Arizona Volleyball gets 3rd showdown with Washington in Sweet 16

Arizona Volleyball gets 3rd showdown with Washington in Sweet 16
Cover photo courtesy: Derek Edamura)
Cover photo courtesy: Derek Edamura)

TUCSON, AZ - For the eighth time under head coach Dave Rubio, and first since 2005, the Wildcats (20-14) are in the Sweet 16.

Arizona will meet up with Pac-12 foe and eighth-seeded Washington (28-4) in the regional semifinal on Friday at 12:30 p.m. Tucson time at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Arizona-Washington winner will meet either top-seeded Nebraska or No. 16 seed Penn State in the regional final.

UA is in the Sweet 16 after defeating Cleveland State and ninth-seeded Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona is one of four unseeded teams in this year's Sweet 16 and the Wildcats will try to become the second unseeded team over the last four years to advance to the Elite 8.

This marks Arizona's 13th trip to the Regional Semifinal in program history.

Penina Snuka was named Pac-12 Setter of the Year after leading the conference in total assists for the second straight year (1,399).

Snuka along with fellow senior Kalei Mau were named All-Pac-12 for the second straight season.

Mau is second in the conference in kills (4.10/set) after finishing third last year (4.33/set).

Senior libero Laura Larson was named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year and needs just 17 digs to tie Candace Nicholson's school-record 512 digs, set in 2013.

Arizona has played 17 matches vs. ranked opponents this season. After starting the year 0-5, the Cats have won eight of their last 12 vs. ranked opponents.

Washington swept the two regular season conference meetings with Arizona and although the Huskies won six of the seven sets between the two clubs, all sets were decided by five or fewer points, while four of the seven went to deuce.

Arizona will be looking to break an 11-match losing streak vs. the Pac-12 Champion Huskies who are led by the Pac-12 Player of the Year Courtney Schwan.

Copyright 2016 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.