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Volleyball hosts home tourney

FILE PHOTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore Angie Ayers (left) and former Wildcat Shannon Torregrosa go for a block last season at home.
By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 4, 2003

Sandwiched between matches at No. 5 Pepperdine and No. 20 Santa Clara, a young UA volleyball team's home opener against the senior-laden San Diego State squad could have all the makings of an upset something Arizona has been warned about.

Today, the No. 10 Wildcats (2-1, 0-0 Pacific 10 Conference) host the Aztecs (2-1) at 10 a.m., then face the No. 20 Broncos of Santa Clara (1-1) in their first home matches of the season in the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic.

UA head coach Dave Rubio said that San Diego State, which has five seniors and one junior, is well trained and very physically talented, and said he has been cautioning the Wildcats not to overlook anybody.

"They have a lot of experience and I don't think they fear anybody," Rubio said. "I don't think they will be intimidated by anybody. I don't think they'll be afraid to step on the floor against Arizona. I think they're looking forward to competing against us and looking forward to upsetting us."

Arizona has won the last seven meetings between the two schools. After the Aztecs, the Wildcats play Santa Clara, which returns six starters from last year's 24-7 team that made the NCAA tournament. Bronco middle blocker Becky Potter, who had 571 kills last year, was an American Vollyball Coaches' Association All-American.

"Santa Clara is also very athletic," Rubio said. "Jon Wallace, the head coach there, does a terrific job. His kids play hard, they're well skilled, they're knowledgeable. They have a good system. Jon is an excellent teacher and good motivator, so they'll be prepared for us."

The Broncos have only the UA match tomorrow, which gives them nearly a full week's rest after beating San Jose State, 3-1.

Wildcat Classic
Who: Arizona vs. San Diego State
When: Today, 10 a.m.
Who: Arizona vs. Santa Clara
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

"They certainly have an advantage in that sense," Rubio said.

The Wildcats played consecutive matches last Saturday when they beat Eastern Washington and upset No. 5 Pepperdine.

"You can only prepare for one match at a time," Rubio said. "I think that it's a little frustrating on my end because we can't prepare like we want to against Santa Clara, but that's just the way it is.

"Our team will benefit from playing a lot of games and a lot of matches. That's why I did that. Being as young as we are, they're going to benefit from more match time."

In the tournament, each team plays each other, making a total of four matches in three days. The other matches today are Rhode Island versus Miami after the UA-SDSU game, along with the Rams against the Aztecs at 5 p.m.

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