Arizona volleyball sweeps Oregon schools in weekend series
Arizona volleyball traveled up to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to square off against No. 12 University of Oregon and Oregon State for an exciting weekend double-header.
To start the weekend, No. 24 Arizona outlasted No. 12 Oregon in five sets in Eugene, Ore. (25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-14).
“That was a hard-fought win on the road,” said head coach Dave Rubio to Arizona Athletics. “The match could have gone either way, and it was nice to be able to execute when it counted.”
Arizona’s victory over Oregon this weekend marked the first time the Wildcats beat a ranked team this season. The win over the Ducks this past weekend was Arizona’s victory over its highest-ranked opponent since beating No. 9 UCLA on Nov. 4, 2016, per Arizona Athletics.
The Wildcats’ win over the Ducks was led by standout senior Kendra Dahlke. She led the ‘Cats with 26 kills and 13 digs, with only a total of seven errors on the match.
“Kendra was pretty spectacular tonight,” said Rubio to Arizona Athletics on Friday night. “During the match you don't really get a sense of the statistical performances, so I didn't realize she put up the kind of numbers she did until afterward.”
Dahlke’s play on Friday night was coupled with junior Julia Patterson and sophomore Paige Whipple’s dominant performances against the Ducks.
Patterson added 58 assists and 12 digs and Whipple came in with 11 kills and 15 digs.
Sophomore Candice Denny had a career effort for the ‘Cats, adding 13 kills on 0.344 hitting for the strong-willed Arizona team.
No. 24 Arizona swept Oregon State (25-18, 25-13, 25-22) on Sunday afternoon in Corvallis, Oregon without wasting any time.
“It's a rare road sweep," said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio to Arizona Athletics. "I'm proud of how the team performed today and this weekend, but now it's about carrying that forward and moving on to next weekend.”
Two of Arizona's outside hitters, Whipple and Dahlke, had a combined 32 kills with just two total errors as a pair.
Arizona’s 0.381 hitting percentage was its highest in a Pac-12 match since hitting 0.412 against California last year, per Arizona Athletics. Oregon-native and sophomore Paige Whipple led the way in her home state, with 18 kills on 0.515 hitting on the afternoon.
“Paige was terrific," said Rubio to Arizona Athletics. "I was happy for her to be able to put up those kinds of numbers and play that well in her hometown. She's playing with a lot of confidence and it's great to see.”
Senior Dahlke notched 14 kills and 14 digs for her Pac-12 best 11th double-double of the season, hitting 0.302 on the match. After the undefeated performance in Oregon this weekend, Arizona volleyball moves to 14-2 on the season.
‘Catch the Cats back in action this weekend at home against the Washington Huskies on Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. and against the Washington State Cougars on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 12 p.m. in McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Follow Amit Syal on Twitter