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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

V-ball: slow start costs Wildcats

Slow starts have plagued the Arizona volleyball team this season, and the trend continued this weekendat the Wolf Pack Invitational in Reno, Nev., where the Wildcats dropped their first match to Pacific University. They would respond by closing the weekend with wins against the University of Nevada, Reno and Northern Arizona University.

“”We didn’t play very well. Our execution was off and we just made so many unforced errors. It was unfortunate,”” said head coach Dave Rubio when talking about the opening loss. “”I’m not sure what the reasons were, but we were just completely out of sync — out of rhythm. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t get any kind of flow going.””

The Wildcats hit at a lowly .129 clip in the first match, and handed Pacific 37 points on errors.

Arizona continued its poor play into the first set of the second match against Nevada before flipping the switch and beating the Wolf Pack in four sets. UA cut its error number down to 25 and hit at a .321 clip in the match.

“”The second game … we played a lot like we played the first game,”” Rubio continued. “”We just sort of followed the same pattern, but it was nice that we were able to right the ship and play more efficiently in games two, three and four.””

Outside hitter Whitney Dosty led the Wildcat surge with 18 kills and four digs to go along with a service ace.

After splitting their first two matches of the tournament, the Wildcats downed in-state rival NAU in straight sets to earn their third winning record in as many tournaments.

Tiffany Owens, a senior outside hitter, provided an offensive spark with 15 kills and eight digs for UA. In their most efficient match of the tournament, the Wildcats hit at a .343 percentage to down the Lumberjacks.

The tournament marked the second time Arizona has had to deal with adversity following an opening loss this season.

“”It was a difficult weekend because we struggled with a lot of things against Pacific,”” Rubio said after defeating NAU. “”Overall, we’re going to have some lows and certainly that was one of them. We couldn’t put a finger on why we performed so erratically, but it was nice to be able bounce back.””

Serving was an area that Rubio felt had cost his Wildcats heading into the weekend’s play, and he liked what he saw from his team.

“”The serving is getting better. We’re getting within the numbers that we want,”” he said. “”The serving and passing are equalizers for all teams, so that was good. Our system is still not quite where we need to be, and we’re making some unforced errors that we shouldn’t be making.””

Even though Rubio says that the Wildcats aren’t where they need to be at this point in the season, the setbacks don’t surprise him because of the amount turnover among players in the program.

Arizona will host its second and final tournament of the season this weekend, when the Wildcats will play host to Texas State University, Pepperdine University and New Mexico State University.

“”This upcoming week is a big week,”” said Rubio. “”We play some real good teams, so we’ll see where we are.””

 

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