TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No.19 Arizona volleyball team (4-2) pulled off an impressive three-game upset victory (30-23, 30-24, 30-25) over No. 9 Pepperdine (1-3) in the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic at the McKale Center tonight. The Wildcats hit .333 on the match and held the Waves to just .177. Arizona also won every other statistical category, including kills (56 to 44), assists (49 to 37), digs (40 to 38), service aces (6 to 4) and blocks (4 to 2).
“We played much better against a better opponent tonight, which was nice to see,” Head Coach David Rubio said. “Our serving really made the difference. Overall, we were a lot smoother. Our hope is that we continue to get more consistent.”
Junior Jennifer Abernathy led all players with 21 kills on .381 hitting. She also added five digs. Sophomore Meghan Cumpston finished with 17 kills on .343 hitting, to go along with nine digs. Junior Bre Ladd turned in a complete match with eight kills, five assists, four blocks and two digs. Setter Stephanie Butkus dished out 42 assists on the match and had a team-high 11 digs.
Pepperdine jumped out to an early lead in game one, scoring the first three points, but the Wildcats tied it at seven on a block by Ladd and senior Jolene Killough. Arizona took its first lead of the game at 14-13, then used a 7-0 run to take an eight-point lead (22-14) and never looked back. The Wildcats combined for a .267 hitting percentage on the game, compared to the .238 of the Waves. Cumpston led Arizona with seven kills, while Ladd had four blocks and Butkus had six digs.
Game two was played closely throughout until Arizona used a late 7-0 run to put it away. The Wildcats hit .368 on the game and held Pepperdine to just .111. Cumpston led Arizona with six kills, followed by Abernathy with five.
In the third and final game, there were six ties before the Wildcats used an 11-2 run to take a 22-13 lead. Despite a fierce comeback attempt by the Waves, the Wildcat lead proved too much and Arizona pulled off the 30-25 win. Abernathy had 11 kills on the game.
UP NEXT: Arizona hosts No. 18 Louisville to close out the Classic at noon tomorrow, Sept. 11. “Louisville is going to be a real challenge for us,” Rubio said.