Sunday, 14 April 2024

NCAA Beach Volleyball

Wildcats Open Arizona Invitational 2-0

Wildcats Open Arizona Invitational 2-0

Tucson, Ariz. – The Wildcats ended the first day of the Arizona Invitational with wins against Santa Clara and Utah. Arizona heads into Saturday’s matches with a 2-0 record.

In their first match of the day, the Sand Cats defeated Santa Clara 4-1. Later in the afternoon, Arizona swept its rematch against Utah, winning 5-0. The teams last played each other in Tempe earlier this season, and that match resulted in a 3-2 Arizona win.

Pair Abby Russell/Olivia McElroy played at No. 1 and went 2-0 on the day. The two earned a win against Santa Clara early on, defeating the Broncos pair 21-15, 21-18. The last time Arizona faced Utah, Russell and McElroy lost a tight three sets at No. 2. This week, the Wildcats evened the score; in their matchup against Utah’s Katie McAlister/Langley Griffin, Russell and McElroy won a hard-fought two sets (21-16, 23-21).  

At No. 2, pair Kylee Fitzsimmons/Grace Cook earned the first point of the dual for the Wildcats against Santa Clara, winning in two sets. Later in the day, the pair faced Utah’s Bella Vezzani/Rylee Johnson, and won one of the day’s closest matches in three sets: 19-21, 22-20, 15-13. 

Pair Annie Kost/Hope Shannon returned to No. 3 this week, and started off strong by defeating the Santa Clara pair 22-20, 21-15. In the match against Utah, Shannon and Kost earned the third and determining point of the dual, defeating Utah’s Lauren Sayre/Chloe Narancich 21-18, 21-16.

At No. 4, Jess Horwath/Kate Phillips earned a win against Santa Clara in two sets, 21-14, 21-18. In the later match against Utah, the Wildcat pair once again faced Utah’s Marissa Koch/Kylie Pitzak and once again earned a win, securing Arizona’s first point of the dual against the Utes. 

Ashlyn Zilliken/Miranda Erro went 1-1 at No. 5 for the day. The pair lost a close match against Santa Clara’s Alexie Epstein/Kat Georgiadis, falling short by just two points in both sets (21-19, 21-19). In their later match against the Utes, the pair won in two sets.

The Sand Cats will face Arizona Christian and Missouri State on the second day of the invitational. There will be a celebration of the program’s seniors at a Senior Day ceremony…

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