Arizona falls in five games to Sun Devils

By Ron Parsons

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona women's volleyball team, plagued by errors and hounded by an aggressive Arizona State squad, lost its first match of the season last night at McKale Center.

The 2 1/2-hour match, played in front of 2,516 fans, was the Pacific 10 Conference opener for both teams. In winning 15-10, 9-15,14-16, 15-10, 12-15, Arizona State has now taken 11 of the past 12 meetings dating to 1990.

The Wildcats (6-1 overall, 0-1 in the Pac-10) made 17 service errors, and also had 32 attacking errors. Arizona coach David Rubio said the errors were the result of lapses in concentration.

"Its all mental," he said. "We just were not very good tonight from that standpoint. ASU won the mental game, and the end result of that is they end up winning the match because of it."

ASU (7-0, 1-0) was led by All-America candidate Christine Garner (22 kills) and junior outside hitter Jennifer Snyder (24 kills).

Sophomore Carolyn Penfield, who led Arizona with 22 kills, agreed with Rubio that the errors, particularly the serves sent into the net, helped doom the Wildcats.

"It definitely hurt us, because we can't score points unless we get our serves in," Penfield said. "Mentally, I think we weren't as tough as we should have been."

The Wildcats were able to win the first and fourth games behind the hitting of Penfield and sophomore Michelle Fanger (15 kills). With junior outside hitter Barbara Bell stymied by ASU's blocking schemes, Penfield shouldered the burden of the Wildcat offense.

"I got set a lot of balls, and it was an opportunity for me to really prove myself out there and let the the Pac-10 know I'm coming," Penfield said.

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