Arizona volleyball officially closed 2009 fall camp on Saturday with the team's annual Red/Blue scrimmage at McKale Center, where the Red team came away with a 3-2 victory.
The scrimmage gave head coach Dave Rubio a gauge to judge the team's progress as it heads into the start of the season. While he was pleased with individual performances from junior outside hitter Whitney Dosty and junior setter Paige Weber, Rubio said he was less happy with the overall team cohesiveness.
""The system now has to run (smoothly). That's hard — the game (of volleyball) is very fluid,"" Rubio said. ""There's a lot of responsibility that changes and is dictated on where the ball goes.""
The Wildcats completed five sets with the team divided into a Red team and a Blue team. Dosty and Weber, along with junior outside hitter Tiffany Owens, took control of the match early. Their combined effort helped the Red team to start the scrimmage strongly, winning the first two sets 25-11 and 25-15.
With the help of two team managers, the Blue team fought back and took the next two sets. Although the Red squad won the match 3-2, the Blue were able to claw their way back.
""I am a little frustrated in some aspects of the game. But my general feeling is that in the beginning of the match, I think we played very efficient,"" Rubio said. ""As the match wore on, we got sloppy. I thought we started to play and react emotionally rather than playing and react like we've been trying to.""
The scrimmage marked the end of two-a-day practices for the Wildcats, which had begun Aug. 10. The traditional two-session practices geared up Arizona for the season, which beings Aug. 28 against Louisville.
""It's two weeks, practice every day, twice a day,"" Weber said. ""And we have weights on top of it. You never get tired of (the practice schedule), you just get tired.""
The Wildcats have less than a week left of practice before their 2009 season begins. In that time, Rubio will look for them to keep errors to a minimum.
""I'd like us to be a little more patient with how we're playing. I just think we're making too many errors,"" he said. ""We're not serve-receiving the short ball very well. There's a little too much confusion in there and a little too chaotic.""
Their pre-conference season is significantly more difficult than the 2008 season. Compared to competing against one NCAA tournament team in the 2008 season, Arizona will play five in the 2009 pre-conference season.
The Wildcats will face seven of the top 16 seeds from last season's NCAA tournament and 10 who played in the 2008 postseason.
The veteran Arizona squad introduced new long-sleeved jerseys along with the team's only freshmen Ellen Querrey Saturday. The jerseys combine the navy and cardinal down to the player's wrists. Last year, players wore sleeveless jerseys.
Setter Paige Weber talked about the change in uniforms.
""We're looking fly,"" Weber said. ""I like the long sleeves and I think everyone else is a fan of the long sleeves as well. And if we're looking good, maybe we're feeling good and playing good, so it all works out.""