Arizona volleyball set to take on Washington schools

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Setter Penina Snuka (20) sets the ball for a teammate Friday, Oct. 2. The Wildcats defeated California 3-1.

After defeating Cal on Friday night three sets to one in front of the home crowd in McKale Center, the Wildcats hit the road, taking on Washington tonight and Washington State on Friday. 

The difficult schedule continues for the Wildcats, with Washington being ranked No. 6 and Washington State having won 12 games already this season. They are currently in the middle of a stretch of 12 matches that has featured six of the top nine teams in the country, as well as eight teams ranked in the top 25 overall.

They will hope to finally get over the hump against a top-10 team, having lost tight matches to Ohio State, Texas, ASU and Stanford. 

Kalei Mau, whose 4.56 kills per set is the third highest in the Pac-12 Conference, said she feels good about her team going into the road trip, as they have finally had an opportunity to get some rest. 

“We were going actually 12 days straight, and then finally this weekend we got some rest time,” Mau said. “I think we are all pretty much ready to take on another week and just go hard.”

When asked about what it will take for the Wildcats to finally get over the hump against a top-10 opponent, Laura Larson, a junior and defensive specialist, said she believes her team is in a position to make that move. 

“We’ve played so many top-10 teams over the last five or six games,” Larson said. “I think each game we have taken something from that—how to win against those teams. Our serve and pass will be very important in the game, so if we win that battle, I think we’ll have a chance to beat them.”

With a 2-2 record in Pac-12 play and an overall record of 12-4, Arizona looks ready to take on Washington and Washington State. Over the last eight games, their serve-receive team has only given up 0.44 aces a set after giving 1.12 aces a set in its first eight games.

They also lead the Pac-12 in digs so far, averaging 16.45 a set, and are second in kills and assists. Even in their losses, the Wildcats have proven to be highly competitive against all of their opponents this season, not having been swept once.
Arizona’s match against Washington starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.


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