Sept. 18, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Volleyball team swept New Mexico State in the finale of the Arizona Invitational presented by Lodge on the Desert on Saturday afternoon to run its record to 10-2 on the year and a perfect 6-0 at home. Set scores were: 25-18, 25-19, 26-24.
Tiffany Owens was the star for UA today, tallying 22 kills on 30 swings with just one error and a hitting percentage of .700. She also recorded 12 digs for the double-double in the win. For her play through the three matches in the Arizona Invitational, Owens was named tournament MVP.
"Tiffany (Owens) did a terrific job on the court tonight, said head coach Dave Rubio. "We made some big swings at the end of the third game, and we're working with the outside hitters on bettering our attacks."
Also garnering kudos for the Wildcats for the tournament were Cursty Jackson and Courtney Karst. On Saturday, Jackson had 10 kills on 13 swings and two aces while Karst was solid with 10 kills, four digs and a hitting percentage of .318.
The Cats had little trepidation against NMSU through the first two sets as UA won 25-18 and 25-19. Set three was much closer as Rubio needed two timeouts to right the ship and eventually earn the 26-24 victory. Setter Paige Weber, in addition to Owens, had a standout afternoon as she recorded 41 assists in a three set match--very tough to do.
For the entire match, Arizona hit .408 marking the first time that the team eclipsed the .400 clip for a match this season.
"A high attack percentage definitely stems from good ball control," said Weber. "It's hard to hit a good percentage when we have to run around the court like track stars. We need to pass well, and use our offense to get kills, and I think it all stems from the back row."
On the defensive end, Danielle Holloway and Owens were UA's main stalwarts as they combined for 20 digs.
"I definitely give my team all the credit. I couldn't have done it without them," said Owens. "The coaches worried today because we were a little flat in our warm-ups, but we came out and took care of business. This weekend ended on a good note, and I'm glad, especially since this is the last preseason for us seniors."
Next week, Arizona is back at home to start conference play. The Wildcats will take on No. 10 California Friday at 7 p.m. and the nation's top-ranked team, Stanford, on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Arizona Invitational by Lodge on the Desert All-Tournament Team
Tournament MVP: Tiffany Owens (Arizona)
Cursty Jackson - Arizona
Courtney Karst - Arizona
Jennah DeVries - New Mexico State
Kayleigh Giddens - New Mexico State
Emily Cook - Pepperdine
Kim Hill - Pepperdine
Shelbi Irvin - Texas State
Caleigh McCorquodale - Texas State