TUCSON, Ariz. – After winning the first two sets, Arizona rallied from 12 points down in the third set to sweep Lipscomb, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-23), Saturday afternoon in the finale of the Arizona Invitational inside the McKale Center.
The Wildcats cruised through the first two sets, but Lipscomb (3-7) jumped out to a substantial 21-9 lead in the third set. Arizona (5-3) rallied to use a 10-0 run to propel them to the victory.
Arizona out-hit Lipscomb, .375 to .179, led by an extremely efficient effort by sophomore Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.). Kingdon finished with a match-high 14 kills with just one error for a .650 hitting percentage. Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) also reached double-figures as she recorded 12 kills. Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) led the Arizona defense with a match-high 13 digs.
Rachel Rhoades (San Diego, Calif.) and Shaquillah Torres (Riverside, Calif.), who each had a productive weekend, earned all-tournament team honors.
Both teams played even through the beginning stages of the opening set, but with the score tied 9-9, Arizona reeled off three straight points to take a 12-9 advantage. Lipscomb was never able to cut into the lead as Arizona went on to take the set, 25-14. The Wildcats were extremely efficient in the opening set by hitting a season-high .500, while allowing Lipscomb to hit just .121. Individually, Kingdon and Arizobal each had five kills in the set. Kingdon was a perfect 5-for-5 in the frame.
The Wildcats took control from the very beginning of the second set as they led by as much as seven at 15-8. Lipscomb went on a rally to pull within two at 17-15, which forced an Arizona timeout. After the break, UA extended the lead back out and cruised to a 25-17 victory. The Cats continued their efficient play by hitting .480 in the set, while using a balanced effort that saw five players record two or more kills.
Lipscomb came out firing following the intermission by taking control of the third set. The Bisons jumped out to a quick 12-3 lead and forced Arizona to use both timeouts very early in the set. Lipscomb continued to build its lead as it ballooned to double figures. Just when it looked like Lipscomb would cruise in the third set after leading 21-9, Arizona started to put together a rally. The Cats went on an incredible 10-0 run to pull within two at 21-19. After the two teams traded points, Arizona won two consecutive to tie the score at 22. Following a Lipscomb kill, Arizona won the next three points to win the set and clinch the match.
Kaycee Green led the Bisons with 11 kills on her way to earning all-tournament honors. Jewell Dobson had nine kills and 10.0 points, while Caitlin Dotson dished out 29 assists.
TCU went a perfect 3-0 on the weekend to claim the tournament title. Arizona finished 2-1, while Lipscomb went 1-2 and Iona was 0-3.
The Wildcats return to action next Friday and Saturday as they host the Arizona Desert Classic to close out non-conference play. The tournament will also feature Boise State, American and UC Irvine.
2012 Arizona Invitational All-Tournament Team
Yvonne Igodan (Tournament MVP) – TCU
Mattie Burleson – TCU
Sloane Sunstrum – TCU
Shaquillah Torres – Arizona
Rachel Rhoades – Arizona
Lauren Ford – Lipscomb
Kaycee Green – Lipscomb
Catrina Warren – Iona
Alicja Pawelec - Iona
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