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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Volleyball no match for OSU, Ducks”

    The intensity was high, the execution was great, but a few controversial calls against the Arizona volleyball team at the end of their first set of the weekend got into their heads.

    Before they knew it, turning around was beyond the Wildcats’ control.

    It was a tough weekend on the road for Arizona, which traveled to Oregon to face two top-25 schools.

    Arizona (13-8, 3-6 Pacific 10 Conference) first fell to No. 24 Oregon State at Gill Coliseum on Friday by a score of 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-19). The squad ended Saturday night’s performance in Eugene with the same outcome when it played No. 7 Oregon (25-20, 25-21, 25-20).

    A questionable call at the end of Arizona’s first set against Oregon State may have changed the outcome of the match – or at least a handful of points created by the shift of momentum.

    “”We did pretty good the first game (against OSU),”” said redshirt sophomore Whitney Dosty. “”We were neck-to-neck the whole time. It was like 23-23, and then we didn’t get some calls.

    “”And in the second game, it kind of just fell apart for us,”” she added. “”Well, maybe not quite fell apart, but I think had we won that first game, we would have been able to pick ourselves up better, or at least had a better second game.””

    A team can push as hard as it can, but all that matters on paper at the end of the day is the outcome.

    In a similar game to the OSU contest, Oregon came out slightly flat against Arizona, but the Wildcats didn’t pounce on their prey until it was too late.

    “”We came out and didn’t capitalize when they were down, and when we decided to make a strong comeback, it was too late in the game,”” Dosty said. “”So I would say being able to get off to a strong start and continue that throughout the game is an area we need to improve on.””

    The squad had a total of 29 kills with a .124 hitting percentage against OSU – its lowest all season. Despite this number, sophomore Tiffany Owens contributed almost half of that with 14 kills and tallied eight digs.

    Junior Alanna Resch led the team with 22 digs, exactly half of Arizona’s total.

    Saturday night, senior Randy Goodenough led the Wildcats with eight kills, followed by sophomore Stephanie Snow and Dosty with six kills each.

    Over the course of several games, excluding the USC match last weekend, the team hasn’t been able to execute the way it should as the scoreboards approach the 20-point range, Dosty said.

    “”That’s where it seems a lot of teams get us,”” Dosty said. “”Whenever we get to the point of either being ahead and getting into like 20-something, it just feels like the last five points we can’t just push through. A team will get four in a row on us and we can’t get out of that rotation.””

    UA head coach Dave Rubio said what his team is going through is understandable and actually somewhat normal.

    “”That’s fairly typical from my experience (as a coach),”” Rubio said. “”If a team is trying to step up to the next level, they tend to press too hard.

    “”We started to play a little out of our system,”” he added. “”We’re playing very good volleyball up to certain point in each match, then I think we tend to get a little cautious and not trust our system when we experience some adverse moments.””

    Rubio said it’s frustrating because the squad looks better to him in practice. The players’ performance and work ethic in practices are important, but no one takes those things into consideration when making a judgment of the team’s greatness.

    “”We tend to get a little bit frantic at the end of each game,”” Rubio said. “”Something we’re going to have to work on is certainly showing a little more poise and composure than we have been.””

    He reiterated the importance of his team’s ability to focus on its side of the net, rather than the opponent. That’s easier said than done, but Dosty agreed that Arizona has work to do in that aspect of their game.

    “”We know we can do it, that’s the thing,”” she said. “”It’s not like we don’t fight those last couple points or anything, but just knowing we can is important. And it’s hard when you haven’t won too many games in that situation, but we’re put in that situation so often. I think it’s just being able to believe we can do it.””

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