Arizona sweeps all four games in Wildcat Spring Challenge

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Madeleine Viceconte | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's Natalie Anselmo dives for the ball against Stetson University on Friday April 6 at Bear Down beach.

Day two of the Wildcat Spring Challenge was a success for Arizona sand volleyball as it beat Colorado Mesa (4-1) and No. 14 Cal (3-2) to go undefeated in the third home tournament of the season at Bear Down Beach on April 7.

Colorado Mesa:

The Wildcats started out their early morning with a great performance against Colorado Mesa, led by the No. 1 pair, Natalie Anselmo and Olivia Macdonald. They easily beat CMU’s Taylor Woods and Katie Scherr 21-12 in the first set and 21-4 in the second set.

Senior duo and No. 2 pair Hailey Devlin and Stephany Purdue also got a sweep against CMU’s Hana Peterman and Megan Gianinetti. The pair won 21-13 in the first set and 21-9 in the second set. Devlin and Purdue have seen more of the spotlight recently as they moved from the No. 3 pair to the No. 2 pair in the span of this weekend.

Jonny Baham and Brooke Burling continued their hot streak as a pair by shutting out CMU’s Samantha Ritter and Kacie Gilfert in a two-set sweep. They won 21-10 in the first set and 21-18 in the second set.

The only pair that lost against Colorado Mesa was the No. 5 pair, Makenna Martin and Chelsey Harris. They fell short to CMU’s Ara Norwood and Natalee Todd in a neck-to-neck three-set match (21-17, 18-21, 14-16). Martin and Harris played together for the first time this morning against CMU.

No. 14 California:

The second half of the Saturday double-header against Cal was a crucial conference win for Arizona. UA previously lost to Cal on Sunday, March 25 in the Pac-12 South Invitational by a score of 4-1.

Natalie Anselmo and Olivia Macdonald beat Cal’s Alexia Inman and Mima Mirkovic 21-12 in both of their two sets. With their two sweeps this afternoon, the top-ranked Wildcat tandem moves up to 17-7 as a pair this season.

Arizona’s No. 2 pair, Stephany Purdue and Hailey Devlin, fought a tough battle against Cal’s Jessica Gaffney and Iya Lindahl, but fell short in the third set (21-19, 18-21, 8-15).

“We were facing some injuries before this weekend, but it was great to see us work as a unit and get the job done back at home,” Anselmo said.

With their 4-0 performance in the Wildcat Spring Challenge, the Sand Cats move to 16-8 on the season. Arizona saw a spark of light to their season after hosting and dominating the Wildcat Spring Challenge. The 'Cats will need to carry it into next weekend as they go head-to-head against two very competitive programs.

Arizona is back in action next Saturday, April 14 as they travel to Malibu, California to compete against No. 1 Pepperdine and No. 6 Cal Poly in the Pepperdine Tri-Match.


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