– The Arizona volleyball team got off to a strong start to the Arizona Invitational by sweeping Iona, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-18), Friday morning in the tournament opener at McKale Center.
The Wildcats out-hit Iona, .391 to .104 in the match to improve their record to 4-2 on the season. Iona dropped its record to 2-6 on the year after being out-blocked 9-4 in the contest.
Arizona used a balanced and efficient effort as the Cats only had one player with double-figure kills. Sophomore Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) finished with 11 kills and eight digs to lead the Wildcats with 12.0 points. Freshman Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) continues her strong play as she finished with nine kills on .500 hitting with three blocks. Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) had eight kills and five digs, while freshman Olivia Magill (Seattle, Wash.) added five kills on .833 hitting with a match-high four blocks. Setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) dished out a match-high 28 assists to go along with three digs and three blocks. Freshman Lauren Fuller (Los Angeles, Calif.) dished out 15 assists. Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) equaled Arizobal for team-high honors in digs with eight.
Arizona cruised to a 25-17 victory in the opening set after never trailing at any point. The Wildcats hit an impressive.455 in the set, while limiting Iona to just .032 hitting. Kingdon led the Cats in the set with six kills on nine attempts for a .667 attack efficiency. Amaro hit .833 with five kills on six attempts, while Arizobal added four kills.
For the second straight set, Arizona led from start to finish as the Cats took the set, 25-14. UA continued to be efficient by hitting .412 in the set, while holding Iona to .111 hitting. Arizobal and Magill each had four kills to lead the Wildcats in the set. Alyse Hensley (San Diego, Calif.) and Shaquillah Torres (Riverside, Calif.) each had three kills apiece.
The Wildcats got off to a bit of a slow start to open the third set as Iona jumped out to a 7-5 lead. However, Arizona quickly turned the tides after going on a 7-0 run to gain a 12-7 advantage. From there, UA cruised through the remaining portion of the set on its way to a 25-18 victory in the set. Arizona out-blocked Iona, 4-1 in the set.
Iona was led by the trio of Catrina Warren, Alicja Pawelec and Taylor Cembalisty with seven kills apiece. Meanwhile, Theresa Harvey finished with a match-high 10 digs.
The Wildcats will face TCU in the nightcap at 7 p.m. before closing out the tournament against Lipscomb on Saturday at 12 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.