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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Volleyball needs big weekend in Oregon

Heather Newberry

Arizona outside hitter Kalei Mau (10) spikes the ball on Oregon State outside hitter Katelyn Driscoll (12) Sept. 30. The Wildcats will look to avenge an earlier loss to Oregon as they take on the Ducks in Eugene on Friday.

At the halfway point of an up-and-down season, Arizona women’s volleyball looks to flip the script this weekend in Oregon after three consecutive losses.

The Wildcats will travel to Eugene to face No. 20 Oregon on Friday at 7 p.m., then to Corvallis to take on Oregon State on Sunday at noon.

In the teams’ first matchup of the season, Oregon handed the UA its first home loss with a 3-1 victory. Oregon has since gone 3-3 in the Pac-12 Conference with loses against No. 10 Washington, UCLA and USC, all at home.

Arizona will then head to Oregon State on Sunday, who’s tied with ASU for last place in the conference with a 1-9 record.

In their previous meeting, the UA swept the Beavers and looks for a repeat of that success.

The theme of this weekend will be trying to get back on the right track for the Wildcats, and going back on the road seems to be the perfect opportunity to make that happen.

“I think we play better on the road than at home,” head coach David Rubio said. “I think there’s too many distractions for us here.”

Kalei Mau, who just made her comeback from a back injury, confirmed her coach’s statement, and looks forward to getting back on the road.

“It’s a lot easier to focus and dial in when we’re on the road when we have a set schedule,” Mau said. “It’s a lot easier to have everyone together physically and mentally. We feed off the energy we get when we’re somewhere else so we can prove something to people and ourselves.”

UA captain Penina Snuka wants to see her teammates refocus this weekend, starting with the way they practice.

“It’s about not slacking off and taking breaks [in practice],” Snuka said. “Not to think you’re going take a play off here and there, but it’s being able to keep pushing and pursuing.”

In order to compete in Oregon this weekend, the Wildcats will need to see production from all six players on the court. Rubio didn’t think all six starters came to play last weekend and knows his team can’t compete with ranked opponents when only four of his six starters are mentally prepared.

“Everyone’s got to show up to play well,” Rubio said. “We had a couple kids who didn’t show up well and play well [last week], so now everyone’s got to try to pick up for their absence.”

The Wildcats are aware it will take full team efforts to fly back to Tucson with two road victories.

“I think it’s a whole team effort; we can’t do it by ourselves,” Mau said. “We have to do it when we’re all together.”

Both games will be live streamed and available on

Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.

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