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Arizona Suffers First Loss of Season at No. 2 Texas

Sep 12, 2014

TUCSON No. 21 Arizona volleyball suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the second-ranked Texas Longhorns in the 26 West Longhorn Classic as the hosts swept the Wildcats (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) on Friday night.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t play better,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “Some of that was Texas and some of that was us. It’s frustrating, but it provides valuable experience for what we’re going to face in the conference.”

Late pushes in each of the three sets for Texas (5-0) accompanied with a surplus of Wildcat errors hurt Arizona as the team suffered its first loss of the season.

Arizona (6-1) battled the Longhorns closely for the majority of the three sets, trailing 21-18 in both the first and second sets and tying the Longhorns at 18 in the third set before Texas made late surges to take each of the three sets.

The Wildcats committed 12 service errors, their most in a three set match all season while also committing season highs with 20 attack errors and five receiving errors.

Senior outside hitter picked up her fourth 20-plus-kill match of the season, and 19th of her career (fourth in Arizona history), with 21 kills on 52 swings.

Taylor Arizobal added six kills while Halli Amaro supplied five to supplement Arizona’s offensive attack. Arizona recorded seven more kills than Texas in the tilt (43-36), but committed double the attack errors (20-10).

Penina Snuka’s 32 assists and 15 digs gave the sophomore her fourth double-double of the season.

Texas outblocked Arizona 10-4 and limited the Wildcats to a .197 hitting percentage. The Cats were able to hold Texas to a modest .257 hitting percentage in the match.

In the first set, Arizona hung tough, but errors proved to be Arizona’s downfall. The Wildcats committed six service errors, four attack errors and one reception error in the 25-19 Texas victory. UA fought tough, hanging with Texas and trailing the Longhorns by just three as late as 21-18. However, Texas would grab four of the next five points to take the set victory.

Arizona had leads of 1-0 and 7-6, but Texas proved to be too much for the Wildcats in the second. Like the first set, Arizona was able to keep it close, trailing by three at 21-18, but the Longhorns’ late push earned them a 25-21 win in the second set.

Texas controlled the early going in the third set, causing Arizona to use both of its timeouts before either team was in double digits. The Longhorns scored 10 of the game’s first 15 points before Arizona scored six of the next seven to tie the game at 11. Texas would regain the lead, but Arizona hung tough, eventually retying the game at 18. The Longhorns, though, scored seven of the game’s final nine points to take the final set 25-20.

The Wildcats return to action Saturday when they play two games to conclude the 26 West Longhorn Classic; Arizona takes on Florida A&M at 8:00 a.m. and UCF at 3:30 p.m. PDT.

For continued coverage of Arizona volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@ArizonaVBall).