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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball team breaks out the broom for sweep against Arizona State

Arizona+volleyball+player+Emery+Herman+jumps+up+for+a+set+pass+on+Feb.+19%2C+2021%2C+in+McKale+Center.
Megan Ewing

Arizona volleyball player Emery Herman jumps up for a set pass on Feb. 19, 2021, in McKale Center.

The Arizona volleyball team showed Arizona State no mercy on Friday, March 5 as they swept its rivals by set scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-20 in McKale Center.

In the first set, both teams were locked in defensively. Halfway through, neither team managed to extend a lead past two points. That all changed for the Wildcats once middle blocker Merle Weidt got going. With the score at 13-11, Weidt had back-to-back kills to extend the lead to four and Arizona never looked back. Weidt also closed out the set with a final, thunderous kill. Weidt was more than happy to share the success with her fellow Wildcats.

“We had really good passes today,” Weidt said. “[Emery Herman] gave me a lot of good sets. It was easy to score because most of the time there was only one blocker up [against the net] or a double-block that had a hole.” 

The second set mirrored the first, with no team ever being able to create separation and command a big lead. Halfway through, the Wildcats found themselves down 14-13. Then, Arizona torched ASU with a 7-0 run that allowed the Wildcats to steal the second set. One of those sparkplugs was outside hitter Jaelyn Hodge, whose four kills helped ignite the beginning of the rally. 

“It’s just hitting and knowing where to hit,” Hodge said. “[I have to] be up and ready so I’m set for every ball.”

After dropping the first two sets, ASU made sure they did not go away quietly in the third set. The Sun Devils had three serving aces and forced three straight errors from Arizona to close the scoring deficit to 19-18. As quickly as ASU pushed, the Wildcats pushed right back with a 6-2 run that sent the Sun Devils packing. Head coach Dave Rubio was proud of his team’s performance but felt that the unforced errors were what made each set so close.

“In the middle of each particular set, it was touch and go,” Rubio said. “A set could have gone either way … We were able to recover from that, but unfortunately that’s not something that’s written in the playbook for us.”

Arizona will look for its first road victory of the season as they travel to Tempe to face ASU in Desert Financial Arena on March 7 at 4 p.m. MST.


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