Beach volleyball scores revenge against rival Sun Devils
Arizona's Olivia Hallaran (32) about to spike the ball during the UA-ASU Beach Volleyball game on saturday, March 4.
After a disappointing opening weekend, things seem to be trending in the right direction for Arizona beach volleyball, they went 3-0 at the ASU Tournament and got redemption against their rivals, No. 12 Arizona State.
The Wildcats kicked off the tournament against host ASU on Saturday night. Last week, the Arizona schools competed through five hard fought matches, but the Sun Devils edged out the Wildcats for the 3-2 win, leaving the Arizona players and staff disappointed.
“It’s nothing to do with Arizona State,” said Arizona head coach Steve Walker. “It’s everything to do with Arizona. We really need to divorce ourselves of the idea we’re playing Arizona State. It’s just faces and numbers on the other side of the net. If we concern ourselves with our execution on our side of the net, we’ll be fine.”
And this time, they were fine.
It was another close battle, but the 8th ranked Wildcats took a 3-2 victory against the Sun Devils. Arizona’s bottom three teams earned the wins while the top two pairs were outlasted by Arizona State.
Energized by the Arizona State match, Arizona went into the second day of competition ready to dominate. In a morning matchup against Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Wildcats eased to a 5-0 sweep.
Then, the Wildcats wrapped things up by cruising to a 4-1 victory over New Mexico.
This weekend, the Wildcats were able to settle back into their normal lineups with sophomore Mia Mason returning from an injury. On the second team with Kendra Dahlke, the pair went 1-2, with their only win coming against Kingsville.
With a successful weekend that allowed the Wildcats to return to form, Arizona will head to Hawaii this weekend to play six matches over the course of three days.
In Honolulu, the Wildcats will have a chance at redemption against No. 5 Hawaii, whom they lost to at home, and will face the best teams in the nation in No. 1 USC and No. 2 Florida State.
They begin play of Friday, March 17 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 12 p.m. MST.
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