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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona volleyball defeats Oregon schools

Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock/ Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Outside Hitter, Maddie Kingdon, spikes the ball against Oregon on Friday. The Wildcats defeated Oregon 3-1.

After starting conference play 0-2 without winning a set, Arizona indoor volleyball bounced back to upset No. 21 Oregon and beat Oregon State.

After dropping the first set against OSU on Sunday, the Wildcats (12-4, 2-2 Pac-12) swept the next three.

“It’s a huge weekend for us,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “I think that the most important thing is that you protect your home court.”

The UA lost the first set 25-23, trailing nearly all of it.

“It was sloppy. We weren’t very sharp,” Rubio said. “The good news is we found a way to win, but certainly it wasn’t our best effort.”

Sophomore middle blocker Olivia Magill and junior outside hitters Madi Kingdon and Jane Croson tied for a match high 13 kills. Magill hit .524 with five blocks.

Kingdon recorded her eighth double-double of the year, which leads the Pac-12. Arizona played OSU (9-6, 0-4) at 11 a.m. on Sunday for television broadcast purposes.

“Whether it is 7 in the morning or 11 at night, you got to find a way to get ready. I didn’t do a very good job of preparing my team for that and that’s my fault,” Rubio said. “Normally we play at noon, at 1, and apparently that one hour makes a big difference.”

Arizona won the second set 25-23, leading most of the way. The Wildcats started on a 9-4 run, prompting a time out by the Beavers. OSU cut the lead to two, 13-11, which led to an Arizona time out and eventually tied it at 20-20, before the Wildcats pulled away.

Arizona started out the third set slowly, trailing 4-3, before pounding the Beavers 25-14.

“In general, our execution was just more consistent,” Rubio said about the later sets.

Arizona dominated the last set, winning 25-14 and ending on a 7-1 run.

“The conference is so good this year, so deep. There is not one bad team in the conference this year,” Rubio said. “We could have easily lost [Sunday]. If you’re not ready to play, then you’re going to suffer a loss.”

The Wildcats opened Pac-12 play with 3-0 losses at ASU and California.

“It feels really good coming back, bouncing back from those two losses and coming in on Friday and playing really hard,” Magill said. “Yeah, [Sunday] was slow, but we still got the win somehow, so that’s what’s really good.”

On Friday, Arizona snapped its losing skid with a 3-1 upset of No. 21 Oregon. The Wildcats won their first Pac-12 match in their first conference home contest, 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22.

“We needed a win this weekend,” Rubio said. “If we didn’t win, we’d be 1-4 and it would be tough to dig out of that hole.”

Kingdon had 24 kills, hitting .250, with 13 digs and two blocks. Nicholson, the school record holder for career digs, had a career-high 26 digs.

“Oregon is obviously a good team, and they are going to get a lot of wins in our conference, which will add to our NCAA tournament [resumé],” said junior outside hitter Taylor Arizobal.

Arizona snapped its four-match losing streak to Oregon.

Up next for the Wildcats is a road trip to face the Washington schools this weekend. The Huskies are 11-1 and are ranked No. 1 in the latest poll.

“I think these two wins will really prepare us for next weekend when we have to play the Washington schools,” Magill said. “They have the same dynamic, like we’re playing a later match on Friday and then an earlier match on Sunday, so I feel like we’ve learned something from this weekend.”

—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520

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