Arizona volleyball to host Utah and Colorado after consecutive losses last week

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Nick Trujillo | The Daily Wildcat Senior Julia Patterson (4) smiles just before the match kicks off against New Mexico State University. The Wildcats won the game 3-0.

Arizona volleyball (10-4) will have a chance to not only snap its two-game losing streak this weekend, but earn its first conference victory as they host No. 20 Utah (9-4) on Friday and Colorado (8-4) on Sunday at McKale Center. With the Pac-12 standings tight in the early going of the season, each team hopes to gain some separation this weekend.

Arizona looked like they were going to rebound against USC this past Saturday, as the box score does not reflect how hard they fought. They lost by a final score of 3-1, but they were not defeated in a single set by more than four points.

Devyn Cross plans to continue her stellar play, as she recorded 15 kills on .522 attacking percentage, granting her the best season hitting percentage in the country at .519. Along with her, Paige Whipple and Elizabeth Shelton contributed 21 kills combined, and Kamaile Hiapo helped defensively with a team-high 15 digs. Sooner or later, these strong contributions of play should translate into more victories.

Junior Dani Drews will lead the way for the Utes, as the outside hitter has a team-high 248.5 points and 217 kills on the season. Additionally, sophomore Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres has led the team with 523 assists and senior Brianna Doehrmann has totaled a team-high 167 digs. With Utah being a well-balanced team from all aspects, it is essential that Arizona takes the lead early in sets and allows minimum momentum for the Utes. 

The Wildcats have had recent success against the Buffaloes, being victorious the past two times the teams have faced off, but are only 3-7 out of the last 10 meetings. Especially with both teams having similar starts to the season, we can expect a close match Sunday.

What is foreseeable is the continued dominant play of senior Justine Spann, who leads Colorado with 170 kills. She hopes to conclude the weekend with a victory in her home state.

This weekend will be a great opportunity for Arizona to turn their fortune around as they square off against two worthy conference opponents. The team's next game is Friday, Oct. 4 at 6:00 p.m. against Utah.


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