Arizona volleyball falls short to Stanford in Palo Alto
In the Arizona volleyball team’s second showdown of the season with No. 2 Stanford, the Wildcats (12-10, 4-7 Pac-12) fell short again, losing 3-0 in Palo Alto, Calif.
Head coach Dave Rubio still believes that there were a few positives to take away from Wednesday’s match.
“I think we played better and harder,” Rubio said. “We’re just not at that level yet. Stanford is a top caliber team.”
Freshman hitter Halli Amaro had a solid performance with 10 kills on the night, while starting Arizona outside hitters Madi Kingdon and Taylor Arizobal struggled from the left side, with Kingdon swinging at .075 hitting percentage. Rubio feels Amaro’s success was a result of freshman setter Lauren Fuller’s performance. The pair are connecting well on the net.
“The issues for us were serving, and we did not pass well at all,” Rubio said. “The kill percentage was low so we couldn’t score.”
However, Rubio said the defense performed well and that the team as a whole played hard.
Stanford currently sits at the top of the conference and Rubio said playing such an experienced team is always an uphill battle.
“We had a really good practice on Monday,” Rubio said. “The intensity was good and it was one of the first times this year where everyone felt really good about what happened in the gym. But Stanford had all the pieces and we’re not quite there yet.”
Even though the Wildcats lost, they were able to keep up with the Cardinal, tying the game in sets one and two and taking an early lead in the third set.
“Their middles were a big offensive part of the team,” Rubio said.
“They beat us in serving and passing where we couldn’t score, and you’re not going to beat a team of this caliber if you don’t score.”
Of the top seven ranked teams in the country, five are Pac-12 teams.
“Technique and strategy and skill — all those things are great when the playing field is level,” Rubio said. “But it’s unfair to think that that’s the case.”