Dave Rubio’s past two NCAA tournaments ended, it seemed, before they even began.
The Arizona Wildcats volleyball coach watched his team lose to Texas A&M in 2009 and to Northwestern last year, both times in the first round.
Neither match even went to a fifth set.
Today, the Wildcats face Michigan State at Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas, with a chance to win their first postseason match since reaching the Elite Eight in 2005.
“I feel like Lute Olson in that one span, when he lost a couple times in the first round,” Rubio said. “Fortunately, no one’s calling for me to get fired.”
The 19-12 Wildcats exceeded expectations this season, reaching the postseason despite losing four starters and replacing them with freshmen.
Read more about the Arizona volleyball team's trip to the NCAA tournament in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.