UA volleyball set for tourney

By Monty Phan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The winning streak stands at one. Not much of a streak, but with three matches this weekend, it could be a healthy four games come Monday.

The Arizona women's volleyball team travels to San Diego this weekend, where it will participate in the ASICS Grand Prix hosted by San Diego State.

The Wildcats will face undefeated Cal State-Northridge (3-0) Friday evening at 5 p.m. They will round out the weekend by playing Hofstra (3-1) Saturday at 10 a.m. and San Diego State (2-1) at 7:30 that evening.

The Northridge Matadors are coming off victories over Fresno State, UC-Irvine, and SW Missouri last weekend at the UC-Irvine Tournament.

Although none of this weekend's teams are ranked, there's still a twist on things. Northridge is UA head coach David Rubio's alma mater, and the Matadors run many of the same plays as Arizona.

Last weekend, the Wildcats split the two matches they played, losing to seventh-ranked Pacific but handily defeating San Jose State in the Pacific Tournament. This weekend's tournament provides another hurdle. Although none of the teams are ranked in the top 20, the Wildcats will have to play three matches in two days, with two on Saturday.

"I'm new, so I can only speak for myself, but we haven't had two matches in one day," freshman setter Michaela Ebben said. "Last weekend, we played one a day, so I don't know how it's going to be. I'm sure it's going to be a little tiring, but I'm sure I'll get used to it."

One other factor that's sure to figure into this weekend's contests is that the Wildcats' have put last weekend, and the traditional season-opening butterflies, behind them.

"I'm really excited. I think that after last weekend, we're better prepared for this weekend," Ebben said. "After getting through our first match our first couple matches we're better prepared for this weekend. First-game jitters are over with."

With regards to the squad's other two opponents, this is the first meeting between the Wildcats and the Hofstra Flying Dutchwomen. On the other hand, San Diego State leads the series against Arizona, 19-1, with the team getting its only victory against the Aztecs in 1985, the last time the two teams faced each other.

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