TUCSON, AZ – Taking part in the Wildcat Classic, Arizona Volleyball (9-1) had an impressive day, opening the Tournament up with a sweep!
The Arizona Volleyball program opened up this weekend’s action of the Wildcat Classic, where they took control early on in the Tournament, earning a sweep in Friday’s action.
Putting on an offensive and defensive clinic, the Wildcats’ efforts allowed them to seize control of both matches as the Wildcats earned the 3-0 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 3-1 against UTEP.
Islanders are no Match for Arizona Volleyball
Squaring off against the Southland’s Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Arizona showcased its offensive firepower as they opened the first set with a dominant, 20-13 lead, before cruising to the eventual, 25-22 win.
Facing a more competitive match in the second set, the Wildcats and Islanders would go back and forth in this one. And despite Arizona falling behind 24-23, the Wildcats’ defense would come up back in the end.
Needing a stop desperately, the Wildcats’ defense would give Arizona the side out which allowed them to rally to earn the narrow, 26-24 win.
Entering the third set, Arizona would put the clamps on in a major way, using a dominant defensive presence to hold the Islanders to just 11 points. Fueled by a stellar offensive performance, the Wildcats would crush Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, earning the eventual, 25-11 win.
In the match, the Wildcats would be led by the offensive play of Sofia Maldonado Diaz who led all Wildcat hitters with 10 kills. Arizona’s Jaelyn Hodge and Zyonna Fellows would finish their day with nine and eight respectively.
UTEP was no match for the Wildcats in the Night Cap
Closing day one action of the Wildcat Classic against UTEP, the Wildcats were nearly as dominant as they were against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi earlier in the day.
Opening the first set with three unanswered points, the Wildcats would pace themselves to a dominant, 20-12 lead before eventually cruising to the 25-14 win.
Hoping to replicate their dominant performance in the second set, unfortunately, the Wildcats would see their first set back on the day as UTEP opened the game on a 7-3 run before Arizona could seemingly blink.
Looking to rebound, the Wildcats would use their best attempts to come back into this one, even rallying a bit to cut UTEP’s lead to 18-14. But unfortunately for Arizona, the Wildcats would fall to the Miners 25-19.
Returning to their strong defensive form in the third set, Arizona was a bit more focused in that match as they jumped out to a 17-9 lead. UTEP would try to rally, but the Wildcats’ clamps tightened as they eventually cruised to the 25-20 win.
Looking to close things out in the fourth set, this one would be a bit of a nail-biter for the Cats. Despite jumping out to a 7-4 lead early on, with every offensive output, the Miners would have a response, hanging neck and neck with the Cats.
Luckily, with Arizona only leading 17-16, the Wildcats would find a nice rhythm as they were able to create a little cushion against UTEP to lead 22-18.
Even though the Miners would rally, Arizona would hang tough in the end, eventually earning the 25-23 win, and eventual 3-1 match win.
Once again, the Wildcats were paced by Maldonado Diaz as she had an impressive 16 kills with a .238 hitting percentage on 42 attempts. Arizona’s Puk Stubbe and Alayna Johnson would each add nine kills of their own respectively.
With the wins, the Wildcats improve to 9-1 on the season and will return to action on Saturday afternoon as they take on Cal State Northridge. Pac-12 action will begin next week for the Cats when they take on ASU.