UA volleyball sweeps Evansville in opener
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Arizona volleyball team opened the Wildcat Classic and the 2012 season with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-14 sweep of Evansville on Friday morning at McKale Center.
The Arizona sophomore tandem of Madi Kingdon and Taylor Arizobal led the Wildcats with a combined 31 kills and 23 digs. Both finished with double-doubles, as Kingdon had 17 kills and 10 digs while Arizobal finished with 14 kills and 13 digs. Junior Candace Nicholson led the UA defense with 19 digs while Chanel Brown quarterbacked the UA offense by dishing out a match-high 41 assists to go along with eight digs.
The Wildcats outhit Evansville, .218 to .058 while also out-blocking the Purple Aces 9-3. Freshman Olivia Magill made her presence felt at the net with a match-high six blocks for the Cats.
“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the first match, and I thought there were certain aspects of the game that were very good,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “We served well, passed well and defended well, but I thought that there are certainly some things we can improve on.”
In the opening set, the Wildcats jumped out to a 6-1 lead, forcing an early Evansville timeout. Evansville pulled to within two on a couple of occasions, but after the Purple Aces cut the lead to 19-17 on an Arizona attack error, the Wildcats regained the momentum by winning the next three points. Arizona closed out the set on a kill by Kingdon. Both teams struggled in the opening set, as Arizona outhit Evansville just .128 to .093 in the frame. Kingdon led all scorers in the first set with seven kills.
The Wildcats had a slight advantage throughout the opening parts of the second set but could never quite pull away. Clinging to a three point advantage at 17-14, Arizona reeled off three straight points to grab a five-point lead. With the Cats in front 24-20, freshman Halli Amaro clinched the second set with her seventh kill of the match. Kingdon and Arizobal paced UA in the set with six and five kills, respectively. The Wildcats outhit Evansville .250 to .095 in the set.
After Evansville jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the third set, Arizona won the next four points to take a two-point advantage of its own. The Wildcats extended their lead and cruised from there to a match-clinching 25-14 third-set victory. UA outhit Evansville .312 to -.029 in the frame.
Evansville was led by Ashley Ring, who finished with 12 kills and 11 digs for a double-double. Katie Klages led the Purple Aces defensively with 16 digs.