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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s volleyball hits the ground running

Larry+Hogan%2FArizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AOutside+Hitter+Taylor+Arizobal%2C+No.+14%2C+and+the+rest+of+the+UA+volleyball+team+plays+against+Cal+State+Northridge+on+Friday%2C+Aug.24.
Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat Outside Hitter Taylor Arizobal, No. 14, and the rest of the UA volleyball team plays against Cal State Northridge on Friday, Aug.24.

Evansville

Arizona hit the ground running in its first game of the season Friday morning, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-14), against Evansville in the opening match of the Wildcat Classic at McKale Center.

Freshmen starting middle blockers Halli Amaro and Olivia Magill contributed to Arizona’s first win of the season, helping offset the absence of sophomore blocker Rachel Rhoades, who was sidelined from a concussion injury. Rhoades dressed and warmed up but did not see the court.

“I thought there were some aspects of the game that were very good,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “We served well and passed well and defended well.”

Sophomore outside hitters Madi Kingdon and Taylor Arizobal had a combined 31 kills in the match, with starting junior setter Chanel Brown facilitating the offense in garnering 41 total assists.

“The team is really in a position that as time goes on we’ll be a different team every week,” Rubio said.

Cal State Northridge

The Wildcats fell to the Cal State Northridge Matadors in their second match, losing 3-2 in five sets (25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 21-25, 9-15) Friday night.

“We gave them a lot of opportunities by making several unforced errors,” head coach Dave Rubio said.

The match was back and forth as the Wildcats struggled to maintain possession of the ball, garnering 10 service errors and staggering both offensively and defensively after the second set.

“For this group everything is an experience, you hope and you wish that your team can fight and experience something like this and still win,” Rubio said. “Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and it was our first tough lesson learned.”

Kingdon and Arizobal combined for 50 kills and Amaro had a breakout game, including a swing off the slide back set connecting repeatedly with junior setter Chanel Brown (59 assists). Amaro totaled nine kills and five digs in the match.

Rubio said he was very impressed with how well the team played in the first two sets.

Rhoades was finally cleared to play against Cal State Northridge. The sophomore middle blocker made her first appearance late in the first set and immediately made an impact with a block in the next play. By the third set, she was back in the lineup.

Utah Valley

The UA wrapped up the Wildcat Classic at McKale Center with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-17) victory over Utah Valley on Saturday night.

After coming up short in the Friday night loss to Cal State Northridge, Arizona’s young lineup bounced back in a big way in its second victory of the season. Even though the Wildcats took the win from Utah Valley, head coach Dave Rubio said the play could have been cleaner and more efficient.

“We’ve got some work to do, there’s no question that we have some room and we’re just starting this journey, and hopefully we’ll continue to do better every week,” Rubio said.

The team tallied a combined 14 unforced errors at the net. Several players saw the court for the first time, including transfer junior Alyse Hensley and freshman setter Lauren Fuller.

The Wildcats go on the road for the Pepperdine Tournament next weekend.

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