TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 17 Arizona volleyball team never seemed to get into rhythm and lost its fourth straight match, a 3-0 defeat (20-30, 20-30, 30-23) to No. 3 Southern California at McKale Center tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 8-6 overall and 0-4 in Pacific-10 play
“It is obvious we are not playing very well,” Head Coach David Rubio said. “There is a lack of continuity and it is creating no fluidity in the offense. We have no rhythm. USC didn’t have to play tonight because they were not challenged. All they had to do was serve and control the ball and Arizona made the errors. We didn’t make them play like a good team.”
“I still believe we can be a great team,” he continued. “We have a shot at every one of our goals. We have to figure out what the problem is and we need to figure it out soon. Our practices have been at a much higher level than when we step on to the floor. I’m not sure why it’s been that way. We’re just not playing at the level that we should be playing.”
Arizona was held to a season-low .105 hitting on 38 kills, while USC combined for a .310 hitting percentage. Individually, sophomore Meghan Cumpston led the Wildcats with 10 kills and eight digs. Freshman setter Amy Dyck dished out 24 assists on the match, while senior libero Kelli Mulvany notched a match-high 12 digs. Junior Kim Glass was held to just seven kills.
Arizona jumped out the an early lead in game one, but the Trojans used a 5-0 run to take a 12-8 lead and never looked back, winning 30-20. The Wildcats were held to just .083 hitting, compared to the .263 of USC, but out-blocked the Trojans 4-2. Junior Jennifer Abernathy led Arizona with seven kills on the game.
USC jumped out to a 6-2 lead in game two, forcing Rubio to call a time out. After another 6-2 run by the Trojans, Rubio used his second time out with his team trailing 12-4. USC built its lead to as many as 12 (18-6) and went on to win 30-20. Arizona combined for just 10 kills and a .054 hitting percentage, while the Trojans hit .314 on the game. USC also out-blocked the Wildcats 2-0.
In the third and final game, the Trojans jumped out to an 8-3 lead and continued to build its lead for the remainder of the game. Arizona used a late 5-0 run to cut the USC lead to six (25-19), but that was as close as it would get, as the Trojans went on to win 30-23. The Wildcats hit .179 on the game, led by Cumpston, who had five kills and five digs.
UP NEXT: Arizona hits the road for matches at Oregon State and Oregon next weekend. The Wildcats face the Beavers at 7 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 8, and the Ducks at 7 p.m. next Saturday, Oct. 9.