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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats volleyball upsets No. 22 USC

Devyn+Cross+blocks+a+shot+from+USC+middle+blocker+Elise+Ruddins+%2811%29+in+Fridays+match+in+Los+Angeles%2C+Calif.+Wildcats+beat+the+Trojans+3-0.
Katie Chin / Daily Trojan

Devyn Cross blocks a shot from USC middle blocker Elise Ruddins (11) in Friday’s match in Los Angeles, Calif. Wildcats beat the Trojans 3-0.

The Arizona volleyball team took the court on Friday night in Los Angeles and stunned the No. 22-ranked USC Trojans in three sets marking its first victory over a ranked team this season.

The Wildcats returned to full strength with Kendra Dahlke and Kalei Mau back in the lineup together for the first time in over a month.

Despite being down 7-2 early in the first set, the Wildcats rallied back to tie it at 7-7, from there on, there was no room to breathe for either team.

In the midst of a close set, Arizona took a 14-13 lead. Back and forth the set went, until Arizona took a 20-18 lead and pushed its way to a 25-20 set victory.

The offense was on fire in the first set. Dahlke and Mau each had six kills, and McKenzie Jacobson followed with five kills on six attempts, improving to a .833 hitting percentage.

As a team, Arizona hit a .342 percentage in the set, giving the Wildcats the confidence they needed to carry into the second set.

Arizona had a strong start and came through in all facets of the game to pull away from the Trojans in each set.

Mau and Dahlke continued to dominate, giving Arizona a 13-8 lead to start the second. On the block, Mau and Jacobson were a power duo as well. Arizona outblocked USC 6-2 in the second set.

Head coach Dave Rubio’s lineup was solid in the second set, improving to a .357 hitting percentage with five players registering at least four kills. The offensive production helped the Wildcats cruise to a 21-15 lead, forcing USC to call a timeout and ultimately lose the set.

Mau and Dahlke reached double digits kills in the second set, putting the Wildcats up 2-0 in the match with a 25-22 victory in the second set.

Nothing could slow down the Wildcats, they rolled into the third set by taking the first four points on a Jacobson service run.

The run came to a close with a service error that finally put USC on the board, but Arizona kept pushing until they doubled the Trojans score, 8-4.

Dahlke kept swinging in the set, pushing her total kills up to 13. Jacobson followed with a nearly perfect night, with six kills on seven swings, helping Arizona’s hitting percentage continue to climb up as the match progressed.

It took another USC timeout to finally slow down the Wildcats, getting the Trojans back into the game at a 14-13 score. The Trojans kept it close throughout the final set until a Mau kill put away USC for good, giving the Wildcats a 25-20 win.

Dahlke dominated in this match with 17 kills and 11 digs earning her fifth double-double of the season.

Mau wasn’t far behind her teammate with 12 kills and four digs herself. The win wouldn’t have been possible without Penina Snuka, who had 40 assists to help her teammate achieve a memorable night in the City of Angels.

Arizona finished the match with a .356 hitting percentage which is the highest of PAC-12 Conference play this season for the ‘Cats.

This was a dominant night for Arizona, who now has the confidence needed going into Sunday when it will face No. 18-ranked UCLA.


Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.


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