Arizona volleyball faces back-to-back losses on the road

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Amelia McAnear | The Daily Wildcat

The Arizona volleyball team huddles together after a game against ASU on Sept. 21 in McKale Center. The Wildcats would lose to ASU 1 match to 3. 

The Arizona volleyball team went on the road on Nov. 4 to face UCLA. The Wildcats were looking to build on their most recent victory but were outmatched against the Bruins. Their weekend play would continue with them facing USC on Nov. 6, and once again, the Wildcats would fall short. 

The Wildcats were beaten by UCLA by set scores of 25-21, 25-15, 24-26 and 25-18. Then closed out the weekend with another defeat in a hard-fought battle with USC. They lost by set scores of 22-25, 27-25, 19-25, 25-22 and 15-11. 

Day 1 - Arizona vs. UCLA (21-25, 15-25, 26-24, and 18-25

In the opening set, Arizona would come out slow to start. Falling behind the Bruins early 7-3. Their hot start was fueled by Charitie Luper, who was one of their leaders in kills for the match. Then the Wildcats would dig in and battle back, completely shifting the momentum of the match by going on a 6-0 scoring run and retaking the lead. This run was led by Jaelyn Hodge, who had three decisive kills during this stretch. Then late in set one, Arizona would begin playing sloppy, and the Bruins took advantage of this and pulled away for the set win. 

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Heading into the second set, UCLA still retained the momentum of the match. This fact was evident throughout the set. Despite Arizona keeping it close early at the 10-9 mark for the Wildcats, the Bruins went on a 4-0 run, which was started by Ana Dodson. She completely dominated Arizona with her six kills and helped her team secure a wire-to-wire second-set win. 

Set three was by far the most competitive Arizona looked all day. The Wildcats came out matching the Bruins kill for the kill. They were able to keep ahead of UCLA until the midpoint of the set, where Luper would initiate a 4-0 scoring run by having back-to-back kills herself. Arizona would respond and retake the lead. The Bruins would give up some errors late in the set, but Luper would have two clutch kills late to give UCLA the lead at 24-23 late. However, Sofia Maldonado Diaz and Dilara Gedikoglu would deliver back-to-back kills to help Arizona escape with the set win. 

Set four Arizona came out fast, taking an early lead at 6-2 against UCLA. The Bruins would respond with a run of their own and retake the lead. Then it turned into both teams trading runs back and forth, until late in the set when Arizona would give up repeated errors allowing the Bruins to pull away to win the set.

Day 2 - Arizona vs.USC (25-22, 25-27, 25-19, 22-25, and 11-15) 

In the opening set, the Trojans came out looking sharp, but Arizona was able to keep up with them early despite their early error struggles. Arizona battled from behind until the middle of the match, where they went on a 3-0 scoring run which was started by Maldonado Diaz. Then it became a back-and-forth contest, both sides trading kills and errors until late in the set. Maldonado Diaz and Gedikoglu would go on a 3-0 scoring run to win set one for Arizona. 

The second set was just as competitive as the first. Both teams were not giving up anything easy to the other. As point sides traded runs, Arizona, although keeping it close, was playing from behind again. The Wildcats were able to take the lead in the middle of the match, once again due to errors from the Trojans. USC would respond behind Skylar Fields, who would have nine kills in the set and help her team escape late with a set win. 

The third set was more of the same. Both teams seemed evenly matched, and in this set Arizona played with a lead. Then Arizona would explode for a 12-0 run which sealed the set in their favor. USC completely fell apart due to its repeated errors, and the Wildcats took advantage of this and never looked back. 

Set four, the Trojans would bounce back due to their leader in kills for the match, Fields. Both teams were close for the entire set, but due to Fields' incredible play, the Trojans could retake the momentum from Arizona and win set four. 

Set five, both teams would trade runs early, but Arizona would fall apart late and was not able to recover. The Trojans took advantage of this collapse and took firm control of the game, and closed out the match by winning set five. 

Arizona closes out the weekend and is now 13-12 on the season. The Wildcats look onward to their next opponent the University of Washington in McKale Center on Friday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. MST. 


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