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Arizona Volleyball falls to Illinois State at home - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Arizona Volleyball falls to Illinois State at home

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TUCSON, Ariz. --  Illinois State swept Arizona (27-25, 25-12, 25-23) to win the Wildcat Classic championship over the host Wildcats, who fell to 6-3 on the season.

"Illinois State's a very good team, the best team that we've played," said Arizona head coach Dave Rubio. "The only major takeaway is how good they are. I think that team in our conference would be pretty competitive with everybody. We just didn't do enough in each set, games 1 and 3, to pull of the win. We were pretty close, but that team's too good for us right now, were just not in their league yet. It takes a while to play steady enough for us to compete with them."

Illinois State outhit Arizona .244 - .128 in the match, as the Cats found little offense in the straight-set defeat.

Elizabeth Shelton led Arizona with 12 kills on .346 hitting. For the weekend, Shelton averaged 2.91 kills/set on .319 hitting and added 0.73 blocks/set.

Makenna Martin tallied a career-high 14 digs to lead the Wildcats, who had 56 digs in the three sets. Paige Whipple and Kimberly Gutierrez finished with 10 apiece.

Illinois State ended the first set on a 7-3 run to steal the first set, 27-25. The Cats were unable to convert a set point at 25-24 before the Redbirds responded with the final three points of the set.

The Redbirds dominated the second, 25-12, to go up 2-0 at the break.

In another hard-fought, tightly-contested third set, Illinois State outlasted Arizona to sweep the match.

Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team

MVP - Lexi Wallen, Illinois State

Stef Jankiewicz, Illinois State

Courtney Pence, Illinois State

Paige Whipple, Arizona

Tyler Spriggs, Arizona

Ariadnne Sierra, New Mexico State

Tatyana Battle, New Mexico State

Sydney Biniak, William & Mary

Up Next: Arizona begins Pac-12 play next week. UA heads to Tempe on Thursday for the conference-opener at 8 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. The Cats will then return home to host Washington State on Saturday at 6 p.m. MST.

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