Nov. 22, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Arizona Volleyball’s senior class showed its worth as the Wildcats (19-11, 11-10) defeated their in-state rival Arizona State (8-22, 4-17) on Tuesday night at McKale Center on senior night. Arizona defeated ASU, 3-1 (25-21, 25-12, 23-25, 25-13).
After being recognized for their careers as Wildcats, seniors Marketa Hanzlova (Liberec, Czech Republic), Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Courtney Karst (Centennial, Colo.) led Arizona to victory and proved why they will be sorely missed by the team in 2012.
Karst and Jackson had 18 and 17 kills, respectively, including a combined .316 hitting percentage. Hanzlova recorded 11 digs, three blocks, one ace and one kill for the Wildcats.
“It was nice,” Arizona head coach David Rubio said. “I think for senior night, there was not a better way to go out than to beat your in-state rival.”
The seniors had plenty of help, as freshman Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned a match-high 20 kills and 23 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while freshman Chloe Mathis (La Jolla, Calif.) posted 49 assists and 11 digs for her fourth double-double as a Wildcat. Sophomore Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) also added 16 digs.
In addition, Hanzlova, Jackson, Mathis and freshman Rachel Rhoades (San Diego, Calif.) all had three blocks each.
“I was pleased that we got the win,” Rubio said. “I think we can be a little sharper, we had too many unforced errors.”
In the first set, the Wildcats and Sun Devils traded points, tying the score eight times before Arizona went on a 3-0 run to go up, 12-9. ASU did not go away though, and tied the score back at 18-18. The seniors took charge, recording five kills between the three of them to take set one, 25-21.
The second set was all Wildcats, as they went on a series of 3-0 runs to go up, 11-5. The Sun Devils could not overcome the deficit and Arizona won set two, 25-12. Kingdon and Karst each had five kills each.
ASU was re-energized in the fourth set as the Sun Devils went on a 3-1 run to go up, 10-8. From that point, the Wildcats could not come back. Despite tying the score at 18, ASU held on to win set four, 25-23.
Arizona took the lead immediately in the fourth set, going up 2-0. The Sun Devils answered, but the Wildcats stayed strong and went on an 11-1 run to take an 18-8 lead. Arizona State tried to come back and got within eight, but Arizona stayed strong and finished out the match after winning set four, 25-13.
“I think the quick turnaround was in our favor today,” Rubio said. “My expectation is, when we play them on Saturday, they will be much more rested and ready to play.”
Nora Tuioti-Mariner led the Sun Devils with 10 kills and Stephanie Preach had 14 digs.
Wildcats will travel to Tempe, Ariz. to close out their regular season versus Arizona State on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat Volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.