UA volleyball defeats Utes, falls in shocker to Buffs at home


Owen Forest

Owen Forest / The Daily Wildcat Arizona volleyball versus Utah on Nov. 1

Matt Wall

No. 15 Arizona volleyball finished the weekend with one win and one loss, falling to Colorado in four sets (15-25, 25-18, 20-25, 18-15) on Friday night and defeating Utah on Saturday night in straight sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-14). After the weekend, the Wildcats have a record of 18-6, 7-5 in the Pac-12 Conference.

Against Colorado, Arizona consistently struggled, despite senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon’s 19 kills. Although they outdug the Buffaloes 64-59, sophomore setter Penina Snuka’s 15 digs led the way for the Wildcats, contributing to her 17th double-double of the season, along with 36 assists.For the Buffaloes, senior outside hitter Taylor Simpson led the way with 17 kills, along with junior outside hitter Alexis Austin’s 16 kills.

The Colorado game was one that the Wildcats were expected to win. In fact, it was the second time this season that the Buffaloes took advantage of Arizona. In the earlier game, the Wildcats were swept, and they weren’t any more successful in this match.

In the first set, Arizona jumped off to an early lead of 11-8 before Colorado made 11 straight points, completely taking the Wildcats off guard. The UA took a 10-3 run to win the second set. In the third and fourth sets, the Buffaloes capitalized on momentum and runs, which is what killed the Wildcats throughout the match.

After their disappointing loss to Colorado, the Wildcats needed to come out strong against a struggling Utah team, and boy did they ever. Their straight sets victory will definitely bring some confidence back as their schedule will only get tougher.

Against Utah, Kingdon and sophomore outside hitter Ashley Harris led the way with 14 and 13 kills, respectively. The Wildcats hit .296 in the match, which was their best hitting percentage since Oct. 8, against California.

Harris was able to hit a .464 hitting percentage, and senior outside hitter Taylor Arizobal hit a .438 hitting percentage. Ronni Lewis had 19 digs for the Wildcats.

In the first set, Kingdon picked up nine kills on only 16 swings, giving the Wildcats an opening set win. In the second set, Arizona overcame a low .171 hitting percentage to break a 23-23 tie.

Freshman outside hitter and right-side hitter Adora Anae had just 11 kills for the Utah Utes, as they had 22 errors in total during the match. That has been the story throughout the entire season for the Utes, who have had trouble consistently in the Pac-12, carrying just a 2-10 record against opponents in the conference.

Next up for Arizona, the Wildcats will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to face No. 1 Stanford. The Wildcats faced the Cardinal earlier in the season, losing to it in four sets. Stanford is undefeated this season at 20-0 and boasts the No. 1 ranking in the country into every match.

With just eight more matches until the start of the NCAA Tournament First Round, the Wildcats will have to continue to win tough and close matches, especially if they want to maintain their top-25 ranking.


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