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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Volleyball faces top-5 opponents from SoCal

The Arizona volleyball team (10-5, 2-4 Pac-12) is heading into another highly competitive weekend, playing No. 5 USC tonight and No. 2 UCLA tomorrow. This time, the team will have the home-court advantage. The Wildcats are coming off a weekend where they fell to both No. 4 California and No. 6 Stanford on the road.

Head coach Dave Rubio is striving for consistency with his team.

“To be honest, you just kind of hope that we play at a more consistent and sustainable level,” Rubio said. “We played well last week against two very good teams but weren’t able to sustain that level long enough.”

The Wildcats are 2-4 in conference, but have shown the ability to keep up with big teams on the scoreboard. They even won a game against the Stanford Cardinal last week.

“We’re going to put ourselves in a position to beat teams if we continue to get better and focus on the process of getting better, rather than the end result of a win or a loss,” Rubio said.

The Trojans are coming off of six consecutive wins, and the team is not only nationally ranked, but is also composed of multiple nationally ranked players.

“USC is clearly the team in our conference that has the ability to win a national championship,” Rubio said. “I look at them and say they have size, they’re well skilled and they have experience.”

Following the Trojans, the Wildcats will take on the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins are currently 6-1 in conference play.

“The Bruins have extremely well-skilled players,” Rubio said. “They’re not as physical as USC. But those two teams, USC and UCLA, are clearly the two best teams in our conference at this point.”

While bookies might favor USC and UCLA, there’s always the possibility of an upset.

“Right now, are we good enough to beat a team like USC and UCLA?” Rubio said. “It’s hard to say, every match takes on its own complexion. That’s why there are upsets in sports.”

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