TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 6 Arizona volleyball team swept past No. 16 UCLA 30-26, 30-27, 30-19, in its final regular season home match at McKale Center tonight. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 20-5 overall and 12-4 in Pac-10 play, and finish the regular season with a 12-1 mark at McKale. It’s the program’s best home mark since posting an identical record in 2001.
“This was the best we’ve played in a number of weeks,” Head Coach David Rubio said. “Well-balanced is exactly what we want. We can’t rely on only one person.”
Senior Jennifer Abernathy led all players with 15 kills and 12 digs for her 13th double-double of the season.
Senior Kim Glass also tallied a double-double, finishing with 13 kills and 11 digs to go with three service aces. During the third game, she notched her 2,000th career kill, making her the first Wildcat and just the fourth player in Pac-10 history ever to eclipse the mark.
After trailing early in game one, Arizona used an 8-0 run to go up 11-5. The Wildcats later led by as many as eight, but UCLA went on a 7-2 run to make it a 20-17 game. Arizona responded with two in a row to extend its lead back to five and went on to win 30-26.
Arizona hit .243 on the game, compared to the .189 of the Bruins. Both teams tallied three blocks and three service errors, but the Wildcats notched three aces on the game. Glass and Abernathy had five kills each to lead Arizona.
Game two was played closely throughout, with neither team leading by more than three points at any point during the game and Arizona winning 30-27. The Wildcats were out-hit .281 to .220 on the game, but had four service aces to the Bruins’ two. Glass, Abernathy and Baum had four kills each to pace Arizona.
After UCLA score the first point of game three, Arizona tied it at one, and then took the lead for good. The Wildcats led by as many as 12 (24-12) and won 30-19. Arizona out-hit UCLA .405 to .200 on the game.
Arizona closes out the regular season with a pair of matches at Oregon and Oregon State next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26. Friday’s match vs. the Ducks begins at 8 p.m. (PST), while Saturday’s match against the Beavers starts at 7 p.m. (PST).
“We have to make sure we don’t assume we’re going to win in Oregon,” Rubio said. “We have to go out and play well and win. We’re going to do everything we can to be a top four or five seed in the NCAA Tournament. This weekend was crucial for us. We’ll have to let the selection committee decide.”