VB: Cats pull off road sweep at #22 USC - Tucson News Now

VB: Cats pull off road sweep at #22 USC


Arizona volleyball swept No. 22 USC on the road on Friday night at the Galen Center (25-20, 25-22, 25-20). It marked Arizona’s first victory in the Galen Center since its opening in 2006.

UA improved to 11-6 overall, 3-2 in the Pac-12, while USC fell to 11-6, 3-3.

“Solid match for us,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “We were good in all aspects. We served well and our offense was good. Our pin hitters did a nice job tonight.”

Arizona's offense was expected to get a boost this week with the return of Kendra Dahlke and the improved health of Kalei Mau, who have both missed extended time in recent weeks. Friday marked just the fourth time Dahlke, Mau and Katarina Pilepic, Arizona's top three scorers, have been on the floor together for an entire match.

The results exceeded expectations. 

The Wildcats hit .356 in the match, their highest conference hitting percentage in the Pac-12 era. Dahlke led all scorers with 17 kills on .278 hitting, Mau notched 12 kills on .276 hitting. McKenzie Jacobson (6 kills, .750 hitting), Devyn Cross (5 kills, .500 hitting) and Pilepic (6 kills, .500 hitting) were all very efficient as well. 

“Having everyone out there and healthy certainly makes a difference,” said Rubio. “It’s what we’ve been missing. It gives us just enough to get us over the hump. We’ve lost a lot of close matches. With these guys, it gives us more offense. One or two points per game will make a difference.”

In addition to its powerful offense, UA dominated defensively as well. Arizona outblocked USC 9-2 and outdug the 22nd-ranked Trojans 41-36. 

Penina Snuka fell one dig shy of her 10th double-double of the year, but filled up the box score nonetheless. Snuka had 40 assists, 9 digs and 4 blocks.

Kendra Dahlke led the Wildcats with 11 digs, giving the sophomore her fifth double-double of the season. 

The victory is Arizona's first road sweep of a top-25 team since Nov. 28, 2014 at ASU. Arizona has now upset USC or UCLA while they were ranked in each of the last six years. 

UP NEXT: Arizona takes on No. 18 UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 9 in Los Angeles. The match will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

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