With the Arizona Wildcats football team on a bye this week, it’s a good time to catch up with some other UA fall sports teams.
Thus, I present our latest rendition of the Wildcat Wrap:
Arizona soccer started its season with a resounding 2-0 win on the road at then-No. 16 Oklahoma, but then went winless in its next four games, drawing UC Irvine and Boston U and losing to Florida Gulf Coast and No. 14 UCF.
The FGCU game was especially frustrating since the Wildcats outshot the Eagles 19-2, and the Eagles only had one shot on goal (it went in).
But since then, Arizona has won three straight matches over quality teams — Texas Tech, BYU, and Oregon (all at home) — putting them at 4-2-2 overall.
The Wildcats are probably better than their record indicates, boasting a 112-60 shot differential, and head coach Tony Amato thinks they’re playing their best soccer since he took over the program in 2013.
That said, Arizona has a brutal slate of games coming up. This week, they’re heading to the Bay Area to face No. 2 Stanford and No. 13 Cal.
They host No. 10 USC and No. 1 UCLA the week after.
Winning any of those games will be difficult, which is why opening Pac-12 play with a win over Oregon was so crucial.
If the Wildcats go anything other than 0-4 or 0-3-1 in their next four, they’ll be in decent shape to make the NCAA Tournament, which they missed last year for the first time in three seasons.
More soccer coverage can be found here.
Coming off their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2005, the Arizona volleyball team is off to a 7-4 start in the 2017 season.
The Wildcats, relying heavily on underclassmen, suffered three losses to mid-major teams in nonconference play and are a work in progress.
This quote by head coach Dave Rubio pretty much says it all about the state of the team.
“The lack of experience for us at this point is hurting us, preventing us from playing a little more efficiently,” he said at the end of nonconference play. “We’re just a little too error-prone. We miss assignments. We’re not quite as disciplined in our defense as we should be. All those things are correctable with time. That’s unfortunately going to be theme this year, I think until next year.”
Yet, Arizona started Pac-12 on an extremely high note, sweeping ASU in Tempe. That momentum was short-lived, though, as the Wildcats lost at home to Washington State in four sets in their next match.
Like the Arizona soccer team, Arizona volleyball is heading to the Bay Area this week to face No. 4 Stanford and Cal.
More volleyball coverage can be found here.
The Wildcats opened their season this past weekend with the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M where they placed third.
It was Arizona’s best finish at the Tucker Intercollegiate since they won the tournament in 2004.
Here was the entire leaderboard:
UA senior George Cunningham had the best score in the event, finishing eight under par — his first career victory and his lowest 54-hole score as a Wildcat (208).
UA junior Travis Fredborg finished in a tie for fifth, shooting one under par.
The men’s team heads to Portland, Ore. next week to partake in the NCI Invitational.
The women’s team was also in Albuquerque last weekend, opening their season in the Dick Maguire Invitational.
Gonzaga transfer Bianca Pagdanganan had a successful debut with the Wildcats, winning the event with a 208.
The junior, ranked 136th on the World Amateur list and 81st in GolfWeek's collegiate ranking, was added to the program in August.
As a team, Arizona finished 14th in Albuquerque, despite being in second through the first two rounds. A poor third round — 17 over par — doomed the Wildcats.
The women’s team returns to action Monday for the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Wolcott, Colo.
The UA cross country team has had two events thus far, with the first being the George Kyte Classic on Sept. 2, which featured Arizona, ASU, UCLA, NAU, and GCU.
The men finished fifth and the women finished fourth, but UA senior Addi Zerrenner won the women's contest with a time of 15:06.3 in the 2.6-mile race.
Two weeks later, Arizona competed in the Dave Murray Invitational at Randolph Golf Course in Tucson and had much more success.
Zerrenner won her second consecutive meet, UA junior Hunter Davila won the men’s contest, and UA placed first in both the men’s and women’s contests collectively.
UA sophomores Carlos Villarreal and Seamus White finished second and third behind Davila, respectively.
UA senior Claire Green and redshirt freshman Jennie Baragar-Petrash finished third and fourth on the women’s side, respectively.
ASU, GCU, Western New Mexico, and Pima Community College were the other four programs participating.
Arizona’s third meet is Friday in Bethlehem, Pa.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire