No. 20 Arizona volleyball ended non-conference play on a high note, defeating U. of Maryland Baltimore County in straight sets (25-11, 25-11, 25-21), punctuating the Wildcats' sweep of the Wildcat Classic on Saturday morning.
“It was nice to be able to get three wins this weekend,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “I thought there were moments that we played some really clean volleyball. As my assistant would say this was just a dress rehearsal next we take the stage so we better know our lines and we better be ready to sing."
Arizona ended the nonconference season 11-1, and 6-0 in McKale Center, where it has not lost a set all year.
"It's a great feeling, winning never gets old,” said Rubio of the team's 6-0 record at home. “I think that it's nice to be able to gain confidence with the wins. Now we just have to hope that our non-conference schedule prepared us for what we are going to face in conference play."
Freshman middle blocker McKenzie Jacobson played extensively this weekend due to an injury to senior Rachel Rhoades.
She had 20 kills in the Wildcats three weekend matches to go along with three blocks and four block assists.
Arizona hit a season-best .409 in the victory, led by Halli Amaro's .615 percentage on 13 swings.
Amaro had a season-high nine kills while Taylor Arizobal added nine of her own and Madi Kingdon nabbed 11 kills.
Penina Snuka, who had 35 assists and seven digs in the match, came one kill away from her career high, needing just seven attempts to get six kills (.714 hitting percentage). McKenzie Jacobson had six kills as well and was in on three blocks. UA had six blocks as a team.
Arizona limited UMBC to a .091 hitting percentage in the match. The Cats, led by Ronni Lewis's 11, out-dug UMBC 40-25.
The Wildcats begin Pac-12 play next week with a key visit from 18th-ranked ASU on Wednesday, Sep. 24. The two clubs will meet at 7:30 p.m. in McKale Center. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Copyright 2014 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.
David Kelly contributed this story.
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