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Volleyball Completes Red-Blue Scrimmage on Thursday

Nov 19, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Arizona volleyball team held its Red-Blue scrimmage on Saturday in McKale Center on Thursday morning.

The team put on its uniforms and competed in a match-like atmosphere for the first and only time during the 2020 calendar year. The Pac-12 has yet to announce the schedule for the upcoming season, but the NCAA has identified January 22 as the approved start date for the spring season.

In the scrimmage on Thursday, Team Blue took home the victory in four sets (26-24, 25-22, 26-24, 20-25).

"We've improved quite a bit since the beginning of the season," said head coach Dave Rubio, who is entering his 29th season as the head coach of the Wildcats. "With so many young players and new players to introduce the system and the technique, we're still a work in progress. But overall, I was happy. We need to become a little bit more consistent, but I was pleased."

For nine Wildcats -- six true freshmen and three transfers -- it was the first time putting on an Arizona uniform in a match. The three transfers were very impressive in the match, with Dilara Gedikoglu leading all scorers with 17 kills, Merle Weidt posting a team-high 7 blocks and Akia Warrior finishing with 28 assists. The six freshmen played well as well, with Emery Herman leading the team with 35 assists, while Sofia Maldonado Diaz and Jaelyn Hodge had 10 and 7 kills, respectively.

"I thought Dilara (Gedikoglu) played really well, very solid," said Rubio. "Merle (Weidt) was very solid. They played with a level of confidence that really showed today. The freshmen weren't as fluid and didn't play with as much aggressiveness as they will when they get a little more comfortable. But I like what we're doing, and I think we have a chance to be pretty good with time."

Arizona's returning starters led the way for the Wildcats, with Paige Whipple finishing second on the team with 11 kills to go along with eight digs. Kamaile Hiapo had a match-high 17 digs. Zyonna Fellows put up four kills and three blocks while Malina Kalei Ua had eight digs in the match.

The team will wrap up their fall this week before returning after the New Year to prepare for the season. Stay tuned to ArizonaWildcats.com and the team's Twitter and Instagram for updates regarding the 2021 schedule when updates become available.

MATCH LEADERS

Kills
Dilara Gedikoglu - 17
Paige Whipple - 11
Sofia Maldonado Diaz - 10

Assists
Emery Herman - 35
Akia Warrior - 28
Kamaile Hiapo - 8

Digs
Kamaile Hiapo - 17
Jaleesa Caroccio - 13
Joy Galles - 9

Blocks
Merle Weidt - 7
Mackay Sennyey - 4
Zyonna Fellows - 3