Arizona Wildcats volleyball looks to rebound at Cal
Arizona indoor volleyball will try to rebound after getting dominated by arch-rival ASU on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (10-3, 0-1 Pac-12) will travel to Berkeley to face Cal. The match is Friday at 8 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
Head coach Dave Rubio said that he thought the Wildcats’ practice the day after the ASU match was good and that they were in the right mind-set.
Cal (7-3, 0-1) will be a tough task for the Wildcats. The Golden Bears started the season 7-0, but after losing to No. 7 Stanford Wednesday, Cal has lost three matches in a row.
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat Rachel Rhoades spikes the ball against Wofford on Sept. 21, 2013.
“They may be the most physical team we’ve seen this year,” Rubio said. “They’re big, they hit the ball hard, it’s going to be a challenge.”
Cal is led by senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan who has a team-high 148 kills and second on the team in digs with 113. Freshman defensive specialist Maddy Kerr leads the Golden Bears with 121 digs and senior setter Joan Caloiaro has a team-high 384 assists. Caloiaro is also UA junior libero Ronni Lewis’ cousin.
Lewis is a native of San Jose, Calif., and said she will have many family members at the match watching her and her cousin.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a distraction. Whenever I play near home I get really excited,” Lewis said. “I think I’ve gotten better at controlling my excitement, just turning it into energy and competitiveness.”
Lewis has been a key contributor off the bench for the Arizona this season. She is third on the team with 107 digs only behind senior libero Candace Nicholson who has 197 and junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon with 143.
If the Wildcats are to beat Cal the blocking will have to be better. Against ASU, the UA only had seven total team blocks.
“I think that if we put up a big solid block it will be easy to play defense around it,” Lewis said. “We’ve been struggling with our block lately, but I know the coaches have been working on that.”
Kingdon has been Arizona’s best offensive player this season. On Tuesday she 14 kills, but had an unusual low hitting percentage at just 0.22
“No excuses, I just had an off night,” Kingdon said. “Hopefully I’ll do better this weekend.”
— Follow Derek Evans @DerekEvans20