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Arizona volleyball: Wildcats fall to Washington in the Sweet 16

The Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament run has come to an end

Photo via @ArizonaVBall on Twitter

Arizona volleyball’s NCAA Tournament run has come to an end.

The Wildcats were swept in three sets by the Washington Huskies in the Sweet 16 on Friday in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Washington — the tournament’s eighth overall seed — won the first set 25-15, the second set 25-22, and the third set 25-18. It was the Huskies’ third win in three matches over Arizona this season.

Pac-12 Setter of the Year Penina Snuka finished with 34 assists in her final match as a Wildcat. The senior led the Pac-12 in assists the past two seasons.

Fellow senior and All-Pac-12 player Kalei Mau, who played through back and shoulder injuries this season, had nine kills against the Huskies. Mau was second in the Pac-12 in kills this year, averaging 4.10 per set.

Kendra Dahlke had a team-high 14 kills against UW, while Laura Larson and McKenna Painton led Arizona with ten digs each.

The loss ends a successful season for Arizona volleyball.

The Wildcats went 18-14 in the regular season and 10-10 in Pac-12 conference play, good for eighth in a stacked Pac-12 Conference. Arizona finished with eight top-50 RPI wins in the regular season, more than all but seven teams in the nation.

The unseeded Wildcats were sent to East Lansing, Michigan to begin the NCAA Tournament, and there they defeated Cleveland State in the first round and host Michigan State — the No. 9 overall seed — in the Round of 32.

The pair of victories earned Arizona its eighth Sweet 16 appearance in program history and the first since 2005.

Arizona has now made it to NCAA Tournament four years in a row and 19 times in the past 25 years.

The Wildcats’ senior class will graduate as the winningest class in the last 13 seasons.


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire