SALT LAKE CITY—Sophomore Macey Gardner set a career high in kills with 29 as the Arizona State volleyball team lost in five sets (23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 22-25, 9-15) to Utah on Thursday night at the Huntsman Center.
Gardner’s previous career best was set a season ago when she tallied 28 at UC Irvine on Aug. 31.
Junior Nora Tuioti-Mariner set a new season best in kills with 14 while freshman BreElle Bailey added 13 to the Sun Devils’ total, and hit .300 on the night.
Sophomore Bianca Arellano picked up 55 assists and 17 digs in the match for her ninth double-double of the season. Junior Shannan McCready picked up a new season-best in digs with 24 for the match, while senior Stephanie Preach added 18 more to ASU’s total.
Overall, the match featured 39 ties and 12 lead changes.
In the first set, the Sun Devils came out of the gate with a 5-0 run that included kills from Bailey and Tuioti-Mariner, plus a service ace from McCready to take a 6-1 lead. Utah then came out of a timeout with a run of its own to take a 9-8 lead, and ultimately took the set, 25-23.
ASU won its first set since the Oct. 11 match at Washington State as back-to-back kills from Bailey and Tuioti-Mariner sealed it for ASU, 25-22. Early on in the set, both sides kept things close before ASU used a 4-0 run to go up 9-6. ASU’s biggest lead of the set was a 21-14 advantage, but Utah battled back with a 4-1 run late in the game to cut the lead to 23-22 before kills from Bailey and Tuioti-Marnier sealed it.
In a set that featured 18 ties and five lead changes, the Sun Devils avoid two Utah set points to come back and win it, 26-24. Arellano picked up a key ace to retie the game at 24-24, and a Utah attack error gave the Sun Devils set point. ASU sealed it with a block assist by Bailey and sophomore Mercedes Binns.
Utah came back in the fourth set with a score of 25-22. Bailey hit for 1.000 in the frame, with four attacks and four kills. In the final set, the Utes came out with a 7-2 lead before taking the set and match, 15-9.
Up next, the Sun Devils continue their road swing with a trip to Boulder, Colo., to face Colorado on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Coors Event Center. The match is set to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.