Witt sisters move on to day two of pairs competition at Pac-12 Championships

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Michelle Tomaszkowicz | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona's McKenna Witt serves during the UA-ASU Beach Volleyball game on Saturday, March 4. 

Arizona’s season may have ended Friday morning, but the Wildcats’ top pairing, Madison and McKenna Witt, live on to see another day of play in the Pac-12 pairs tournament.

The Wildcats were eliminated from the Pac-12 Tournament by Washington in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, Arizona’s No. 1 pair, Madison and Mckenna Witt, had to face Washington again.

The Witts, who have been fighting intestinal issues, showed no sign of weakness in their afternoon match. Against Washington’s Cassie Stickland and Courtney Schwan, the Witts eased into the next round, 21-11, 21-14.

“It felt good to get that win,” Madison said. “We’ve been having some adversity in this tournament, so just battling through that and still trying to compete has been a challenge for us for sure.”

As the fifth seed, they will face yet another Washington pair, fourth-seeded Crissy Jones and Tia Scambray, tomorrow at 9 a.m. The Witts are 0-2 against Jones and Scambray this season, which includes a loss in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Tomorrow is the Witts’ last opportunity to play at Bear Down Beach, so they will try to play as deep into the tournament as possible.

“We’re going to give it our all because it could be our last time playing here,” Madison said. “It means a lot to us.”

Olivia Macdonald and Olivia Hallaran also competed in the pairs tournament. As the 10th-seed, they played Stanford’s seventh-seeded Kathryn Plummer and Jenna Gray.

Macdonald and Hallaran play as the second team for Arizona while Plummer and Gray are in Stanford’s first. “The Olivias” are likely to play as the No. 1 pair next year, so this was a first look at the level of competition they expect to see in their future opponents.

They didn’t compete to their expectations.

Stanford won in two (21-16,21-14) and move onto UCLA’s Nicole and Megan Mcnamara tomorrow. As for Arizona, Hallaran and Macdonald hit the cold tub for the last time this season and will begin offseason recovery.

“We were playing against two very athletic girls,” Macdonald said. “They just schooled us. I have a lot more to work on. My blocking wasn’t anywhere near where it should’ve been.”

Macdonald has also struggled with her serve this season. Her ace/missed serve percentage is in the negative. Without the Witts, Macdonald and Hallaran will have to find consistency in their game to uphold Arizona’s top 10 program ranking. 

The Witt sisters begin play on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Bear Down Beach.


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