Arizona Trumps No. 11 Cal, 3-1

Nov. 22, 2009

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TUCSON, Ariz. – On Senior Day in McKale Center, the No. 19 Arizona volleyball team topped No. 11 California to improve its chances for an at-large NCAA bid and ran its record to 19-8 overall and 8-8 in conference.


Tiffany Owens and Whitney Dosty both finished with 14 kills apiece while Paige Weber recorded 40 assists, four kills and seven digs. Danielle Holloway also received significant playing time, tallying three assists, two aces and one dig over four sets. Middle blocker Stephanie Snow came on strong off the bench as well and gave her team nine kills and four total blocks.


“The win feels terrific,” said head coach Dave Rubio.  “I’m really proud of how our kids responded today.” 


The Golden Bears (18-9, 11-6) got off to a quick start, taking a five-point lead followed by UA bouncing back and closing the gap somewhat at 7-5. After a few exchanges, Owens tied the score at nine with a powerful attack.  Arizona then took the lead at 10-9 when Weber and Jacy Norton teamed up for a block.  Following a Cal timeout, the Cats took the next two points to increase their lead by three. The lead grew to six behind an attack from Weber and a block assist from Dosty and Snow.  Arizona would take the set and a 1-0 lead on a Cal attack error to win the set 25-17.


In the second set, both teams traded jabs early to stay knotted at 12-12. Each UA attempt to establish a permanent lead was quickly answered by Cal who tied things up at 19-19.  After Cal took a brief 20-19 advantage, Arizona went ahead on a Bear attack error and an Owens kill to move the score to 22-20 in its favor. The Cats grabbed the set, 25-22, behind consecutive Cal errors and moved ahead in the match 2-0.


Cal opened set three with a 6-3 advantage after Kat Brown and Correy Johnson rejected a UA attack.  Cal’s lead would grow to 13-7 when Hana Cutura hammered home her fourth kill of the set.  After an attempted UA comeback, Cal kept its foot on the accelerator and moved ahead 20-13.  The Golden Bears won the set on an Arizona attack error, 25-18.


The Wildcats responded quickly in set four, racing out to a 5-1 lead after Dosty and Snow blocked a Cutura attack. The Bears signaled time to slow UA’s momentum with the score at 8-2. It failed to work however as the Cats’ lead grew to 11-3 on an error by Brown.  Arizona sustained a mini Cal run half way through as the lead shrunk to 14-9 Arizona. The Golden Bears then ripped off a 7-4 run though shortly after to close the gap to 18-16 and forced Rubio to signal for time. Follwing the timeout, Arizona refused to succumb to the Bear rally and took the fourth set, 25-21 and the match 3-1.


Seniors Norton and Alanna Resch were lauded before the match for their four-year careers. Norton totaled five kills and four block assists while libero Resch had 12 digs.


Arizona will travel to Los Angeles next weekend to face UCLA Friday afternoon and USC on Saturday afternoon to close its regular season and await its NCAA tournament fate on Sunday.


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