Arizona volleyball wraps up conference play with last home games
John Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona vs Oregon State
The Arizona volleyball team will play its last two home games of the season against Utah and Colorado at McKale Center on Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats will take on the Buffs on Friday night at 7 p.m. and the Utes at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Rubio said the goal for the weekend is to win out as Arizona sets its sights on the NCAA tournament.
“We know that these are two teams that we need to beat and that we can beat and we just need to play hard and work together to make it happen,” freshman setter Lauren Fuller said.
Arizona is in a very different place from when it took on these teams earlier in the season. The freshmen have had more time to get comfortable on the floor and team chemistry has improved, according to setter Chanel Brown.
“Our game has really been based on being able to execute when it counted the most,” Rubio said.
“Last couple weeks we’ve been able to do that aside from the Oregon game.”
“A lot of teams now are a lot more scrappy than they have been since the first time around,” sophomore defensive specialist Ronni Lewis added. “If we just play our game then they’ll have to raise their level and that poses a big challenge for other teams.”
Arizona already took on both teams and beat them, which puts the Wildcats on track to tally two more wins. The return of junior hitter Alyse Hensley to help on the net and Candace Nicholson, who is back on track since taking a week off the team’s depth, will also put the team in a comfortable position. In addition, Rubio has introduced Lewis as a possible starter to play alongside Nicholson.
At mid-season Rubio said his team were worn thin and lacked the depth of the other teams in conference.
“This weekend we have to win two matches and we’re totally capable of winning, we’re at home and I think we play better at home,” Lewis said.
The Wildcats are now in the home stretch and come into the weekend with an RPI of 45.
“Every week is so different in terms of the complexion of the team,” Rubio said. “This week’s a new week and everyone’s in a different place so we have to get them tuned in and ready so they’re in the right place mentally.”