EVANSTON, Ill. ?- The No. 24-ranked Arizona volleyball team (9-3) rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit to host Northwestern in its final match of the Wildcat Classic in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, but saw its come-from-behind bid come up three points short in a five-game loss. Games scores of the match were 30-26, 30-21, 27-30, 20-30, 15-12.
“It was nice to come back, but it’s no consolation for dropping the match,” Arizona head coach David Rubio said. “We didn’t show up for the first two games and we had the tendencies of a young team which you can’t do against a good team like Northwestern. We showed some good things later on, and to come back from being down early did display some resiliency.”
Arizona dug itself an early hole in the contest, matching the number of kills (9) with the number of attack errors (9) in the opening game for a .000 hitting percentage, and then proceeded to hit at just a .114 clip in the second frame to head into the break down 2-0.
After struggling through the first two games, Arizona returned from the break with a renewed life, collecting a match-high 21 kills on 48 attempts with just four errors for a .312 attack percentage. The new-found momentum carried over to the fourth game as UA out-hit NU .353 in the frame to push the match back to even.
Arizona called on it resiliency again in the fifth game, rallying back from 9-3 deficit to tie the decisive game at 11-11, but came up just short as NU went on a 4-1 run to end the match and Arizona’s comeback bid.
Individually, four UA players finished with double figure kills in the loss. Freshman Whitney Dosty led the way with career-high 18, and was followed by 15 from junior Dominique Lamb, 13 by sophomore Brooke Buringrud, and 10 by junior Amy Dyck. Buringrud also added 12 digs and two solo blocks.
Senior setter Stephanie Butkus, a native of nearby Bridgeview, Ill., finished with 53 assists and 12 digs in the loss for Arizona, and sophomore Brittany Leonard just missed matching her season high for digs, finishing one shy with 19.
Butkus and Lamb were both named to the all-tournament team.
Arizona, which completed in non-conference slate with the loss to Northwestern on Saturday, will open Pac-10 play next Friday when it hosts in-state rival Arizona State at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.