TUCSON, Ariz. – A solid balance both offensively and defensively lifted the Arizona (8-2) volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-19) sweep over Loyola Maryland (2-8) on the opening day of the Wildcat Classic inside McKale Center on Friday night.
Olivia Magill led a balanced Arizona offense with 10 kills on .533 hitting to go along with a match-high eight blocks. Meanwhile, Jane Croson and Madi Kingdon combined for 17 kills. Penina Snuka dished out 27 assists with seven digs, while Candace Nicholson finished with a match-high 17 digs.
The Wildcats hit an efficient .352 on the night, while holding Loyola Maryland to just .099 hitting. Arizona out-blocked the Greyhounds, 9-1. The .352 hitting percentage was the second highest of the year for the Wildcats.
After Loyola Maryland jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the opening set, the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to take the 10-2 advantage. Arizona continued to lead by a wide margin throughout the set as it would go on to a 25-12 victory. Croson and Kingdon had nine of the 14 kills for the Cats in the set, while Snuka led the defense with five digs. Arizona hit a solid .333 in the set, while holding Loyola Maryland to just a .000 attack efficiency.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the second set and they never looked back from there. Arizona took the set 25-14 thanks to a strong .368 hitting percentage. The defense was solid once again for the U of A as it limited Loyola Maryland to just .026 hitting. Magill and Kingdon led the Arizona offense with four kills apiece, while Ronni Lewis paced the defense with five digs.
For the third straight set Arizona got off to a strong start as the Cats took an 8-3 lead to open the frame. The Greyhounds pulled to within three but that was as close as they would get. Arizona went on to cruise to a 25-19 victory to clinch the match. Magill led the charge with four kills in the set, while Nicholson had seven digs.
Faye Lukas led Loyola Maryland offensively with a match-high 14 kills to go along with seven digs.
The Wildcats will continue play in the Wildcat Classic tomorrow morning as they take on Wofford at 10:30 a.m. Arizona will also play UC Santa Barbara tomorrow night at 7 p.m. inside McKale Center.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.