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'Gold Out' Black Friday at women's volleyball

November 21, 2012

The rivalry between the Arizona State Sun Devils and University of Arizona Wildcats has been thick in the Arizona air for over a century. Many residents are very passionate for their team from Tempe or Tucson. The Territorial Cup is a competition between the two schools in every sport. The women’s volleyball team takes on their in-state rival for the title and bragging rights in late November at ASU.

The volleyball team lost to the Wildcats in Tucson earlier in the season in a 3-1 match. The teams are tied for Territorial Cup wins at 40-40. So although this game will give the lead, the players are putting aside the pressure and preparing how they do for every match.

“I think we try to look at playing U of A like playing any other game. We don’t want to get our nerves amped up and whatnot,” libero and Arizona native Stephanie Preach said. “Obviously it’s U of A, our in-state rival, so we’d like to beat them. But we want to beat everyone.”

Six of the players on the current roster are from local high schools, so the rivalry really resonates with them. Outside hitter Sarah Clause went to high school in Gilbert, and is preparing for the end of her Sun Devil career.

“This game, especially as a senior, is a big deal. I want my last game to go out with a bang. U of A is even bigger this year for me personally,” Clause said. “But you always want to be the best team in Arizona, and since we went down there and lost to them it makes it bigger; we want to beat them here.”

Jason Watson, in his fifth year as head volleyball coach at ASU, agrees with keeping the game plan consistent as the plan for success, even in the upcoming heated match.

“We’re going to try and keep things the same. It’s going to have a lot of subplots to it, being the Territorial Cup. We want to keep it relatively simple and focus on us,” Watson said. “There’s always that pressure. It comes external, from fans and family. But internally there’s pressure; in-state recruiting and bragging rights. It’s a great match.”

The game is at 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena on Nov. 23 and is the last regular season match so come support volleyball seniors Sarah Clause and Erica Wilson in their last home game as Sun Devils.

Fans who wear gold to the match will receive $3 admission.