Nov. 6, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 23 University of Arizona volleyball team topped Oregon State Saturday evening in McKale Center, winning the match 3-1, to improve to 18-7 overall and 7-5 in conference.
Up 2-0, UA let the Beavers hang around and dictate sets three and four as the match seemed destined for five sets. The Wildcats rebounded late in the fourth however and wrapped up the 3-1 win behind a Courtney Karst ace to win set four 26-24.
“We won, but I would have hoped that we were past the stage that we showed tonight,” said head coach David Rubio. “I know it takes time to develop, and we played better both nights in the first two sets, but tonight we got sloppy. We should be prepared to win in the third, but we aren’t mature enough right now. We’ve talked about it, but unfortunately, talk is cheap, and actions prove motives.”
For the second straight night, the Wildcats spread the offense around with three players recording double-digit kills. Setter Paige Weber doled out 47 assists while Tiffany Owens led the scoring effort with 19 kills.
In the first set, Owens got things started off, notching seven kills while Weber had 14 assists. The Cats hit .531 to open the match and rattled off 19 kills as a team. After the score was tied at 10, UA used a 9-1 run to put the set out of reach.
Using the first-set win momentum, the Cats jumped ahead early in the second set and never looked back. Cursty Jackson posted three kills and two blocks as the Wildcats won the set 25-19 to take a 2-0 advantage into intermission.
OSU would bounce back however in the third set, using an early rally to open up a 15-7 lead. The Cats managed to cut the lead to 21-19, but the Beavers held on for the 25-22 win. OSU’s Jill Sawatzky had six kills over the third set.
In the fourth set, UA and OSU remained close throughout, before the Beavers looked as though they’d force a fifth set. Down 24-23, the Wildcats looked to Owens who knotted the score. Then the Cats forced an attack error followed by the Karst ace to seal the 26-24 set win and the match overall.
“In conference, you catch different teams on different nights,” said Weber. “Sometimes we catch a team when they’re off, and other times we catch them when they’re playing out of their minds. Every team has enough good players to win. On the other side, if we don’t come out energized, if we have an off night, and then turnabout is fair play. We can’t let other teams catch us when we’re not focused.”
Arizona has now beaten Oregon State in Tucson on 16 straight occasions dating back to the 1994 season. Owens posted 15 digs to go along with her 19 kills for her 14th double-double of the season.
Next week, Arizona travels to Los Angeles to face USC and UCLA. The Trojans are up first in the Galen Center with the match scheduled for Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.