Volleyball hosts Wildcat Classic Tournament
Arizona volleyball will get one last tune-up before it begins conference play on Tuesday.
This weekend the Wildcats (7-2) will host the Wildcat Classic Tournament against Loyola Maryland, Wofford and UC Santa Barbara.
Arizona plays Loyola Maryland tonight at 7 p.m., Wofford on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.
The Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (2-7) are led by senior outside hitter Faye Lukas and middle blocker Jac Bullock, who both have 87 kills so far this season.
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat Penina Snuka prepares to serve the ball on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 against EKU. UA defeated EKU 3-0.
Senior outside hitter Amanda Liguori leads the Wofford Terriers’ (5-6) offense with 135 kills.
In the last match of the Wildcat Classic, the team will take on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (3-6). The Gauchos may be a tougher challenge than their record indicates — they lost 3-1 to fellow Pac-12 team USC last Saturday.
Senior outside hitter Leah Sully has the most kills for UCSB, with 110, and senior libero Kara Sherrard leads the team with 113 digs.
Head coach Dave Rubio said he is confident that the team won’t be looking ahead to conference play and that he expects UC Santa Barbara to be a challenge.
In the first nine matches, Arizona freshman setter Penina Snuka has done a little bit of everything. She has 24 kills, 74 digs, 17 total blocks and 343 sets.
“We keep talking about conference play, but we know that we have this tournament,” Snuka said, “so I think we can use this tournament to prepare for ASU.”
Last week in the Hawaii tournament, the team defeated Northwestern and Portland State, but lost to Hawaii 3-1. Despite the tough loss, junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon said she is confident the team is in a good position heading into this weekend’s tournament.
“I think our team is going to be really good,” Kingdon said. “[It] was a little disappointing not having [Jane Croson] there, but I think we rose to the occasion.”
Croson, a junior outside hitter, sat out last weekend’s matches, since she is a transfer from Hawaii.
While Kingdon said she is happy with where the team is, she also had some areas in mind that need work.
“I think maybe just a little serving and passing,” Kingdon said. “We kind of broke down with that in our Hawaii match. If we can get that back on point where it needs to be, I think we can win a lot more matches with that.”
After the Wildcat Classic tournament, Arizona begins conference play with a match at ASU on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
—Follow Derek Evans @DerekEvans20