By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 16 Arizona State volleyball swept the University of Arizona Wildcats (25-22, 25-21, 26-24) Tuesday night in the Pac-12 opener and first match-up of the 2013-14 Territorial Cup Series. With this win, ASU captures its 12th sweep of the season and has now won 38 of 41 sets for the year.
In an electrifying first set, the Sun Devils (12-1; 1-0) edged out the Wildcats (10-3; 0-1) 25-22. ASU dictated the pace from the first serve, taking an early lead over Arizona. After a series of ties, the Wildcats took their first and only lead of the set with a kill by Madi Kingdon. This lead was short-lived, however, as the Sun Devils regained their momentum and the lead with back-to-back kills by sophomore Macey Gardner. From then on, the Wildcats were unable to stop the formidable trio of Gardner, Whitney Follette, and BreElle Bailey at the net.
Continuing their momentum from the first set, the Sun Devils opened the second set with a series of kills by Gardner, Follette, and Bailey. Although Arizona fought its way back with 6-2 and 5-0 runs, ASU held on for the win. The Sun Devils out-attacked the Wildcats 14-12, and had an attack percentage of .263 compared to the Wildcats’ .091. Gardner and Bailey led the Sun Devils with five kills and four kills, respectively.
Not giving up just yet, the Wildcats came out like gangbusters in the third set. Kingdon and Jane Croson led the Wildcats’ attack with five kills and three kills, respectively. Arizona maintained the lead until ASU tied it up at 17-17. After a series of ties and lead changes, sophomore Bianca Arellano served up an ace, giving the Sun Devils a 25-24 lead and bringing everyone in the stadium to their feet. Following Arellano’s game point serve, the crowd watched with bated breath as Wildcats’ Kingdon went in for the kill. The crowd of more than 2,000 spectators erupted as ASU’s Bailey shut down Kingdon with a tremendous block, ending both the set and the match.
Arellano had an outstanding night, tallying her fifth double-double of the season with 36 assists and 15 digs.
Next up, the Sun Devils hit the road to play No. 7 Stanford on Friday, Sept. 27 at 6:00 p.m. The match will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.