By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Wildcats are back on the winning trail.
After losing five of its last six games, the Arizona women's volleyball team knew last weekend's homestand could be a turning point for its season.
With the idea in mind that they needed some wins and that their opponents, the Washington schools, were playing well, the Wildcats knew they had to come out firing. And that's just what they did, defeating Washington in three games (15-11, 15-8, 15-4) and Washington State in four (14-16, 15-10, 15-4, 15-3).
After convincingly winning Friday night's game against the Huskies, Arizona came out Sunday morning excited and ready for a sweep. The first game was a see-saw battle with both teams exchanging leads throughout the game. With the score 8-11 Washington State, the Wildcats mounted a comeback and scored six unanswered points. But the offense quit when it was up 14-11, and it allowed the Cougars to jump back in the game. At 14-14, Washington State got a few breaks and won the game 16-14.
Throughout the season, UA coach David Rubio has been concerned about how his team battles adversity. Two weeks ago, this team would have had a tough time coming back from a disheartening loss in the first game. But Arizona showed its composure in game two, when the UA came out attacking and built up an 11-1 lead. Arizona ended up avoiding a Cougar comeback and won game two 15-10.
From that point on it was all Arizona. In each of the last two games they were ahead 13-3 at one point. And one key to their two final victories was that they did not let Washington State back in the game.
Arizona (12-8 overall, 7-7 in the Pacific 10 Conference) was led by Barb Bell's 23 kills and .436 hitting percentage. Laura Bartsch hit .364, recorded seven blocks and added 45 assists.
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