By Lindsey Frazier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 15, 2004
Cats-Cougars precedes Midnight Madness event
The No. 22 Arizona volleyball team hopes to build on its modest two-game winning streak as it plays host to Washington State and Washington in the fourth week of Pacific 10 Conference play. The Wildcats (10-6, 2-4) take on the Cougars tonight at 8 and the No. 1 Huskies tomorrow at 7 p.m. at McKale Center.
Despite defeating Oregon State and Oregon on the road last weekend, the Wildcats dropped one spot from No. 21 to No. 22 in this week's USA Today/College Sports Television coaches poll.
Arizona will encounter both ends of the spectrum, as Washington State resides in the basement of the Pacific 10 Conference while Washington has yet to lose this season.
"I really don't feel like it's really any bigger than any of the other matches to be honest with you," said UA head coach Dave Rubio of competing against Washington. "It's a good opportunity to use it as a barometer to see where we are in relation to how good they are. We already know they're really good, and we need to find out how good we are. We're still a work in progress."
"(Washington is) undefeated, but I don't think that anyone has really thought about it," said sophomore opposite hitter Kristina Baum. "We know they're undefeated but that doesn't change the way we feel about winning or how much we want to beat them. It just gives us more momentum."
Volleyball vs. WSU
Today, 8 p.m.
Today, 10 p.m.
Radio (both events):
KAMP 1570 AM / kamp.arizona.edu
The Cougars (3-14, 0-5) were swept by the Huskies (13-0, 5-0) last Friday. Washington tops the national rankings for the second straight week and is led by Sanja Tomasevic who boasts averages of 4.68 kills and 2.85 digs per game. Setter Courtney Thompson contributes 14.1 assists per game.
"Washington State is obviously a team that is rebuilding and they had a coaching change, and they're trying to get their program on solid ground," Rubio added. "Whereas Washington is obviously in midseason form and raring to go.
"We're not overlooking Washington State, even though they're down a little bit. We want to make sure we're focused on the very first match and play a good match against Washington State before we even set our sights on Washington," he said.
Arizona edges both teams in the all-time series, as the Wildcats lead the Cougars 25-11 and top the Huskies 25-15. Arizona defeated Washington 3-1 in its last meeting on Nov. 21 and triumphed over Washington State by the same score on Nov. 22.
Rubio said that Arizona will need to be stable in its execution in order to beat both schools.
"Our biggest area of improvement needs to come from a consistency standpoint - whether it's from serving or passing or attacking," he said. "Right now, we make a lot of errors, but they're errors that we can control."
"I think we're really excited about what we did this past weekend and we want to bring it into this coming weekend," Baum said. "I think we just have to play our game and reduce our errors and play on our side. We were beating ourselves mostly before we played Oregon."