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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sand volleyball holds Red-Blue scrimmage this weekend

Savannah+Douglas+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AFreshman+Sarah+Seiber+dives+fror+the+ball+during+Arizonas+5-0+victory+against+Tolson+University+in+the+the+Wildcat+Spring+Challenge+on+March+15+at+Jimenez+Field.+
Savannah Douglas
Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat Freshman Sarah Seiber dives fror the ball during Arizona’s 5-0 victory against Tolson University in the the Wildcat Spring Challenge on March 15 at Jimenez Field.

Arizona sand volleyball kicks off its season on Saturday with its annual Red-Blue Scrimmage.

The sand volleyball program is in its second year at Arizona and is hoping to improve on its 8-12 team record from last season, as well as to seek redemption from its 5-0 losses against Hawaii and Pepperdine last season.

Sophomore McKenna Witt said that the new team has one short and simple goal this year.

“We want to improve our record,” McKenna said. “That’s the goal.”

Arizona sand volleyball coach Steve Walker said this feels like the first season for sand volleyball, since the team finally has a nearly full roster of athletes dedicated solely to the sport.

“Last year, we had to fold in so many of the indoor players, multisport athletes, to fill out the roster,” Walker said. “They did a terrific job for us, but this year we are able to have 10 players dedicated only to sand, whereas last year we only had four.”

Walker said he welcomes this adjustment to the team and looks to continue building on it as the season progresses. He added that this year’s schedule should help the Wildcats improve their record.

Last year, the team started out 5-0 with two straight weeks of home games and then spent five weeks on the road, where its record began to fall. The Wildcats ended that stretch with a 7-11 record.

“This year, we’re able to space out our home events a little better,” Walker said. “I think the scheduling will lend a hand to hopefully a better season this year.”

Sisters and partners Madison and McKenna Witt had a remarkable season last year, and each ended the season with personal records of 13-15. They said they’re looking forward to the Red-Blue Scrimmage in order to show the UA community what sand volleyball has to offer this year.

“We are focusing on making the reps count and having a good showing for the community,” Madison Witt said.

Behind the scenes, the team is striving to build a close-knit atmosphere with all of the new players.

“We’re working on team chemistry,” Madison Witt said. “We have, like, seven seniors this year and a couple fifth years, so [we are] just trying to gel as a team and keep up the traditions of last year.”

Walker said he is expecting a big crowd this weekend to help the Wildcats ring in the new season.

“I hope to get at least a couple hundred out,” Walker said. “It should be a fun and busy weekend. With softball and gymnastics starting right after us, we hope that the best fan base in the conference wants to come out and see the first look at the 2015 sand Wildcats.”

The scrimmage will be held at the UA sand volleyball courts at Jimenez Field. The facility does not have bleachers, so it is recommended that fans bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. The match starts at 2 p.m.

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