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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona volleyball goes 2-1 in Arizona Invitational

Larry+Hogan%2FArizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+UA+volleyball+team+faces+off+against+Iona+in+McKale+Center+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+6%2C+2012.
Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA volleyball team faces off against Iona in McKale Center on Friday, Sept. 6, 2012.

The Arizona women’s volleyball team took on Iona, Lipscomb and TCU at the Arizona Invitational this weekend and won two out of three matches.

The loss came in the Wildcats’ second match-up against TCU in four sets (25-9, 24-26, 20-25, 13-25), while Arizona’s wins came against Iona and Lipscomb.

Despite winning two games, the players’ energy level fluctuated from set to set, causing the team to fall behind and have to work to get back into matches.

“I haven’t been happy actually for a while,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “Despite the fact that we are talented and that we have upper level conference talent, I’m disappointed with our ability to start and finish a game.”

After the invitational, Rubio announced a change in the offensive system. Previously the offense was running on a 5-1 rotation with one setter on the floor. With the offense struggling through all six rotations, Rubio will switch to a 6-2, with three hitters always available to hit at the net.

“If we go to a 6-2, that means the setter is back row all three rotations and we’ll always have three hitters in the front row,” Rubio said. “That’s going to allow us to spread our offense and take some pressure from the outside hitters. That will hopefully be the cure for us.”

The tournament opened with a Wildcat sweep over Iona on Friday morning in a quick three sets (25-17, 25-14, 25-18). The team was hitting at a high .391 with all hitters producing at the net.

Against TCU, Arizona’s inconsistency issues were more prevalent, as it was beat out 25-9 in the first set and was not able to hang on for the remainder of the match. The team wrapped up the tournament with a sweep over Lipscomb, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-23).

“I think we need to keep our composure in the third game,” sophomore outside hitter Madi Kingdon said. “Getting everyone together and staying more focused as we go into it, knowing that the third game isn’t really our strongest at this point.”

Rubio said the lack of consistency in matches is a product of the team’s youth.

“The biggest change that is going to happen to us in our program is when our kids can come into practice on a daily basis and really work hard enough from the start to finish of practice,” Rubio said.
“That’ll be the time when we can turn a corner.”

Sophomore opposite Shaquillah Torres had a solid weekend, earning all-tournament honors along with middle blocker Rachel Rhoades.

“I’m definitely working on mentality, not getting down, and being able to help teammates when they’re down,” Torres said.

This week, the Wildcats will be working on improving skill sets in preparation for the new rotation. Rubio said he will be stressing a stronger, more mature team mentality.

“I told my players this: If you don’t want the moniker of being a young team, then you have to quit acting like one,” Rubio said.

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