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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA volleyball ready for Wildcat Classic

Arizona volleyball makes its 2012 debut this Friday against Evansville to open the Wildcat Classic at McKale Center.

Cal State Northridge, Evansville and Utah-Valley will take part in the two-day showdown. This is the first time the incoming freshman class and three transfers will see competition at the college level and as Wildcats.

“I think we are coming into this season with that underdog label,” junior setter Chanel Brown said. “We’re still feeling out how to work together, but we are clicking at times.”

Sophomore middle blocker Rachel Rhoades is not expected to return from a concussion injury in time for the weekend.

Rhoades said she was hoping to be back in time for practice Thursday evening but was not able to fully complete the concussion test that she performed earlier in the day.

Head coach Dave Rubio said the freshmen who will see the court during the weekend will have to prove they deserve significant playing time.

Arizona will take on Evansville in the first matchup of the Wildcat Classic, making this the second consecutive year the two teams have faced off. Last time, the Wildcats won 3 sets to 1.

“I think there is an expectation there for the returners, but I really don’t mind it. We as a team all want to perform well so it’s important for us to step into that role,” sophomore outside hitter Madi Kingdon said.

All eyes are on the 7-member freshman class competing for time on the court. So far, middle blocker Olivia Magill has stood out among her teammates.

“She is just a beast at the net,” Brown said. “She just jumps out of the roof.”

Three transfers will also be making their Wildcat debut this weekend. Brown, from the University of Florida, is joined by fellow Division I players junior Alyse Hensley from Loyola Marymount and Emily Kiser from Sacramento State.

“It definitely feels like Coach has been tougher on us this past week,” Kingdon said. “We can tell he is expecting more and that’s really good for us to feel that pressure.”

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