Coming off of a Friday night classic between Arizona Volleyball and Oregon State, the teams returned to the McKale Center court for their second match in three days.
Back on the court two days after sweeping Oregon State, including a comeback win for the ages, the Arizona Volleyball team returned to the McKale Center for their second matchup against Oregon State on Sunday afternoon.
Arizona head coach Dave Rubio once again deployed the same lineup, flipping only the middle blockers in the rotation.
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Down 9-5 early on in the first set, Coach Rubio had to take his first timeout, and whatever he said, it seemed to work as the Wildcats took control from there on, growing their lead as high as 10 at 24-14 before ultimately putting the Beavers away 25-17.
Sofia Maldonado Diaz once again paced the Wildcats’ attack with five kills on eight attempts, picking up just one error for a .500 hitting percentage. Zyonna Fellows chipped in a trio of blocks as well, leading the Wildcats to the easy first set win.
Arizona once again found themselves trailing the Beavers at the first timeout, this time down 10-6. Luckily, the Wildcats found yet another rally to get them back in the lead at 15-12 before Oregon State countered with a timeout of their own, forcing the Beavers to take a timeout with the game still close.
This one would stay close the rest of the way as Oregon State tied things up at 17, and they would alternate scoring until the Wildcats took the lead back for good at 21-19, eventually taking the second set 25-21. Maldonado Diaz added another six kills, giving her 11 for the match, while Emery Herman saw her assist tally soar to 19 for Arizona.
Heading to the third set, it was another quick start by Oregon State that put Arizona in an early 6-2 hole before the Wildcats were able to rally back, briefly taking an 11-10 lead.
However, it was the Beavers who largely controlled this one as they jumped right back out to another large lead, going up 17-12.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats were not about to go out quietly in this one, rallying back to bring the score to 17-16 before forcing Oregon State into a timeout. Though largely quiet in the opening sets, Jaelyn Hodge reminded the Beavers that she is not to be slept on, as a pair of kills tied things up in the set at 18, before a Beavers hitting error forced Oregon State into another timeout.
The third set continued to alternate points, until Oregon State was able to pull away to take the win 27-25, to send this one to a fourth set.
Arizona Volleyball dominates fourth and final set to complete the weekend sweep over Oregon State.
Heading into the fourth set, this time it was the Wildcats who were able to jump out to the early, 7-4 lead as Arizona looked to avoid going to a fifth set.
Another Arizona freshman made her presence known in this one as Jaleesa Caroccio delivered her first career ace, following a one-dig debut on Friday night to put Arizona up 10-5.
Caroccio followed that run-up by delivering her first career set on a Jaylen Hodge kill to help grow the lead to 12-5.
Transfer Merle Weidt added her second kill of the night and followed that up with an ace before fellow transfer Dilara Gedikoglu added with a kill of her own. Following the sequence of events, the Wildcats then found themselves in total control with a 17-8 lead.
Arizona put away the fourth set 25-14 to take the match 3-1, registering their second series sweep on the year bringing their overall record to 4-6 on the year.
As is becoming commonplace for the Wildcats, Maldonado Diaz led all hitters with 24 kills, while Hodge bounced back with a huge final two sets to register 12 kills.
Herman led the way setting, dishing out 44 assists, while also adding an ace and a pair of blocks. On defense, Kamaile Hiapo led the way with 20 digs on the afternoon.
Up Next for the Wildcats…
Arizona Volleyball will look to take this momentum on the road next week as they travel to Pauley Pavilion to square off against UCLA on Friday and Saturday. The games can be seen on UCLA’s live stream through PAC-12 Plus.