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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball sees errors of its ways before road trip

    Arizona head coach Dave Rubio directs libero Katie Jackels on the sidelines during practice Tuesday in McKale Center. The volleyball team will travel to Malibu, Calif., where it will compete against Pepperdine, the team Rubio got his first victory  against as a Wildcat coach.
    Arizona head coach Dave Rubio directs libero Katie Jackels on the sidelines during practice Tuesday in McKale Center. The volleyball team will travel to Malibu, Calif., where it will compete against Pepperdine, the team Rubio got his first victory against as a Wildcat coach.

    Fifteen years ago, when Dave Rubio became head coach for the Arizona volleyball team, he might have blown up after a long, five-game loss like the one his team suffered against St. Mary’s on Saturday night.

    But a decade and a half can do wonders to a person.

    “”I don’t separate the highs and the lows as much as I did back then,”” Rubio said. “”I really wore my emotions on my sleeve. When you look back, you see your behavior and you may be embarrassed by it, but that’s just that raw passion that you have.””

    Though he has not lost any passion for the game, Rubio said he has “”learned to roll with the punches.””

    Likewise, Rubio said his team is in a state of maturation as it hits the road for its first away contests of the

    season.

    The Wildcats (2-1) travel to Malibu, Calif., for the Asics Classic today and tomorrow in the Firestone Fieldhouse, where they will square up against Lipscomb (1-1), Nevada (0-1) and tournament host Pepperdine (2-1).

    “”We looked at the film (of the St. Mary’s match), and a couple of things stood out,”” Rubio said. “”At the end of the game, there were some opportunities for us to be a lot more aggressive than we were.

    “”In general, there’s really no quick fix. This time of year, it’s more drilling and opportunities. The improvements come in baby steps.””

    To turn baby steps into longer strides, the team aims to cut down on the

    errors it made in its opening series, in which the Wildcats registered a .213 attacking percentage.

    “”We need to be able to adjust to our opponents quicker instead of waiting until the third game to see what their blockers are doing, and what their defenders are doing behind the blockers,”” said opposite hitter Randy Goodenough.

    Libero Katie Jackels takes the blame away from her teammates, saying she doesn’t hold her hitters accountable for errors.

    “”You have to look at every step to get to an error,”” she said. “”Maybe the pass was bad. I would hold a passer like me accountable for a bad pass that would probably instigate an error. But it’s early and we’ll get better about that.””

    In the match against Pepperdine, Rubio will be able to look back at how far he’s come and matured. His first win with the Wildcats came against the Waves in 1992. The two teams are tied 6-6 all-time since 1978.

    The Waves hit .342 and averaged 17.58 digs per game last weekend in the Arkansas Invitational.

    “”We just have to expect that it’s not going to be easy,”” said outside hitter Alanna Resch. “”We’re just going to have to work very hard and stay consistent. We can’t afford to give up easy points like we did (Saturday) night.””

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