Arizona Volleyball

UA volleyball notebook: Good times keep rolling

2013-10-22T00:00:00Z UA volleyball notebook: Good times keep rollingBy Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

These aren’t last year’s Wildcats.

That team started 1-5 in Pac-12 play and never recovered.

This one started 0-2, with losses to ASU and Cal.

If the weekend sweep of UCLA and then-No.1 USC proves anything, it’s that this Arizona team is no 2012-13 retread.

“We didn’t feel like we should’ve lost those games,” said senior libero Candace Nicholson

Since that Oh-fer to start Pac-12 play, Arizona is 5-1, including Sunday’s upset 3-0 win against USC, the Wildcats first against them since 2009.

And, as to be expected after sweeping a top-ranked team, the good times kept rolling for the UA into Monday.

The Wildcats made their first appearance in the AVCA Top 25 coaches poll, coming in at No. 25, and their RPI rose from 30 to 17. USC dropped to No. 4 (from No. 1) in both.

Come November, RPI is typically one of the major determining factors for the NCAA selection committee. Right now, Arizona (15-5, 5-3 Pac-12) is sitting pretty.

“I think SC is a team that can win the national championship,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “I think they’re that good. So that win from an NCAA RPI standpoint and the weight of the win, that’s big for the committee. That’s a huge win for us.”

Kingdon, Snuka receive Pac-12 weekly honors

For the second time this season, outside hitter Madi Kingdon and setter Penina Snuka shared in receiving Pac-12 honors, this time coming on the heels of impressive performances in the weekend sweeps of UCLA and USC.

Kingdon was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. She had 13 kills against UCLA and 20 against USC — including 10 in the UA’s second-set victory. She recorded a .333 hitting percentage on the weekend, and added 15 digs and three service aces.

The 33 combined kills helped Kingdon jump to first place in the conference in kills (317) and kills per set (4.53). She remained in first in points (373, 5.34 per set) as well.

Snuka was named Freshman Player of the Week after recording double-doubles in both matches. She had 30 assists against UCLA, and followed that up with 43 against USC — tying a Pac-12 record for most assists in a three-set match.

“Penina has been kind of living up to every expectation that I’ve had of her coming in,” Rubio said. “She’s really changing the mindset of our group. The defense is a product of her.”

That defense is second in the Pac-12 in opponent hitting percentage, first in digs and fourth in blocks.

The Wildcats travel to Boulder, Colo., this weekend to face Colorado (12-6, 4-4) and then Salt Lake City for Utah (15-5, 4-4).

Arizona State on the ropes

Arizona State has lost six of seven matches since sweeping the UA on Sept. 24. The Sun Devils (13-7, 2-6) come to Tucson for the final game of the regular season on Nov. 29.

Lucky pink jerseys?

The Wildcats beat USC and UCLA wearing pink jerseys for breast cancer awareness. Maybe they’re lucky.

“I’m not sure, but maybe in November we’re gonna have to extend cancer awareness to a half year,” Rubio said. “We’ll see.”

Contact reporter Zack Rosenblatt at zrosenblatt@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @ZackBlatt.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
USC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Azusa Pacific at
Washington State
11/7 12:00 am
Cal Poly Pomona at
Arizona
11/9 4:00 pm
Mount St. Mary's at
Arizona
11/14 6:00 pm
Coppin State at
Oregon
11/14 10:00 pm
Detroit at
Oregon
11/17 9:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
Arizona
11/19 7:00 pm
Oral Roberts at
Oregon State
11/21 7:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Northern Colorado at
Colorado
12/13 4:00 pm
Washington State at
Santa Clara
12/13 8:00 pm
Grambling at
Oregon State
12/15 8:00 pm
Grambling at
Washington
12/17 9:00 pm
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