No. 19 Arizona Falters Down the Stretch
Nov. 20, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. – Despite leading 2-1 and for most of the fourth set over No. 6 Stanford, No. 19 Arizona could not close the door on the Cardinal and fell, 3-2 Friday night in McKale Center.
“We played well enough to win and we didn’t, said head coach Dave Rubio. “Good teams like Stanford will beat you if you don’t out-execute them. If we’re going to step up and compete with the top programs we need to have a better mindset and better execution will come from that.”
The Cats (18-8, 7-8) got off to a slow start, falling 25-18 in the first set to the Cardinal. Tiffany Owens and Whitney Dosty combined for 10 of UA’s 13 kills in set one but Arizona only hit .167 compared to .367 by Stanford. Alex Klineman led SU in the first set with six kills. Things were tied up 7-7 over the first set before Stanford (19-7, 12-4) went on a 7-1 run to gain a big advantage and never looked back. Arizona committed nine combined errors compared to Stanford’s five.
After falling behind big to start the second set, Arizona stormed back using an 11-3 run to lead 16-13. The Cardinal would comeback however and tie things up at 21 all. UA would not get down though and pulled out the set 26-24 behind kills by Jacy Norton and Courtney Karst.
In the third set, Arizona took a 13-9 lead after a Karst kill caught the Stanford defense off guard. The Cats kept the pressure on SU with two kills by Owens and a block from Norton to lead 18-14. Arizona’s lead increased to 21-14 following two impressive kills from Karst. Arizona would take the set on a kill from Stephanie Snow to win 25-21.
Play was tied at 20 all in the fourth set before Owens ripped a kill down the middle to put UA up one. The Cardinal then rattled off five straight points to take the set 25-21 and even the match score at 2-2.
Using the momentum from winning set four, Stanford dominated Arizona in the fifth set and won, 15-7. The loss dropped the Cats a match below .500 in conference while first-place Stanford improved to 12-4 in league play.
“It’s disappointing to work that hard and to let set five get out of hand,” said Dosty. “There were lots of things we could have done better to stay in that fifth game.”
Owens tallied her seventh consecutive double-double for UA with 14 kills and 17 digs. She has now recorded 15 double-double’s on the season. Three other Wildcats notched double figure kills as Dosty led the team with 17, followed by Karst with 16 and Norton with 10 kills on 13 swings.
For the match, there were 12 lead changes and the score was tied 25 times.
Arizona will take on No. 11 California on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. in McKale Center.