Aug. 25, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. – After dropping a tough five-set match against Cal State Northridge last night, Arizona bounced back with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-17) sweep of Utah Valley (1-2) to close out the Wildcat Classic on Saturday night inside McKale Center. The Wildcats finished with a 2-1 record on the weekend.
For the third straight match, the UA sophomore tandem of Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) recorded double-digit kills to lead the squad. Arizobal posted a match-high 11 kills, while Kingdon added 10 kills and eight digs. Setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) dished out 28 assists to go along with three digs and three service aces. Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ronni Lewis (San Jose, Calif.) led the Wildcat defense with double-digit digs.
Meanwhile, a pair of newcomers had strong efforts on the night. Freshman Halli Amaro (Las Alamitos, Calif.) recorded eight kills, three blocks and three digs, while junior Alyse Hensley (San Diego, Calif.) was extremely efficient in her first match in a UA uniform as she posted five kills on just six attempts. Arizona out-hit Utah Valley .297 to .135 on the night. Amaro and Kingdon were named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start by leading from start to finish in the opening set. With UA in front 6-5, The Cats won the next five points to take the 11-5 advantage. From there, Arizona was able to cruise to the 25-16 set victory. The Wildcats were extremely efficient in the set by hitting .400 with just three errors. Arizobal led the Wildcat charge with five kills in the set.
After Utah Valley scored the first point of the second set, Arizona won the next six points to the lead. The Wildcats never trailed the rest of the frame and went on to win 25-15. Kingdon had a team-high four kills in the set, while leading the Cats to a .310 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, the UA defense limited Utah Valley to .000 hitting in the set.
The Wolverines came out of the locker room energized as they jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the third set. However, the Wildcats responded by going on an 8-2 run to pull within one. Just a couple of plays later with UVU in front 14-13, Arizona reeled off seven straight points to take a set-changing 20-14 advantage. From there, the Wildcats rode the momentum to a 25-17 victory in the set, which clinched the match.
Utah Valley was led by McKenna Tait and Lauren Stringham with five kills apiece, while setter Brookelyn Hall dished out 24 assists.
Arizona returns to action on Friday as the Wildcats will travel to Malibu, Calif. to participate in the Asics Pepperdine Classic. UA will face Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 5 p.m. The Cats will play Jiangsu China in an exhibition match on Saturday before closing out the tournament against nationally-ranked Pepperdine.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.
Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team
Natalie Allen – Cal State Northridge (MVP)
Sydney Gedryn – Cal State Northridge
Casey Hinger – Cal State Northridge
Ashley Ring – Evansville
Katie Klages – Evansville
Brookelyn Hall – Utah Valley
Lauren Stringham – Utah Valley
Madi Kingdon – Arizona
Halli Amaro - Arizona