The Arizona women’s volleyball team hits the court for the first time in 2014 tomorrow against South Dakota in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Wildcats are competing in the Wisconsin Green Bay Tournament to open the season and will host Green Bay and Kansas State on Saturday to wrap up the opening tournament.
Head coach Dave Rubio is entering his 23rd season as the head coach of the Wildcats and returns eight significant contributors from the 2013 squad. Rubio has a career coaching record of 538-319 (416-253 at Arizona) and will look to add to the win total in 2014. The 2013 Cats went 21-13 last season (10-10 in Pac-12) and went to the NCAA tournament. They recorded a first round win against New Mexico State, before bowing out the tournament in the second round with a 3-0 loss to #9 San Diego.
Returning for the Wildcats is preseason All-Pac-12 outside hitter Madi Kingdon. The senior earned 2013 honorable mention AVCA All-American, as well as, AVCA All-Region and All-Pac-12 honors. She le the Pac-12 in points, was fourth in kills, and 5th in service aces last season.
Joining Kingdon is sophomore setter Penina Snuka who enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign in 2013. She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and was an honorable mention AVCA All-Region selection. Snuka led the Pac-12 with 19 double-doubles and finished second among freshman nationally in double-doubles ( A double-double in volleyball is when a player gets double digit totals in two of the following categories: aces, kills, blocks, digs, or assists). Snuka will look to take the next step in 2014 after getting a ton of experience as a freshman.
Arizona was chosen to finish 9th in the preseason polls, but will look to better that prediction and get back to the NCAA tournament. With players like Snuka and Kingdon and all of the experience coming back the Wildcats should exceed those expectations.