Arizona falls to UCLA

Sept. 26, 2009

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TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 19 Arizona volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season tonight, falling to No. 14 UCLA in four sets, 22-25, 27-25, 25-14 and 25-13.


“We didn’t execute well, said head coach Dave Rubio. “I tell the girls all the time that the team that is going to win is the team that executes the best. We didn’t execute well at all after the first set. My hat’s off to UCLA. They came in here pretty down and they responded very well against us.”


After the Wildcats (12-1, 1-1) stormed out to a 16-9 lead in the first game, UCLA (11-4, 1-1) staged a comeback with seven straight points to gain some confidence after being down early.  The Cats eventually would go onto take the set, but the damage, in some respect, had already been done.


Set two remained close throughout as there were five lead changes and nine score ties.  UCLA would capture the set 27-25 after Dana Hutchinson recorded an attack error.  The play was questioned by Rubio after the south linesman signaled UCLA had committed an error, but the head referee over-ruled him. Following the play, Rubio received a red card and UCLA was awarded a point in set three.


The Bruins, with the momentum of the set two win, went on to take sets three and four as neither game was in doubt.  Dicey McGraw led UCLA with 20 kills on .350 hitting while Lauren Cook had 43 assists overall.


“From this match, we learn a lot about what it takes to prepare for an opponent of that caliber,” said junior setter Paige Weber. “You re-learn what this conference is all about. You learn that a team can take a beating one night and come out the next night and play like UCLA played tonight. Everyone was talking about the record. Being 12-0 is great, but being 12-0 can also give you a false sense of security.”


Tiffany Owens posted double-digit kills for Arizona for the fifth consecutive match although she only hit .022 and committed 11 errors.  Alanna Resch recorded a season-high 18 digs for the Cats as they fell to 1-1 in Pac-10 play. The loss snapped Arizona’s school-record 12 straight wins to start the season.


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