Arizona Volleyball Sweeps Its Way into the Second Round

Dec. 2, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY - Led by a match-high 13 kills by junior Kristina Baum, the No. 4-seeded Arizona volleyball team (23-5) swept Utah State (21-13) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Crimson Court on Friday. Game scores of the match were 30-26, 30-27, 30-20.

'I'm pleased with the all-around play of the team tonight,' Arizona coach Dave Rubio said. 'We probably distributed the ball as well tonight as we have all season. It's nice to get this win behind us and to play again tomorrow.'

The Wildcats out-hit the Aggies .340 to .130 on the night and out-blocked them 15-5 in winning in the opening round for a second straight season.

Baum, who helped neutralize USU's All-WAC honoree Zuzana Cernianska to just five kills and -.136 attack percentage, led all players with her 13 kills on 21 swings. She committed only three errors on the night to finish with a team-best .476 hitting percentage.

Seniors Jennifer Abernathy and Kim Glass chipped in with 11 and 10 kills respectively, while classmate Bre Ladd added five kills and eight total blocks in the win.

In game one the Wildcats used an early 8-1 run to jump out to a 10-4 lead. The six-point advantage held up nearly throughout the set as Arizona used a balanced attack with three players with four or more kills in the frame. Dominique Lamb and Baum paced the early effort with five kills apiece in game one, while Glass added four more. The Wildcats out-hit the Aggies .351 to .235 in the opening game.

After watching an early four-point lead evaporate into a 17-17 tie in game two and trading points into the low 20s, the Wildcats put together a three-point scoring run to take a 26-22 lead and held on to head into the break up 2-0. Jennifer Abernathy posted five kills and Glass added three more and five digs in the game. Arizona out-blocked Utah State 6-2 in the frame.

The Wildcats took advantage of a match-high six-point run in the third frame to jump out to a 17-8 lead and proceeded to cruise to the three-game sweep.

Arizona will play the winner of the Utah-Loyola Marymount match in the second round of the tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m. MST.

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