Arizona sand volleyball to open season with two-day tournament
Arizona sand volleyball opens its season in Tucson on March 6 with a two-day tournament. The tournament includes Arizona, Texas Christian, Louisiana State, Tulane and ASU.
The Wildcats are looking forward to finally having the opportunity to compete against someone other than each other.
“We’ve been playing each other for so long that it will be nice to play some different competition,” Madi Kingdon said.
As far as Arizona sand volleyball coach Steve Walker is concerned, the Wildcats’ biggest competition this weekend is themselves.
“I think all of the teams taking the court this weekend will be far more concerned with what goes on on their side of the net,” Walker said.
After the Red-Blue Scrimmage that took place on Saturday, Walker said he wanted to emphasize making different shots versus trying to win by making quick hits.
“It’s definitely been an emphasis this week,” Walker said, “but like I told the team, if they score with velocity in a match, I won’t be sad. But, we like to have more than one way of getting the end result.”
Walker added that, this week in practice, he has seen some of the shooting improvement he was looking for.
Partners Kaitlyn Leary and Kingdon are trying to focus on setting as well as shooting this weekend.
“Kaitlyn and I like to just hit the ball as hard as we can, and Steve has been trying to get us away from that,” Kingdon said. “I think that our game will be a little more complete this weekend.”
Arizona will not have the chance to face off against rival ASU during the tournament but will get to test its skills against TCU, LSU and Tulane.
This will be the first meetings for Arizona with TCU and LSU, and the second with Tulane. Last season, Arizona defeated Tulane 5-0 in Tucson and is hoping to do the same this year.
“We should have some outstanding competition,” Walker said. “There will be three — or four, if you count ASU, even though we won’t play them — really well-coached teams and some awesome competition all the way around.”
Arizona plays Texas Christian on March 6 at 1 p.m. Then, it will take on Louisiana State on March 7 at 11 a.m., followed by a match against Tulane at 4:30 p.m.
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