PALO ALTO, Calif.- Arizona State volleyball fell 3-0 to the seventh ranked Stanford Cardinal on Friday night with set scores of 17-25, 19-25, 22-25. Sophomore Macey Gardner posted a team-best 17 kills in the contest.
In the first set, the Sun Devils (12-2, 1-1 Pac-12) kept the scoreboard close in the earlier points, rallying behind the two kills from Kizzy Willey to make it 7-7. The Cardinal (9-2, 2-0 Pac-12) would pull away with the lead from there, taking the set 25-17 following two consecutive kills from Inky Ajanaku. ASU kept Stanford’s top scorers below ten kills, with Brittany Howard, Rachael Williams, and Carly Wopat combining for 21 total kills.
The second set would fall similar to the commencing frame, with neither team being able to pull away in the early minutes. ASU went on a 3-0 run, putting the Sun Devils within one, before a kill from Howard put Stanford up 11-9. The Sun Devils would avoid match point following a kill from Bre Bailey, but the Cardinal would not be tamed and took the second set after a slam from Jordan Burgess.
Improving as the night went on, the Sun Devils held the Cardinal to a game-low 54 percent side out percentage and fought throughout the entirety of the third frame. The teams would go at it with six lead changes in the third alone. Two-straight kills from Gardner put the Sun Devils up 10-9, which forced a timeout from the Stanford bench. The timeout worked best for the Sun Devils, with libero Stephanie Preach recording a service ace to extend the lead. Multiple scoring runs from the Cardinal would force the Sun Devils to battling from behind the remainder of the set. Trailing 20-13, ASU would respond with a 5-1 run of its own with kills from three different Sun Devils. Two consecutive kills from Gardner would put ASU within one, 22-23, before a Williams kill and an attack error from ASU would aid in Stanford taking the match.
The Sun Devils return back to Tempe this week to host the Oregon schools this upcoming weekend. ASU opens up the weekend against Oregon State on Friday, Oct 4 at 6 p.m. and Oregon on Sunday Oct 6 at 3 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. All matches will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks.