Aug. 24, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona volleyball team opened the Wildcat Classic and the 2012 season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-14) sweep over Evansville on Friday morning inside McKale Center.
The Arizona sophomore tandem of Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) paced the Wildcats with a combined 31 kills and 23 digs. Both finished with double-doubles as Kingdon had 17 kills and 10 digs, while Arizobal finished with 14 kills and 13 digs. Junior Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) led the UA defense with 19 digs. Meanwhile, Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) quarterbacked the UA offense by dishing out a match-high 41 assists to go along with eight digs.
The Wildcats out-hit Evansville, .218 to .058, while also out-blocking the Purple Aces, 9-3 in the season opener. Freshman Olivia Magill (Seattle, Wash.) made her presence felt at the night with a match-high six blocks for the Cats.
"I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the first match and I thought there were certain aspects of the game that were very good," head coach Dave Rubio said. "We served well, passed well and defended well, but I thought that there are certainly some things we can improve on."
In the opening set, the Wildcats got off to a quick start by jumping out to a 6-1 lead, which forced an early Evansville timeout. Evansville pulled to within two on a couple of occasions, but after the Purple Aces cut the lead to 19-17 on an Arizona attack error, the Wildcats regained the momentum by winning the next three points. Arizona closed out the set on a kill by Kingdon. Both teams struggled in the opening set as Arizona out-hit Evansville, .128 to .093 in the frame. Kingdon led all scorers in the first set with seven kills.
The Wildcats had a slight advantage throughout the opening parts of the second set, but could never quite pull away from Evansville. Clinging to a three point advantage at 17-14, Arizona reeled off three straight points to grab a five point lead. With the Cats in front 24-20, freshman Halli Amaro (Las Alamitos, Calif.) clinched the second set with her seventh kill of the match. Kingdon and Arizobal paced UA in the set with six and five kills, respectively. The Wildcats out-hit Evansville, .250 to .095 in the set. Amaro recorded seven kills and two blocks in the match.
After Evansville jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the third set, Arizona won the next four points to take a two point advantage of its own. The Wildcats extended their lead and cruised to a match clinching 25-14 third set victory. UA out-hit Evansville, .312 to -.029 in the frame.
Evansville was led by Ashley Ring, who finished with 12 kills and 11 digs for a double-double. Katie Klages led the Purple Aces defensively with 16 digs.
The Wildcats will face Cal State Northridge in the nightcap at 7 p.m. before closing out the tournament against Utah Valley on Sunday at 7 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.