In the opening game of the Texas Tournament, Arizona volleyball played an inspirational performance against No. 1 University of Texas in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Sept. 10. Arizona fell in four sets by scores of 21-25, 25-16, 22-25 and 22-25. The Wildcats closed out the weekend with another close loss to Notre Dame 3-1 overall.
Both teams started strong in a back and forth for points, leaving the game tied at 4-4. Texas then was able to capitalize on three Arizona errors in a row to take a three-point lead. Arizona was unable to gain momentum with Texas jumping out to a 9-14 lead.
Texas was challenged by Arizona at the end of the set, but the Longhorn’s 16 kills were enough to take the first set. Arizona outside hitter Jaelyn Hodge led with three of the team's eight kills. Setter Emery Herman had all of Arizona’s seven assists in the first set.
The Wildcats came out continuing to play competitively in the second set with Hodge getting her fifth kill of the game to take the lead 13-12 on a 3-0 scoring run. Arizona then went on two separate 4-0 scoring runs to establish a dominant 18-13 lead over the Longhorns. To finish off the set, the team went on a 5-0 scoring run that involved four kills to even the game.
Like the first two sets, the third set opened in a battle for points and had four consecutive tying points from both teams. Texas then established a three-point lead that Arizona fought hard to overcome but was unable to catch up as the Longhorns took the third set 22-25. Herman continued to spread the ball, finishing the set with a team-high 26 assists. Arizona struggled defensively, only recording only one block in the set.
Arizona refused to give up in the fourth set, with both teams fighting until a pair of aces from outside hitter Melanie Parra forced an Arizona timeout. Texas was able to gain momentum and keep the Wildcats at bay. Arizona tied the set on needed back-to-back kills from Hodge and took the lead on a Longhorns error. After a Texas timeout, neither team was able to gain a foothold until late in the set when Texas gained a quick two-point lead to go up 21-23. Texas was able to capitalize on the momentum and end the game on a 2-0 scoring run.
Arizona fought their hardest away from home but was unable to come away with a win. Even in a loss, Arizona was able to stay competitive and in every set against the No.1 team in the country and had multiple players hit career milestones.
- Herman finished with a team-high of 38 assists and 12 digs to earn her 950th career assist and 10th career double-double.
- Zyonna Fellows earned her 200th career kill tonight.
- Hodge finished with 16 kills, putting her 10 away from 300 career kills and extending her double-digit kills streak to seven games.
Arizona closed out the weekend with another tight game against Notre Dame but unfortunately fell short to the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame defeated the Wildcats in five sets 22-25, 25-26, 25-14, 12-25 and 15-10.
The Wildcats volleyball team has two upcoming matchups this Friday against UC Riverside and San Diego State in Tucson.
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