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Wildcat Wrap: Men’s and women’s basketball add 2019 commits; volleyball sweeps ASU

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Let’s recap the week that was in Arizona Athletics

Photo courtesy Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics

It’s Monday so it’s time to recap everything that happened regarding the Arizona Wildcats last week.

As always, let us know in the comment section if we missed anything.

Volleyball

The ‘Cats brought out the brooms Thursday night at McKale Center, as they swept Arizona State 3-0 to open conference play.

With a hearty crowd and student section rallying them on, the ‘Cats were led by senior outside hitter Kendra Dahlke who posted a team-high 14 kills. Dahlke is the leader in kills in the Pac-12 with 230. Junior setter Julia Patterson had 37 assists, while junior middle blocker Devyn Cross had eight blocks.

However, a valiant effort by UA wasn’t enough to take down second-ranked Stanford on Sunday. The ‘Cats lost to the Cardinal 3-1 but were the first unranked team to win a set over Stanford since last November, when they won set two, 27-25.

Dahlke led in kills again with 15. Patterson led the team with 37 assists. Cross and sophomore outside hitter Katie Smoot led in blocks with seven each.

The ‘Cats (12-2, 1-1) face Oregon and Oregon State on the road this weekend.

Soccer

Arizona soccer only had one game for the second straight week, and they fell to No. 1 Stanford, 2-0, in their Pac-12 opener in Palo Alto. It was expected since Stanford is unbeaten in their last 31 matches.

The Wildcats return home this week to host Utah (3-5-1) and Colorado (9-0-1) on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. It’s a big weekend since the Wildcats have USC and UCLA after that, and both those schools are in the Top 10.

Arizona will be without star freshman forward Brooke Wilson for six to eight weeks after she broke her leg in a freak way. We caught up with her to discuss her recovery and when she hopes to be back.

We also talked with several UA players and coaches to find out what makes the Pac-12 the best conference in college soccer.

Women’s Basketball

Tara Manumaleuga, an Australian point guard, committed to Arizona. She is the third commit in the 2019 class, which also consists of Latvian guard Mara Mote and Icelandic forward Birna Benonysdottir.

The 5’9 Manumaleuga plays for the New Zealand U17 national team and averaged 12 points per game in the 2018 FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Women’s Golf

The defending national champions finished seventh overall Wednesday at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Minneapolis. Haley Moore, the Wildcat who sank the championship putt this summer, finished tied for 15th at 3-under at the three-day event as the top UA golfer.

The squad’s next event is scheduled for Oct. 1-2 in the Windy City Classic in Skokie, Illinois.

Women’s Tennis

Senior Emma Wilson defeated Virginia Tech’s Natalie Novotna 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday in the second day three of the Big Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. Novotna is the 32nd ranked player in the country. Senior Camila Wesbrooks and junior Marie Van Aelst were also victorious on the day.

Wilson kept her momentum going on Sunday when she beat Auburn’s Jaeda Daniel 7-6 (5), 7-5. Daniel is ranked 39th in the county.

The team will take the court next in Los Angeles on Saturday for the ITA All-America Pre-Qualifying.

Men’s Golf

In their season opener, the Wildcats placed fifth at the Huntsman Springs Invitational in Driggs, Idaho on Tuesday.

Junior David Laskin scored a 205 to be runner-up on the event. It was his best finish in his and lowest score of his career. Sophomore Trevor Werbylo, a Tucson native, tied for 12th place.

UA is back in action on Sunday for the Nike NCI in Fort Worth, Texas.

Softball

Danielle O’Toole ended her season with the Chicago Bandits with a 0.58 ERA which was fifth best in National Pro Fastpitch.

Chelsea Goodacre continued the Arizona Softball alum doing well in the pros as she finished second in the league with 33 RBIs. Goodacre plays for the USSSA Pride.

The Fall Invitational schedule was released, and the eight-time national champions take the diamond on Oct. 19. With Rita Hillenbrand Stadium getting a facelift, the ‘Cats will play the three-day event at Lincoln Park. UA faces Central Arizona in game one.

Baseball

Members of the 2012 national championship team faced each other in the Triple-A National championship game on Tuesday.

Alex Mejia and the Memphis Redbirds and Rob Refsnyder and the Durham Bulls met each other on the diamond, with Mejia and his team besting Refsnyder for the title.

Mejia went 5-for-5, 5 RBIs and scored three runs to earn MVP honors.

Nick Quintana and Cameron Cannon were ranked in the top-50 for best college hitters. Quintana was ranked No. 19, Cannon was No. 40.

Chaparral High School junior Trevor Long committed to coach Jay Johnson and the ‘Cats on Saturday. Long is listed as a shortstop and pitcher.

Men’s Basketball

The men’s team had in-home visits this week with two four-star prospects — Texas forward Drew Timme on Sunday and Minnesota forward Zeke Nnaji on Monday.

On Wednesday, the ‘Cats made the final cut for four-star guard Terry Armstrong. Armstrong, who is originally from Michigan, has New Mexico, Oregon and Oklahoma as finalists, too. He plays at Bella Vista Prep in Scottsdale and is the second-ranked prospect in Arizona behind UA commit Nico Mannion.

Even though he is committed, Mannion is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to UA on Oct. 13. The date happens to be around the same time five-star wing Josh Green is supposed to take his official visit. Green is an AAU teammate and friend of Mannion.

Coach Sean Miller landed another 2019 commit on Sunday when three-center Christian Koloko pledged to the UA. The 7-foot Koloko is originally from Cameroon.

In somber news, UA great Richard Jefferson lost his father Wednesday evening in a drive-by shooting in Compton, California per reports.

Arizona is ranked 25th in the Sporting News preseason poll.

Football

Maybe the season isn’t a wash after all for the ‘Cats ( 2-2, 1-0) as they won their second-straight game on Saturday 35-14 over Oregon State in their conference opener.

Led by a career rushing day by sophomore J.J. Taylor, the ‘Cats showed signs that the offensive is starting to get things clicking. Taylor rushed for 284 yards and two touchdowns while second-string running-back Gary Brightwell rushed for 113 yards and one score.

Taylor’s performance put him fourth in program history for most rushing yards in a single game.

As always, make sure to head to our football section for comprehensive postgame coverage. We recap Saturday’s win and tell you what this means as UA gets ready to face USC next.