Oct. 8, 2010
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Senior outside hitter Tiffany Owens put her Wildcat teammates squarely on her back Friday night vs. Oregon State as she went for a career-best 32 kills on .426 hitting and 20 digs as Arizona came back from a deficit to defeat the Beavers, 3-2 at Gill Coliseum.
Owens’ effort ranks ninth on the all-time single match kills list in Arizona history and first since the updated scoring change from 30 to 25 points. Arizona as a team recorded 70 kills on .231 hitting. Paige Weber guided the offense with 64 kills while Cursty Jackson aided Owens’ standpoint performance with 13 kills and six blocks of her own. Freshman Candace Nicholson matched Owens on the defense end with 20 digs, a personal best.
UA improves to 13-4 on the season, 2-2 in Pac-10 play and remains unbeaten on the road at 4-0 while the Beavers drop to 8-11 and 1-4 in conference play.
The Cats grabbed the opening set, 25-21, after pulling out of an early four-point hole. Weber had 14 assists in the first set while Jackson tallied five kills, two blocks and an ace. UA’s 5-2 run down the stretch was instrumental in getting off to the early lead.
The lead, however, wouldn’t last long as the Beavers were quick to respond in sets two and three. OSU overwhelmed the Cats in the second set, besting its visitors 25-16 while hitting .297. Then in the third set it was more of the same as Oregon State got up early and never relinquished the lead, winning 25-19.
Arizona, down 2-1 with its backs against the wall, responded taking set four in a dramatic 28-26 win. The Beavers, leading 25-24, were serving for the match on its home floor, but couldn’t put UA away as Owens rattled off the final two kills to even the set wins up at 2 apiece. The fourth set saw the score tied 14 times and seven lead changes.
In the fifth-and-deciding set, the Cats ran out to an early 3-0 lead and later 7-3 advantage behind a few OSU errors and Owens kills. The Beavers would try to stage a comeback, but the Cats proved too tough receiving timely kills from Jackson and Courtney Karst to win the set 15-6 and the match overall, 3-2.
Tomorrow the Wildcats will head to Eugene to face the No. 13 Oregon Ducks at Mac Court beginning at 7 p.m.