Nov. 7, 2008
The Arizona volleyball team fought off a comeback by No. 6 California to get its second win of the season over a top-25 opponent Friday night in McKale Center.
The Wildcats (14-9, 4-7) needed all five sets to knock off the visiting Golden Bears 25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25, and 15-11.
“We’ve had our struggles these last couple weeks, but it’s satisfying to beat a team that good,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “Some crazy things happened tonight and it came down to relaxing and just playing the game.”
In the match’s final set Rubio used a line up the team had never tried before, replacing sophomore setter Paige Weber with freshman Dana Hutchinson to counter Cal’s outside hitter Hana Cutura. Rubio said Cutura, who finished with 23 kills on 54 attempts, was hitting over a smaller Weber and some kind of change needed to be made.
“We never showed an adjustment like that before and we’ve never done it in practice either,” said Rubio. “We had to do it or we wouldn’t have won the game. Our players are versatile enough and can be able to play in different positions.”
The move was just one of many that worked tonight for Rubio and the Wildcats. Twelve different players saw the floor for Arizona, getting production out of the entire team.
Sophomore Tiffany Owens tied a career-high with 19 digs to go along with her team best 17 kills, while freshman Courtney Karst tied a career-high with eight kills, making her first start of the season at middle blocker. For Owens that was her seventh double-double.
Senior Randy Goodenough also got in on the action, registering season highs in kills (9), attempts (35) and aces (two). Adding to win were sophomores Whitney Dosty, who added 15 kills, while three players had double digits in digs, Owens (19), Weber (10) and Resch (17).
“The great thing about our team is that we have a lot of depth,” said senior Brooke Buringrud, who added six kills and six digs. “It feels really good after the past couple weeks. I think it really shows our team’s character and resilience.”
This was the Wildcats first win over a top-10 team since closing last season with a win over No. 10 UCLA and the highest ranked team they have beaten since a 2005 win over No. 4 Stanford, who comes to McKale Saturday night. The Wildcat take on the No. 2 Cardinal at 7:00 p.m.