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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball gets first L.A. sweep in program history


Arizona volleyball celebrates its win against Oregon State Friday, Sept. 30. The team won its recent match against UCLA 3-2 Sunday, Oct. 9, making this the second win against a ranked team in the weekend.

The Arizona volleyball team wrapped up its weekend with a tough five-set match victory, going 3-2 against No. 18 UCLA on Sunday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. To go along with a win over No. 22 USC on Friday, the Wildcats earned their first sweep of the Los Angeles schools since volleyball began in the Pac-10 Conference in 1986, according to Arizona Athletics.

Arizona had a slow start in the first set, but came back with a four-point run to tie the set at 5-5. The Wildcats and Bruins continued to exchange points, but UCLA broke away to take the lead 19-16 before going on to win the set 25-18.

UCLA continued its momentum into the second set with strong offense, taking a quick 7-2 lead. Arizona attempted to fight back, but trailed the Bruins throughout the rest of the second set.

Arizona’s serving wasn’t at its strongest during the early moments of the match, as the Wildcats committed six serving errors. UCLA ran the set, ending the match 25-17 with an ace made by libero and defensive specialist Taylor Formico.

With an unsuccessful first two sets, the Wildcats, looking for a spark, bounced back in the third with help from Tyler Spriggs’ three straight kills. Arizona jumped out to a 9-7 lead in the third set. Kalei Mau contributed with two aces and nine kills to extend the Wildcats lead to 17-10. UA was dominant in the third and seized momentum by winning the set 25-16.

With the fourth-set score tied at 6-6, Mau made another service ace setting a career high for aces with three. Arizona took the lead but UCLA caught the Wildcats and tied the set at 17.

Arizona outside hitter Kendra Dahlke helped her team with kills and the Wildcats took a 23-20 lead. Mau ended the set at 25-21 with a kill assisted by Penina Snuka to tie the Bruins in the match at 2-2 and force a pivotal fifth set.

The Wildcats took an early three-point lead in the decisive set, but UCLA battled back quick to keep the set tight at 10-10. The Wildcats took the set 15-12 with a late push to win the match and knock off the ranked Bruins 3-2.

“We had to dig deep for this one,” Arizona head coach Dave Rubio told Arizona Athletics. “It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in a match like that. I am extremely proud of how we fought back against a really good UCLA team.”

Mau led the team with 18 kills followed by Dahlke with 12.

The Wildcats defeated a ranked team for the first time this season in style, knocking off two top-20 teams in Souther California after starting the season 0-5 against ranked opponents.

“It means a lot to the players,” Rubio said to Arizona Athletics. “I knew this team had the chance to be competitive at the highest level and this weekend proved that.”

The Wildcats improved to 11-6 on the season with a 3-2 Pac-12 Conference record. Arizona will look to maintain its California win streak as it heads to the Bay Area this weekend to face Stanford on Friday and California on Sunday for a chance to get back into the Pac-12 race.Follow Syrena Tracy on Twitter.

Video Courtesy of Pac-12 Networks.

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