Arizona volleyball loses in five sets to Colorado - Tucson News Now

Arizona volleyball loses in five sets to Colorado

Sophomore Kendra Dahlke had 14 kills against Colorado Sunday. (Photos courtesy of Arizona Athletics and the Colorado Independent) Sophomore Kendra Dahlke had 14 kills against Colorado Sunday. (Photos courtesy of Arizona Athletics and the Colorado Independent)
TUCSON, AZ -

Arizona volleyball took No. 16 Colorado to five sets, but were unable to pull off the road upset as the Buffaloes prevailed, 25-19, 25-22, 19-25, 19-25, 15-9.

“Tough loss for us today,” said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. “We didn’t play very well; we weren’t very sharp. Back to the drawing board on Tuesday”

The Cats forced a fifth set with emphatic victories in the third and fourth sets after Colorado took the opening two sets. The teams were even at 6 apiece in the fifth before Colorado scored nine of the final 12 points of the match.

“I thought that both games 1 and 2 were winnable, and I think they knew that,” said Rubio. “It was nice to see us dig deep and start to play a little bit steadier to put ourselves in position to play in the fifth set.”

The Wildcats had 29 attack errors, holding them to just a .175 hitting percentage. Seven of the attack errors came in the decisive fifth set after UA had stolen all the momentum with victories in the third and fourth sets. Colorado, meanwhile, hit .242 in the match, due in part to Gabby Simpson (22 kills, .486 hitting) and Joslyn Hayes (11 kills, .450 hitting). 

Katarina Pilepic had her best match in an Arizona uniform. The senior transfer led UA with 17 kills on .351 hitting and a team-high-tying five blocks.

Pilepic was one of three Wildcats with 10-or-more kills as Kendra Dahlke (14) and McKenzie Jacobson (10) were also big parts of the Arizona offense. Jacobson's 10 kills came on .304 hitting. The redshirt junior had five digs, five blocks and an ace to go along with her offensive numbers.

The Wildcats were solid defensively, outblocking the 16th-ranked Buffaloes 10-9.5 and outdigging them 68-64.

Kendra Dahlke led the team with a career-high 17 digs for her fourth double-double of the year. Penina Snuka picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 33 assists and 14 digs. Laura Larson had 15 digs for UA as well.

Arizona hosts Oregon State (Friday) and Oregon (Saturday) at McKale Center this week as Pac-12 play continues.

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