Arizona volleyball travels to California to take on Trojans

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Nick Trujillo | The Daily Wildcat The team celebrates after scoring the last point to secure the sweep against New Mexico State University.

The Arizona Wildcats failed to win a single set against ASU in Tempe on Thursday night, despite a strong effort from the team. Their schedule will not get easier though, as the Wildcats travel to Los Angeles to take on the No. 25 USC Trojans this Saturday.

USC also dropped their conference opener against UCLA on Wednesday, so both teams will fight for this win in hopes to stay in contention early in the season. USC has won the last three matches against Arizona.

A main contributing factor to the Wildcats' struggles last match was the 17 errors they made, six more than their opponent.

USC is a team that capitalizes off opposing errors, so it is crucial for Arizona to re-group to its fundamentals. The Trojans are 3-0 at home on the season, but that success does not reflect their overall 6-5 record.

As a team that is still ranked in the top-25 (AVCA Coaches and NCAA Women’s Volleyball RPI poll), USC needs to quickly find consistent production out of their players when playing notable programs. Thanks to senior Jasmine Gross, the Trojans are still in the hunt.

Gross has led the team with 138 points, including 97 kills and only 12 errors on the season. Additionally, her senior teammate, Khalia Lanier, has made a huge impact thus far, recording a team high of 109 kills (4.04 per set) and 4.54 points per set.

An encouraging sign for the Wildcats is that they are still 10-3 and have competed against every opponent this year. Even against ASU, Arizona presented trouble in the first and final set. 

It is essential that senior Devyn Cross and redshirt junior Elizabeth Shelton continue their strong play at the net, as they have been performing extremely well as of late. Shelton has 115 kills on the year and Cross has 64 kills. Additionally, they have totaled a combined 65 blocks on defensive end. 

With both teams having something to prove, it should be an interesting battle come Saturday night.


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