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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Kalei Mau returns to lineup as Arizona volleyball sweeps Oregon State

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Arizona outside hitter Kalei Mau (10) spikes the ball on Oregon State outside hitter Katelyn Driscoll (12) in Friday’s game. Arizona won the game 3-0.

Arizona volleyball handled Oregon State on Friday night, sweeping the Beavers (25-21, 25-14, 25-18) in McKale Center.

The Wildcats started off strong in the first set, doubling the Beavers early with a 4-2 lead.

Arizona welcomed outside hitter Kalei Mau back after the senior missed time with a back injury. Mau’s offensive skills returned with her as she led the team with four kills alongside Katarina Pilepic with four and Tyler Spriggs’ four during the first set.

“It felt awesome being back tonight,” Mau said. “I think a lot just helped knowing I was back and that it’s not over yet, but it’s just the beginning.”

Oregon State’s offense was strong, taking the lead 15-12, but the Beavers’ defense soon fell apart toward the end of the set with a total of eight errors. Arizona came back and took the set, 25-21.

The second set flew by for the Wildcats with Spriggs making back-to-back blocks to help Arizona take an early five point lead.

“It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to score since the beginning of the season,” Spriggs said. “But I felt really comfortable tonight.”

Oregon State was no match for Arizona’s defense, as the Wildcats continued to lead the set 18-11 in front of the Arizona fans who were on their feet due to the exciting play.

Arizona’s defense held the Beavers to a .079 hitting percentage, which led to the Wildcats taking the second set with a 25-14 result.

Arizona continued its defensive dominance in the opening of the third set, and blocked out the Beavers with three back-to-back blocks.

Oregon State fought its way through the third set, but Arizona made quick work of the Beavers and took a 16-8 lead. The Wildcats took the third set, 25-18, winning the match 3-0. Arizona ended with 42 kills and a .197 hitting percentage.

Spriggs and Mau led the team with 12 kills followed by Pilepic with 11 kills.

“It was a good win against a solid Pac-12 [Conference] opponent,” Arizona head coach Dave Rubio said. “Anytime you get a win in the conference, you feel pretty good about it.”

Arizona was missing one of its more dominant players, Kendra Dahlke, who is currently out with a concussion.

“She is going through concussion protocol and we are hoping she can play next weekend,” Rubio said. “It would be nice to get a healthy lineup one time this season.”

The Wildcats will play again Saturday at 6 p.m., against the Oregon Ducks in McKale Center for Arizona’s Pink Out. The first 500 fans will receive free pink glow wristbands in honor of breast cancer awareness month.


Follow Syrena Tracy on Twitter.


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