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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

V-ball begins 2010 campaign

It’s good to be on top.

The Arizona volleyball team has the upper hand heading into the Shamrock Invitational in South Bend, Ind., this weekend. The Wildcats — No. 18 in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll — are ranked higher than all three of their upcoming opponents: Cal Poly, Marshall and Notre Dame.  

But head coach Dave Rubio is making sure that the team doesn’t overlook its opponents.

“”You’re always nervous — anxious (about starting the season),”” said Rubio. “”We’re down in the middle (blocker position), but I think we should be able to overcome that … I’m excited about getting it going, but a little nervous competing against such a good team right off the bat.””

Rubio shouldn’t have much to worry about because the Wildcats return with four seniors: Whitney Dosty, Tiffany Owens, Paige Weber and Danielle Holloway, all of whom played extensively in 2009. On top of being experienced, the tournament format also gives Arizona an edge.

“”We’re in pretty good shape,”” Rubio said. “”We’re going to have a chance to rest some kids. The nice thing about this tournament is that we’re playing one match all three days, when in a normal tournament you’re playing two matches on one day and then only one on another, so it’s nice to get some rest between games.””

Even though this is her fourth time breaking camp and finally getting to compete against a different school, outside hitter Dosty is excited about finding out what the 2010 team is made of.

“”I think it’ll be good this weekend, taking the volleyball (team)on the road and seeing how we match up against other teams,”” said Dosty, who is entering her fifth year in the program. “”Getting a chance to play against other people will give us a chance to see how we match up. I think we’re all excited to play against someone other than ourselves.””

Another challenge that early season tournaments and matches provide is the lack of available film, which leads to less scouting and game planning against opponents.

“”Usually we have video on teams from previous tournaments, but we obviously don’t have any previous tournaments yet,”” said Courtney Karst, a junior from Centennial, Colo. “”It’ll just be like while you play you need to catalog what the other players are doing and keep it in the back of your head … I feel like we have a real good shot at being successful””

Arizona opens the tournament today at 4:30 p.m. EDT against Cal Poly before taking on Marshall on Saturday at 5 p.m. EDT and finishing with Notre Dame on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT.

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