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Best Arizona sports moments of fall 2013 semester



It’s been a semester of ups and downs for Arizona sports, but mostly ups.

Sure, the football and hockey teams were defeated the last couple of weeks by archrival ASU, but the semester was good to the Wildcats for the most part. Remember when women’s cross country rose to No. 1 in the country or when hockey beat No. 1 and defending national champion Minot State?

We do.

Here’s a few of our reporters’ favorite highlights of the semester.

— fall 2013 co-sports editors Megan Coghlan and James Kelley

Men’s Basketball

The win over Duke in the final round of the NIT Season Tip-Off was the best moment in all of 2013 for Arizona basketball. The victory showed that even for the elites of college basketball, no first-half lead is ever safe against this resilient Wildcats team.

Also, with the game being played in New York City’s historic Madison Square Garden, Arizona proved it could outlast other top-notch teams on a neutral floor. That shouldn’t change if the Wildcats can escape the regular season injury-free.

Plus, no matter what, positive publicity is always a great thing.

So, while this game doesn’t carry heavy implications for the rankings in March, defeating Duke on national television got hoops fans all over the country buzzing about the UA and it is the main reason Arizona is looking down on everyone in the polls. It didn’t exactly hurt head coach Sean Miller’s recruiting campaign, either.

—Joey Putrelo

Football

Arizona’s football season began positively, but quickly turned pessimistic. The discouraged vibe soon became a panicked and a dejected one after the Wildcats were upset at home by Washington State on Nov. 16.

But all that changed the following week as Arizona saved face with a win over the then-No. 5 ranked Oregon Ducks at Arizona Stadium.

Not only was it a signature win for the season, it was the game in which Wildcats junior running back Ka’Deem Carey cemented himself as the greatest running back in the school’s history. In the 42-16 victory over Oregon, Carey set four school records, most notably the all-time rushing and touchdown records.

—Luke Della

Volleyball

The match where the Arizona indoor volleyball team swept then-No. 1 USC, on Oct. 20, was the most memorable to cover.

It was the first time in 20 years that the Wildcats had beaten a No. 1 team. Arizona knocked the Trojans out in three sets in McKale Center.

Arizona’s defense was one of the best to witness during that match, as it didn’t allow USC to do much throughout the three sets.

Following that match, Arizona entered the AVCA Top 25 poll, listed as No. 25, and improved from No. 30 to No. 17 in RPI rankings.

—Rose Aly Valenzuela

Swimming

Arizona swimming’s highlight came this past weekend when it wrapped up its fall season.

Arizona swimmer Kevin Cordes broke his own American record in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas.

The junior finished the race in 50.70 seconds, .04 seconds faster than his previous time. His teammate, Kevin Steel, finished in second place, almost two whole seconds behind him (52.58).

Cordes, who has proven to be the dominant breaststroker at the collegiate level, also holds the American record in the 200y breaststroke (1:48.68), which he broke during the NCAA Championships last March.

—Nicole Cousins


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