Arizona volleyball unable to complete sweep of rival ASU
Arizona volleyball head coach Dave Rubio, pictured on September 24, 2015 against ASU. The Wildcats lost Saturday to rival ASU and await their NCAA tournament fate as announcements come out Sunday.
Unable to continue the win this weekend against rival Arizona State, the Arizona women’s volleyball team was defeated by the Sun Devils in a intense five set match, 3-2, to conclude their final match of the 2016 regular season Saturday afternoon (19-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18, 20-18).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Arizona was off to a good start in the opening frame with their offensive skills and the powerful arm of Kalei Mau who led the ‘Cats with five kills on nine swings. The Sun Devils kept it close but the Wildcats took the set 25-19.
Arizona State took an early four-point lead, but the Wildcats soon crawled their way to tie the set 21-21. Arizona battled through the set but Arizona State soon came back to take the set 26-24.
The Sun Devils carried over the momentum into the third set with a 11-8 lead but was soon flipped by the Wildcats who took a four-point run to take the lead 15-12. Arizona continued through the set with a powerful offense to take the set 25-22.
Arizona State fought back in the fourth set taking a seven-point lead keeping the ‘Cats at a .098 hitting percentage. Arizona fought through a 2-1 lead but couldn’t stop the Sun Devils from taking the set 25-18 to tie the match 2-2 forcing a fifth set.
In a crucial fifth set, the rivalry got intense. The Wildcats and Sun Devils continued to exchange points tying the set 15-15. In the nail biting set, Arizona State broke away taking the match win 20-18.
STATS OF MATCH
Arizona sophomore Kendra Dahlke led the ‘Cats by collecting 21 kills followed by senior Kalei Mau with 18 kills and senior Katarina Pilepic with 12.
Senior Penina Snuka finished the match with a double double with 52 assist and 16 digs.
Freshman Devyn Cross was a defensive weapon in the match as she finished with seven blocks.
The Arizona Wildcats finished the regular season 18-14 and 10-10 in the Pac-12 leaving them No. 8 in the conference. Arizona was unable to hold their No. 25 standing on the AVCA Ranking.
The Arizona Wildcats are waiting to see if they earned a spot in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship bracket that will be announced Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU's Selection Show.
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