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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball confident for weekend

    After a disappointing ending to last weekend’s tournament, when they were upset by Rice, and the loss of starting middle blocker Kristina Baum, the No. 24 Arizona women’s volleyball team is looking for something to smile about this weekend.

    The Wildcats (7-2) will finish up nonconference play when they travel to Evanston, Ill., for the Northwestern tournament this weekend. Arizona will be facing Pittsburgh (9-2) at 10 a.m. and Eastern Illinois (5-2) at 2:30 p.m. today and will finish out the tournament tomorrow evening at 5 with a match against Northwestern (3-3).

    “”We trained so hard in practice this last week,”” sophomore outside hitter Brooke Buringrud said. “”We are coming out with three wins this weekend, and there is no doubt about it.””

    UA head coach Dave Rubio said that he is hoping for a solid performance out of his team before they dive head-first into conference play next week against rival ASU.

    After such a disappointing week, Rubio said it is sometimes hard to stay positive, especially after dropping three slots in the polls in consecutive weeks.

    “”Part of a coach’s job is leadership, whether or not it’s leadership during a good time or leadership during a bad time,”” he said. “”It has been a good week of practice, and if we play the way we train, then we are going to be in pretty good shape.””

    The players said they are feeling great about how practice went, but there are definitely some adjustments that need to be made with the loss of Baum, who Buringrud said helped with communication in part due to her experience.

    “”We just need to get used to our lineup without Baumer,”” she said.

    Rubio also said playing without Baum is not going to be easy.

    “”It is a huge loss to the team,”” Rubio said, “”but if there is one thing that will work in our favor, it is that we have already played two matches without her.””

    Another part of the challenge is dealing with the up-and-down play of a young team, which Rubio said was one of the main reasons he thought the Wildcats lost to Rice. In fact, despite being better than their opposition in every statistical category for the season, the Wildcats have been upset twice already.

    “”We are suffering from inconsistencies in how we approach the game,”” he said. “”Instead of us playing the same way every time, I feel that we play down to the level of our opponents.””

    But not everyone thinks that losing last weekend was a terrible thing. Lamb said that it was a nice wake-up call for Arizona.

    “”I think we needed it,”” Lamb said. “”It let us know that we aren’t that good. It just showed us that we need to work harder and prepare for each opponent.””

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