The University of Arizona volleyball team ventured away from the friendly confines of the McKale Center to conduct an open practice at Ironwood Ridge HS. Over 400 people crowded theNighthawks’ gym to watch the Wildcats 2 ½ hour practice.
IRHS Head CoachBill Lang and Arizona Coach David Rubio know each other from the club volleyball scene and Lang floated the idea of the Wildcats coming to the Oro Valley based school. While he saw it as a good opportunity for his players to see a D-I practice, he also thought the move could help the Wildcats garner more friends.
“I told him people from Oro Valley do not like to leave Oro Valley,” said Lang.
The squad marketed season tickets and also spent some time introducing the team to the fans. After the practice was over the Wildcat players spent time interacting with the fans, taking pictures, signing autographs and interacting with those on hand..
“This is a great way to build our community relations,” said Rubio, who said he would like to make it an annual event and said a number of schools were already in contact about getting the Wildcats on their campus.
After a spirited, fast paced, practice, the Wildcats treated those in attendance to a one-set, full speed scrimmage. The session was the second of two practices on Tuesday, UA’s seventh day of two-a-days.
The scrimmage served as the Wildcats’ first public scrimmage. Arizona will hold its annual Red-Blue match on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MST at McKale Center. The Red-Blue match is free of charge and open to the public.