By Bryan Rosenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 17, 1998

Volleyball club team comes up short at Desert Thunder

UA's men's club volleyball team fell short in its Desert Thunder Tournament over the weekend.

The third-seeded Wildcats lost to second-seeded Utah Valley State 16-14, 15-5 in the semifinals Sunday, which was held at the Student Recreation Center. Washington State ended up winning the event.

Expectations were high going into the annual event.

The Wildcats were coming off a trip to Michigan, where, after losing to top-ranked California, 17-16, 15-9 in a well-contested match, they were starting to look like one of the country's top five or six club teams.

But a lack of energy during practice last week, according to Greenburgh and head coach Kellin Lovegren, led to a disappointing weekend at the Rec Center. They are hoping the poor performance will rekindle the fire during practices.

"We needed this," assistant coach Skip Greenburgh said. "We had lost our work ethic in practice, so now we need to get more motivated during them.

"We're not getting production out of certain positions, and we need to work at that."

Arizona opened competition against some of the weaker teams in its pool, including Pima Community College. Playing down to the level of their competition, the Wildcats did just enough to scrape through to victory.

"We played lethargic the first day," Greenburgh said. "This team has a tendency to shut off at times."

Arizona's starting lineup features a freshman setter, Scott Hunter, who has quickly assumed the role of floor leader.

"He does a very good job at quarterbacking the team," Greenburgh said. "He's only a freshman, but he takes charge on the court. He is a really good leader who will continue to get better."

Seniors Jared Dastrup and Geoff Pollard anchor the outside hitter positions, while sophomores Vince Rooney and Nick Thompson start in the middle. Junior Adam Geach starts at the right side hitting position.

Dastrup and Rooney were named to the Desert Thunder All-tournament Team.

Also competing in the event over the weekend was UA's junior varsity squad, who lost to Colorado State in the finals of the Silver Division Sunday. The Wildcats' varsity squad defeated that same team Friday night, 15-7, 15-8, 15-6.

This weekend was a good chance for Arizona to see some other teams from around the country. Currently ranked ninth in the polls and at 10-2 overall, the Wildcats hope to show the grit that makes other coaches see them as one of the top teams in the country.

"We want to have some fun and win while we're at it," Thompson said.

"Our biggest problem is upstairs," Greenburgh added. "We have a team that will get better as the year goes on. There's a lot of room to grow this year."

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