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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


V-ball aims to sweep Devils

Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

After winning its first away game in more than two years against rival Arizona State in Tempe, the Wildcat volleyball team will look to complete its second season sweep against a Pacific 10 Conference team at 7 p.m.

Arizona (17-7, 6-7 Pac-10) has already completed a season sweep against Oregon, and will look to add another against the Sun Devils (13-12, 3-10 Pac-10) as the duel in the desert comes to Tucson.

“”They’re ASU and we don’t really like them,”” said sophomore middle blocker Courtney Karst. “”They’re the rivals. We don’t want to give them any help. We want to prove that we are the better team.””

The UA is coming off an upsetting loss at Oregon State and are looking to get their record against the Pac-10 teams back to an even mark. A win against ASU would mean Arizona’s first season sweep over their rivals since 2005, coincidentally the last time the Wildcats received a NCAA tournament bid.

Arizona’s preparation this week has focused solely on ASU. Head coach Dave Rubio said that his team had their best practice of the season on Tuesday, and plans to keep his team focused as the Pac-10 season winds down.

“”We should be well prepared and motivated,”” Rubio said. “”It would be nice just to win. I think they’ll bring us everything they’ve got.””

Arizona State has been absent from the national talk around the Pac-10. Currently eight teams are ranked in the conference, and ASU has been the only team not mentioned in the Bison/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

While some players are amped to face ASU in the comfort of their home court, junior Tiffany Owens sees the game tonight as just another step towards the postseason.

“”All we have to do is focus on us, Arizona volleyball,”” the outside hitter said. “”Focus on the motivation in practice.””

Although the Sun Devils have struggled this season against the Pac-10, Rubio isn’t underestimating the team’s rival to the north.

“”ASU is playing well. They’ve done a nice job in the second half,”” he said. “”They have a new lineup, they’re players are confident and they’re going to bring everything they’ve got.””

The Rivalry Red Out, as the Wildcats are billing the game, marks the second to last home stand for Arizona this season. With just a few more matches at home, the Wildcats need to build all of the confidence they can before heading back on the dreaded road in the Pac-10.


Tying up the series

A new addition to the Duel in the Desert this season is the State Farm Territorial Cup Series, a system which awards points for each ASU/UA matchup. The series includes 18 common varsity intercollegiate sports.

The Sun Devils currently lead the Wildcats 2-1, after Arizona State’s two cross country teams finished ahead of Arizona’s. UA received its point after Arizona soccer defeated ASU 2-1 in double overtime.

If the Wildcats win tonight, Arizona will receive another point for winning the season series. A Sun Devil win would split the series, and no points would be awarded.

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