Reflecting on Arizona volleyball's rebuilding season
Jon Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona vs Oregon State
It was a rebuilding year for Arizona volleyball. The Wildcats lost four seniors from last year and head coach Dave Rubio’s 2012 roster boasted 10 new players, seven of which were new to Division I volleyball.
Rubio said during the season that the team is one of the most talented he’s had but was too inexperienced to compete at the same level as the rest of the conference.
The Wildcats finished 16-15, 8-12 in the Pac-12 Conference.
MVP: Madi Kingdon, sophomore outside hitter
Like many of the freshmen this year, Kingdon had to step up last year and and take on a key role to help the team. This season, Kingdon was essentially the glue that kept the team from falling apart.
Kingdon recorded 13 double doubles this season, and led the squad with 443 kills out of the most attempts (1240). She also fell second in digs to libero Candace Nicholson with 319 and earned the most points overall for the Wildcats with 486.5.
Best Newcomer: Olivia Magill, freshman middle blocker
Freshman middle blocker Olivia Magill stands at 6-foot-2 and put up a solid block for the Wildcats. Magill emerged as one of the most efficient hitters on the team with a .328 hitting percentage. She put up solid blocking statistics, with 10 and 94 assist blocks.
Unsung Hero: Rachel Rhoades, sophomore middle blocker
Rachel Rhoades was one of the few returning players for the squad. She didn’t take the most swings or complete the most blocks but is one of the most reliable players on offense. Rhoades led the team in efficiency with a .341 hitting percentage and provided a quiet leadership on the court — and the team clearly missed her when she was kept out of a few matches due to a concussion.
Best Individual Performance: Ronni Lewis against UCLA on Nov. 2
Lewis topped her previous career-high 13 digs with 20 that night and she was a key component to the team’s win over UCLA in keeping the ball alive and the offense running long enough the take the upset sweep 3-0 (25-22, 25-16. 26-24).
They said it
“It’s crazy to see how much this team has changed … it was all just rebuilding and getting our skills down and stuff, and you can just really see a change — work ethic and skill wise.” – setter Chanel Brown
“It’s in our sites for the future. As long as we keep getting better and play to our level, a very high level, then we definitely have the talent and the mind-set. If we can put both of those together I think we can be really dominant in the future.” – libero Ronni Lewis
“We’ve had some pretty hard hits, it’s been an arduous season but we’re creating character and an identity and that really important.” – head coach Dave Rubio