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Arizona Tops Utah In Five-Set Thriller
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/12/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 12, 2012

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SALT LAKE CITY, UtahMadi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) recorded a career-high 28 kills to lift the Arizona (10-8, 2-5 Pac-12) volleyball team to a thrilling 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) victory over Utah (10-10, 1-6 Pac-12) on Friday night at Crimson Court.

Kingdon also finished with a team-high 14 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Her 28 kills eclipsed her previous high of 26 kills against Cal State Northridge back on August 24.

Meanwhile, freshman Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) set a new career-high with 16 kills on the night. Amaro hit an efficient .414 to go along with three digs, two blocks and an assist. Lauren Fuller (Los Angeles, Calif.) dished out a career-high 33 assists from the setter position, while Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) passed out 22 assists and recorded a match-high four services aces on the night. Freshman Emily Bemis (DeKalb, Ill.) also surpassed her career-high for kills as she saw significant action and delivered eight kills.

Sophomore Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) was the third member of the Wildcats to record double-figure kills as she added 12 kills for the match. Meanwhile, Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ronni Lewis (San Jose, Calif.) combined for 25 digs in the back row. Rachel Rhoades (San Diego, Calif.) was strong and efficient at the night as she recorded six kills with no errors and added a team-best three blocks.  

Arizona jumped out to an early 6-2 lead in the opening set, but Utah later went on a 5-0 run to take a 9-8 advantage. After the Wildcats battled back to a 13-13 tie, Arizona won the next two points to take a 15-13 lead. The Wildcats never trailed the remainder of the set and went on to win 25-22. Arizona only hit .156 in the set but Kingdon was phenomenal with seven kills.

The second set started much like the first set with Arizona taking a 6-2 lead. The Wildcats extended their lead to 12-6, but Utah went on a 6-1 run to trim the lead to just one. After the U of A extended its lead back out to three at 18-15, the Utes went on a 4-0 run to take their first lead since it was 1-0. After some back and forth play by both teams, Utah broke a 23-23 tie by winning the next two points to take the set, 25-23.

The third set was back and forth with neither team taking more than a two-point lead until the very of the frame. Late in the set with the score tied 21-21, the Wildcats won three straight points to take set point at 24-21. After a Utah point, Arizobal clinched the set for the Wildcats with a kill.

After Utah won a very tight fourth set, Arizona kept its composure by opening the fifth set on a 3-0 run. The Wildcats would never let the Utes close the gap. Arizona went on to cruise to the 15-7 victory to clinch the match. The Cats hit an incredible .750 without an error in what was arguably their most impressive set of the season. Meanwhile, Utah hit just .188 in the final frame.

Chelsey Schofield led three Utes in double-figure kills with 15 on the night. Erin Redd had 11 kills and Morgan Odale had 10 kills. Meanwhile, Kendall Cygan recorded a match-high 16 digs to lead the Utah defense.

The Wildcats return to action at Colorado on Sunday. First serve is set for a 5:00 p.m. MST start and will air nationally 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.

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