Cats Split Day One in Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Arizona fell to UTEP 2-3 in the first match of the Springhill Suites Invitational. The Cats will play New Mexico State tonight at 6 p.m. MST in Las Cruces.
"We grew up today," said head coach Dave Rubio. "The UTEP game was experience versus youth. They are a great and experienced team and took us to the limit. In the second match, we had to dig deep and execute better. We started hitting our serves and Jaelyn Hodge, Emery Herman, and Kamaile Hiapo wouldn't refuse to let us go down. Jaelyn played great tonight and came through at the end for us."
Game 1 vs. UTEP
Set 1 | Arizona - 25, UTEP - 23
Arizona took a quick lead over UTEP in the first set with a strong attack from Jaelyn Hodge and Merle Weidt. Weidt was part of two blocks, helping the Cats win the first set 25-23. Maldonado Diaz and Hodge both had three kills and Emery Herman had 11 assists.
Set 2 | Arizona - 25, UTEP - 22
In set two, Weidt was once again a force in the middle, with three blocks and two kills. Puk Stubbe led the Cats with four kills in the second set. Herman had 10 assists, three kills, and one ace to help Arizona take the two-set lead.
Set 3 | Arizona - 21, UTEP - 25
Hodge's four kills and Stubbe's three block assists and two kills weren't enough to secure the straight set win for the Cats. Weidt had three kills and two block assists and Zyonna Fellows assisted Stubbe in a block. Maldonado Diaz contributed three kills and one ace for the Cats.
Set 4 | Arizona - 22, UTEP – 25
The Cats and the Miners battled in the fourth set, before UTEP took the set 25-22. Hodge led the offense for Arizona with four kills. Sofia Maldonado Diaz, Stubbe, and Weidt each had two kills. Weidt tallied another block assist with the help of Herman.
Set 5 | Arizona - 6, UTEP – 15
The Miners pulled ahead early in the final set to win the match. Hodge had her fifteenth kill of the match in the fifth set, setting a new career high. Stubbe had two kills and Fellows and Herman combined on a block assist before UTEP won.
Kills: Jaelyn Hodge - 15
Assists: Emery Herman - 46
Digs: Kamaile Hiapo - 13
Blocks: Merle Weidt – 8
Game 2 vs. New Mexico State
Set 1 | Arizona 14, New Mexico State - 25
In the first set, Arizona fell to the Aggies 25-14. Hodge had four kills but NMSU kept the Cats to a .088 hitting percentage.
Set 2 | Arizona 14, New Mexico State – 25
The Aggies took the second set 25-14. Two kills each from Emery Herman, Hodge, and Sofia Maldonado Diaz wasn't enough to keep New Mexico State at bay.
Set 3 | Arizona 27, New Mexico State – 25
After the Aggies secured the first two sets, Arizona came out strong in the third set. The Wildcat offense hit .234 while the defense kept NMSU to a .211 hitting percentage. Hodge led the Cats with eight kills and Herman four kills each. Puk Stubbe put away four kills and served an ace to help Arizona win the third set 27-25.
Set 4 | Arizona 25, New Mexico State – 21
Hodge dominated in the fourth set, helping the Cats win 25-21 to force a fifth set. Hodge had 10 kills and an ace and an assist. Maldonado Diaz found her groove in the fourth, knocking down five kills and stopping two attack from the Aggies. Herman directed the offense with 13 assists.
Set 5 | Arizona 15, New Mexico State – 12
Arizona completed the comeback with a fifth set win over the Aggies. Hodge led the offense once again with six kills and Herman had nine assists. Maldonado Diaz had two kills in addition to an ace, helping the Cats win 15-12.
Kills: Jaelyn Hodge - 30
Assists: Emery Herman - 42
Digs: Kamaile Hiapo - 21
Blocks: Zyonna Fellows & Sofia Maldonado Diaz - 3
Arizona will face Northwestern in the final match of the Springhill Suites Invitational on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Las Cruces.