Arizona women's volleyball sweeps Northern Kentucky - Tucson News Now

Arizona women's volleyball sweeps Northern Kentucky

TUCSON, AZ -

A high-powered, efficient offense led the Arizona volleyball team to a sweep of Northern Kentucky to open up the Butler Invitational in Indianapolis on Friday (25-14, 25-18, 25-13).

“It was nice to play sharp,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “Time change was difficult, but I thought we handled it well. We’ve got a long day tomorrow.”

The Wildcats hit .474 in the match, the fifth best hitting percentage in school history and best by any Pac-12 team this season. It marked just the second time since 2001 that an Arizona team had hit better than .440 in a match.

“We’ve been working on being a little more efficient this week in practice,” said Rubio. “I haven’t been happy with the level of scoring, so it’s been a big focus.”

Seven different Wildcats recorded three or more kills in the match. The four leaders, Kalei Mau (11 kills, .476 hitting), Kendra Dahlke (9 kills, .450 hitting), McKenzie Jacobson (7 kills, .500 hitting) and Katarina Pilepic (5 kills, .400 hitting) all hit .400 or better in the match.

Penina Snuka ran the offense nearly to perfection and added a gem defensively as well. Snuka had over a third of Arizona's total digs (10 of 29) on her way to her third straight double-double, and fifth overall this season.

Arizona hit .517 in the first set and was without an attack error for the first time in a 25-point set all year as the Cats cruised to a 25-14 victory in the opening frame. Northern Kentucky closed to within 12-10 early on, but UA pulled away with its high-powered offense to dominate the first set.

UA remained sharp in the second set, downing the Norse 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead into intermission.

Arizona hit .565 in the third set as UA cruised to a 25-13 victory to sweep the match.

UP NEXT: Arizona wraps up nonconference play tomorrow with a pair of matches to close out the Butler Invitational. UA opens with Loyola Chicago at 8 a.m. before finishing the day with Butler at 3 p.m. MST.

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