TUCSON, Ariz. – UA won their second straight match at the Arizona Invitational, defeating Central Arkansas 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21) at McKale Center Saturday morning.
Juniors Madi Kingdon and Jane Croson imposed their will on the Sugar Bears, with each of them recording double-doubles. Kingdon recorded 20 kills and 11 digs, while Croson tallied 10 kills and 19 digs.
The Wildcats impressed on defense as well, out-blocking Central Arkansas 13-4 in the match. Sophomore Halli Amaro and Senior Candace Nicholson played big roles in that as Nicholson recorded 22 digs and Amaro tied her career high with six blocks.
In the opening set, both teams battled to an early 5-5 tie, but Arizona quickly reeled off five straight points to take a 10-5 advantage. The Sugar Bears pulled to within three on a few occasions, but Arizona extended its lead late in the set to take a 25-18 victory. The Wildcats limited UCA to .000 hitting in the frame, while out-blocking the Sugar Bears, 5-0.
The second set was close throughout with each team taking a lead; however, neither team could take more than a two point advantage. After UCA pulled in front 19-17, the Wildcats won the next four points to take a two point lead of their own. The Sugar Bears won the next point to pull within one, but the Wildcats reeled off three straight to earn set point. The Cats won the set on a Central Arkansas attack error, 25-22. Kingdon led the U of A with six kills in the set. The Wildcats hit .265, while once again keeping the Sugar Bears in check with a .000 hitting efficiency.
Central Arkansas came out of the locker room strong by holding a lead throughout much of the third set. The Sugar Bears held a 21-18 lead, but the Wildcats chipped away and eventually tied the score 22-22. After a UCA timeout, the Sugar Bears won three of the next four points to take the set, 25-23. Central Arkansas hit a solid .281 in the set.
Arizona bounced right back, controlling most of the fourth set. Kingdon and Croson each notched 5 kills in the set, and Nicholson shut down the Sugar Bear attackers with 10 digs. The Wildcats also out-blocked Central Arkansas 4-0 as they clinched the match, 25-21.
Arizona will be back in action tonight as the Cats host 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.