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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Home court not always advantage

    Outside hitter Brooke Buringrud hits the ball over leaping middle blockers Dominique Lamb (10) and Jacy Norton (12) while head coach Dave Rubio observes in McKale Center yesterday. The Wildcats start their season tomorrow at home, which could have many disadvantages, Rubio said.
    Outside hitter Brooke Buringrud hits the ball over leaping middle blockers Dominique Lamb (10) and Jacy Norton (12) while head coach Dave Rubio observes in McKale Center yesterday. The Wildcats start their season tomorrow at home, which could have many disadvantages, Rubio said.

    It’s seemingly a universal agreement: Home is always more comforting than someone else’s house.

    As the Arizona volleyball team inches closer to its first set of games of the season this weekend, the Wildcat players look forward to kicking off play in McKale Center.

    “”We love playing at home,”” said junior outside hitter Brooke Buringrud. “”We have our own fans, our own band. It’s comfortable here. Home court advantage definitely gives us a one-up on the other team.””

    But the agreement isn’t so universal. Though Buringrud’s statement is consistent with those of the other players on the team, Playing in McKale also has its drawbacks, said UA head coach Dave Rubio.

    “”We’ve been practicing in McKale for about two and a half weeks, and we’re very comfortable here,”” Rubio said in his office yesterday. “”But there are some disadvantages to playing at home. There are more distractions at home than there are on the road.””

    With two players from Tucson, two from the Phoenix area and eight from California, family support at home games is not uncommon. Many times, when family and friends come in from out of town, they want to spend time with the players, and the players feel obligated in doing so.

    “”They end up going to dinners, going out late, socializing,”” Rubio said.

    And certainly, Rubio – a husband and father of three, including twins who turned 9 months old Friday – knows that family time is important, but “”they’re here to play,”” he said of the Wildcats.

    “”As bad as it sounds, they have to learn to say ‘No’ to their parents,”” he said.

    Sometimes, players fill in their down time on game days in Tucson by doing chores or shopping, Rubio said.

    “”They should be getting down time, resting,”” he said, “”and they end up running all around town doing all the things they neglected to do early in the week.””

    But through the fog of disturbance shines a light of optimism.

    “”All those things become distractions when we’re playing at home,”” Rubio said, “”but I’d rather have it that way.””

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