting. Preseason has been tough, but the conference is going to be even tougher.””

Over the course of the next two weekends, the Wildcats don’t take on one team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference. They will travel to the University of Nevada, Reno, this weekend to take part in the Wolf Pack Invitational, before returning to Tucson to host the Arizona Invitational, which will be UA’s last tune-up for conference play.

 

‘Cats check in at No. 24

After going undefeated in last weekend’s Wildcat Classic by Marriott University Park, the Arizona volleyball team was stationary in the No. 24 spot in the AVCA coaches’ poll.

Seven Pac-10 teams are in this week’s version of the poll, including No. 2 Stanford, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Washington, and No. 10 California all in the nation’s top-10. The Cardinal received four first place votes in the poll.

“”As a player, it’s reassuring to see that you are ranked but there’s still room to improve,”” said senior Whitney Dosty. “”I think that you look at the rankings and just put it behind you and keep working hard.””

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