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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Volleyball Ousts NDSU, Upsets No. 24 Wichita State
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 08/31/2013
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OREM- Utah- Arizona State volleyball posted a 3-0 record, its second consecutive 3-0 start under Head Coach Jason Watson en route to winning the Utah Valley La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational. The Sun Devils topped North Dakota State University 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) in the tournament finale. Senior Stephanie Preach and freshman BreElle Bailey were named to the All-Tournament team and sophomore Macey Gardner earned Tournament Most Valuable Player.

GAME 2: ASU 3, NDSU 0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16)

With just a short break between games Saturday, ASU would come into the final match of the day against North Dakota State University without skipping a beat to start the set on a 5-1 run. Mercedes Binns got things started for the Sun Devils for ASU’s first points followed by two kills from tournament MVP Gardner.

NDSU chipped away at the lead and tied the score at 6 following an ASU error and would continue chasing the Sun Devils before a late 5-0 run by the Sun Devils that would extend ASU’s lead to 23-14. Preach, who was named to the All-Tournament team would get her first of two service aces, followed by a Whitney Follette kill sealing the set for the Sun Devils.

The second began with NDSU bouncing back from the opening loss, going on a 3-0 run the start the frame. The Sun Devils and Bison would continue trading off kills before errors plagued NDSU, closing the second set on two-straight errors, leading to a 25-19 set win for ASU.

Arizona State closed out the match with a solid 9-0 run where the Bison were forced to burn both timeouts following a kill from Bailey and the pair of services aces from Gardner ensuing the power block assist by Bailey and Follette. NDSU was able to gather a late 3-0 run, but was only answered by a Tuioti-Mariner set point kill, clinching the tournament sweep for the Sun Devils. 

GAME 1: ASU 3, No. 24 Wichita Valley 0 (25-22, 25-9, 25-16) Arizona State volleyball pulled off the upset Saturday morning with the 3-0 sweep over No. 24 Wichita State Saturday morning in the first of two games of the day, improving to 2-0 on the season.

Freshman BreElle Bailey continued her impressive collegiate career launch, ending the match with 16 kills, two blocks and one dig. Macey Gardner followed close behind with 12 kills of her own, snatching eight digs and two service aces. Senior libero Stephanie Preach would close the match with a team-high 21 digs throughout the three frames.

ASU would be tested early on in the match, going neck-and-neck with No. 24 Wichita State in the first set with a final score of 25-22. The Sun Devils came out swinging in the remaining two sets, dominating the Shockers 25-9 and 25-16, respectively.

“I feel that in each performance we are getting a little bit better,” Head Coach Jason Watson commented about the Sun Devils performance. “Wichita State is a wonderful volleyball team and I thought as the match went on, we got a little bit more comfortable more focused on our side of the net”

“I thought for such a big test for us early in the season, I thought our athletes responded really, really well to the challenge.”

The opening set would begin with a quick 3-1 WSU lead following a Sam Sanders kill by the Shocker senior.  Gardner would respond in a timely manner, pulling the Sun Devils within one. Bailey would then enter and make an immediate impact with her first kill of the day followed by a kill from sophomore Mercedes Binns, evening the score 5-5.

WSU grabbed its largest lead of the day, 13-9, following consecutive errors by the Sun Devils, causing head coach Jason Watson to call the first timeout of the set. From then on, Arizona State would labor from behind before the Arellano kill that would even the set at 16.

Shocker Ashlyn Driskill aided in the avoidance of the match point, bringing the Shockers within three following her kill, followed by a attack error from Bailey making the score 24-22, ASU advantage. Bailey, however, did not let that slow her down, when she quickly regrouped and got kill for the set point. 

Arizona State controlled the second set, exploding for a 12-0 run that put them ahead 16-6 in the second frame. During the scoring run, Whittney Follette would have two key blocks for the Sun Devils. Follette ended the day with three kills, six digs, and four block assists. A pair of kills from WSU’s Chelsey Feekin and Elizabeth Field along with an attack error from error would give the Shockers their remaining points, but fell short to stop the Sun Devils as they cruised to the 25-9 win.

In the third, ASU built a 9-6 lead following a Gardner service ace, forcing WSU to take an early timeout, which worked in the Sun Devils favor, resulting in a 7-0 run. Bailey would continue with her big night scoring five of her 16 kills in the final frame.

The Shockers would go on a small 3-0 run pulling them with striking distance to the Sun Devils before back-to-back kills for Gardner wrapped up the set for the final score of 25-16.

The Sun Devils return to action Friday, Sept. 6 at the Gonzaga Invitational where ASU takes on Seattle University at 4 p.m. PT followed by Saturday matches against Gonzaga (12 p.m. PT) and UNLV (4 p.m. PT).   

Arizona State Sun Devils Volleyball
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