Wildcats Ready for Conference Opener

Sept. 24, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Wildcats (11-0) look to take the next step in their quest to return back to the NCAA tournament.  After tearing through the non-conference schedule, only dropping four total sets, Arizona begins Pac-10 play against No. 13 USC and No. 14 UCLA in McKale Center.

 

“USC and UCLA always have very talented teams,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “It used to be that they were the two elite conference teams, but now everyone is good (in the Pac-10).”

 

The Cats, who last year started off 12-2, but missed postseason play, know conference play is extremely important to their NCAA Tournament.

 

“I feel like Pac-10 play is so much more magnified just because in almost every match you have two highly-ranked, very talented teams battling,” said junior Paige Weber. “Right after we take on No. 13 USC, No. 14 UCLA will be primed and ready to go.”  

 

The Trojans started off the season by falling to Michigan State on the road before winning their next 11 in a row.  USC has topped two teams what were ranked at the time in No. 20 UC Irvine and No. 21 Pepperdine.

 

UCLA (10-3) fell six spots in the AVCA poll to No. 14 after posting a 1-2 record in the Fullerton Classic.  A week before however, the Bruins knocked off Nebraska on its home-court, something that hadn’t been done in 90 straight matches.

 

The last time Arizona recorded a winning record in conference play was in 2005 when Coach Rubio’s team went 14-4 and was one match away from making its second-ever trip to the Final Four.

 

Notes

-         Outside Hitter Whitney Dosty, who had been hampered by a hand injury and missed five matches, has been cleared to play by the medical staff.

 

-         The Wildcats will look to soak up the comforts of playing at McKale for as long as they can this weekend because five out of the team’s next seven games will be on the road.

 

-         Friday night is “Bring a Teammate Night” as season-ticket holders can use their free tickets to bring two friends.

 

-         Saturday night is “Volleyball Camper Night.”  All campers wearing their Dave Rubio Volleyball Camp Tee will get in for $1.  Following the match, the Arizona women will also be signing autographs along the south baseline of McKale. 

 

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