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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    V-ball opens last homestand against Oregon

    The Arizona volleyball team starts its final homestand of the year tonight in McKale Center when it faces the same Oregon team that began the Wildcats’ current seven-game losing streak on Oct. 13.

    In the teams’ last meeting, Arizona (10-15, 1-12 Pac-10) was coming off its lone Pacific 10 Conference victory against Oregon State with a mindset to turn its season around against another unranked opponent, but the Ducks (17-5, 7-5) wouldn’t allow it.

    While the Wildcats were looking to make it two Pac-10 victories in a row, the Ducks swept them in Eugene, Ore., ending Arizona’s 15-match winning streak over them. The Wildcats haven’t won a conference game since.

    “”They (Oregon) are a very good team,”” Rubio said. “”We played really well the night before against Oregon State, but in the game against Oregon, we were just flat.””

    The Wildcats committed 30 attacking errors against the Ducks in their previous meeting, almost doubling their opposition’s 16.

    Just like Arizona’s earlier loss to No. 24 Oregon, Rubio said that many of the team’s losses have been a result of self-inflicted mistakes, including attacking errors and inconsistent play.

    “”Most of the time we are playing a very high level of volleyball,”” Rubio said. “”We no longer can use the excuse of being young as a reason for not playing consistent volleyball. We aren’t young anymore.

    “”In September, you are young. By now we hope that we are able to play consistently.””

    But the Wildcats are still suffering from the same inconsistencies they were battling almost a month ago.

    “”It is really frustrating because we always come so close to very good teams,”” said freshman outside hitter Whitney Dosty. “”If we play consistent volleyball, I think we can play with everyone in the conference.””

    Oregon sits in fifth place in the Pac-10 and has won six of its last eight contests, as well as taking defending champion No. 4 Washington to five games over the weekend.

    Oregon sophomore outside hitter Mira Djuric leads the conference in service aces per game with 0.48, and junior middle blocker Karen Waddington ranks third in the conference in blocks per game with 1.58.

    “”Oregon is very good, and they have very few weaknesses,”” Rubio said. “”We are going to have to sustain a level of consistency at the end of each game if we plan to beat these guys, and we haven’t shown that yet.””

    Arizona enters the match leading the Pac-10 in blocks with 3.51 a game, while junior middle blocker Dominique Lamb is second in the conference in that category with 1.66 per game.

    Entering the final two games in front of a home crowd, sophomore opposite hitter Randy Goodenough said Arizona would like nothing more than to finish this year’s home games with victories.

    “”We just want to go out and play like we have been training all year,”” Goodenough said. “”We have come a very far way as a team, and we hope to show that on the court.””

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