Arizona loses back to back in Washington

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Eli Rahamim | The Daily Wildcat

Alayna Johnson (32) and Jaelyn Hodge (11) signal to the rest of the team while the University of Southern California prepares to serve during the volleyball game on Oct. 17, in McKale Center. Arizona lost to USC with a score of 3-1. 

The Arizona volleyball team traveled to Washington on Friday, Oct. 21, to play against Washington State University and then the University of Washington on Sunday, Oct. 23. The Wildcats lost both matches. 

Against Washington State, the series went 3-2 in favor of the Cougars winning by set scores of 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-16 and 16-14. Against the Huskies, Arizona would be swept off the floor losing by set scores of 25-16, 25-22 and 25-15. 

Day 1 - Arizona vs. Washington State (25-22, 24-26, 25-23,16-25, 14-16) 

In the opening set, the Wildcats came out fast and built an early lead. The leader of kills for the match, Jaelyn Hodge, would get the team started in kills, as Arizona was able to keep ahead of Washington State. The Wildcats executed very well in this first set and kept the pressure on the entire set. The Cougars committed continuous errors helping Arizona build on their lead and Hodge led the Wildcats to a first-set win with her four kills. 

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The second set was a different story for Arizona. This time Washington State came out fast and had an early lead. However, the Wildcats were able to quickly respond and tie the set at 6-6. Both teams looked sluggish early on, however. As the set went on, the Cougars would begin to pull away behind Pia Timmer, who had the second most kills for her team. Laura Jansen, who had a monster set with nine kills of her own, kept her team ahead of Arizona the entire set and pulled out the set win.

The third set was more of a back-and-forth contest, as both teams traded kills and errors early. However, at the 12-11 mark, Sofia Maldonado Diaz was able to score back-to-back kills for the Wildcats and extend their lead to 14-11. The Cougars would respond with back-to-back kills of their own to close the gap. Then set kills by Timmer and Jansen would allow Washington State to retake the lead, but Arizona would take it back on a 5-0 scoring run led behind Maldonado Diaz and ultimately win the set. 

The fourth set was Arizona’s worst showing of the day. The Cougars came out and immediately put their mark on the set by going on a 6-1 and leading Arizona 7-3. The Wildcats would battle back and close the gap to 8-10, but Washington State went on another run and Arizona had no answers for them. The Cougars would go on to coast to a set win due to Arizona's excessive mistakes and not being able to string together any kind of run.

The fifth set was much more competitive from Arizona, as both teams came out trading kills and errors. Washington State was able to pull away with a 12-8 lead, but then Arizona went on a 4-0 scoring run which was started by Hodge to tie the match. Washington State would respond and Jansen would seal the match with a set-winning kill. 

Day 2 - Arizona vs. Washington (16-25, 22-25, 15-25) 

In the first set, Arizona came out slow and sluggish. Washington would capitalize on this and build an early lead. Leading the Wildcats 13-7, Arizona would fight back with back-to-back kills from Puk Stubbe and Alayna Johnson. However, this was not enough to slow down the Huskies as they continued rolling, leading the Wildcats 22-14 late in the set. It was simply a complete team win from start to finish for Washington. 

The second set was the most competitive set of the day. Arizona came out with much more energy and went kill-for-kill with Washington early in the set. Arizona was able to pull away on a 3-0 scoring run started by Hodge and build their lead to 10-7. However, the Huskies would respond with a 5-1 of their own and retake the lead. Both teams would continue to battle back and forth trading kills and errors until late in the set when Emoni Bush, the leader of kills for Washington put the set away with four kills. 

In the third set, Washington looked like the hungrier team and was ready to put Arizona away. The Huskies jumped out to an early lead of 10-6 and despite Arizona’s constant effort to battle back, it was never enough. The Huskies continued to go on runs and build on their lead. Arizona was never able to clean up their errors and could not stop Washington, resulting in another match defeat. 

Arizona's next game is at home on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. MST in McKale Center against the University of Oregon. 


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