Wildcats look to get conference win versus Oregon schools

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Darien Bakas | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona outside hitter Kendra Dahlke (8) plays in match against SMU on Sept. 2. The Wildcats will seek another Pac-12 win this weekend versus the Oregon schools.

Arizona women’s volleyball is back in action this week to host two Pac-12 North teams, Oregon State and Oregon.

The Oregon State match is set for Friday, Sept. 30 at 8:00 p.m. Then the Ducks will waddle into town Saturday, Oct. 1 for a 6:00 p.m. start. 

Oregon State has a 7-6 overall record this season and is 0-2 in conference play. The Beavers are a struggling program, but they are improving as seen by their seven wins this season, which surpassed their total of six wins a year ago.

Their two losses in conference play came against Stanford and Oregon. In both of these matches, the Beavers were dominated and failed to win a set.

Despite the poor showings, Oregon State’s outside hitter Mary-Kate Marshall is continuing an impressive career at the university. The junior is sitting at No. 11 in school history with 1,136 kills and No. 7 with 3,557 attacks.

Marshall has 39 career kills in the 12 sets she’s played against Arizona, so as the leader of the offense, Arizona will need to shut her down early.

Oregon State’s setter, McKenna Hollingsworth, is another Beaver to watch out for. She’s moved into the top-15 in assists in Oregon State history and is at No. 3 in the Pac 12 with an average of 10.04 assists per set. 

Despite these offensive leaders, Oregon State still has work to do if they hope to upset the Wildcats.

Arizona will move onto the No. 21 Oregon Ducks for a Saturday evening match in a rare back-to-back part of the schedule.

The Oregon game is a pink out and the first 500 fans will receive free pink glow wristbands in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Oregon started their season with two losses against top-10 teams, but has gone undefeated since.

Their nine straight wins include a sweep of top-25 team Illinois and two conference wins against Oregon State and Cal. 

Within this winning streak, the Ducks have absolutely dominated their opponents. Of the 28 sets in the nine matches, Oregon has won 27 of them. Plus, the Ducks’ opponents have been held to a .129 hitting percentage. 

Multiple offensive players have contributed to the team’s success, but outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide has carried the team this season.

Vander Weide already has five double-doubles and leads the Pac-12 in kills per set.

Vander Weide isn’t the only one having an exceptional start to the season. Teammates Taylor Agost and Ronika Stone are keeping the offense going when Vander Weide doesn’t get the ball. The two hitters have hitting percentages over .440 in the past nine wins.

Oregon poses a threat to the Wildcats undefeated streak at home this season, so coming out strong will be essential for Arizona. 

With the Oregon schools coming to Tucson this weekend, the Wildcats are looking to rebound from a tough Colorado loss by going for a weekend sweep. This will be the fifth opportunity Arizona has had to beat a top-25 opponent, going 0-for-4 the previous four times.


Follow Nikki Baim on Twitter.



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