TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona volleyball team opened the Arizona Invitational and the 2013 season with a 3-0 (25-8, 25-6, 25-13) sweep over Morgan State on Friday afternoon inside McKale Center.
Freshman Penina Snuka shined in her debut, recording a double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs.
Arizona got efficient contributions from the majority of the roster with junior Rachel Rhoades and sophomores Olivia Magill and Halli Amaro all hitting at .500 or above. Juniors Madi Kingdon and Jane Croson also recorded a combined 19 kills as the Cats cruised to victory.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start in the opening set as they won eight consecutive points to start the match. Arizona maintained the wide margin throughout the set and closed it out with five straight points to take the frame, 25-8. Magill and Croson each had five kills to lead the Cats in the set.
The U of A kept the momentum in the second set as the Wildcats jumped out to an 11-0 lead. Arizona cruised to a 25-6 victory in the set to take a 2-0 lead. Kingdon and Croson led the way in the set with three and four kills, respectively. The set also featured the largest hit percentage margin, with UA outhitting Morgan State .571 to -.172.
Much of the same was featured in the third set as the Wildcats coasted behind Kingdon’s five kills and junior Ronni Lewis’ seven digs. The match ended with a Morgan State error, sending the Cats to a 25-13 victory in the concluding set.
Morgan State was led by senior Janelle Wilson and sophomore Dinah Jones, who each finished with five kills and hitting percentages of .444 and .118, respectively. Defensively, junior Tamara Leslie paced the Lady Bears with nine digs.
In the morning contest, Central Arkansas pulled the upset No. 20 Kansas, 3-1.
Arizona will be back in action tomorrow as the Cats host Central Arkansas at 10:30 a.m. and No. 20 Kansas at 7 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.