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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball holds off No. 25 USC in five sets

Simon Asher

Arizona outside hitter Tyler Spriggs (35) spikes the ball over USC Trojans Jordan Dunn (5) and Brittany Abercrombie (6) in Wednesday’s game in Tucson, Arizona. Wildcats won #25 ranked USC Trojans 3-2.

The Arizona women’s volleyball team had their fifth victory over a ranked opponent Wednesday night as they took on the No. 25 USC Trojans. Arizona took the match to five sets and won 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-7).

USC came out in the opening set with a six point run leaving the Wildcats to trail behind with a negative hitting percentage. The Wildcats soon found their groove after a timeout and made the next five points tying the set 17-17.

Wildcats made a comeback in the first set and took the lead 23-22. Outside hitter Kendra Dahlke finished the opening frame with back-to-back kills giving Arizona the win 25-23.

The ‘Cats carried the power of their offense into the second set as they made the first four points.

Arizona setter Penina Snuka racked up two points with back-to-back aces tying the set, 12-12.

The Trojans soon flipped the ‘Cats early four point advantage as they took the lead 16-12. The Trojans took the second set 25-18 to tie the match.

Arizona tried to battle their way through the third, but the Trojans held onto the lead. The efforts of the ‘Cats wasn’t enough to stop USC from taking the set 25-22.

The battle kept going into the fourth set as the Wildcats and Trojans continued to exchange points. Arizona quickly broke away to take an eight point run making the score 23-15 and blew by the Trojans and took the set 25-17 forcing the match to the fifth set.

“It was a little dicey there in the beginning I think we were able, as the match went on, play a little sharper, but it was touch and go for a while,” said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio.

Arizona showed no hesitation going into the fifth set as they continued to rack up points by going on a seven point run taking the lead 8-1. Arizona swept the set 15-7 to win the match 3-2.

“I’m really proud on how we hung in there and stayed true to what we are trying to do every day and that is to mentally stay in a match and that was really good for us,” Rubio said.

Dahlke led the Wildcats with 19 kills on a .140 hitting percentage, followed by Kalei Mau with 15 kills on a .152 hitting percentage. Snuka hit her eighth straight double-double during the second set and ended the match with 47 assist and 24 digs.

“The only way that we can succeed is if people come in 100 percent, do their job, take care of their responsibilities and everyone just work together as a team,” said Mau.

The Arizona Wildcats next match is on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. as they take on No. 9 UCLA at McKale Center. The last time the Bruins lost this season was against Arizona on Oct. 9 and have won six consecutive matches since then.  

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