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Cats Lose Close Against #7

#7 Washington State traveled to Mckale bringing in a 11-1 record to face off against 5-7 Arizona at 1:00 PM. On a 10 game win streak beating 3 ranked opponents in the process Wazzu came in looking to go 2-0 in conference play while Arizona looked to bounce back from a tough 3 set loss to Arizona State.

The first set started off with the Wildcats taking a quick 8-4 lead looking confident against the #7 team in the nation. Washington State quickly came back to take a 10-13 lead though causing Arizona to take their first timeout of the state. Coming out the timeout Arizona came out looking focused again going on a 5 point run to take the lead 16-15 thanks to good offense and a couple of Washington State errors, and forcing them to take a timeout. After the timeout Arizona kept up the pressure including a 3-0 run to get the lead to 21-17. Refusing to go out in the set quietly Wazzu came back to within 1 losing the set on the following play 25-23

Washington State came out in the second set hot getting a 8-4 lead forcing Arizona to call a timeout early. Cutting the lead to 9-8 with a 4 point scoring run, Arizona looked like they had regained their composure before Washington State went on two 3 point runs forcing Arizona to use their second timeout down 15-9. Following the timeout Arizona rattled off 4 straight including two kills from Jordan Wilson, the second on the end of a long rally, to bring the score to 15-13 Washington State and energize all the fans in McKale.

Washington State extended the lead again 19-14 before the fearless Wildcats went on another 4 point scoring run to cut the lead 18-19, and causing Washington to call its first timeout of the set to regroup. Arizona came back to tie up at 21-21 following an Ana Heath Ace that had every Arizona fan jumping in the stands.

Going back and forth to the end and up 25-24 Giorgia Mandotti hit a ball just a bit too long on the serve that tied it up for Wazzu where they went on to close the set out 25-27 tying the match at 1 set apiece.

After a short Arizona started the third set by scoring 4 quick points to go up 4-0 and didn’t really let up through the beginning of the set going on another 4 point run to jump out to a 10-3 lead. Washington State continued to battle though, bringing it back including a 3 straight points to cut the lead to 13-10 and forcing Arizona to use its first timeout of the set. Washington State kept it close and eventually took 18-17 over Arizona and it was a thriller to the end. Arizona finally got some separation going up 23-21 making Wazzu use their second timeout to calm down a bit before the last stretch of the set. It was a little too late though as the Wildcats went on to take the set 25-22 and went up 2-1 in the match.

Sofia Maldonado-Diaz going up for a kill in the 3rd set

Starting the fourth set Washington State was able to jump out to a quick lead going up 10-5

against Arizona before the Wildcats used their first timeout of the set. The closest it cut Arizona was able to cut the lead down to was 4 with the score being 14-10 Washington State up. After that however Washington State never really let up, going on to win the set 25-18, and tying up the match 2-2. This set felt a lot more like Arizona just could not get lucky bounces with the ball going off the net and out wide on a few occasions and a couple balls going a bit long , even though it looked like it hit the line.

Head Coach Charita Stubbs making adjustments late

Going into the fifth set, which only goes to 15, I had no idea who was going to win because of the multiple momentum shifts. Hoping Arizona would respond to the last set like they had before it was really clear early that it was not going to be the case. Washington State went up 6-3 never looking back being up 10-4 before Arizona called a timeout. After 2 more quick points from Arizona, Wazzu went on 5 point run to close out the Wildcats and finish the match 3-2 in terms of sets and 15-6 in the final set.

Though it was a heartbreak it showed a lot of potential of what Arizona could build on continuing in the season. Following a road trip to Northern California Arizona will be back at home October 6th against UCLA


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