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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Volleyball heads to San Diego

    UA outside hitter Brooke Buringrud leaps to spike the ball over New Mexico State defenders March 29 in McKale Center. The Wildcats will be in San Diego this weekend for their second offseason tournament.
    UA outside hitter Brooke Buringrud leaps to spike the ball over New Mexico State defenders March 29 in McKale Center. The Wildcats will be in San Diego this weekend for their second offseason tournament.

    The UA volleyball team will continue its offseason tournament play when it travels to San Diego to participate in the San Diego Spring Tournament tomorrow at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

    The tournament will be round-robin format and include squads from Brigham Young, San Diego and UC-Irvine, providing the UA with plenty of competition coming off its exhibition games against New Mexico State last weekend.

    The competition level will be a little bit higher this weekend, however, according to UA head coach Dave Rubio.

    BYU finished the 2007 season ranked No. 12 in the final poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and San Diego rounded out the poll at No. 25.

    The Wildcats will kick off the tournament against BYU at 9:30 a.m., and follow that with matches against San Diego at 11 a.m. and UC-Irvine at 1 p.m.

    “”We’re not too concerned about wins and losses (during the spring),”” Rubio said. “”It’s more along the individual player development that’s critical for us.””

    The spring exhibitions give the Wildcats a chance to put reserve players in situations they would not normally see during the fall. Because the games are not going to be easy, walkthroughs are beneficial to everyone, as Rubio and his team would attest.

    “”We are excited this weekend to get to see three very different teams,”” said opposite hitter Randy Goodenough. “”The only real way to get better is to play other competitive teams that force us to come together and figure out how to win.””

    Added Rubio: “”Basically, it’s free competition in providing you the same environment you would see in the fall.””

    The Wildcats are coming off a weekend in which they split two matches against New Mexico State. That experience was helpful because it allowed Rubio to see what the team needs to work on in the coming weeks and what it can start working on in
    tomorrow’s tournament.

    “”I think our blocking needs to improve and that would be biggest aspect, but we also need to get more offense out of our middle (blockers),”” Rubio said.

    The trip to California is also an advantageous recruiting tool for the UA, according to Rubio, especially during the offseason.

    “”A lot of our recruiting base is in the West and we have a lot of San Diego kids that we recruit on a yearly basis,”” Rubio said. “”So this gives them an opportunity to come down and take a look at the kind of team we’re going to be.””

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