TUCSON, Ariz. – A balanced scoring effort with four players recording eight or more kills lifted the Arizona (18-9, 8-7 Pac-12) volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-16) sweep of visiting Utah (17-10, 6-9 Pac-12) on Thursday night inside McKale Center.
The Wildcats had one of their most efficient matches of the season as they hit .306 while tying a season-low with just seven attack errors. Meanwhile, the Arizona defense held Utah to just a .077 attack efficiency. The Wildcats also out-blocked one of the top blocking teams in the conference, 9.0 to 5.0.
Halli Amaro led the way for the Wildcats with a team-high 12.5 points in the match. She finished with eight kills on .615 hitting to go along with a match-high seven blocks. Meanwhile, Jane Croson and Taylor Arizobal tied match-high honors with 10 kills apiece. Croson had a double-double as she also added 12 digs. Madi Kingdon had eight kills, 10 digs, three blocks and a service ace.
Penina Snuka was just one dig away from recording a double-double as she dished out 30 assists with nine digs, a service ace and a block. Candace Nicholson finished with a match-high 17 digs from the back row.
Arizona got off to a quick start in the opening set as it took a 4-1 lead. After Utah pulled to within one, the Wildcats extended their lead to 10-5, forcing Utah to call a timeout. Arizona won the next two points after the break and never looked back after that as the Cats cruised to a 25-16 victory. The Wildcats hit an incredible .455 in the set, while holding Utah to .147 hitting. Kingdon led the way with five kills for Arizona.
After trailing 3-0 to start the set, Arizona went on a 7-1 run to pull in front 7-4. Utah battled back to tie the score and it even took a 15-14 lead, forcing the Wildcats to call a timeout. Following the timeout, Arizona won eight of the next nine points to pull back in front 22-16. From there, the Cats maintained the advantage and went on to take the set, 25-18. Arizona hit just .186 but its defense held Utah to just .085 hitting. Croson paced the Wildcats in the set with five kills.
Arizona stormed out to a 16-6 lead to start the third set. Utah battled back to cut the lead to four late in the set but that was as close as it would get. Arizona went on to clinch the set, 25-16. The Wildcats hit .312 in the set, while holding Utah to .000 hitting. Arizobal had a team-high five kills in the set.
Shelby Dalton led the way for Utah with 10 kills on .474 hitting with nine digs and three blocks.
The Wildcats will be back in action as they close out their four-match homestand on Sunday against Colorado. First serve is set for 2 p.m. and will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.