TEMPE, Ariz.—The Arizona State volleyball team (18-12, 7-11) will close out the regular season this week, playing in its final home game at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday. The Sun Devils will host California at 2 p.m. MT, and the game will be live streamed through thesundevils.com
On Friday, ASU will make its yearly trip down I-10 to face Pac-12 Conference rival Arizona at 5 p.m. MT. The match will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
ASU claimed one half of this year’s Territorial Cup® point with it’s sweep of Arizona on Sept. 24, which opened the 2013 Pac-12 Conference slate. The second half of the point will be up for grabs on Friday night.
Last season each team claimed half the point as Arizona won the 3-1 match at McKale Center (Sept. 18, 2012). ASU came back on Nov. 23, 2012 to grab the other half point in their 3-1 win at Wells Fargo Arena.
About the California Series
The Bears (17-10, 10-8 Pac-12) dropped its last two matches over the weekend, falling to Washington and Washington State at home.
Against the Huskies, three Bears recorded double-figures in kills, led by Christina Higgins’ 21. Michelle Neumayr recorded 17 while Lara Vukasovic added 17 more as California fell in a five-set battle.
Hosting the Cougars, Cal once again battled to the fifth set, but didn’t come out with the win. Higgins led the way again with 26 kills, while Lillian Schoenwise added 12 and Neumayr racked up 11.
This is the first meeting this season between the Sun Devils and the Bears due to the Pac-12 rotating home-and-home organization of the league slate.
About the Arizona Series
The Wildcats dropped a pair of road matches over the weekend, falling to both UCLA and USC in straight sets.
Against the Trojans, Arizona was held to a .202 hitting percentage as Madi Kingdon was the only one to record double-digit kills on the night with 13.
In the match against the Bruins, no Wildcat recorded more than nine kills (Taylor Arizobal), and the team was held to a hitting percentage of .175.
Earlier this season, the Wildcats and Sun Devils met at Wells Fargo Arena, and ASU picked up the win in three sets. Macey Gardner and BreElle Bailey led the way with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Bianca Arellano recorded a double-double with 36 assists and 15 digs.
Last Time Out
Over the weekend, the Sun Devils split a pair of road matches, outlasting UCLA in five sets before falling to USC in three.
Against the Bruins, Macey Gardner led the way with 19 kills, while BreElle Bailey added 15 and Whitney Follette supplied 13. Bianca Arellano recorded 49 kills and Stephanie Preach picked up 22 digs.
In the loss to USC, Follette led the way with six kills and Gardner picked up 14 digs.
Heating Up The Polls
This season, the Sun Devils had previously been ranked every week between Sept. 16 and Oct. 24 in the AVCA Division I volleyball polls.
ASU’s move to No. 15 in the Sept 30, 2013 poll constitutes the highest ranking since 1995 where the Sun Devils, led by Patti Snyder-Park, made it into the Sweet 16.
ASU’s debut at No. 18 in the polls was the first top-25 ranking since Nov. 4, 2002.
Stifling Sun Devils
After leading the league for most of the regular season, ASU slipped to third overall in the league in opponent hitting percentage at .172.
In Oct. 4 contest with Oregon State, the Sun Devils held the Beavers to a scant eight points in the second set, which marks the lowest ASU has held a squad in a set this season.
Racking Up The Kills
Macey Gardner has totaled 434 kills so far this season, and is second in the league in kills per set with a clip of 4.43. Gardner also sits in fifth in the conference in points per set with an average of 4.72. Additionally, both marks rank Gardner nationally: 17th in kills per set and 29th in points per set.
Setter Bianca Arellano has posted 10 double-doubles this season, which places her in a tie for sixth-most in the conference. Arellano posted a season high 55 assists on Oct. 12 at Utah.
Gardner Has Career Night
Macey Gardner picked up a new career high in kills at 29 in the five-set battle with Utah on Oct. 24. Gardner was one kill away from tying the single-game kill record (per the rally scoring era) of 30, set by Sarah Reaves in a match against Western Kentucky on Sept. 20, 2008.
Gardner’s previous career high of 28 from the match at UC Irvine on Aug. 31, 2012, marks the ASU freshman record, which is shared by Reaves, who recorded the same mark in a match against Oregon on Sept. 27, 2007.
Watch Out For Tuioti-Mariner
Nora Tuioti-Mariner has emerged as a force on the court for the Sun Devils, picking up 30 kills in a span of three matches, second most on the team. At Utah, Tuioti-Mariner recorded 14 kills, and 14 digs, both season highs.
2013 Sweep Count
On the season, the Sun Devils have swept their opponent en route to 14 of their wins. Notably, the then-unranked squad defeated then-No. 2 Texas in straight sets at the Illini Classic on Sept. 13.
Attacking The Warhawks
Arizona State’s blistering attack percentage of .374 in the win over Louisiana Monroe during the ASU Marriott Invitational (Sept. 20) ranks as the fifth-highest performance at ASU in the rally-scoring era (2001).
ASU Opens with Program-Best Start Since 1997
The Sun Devils began the 2013 season with a 7-0 start, the program’s best since Patti Snyder-Park’s 1997 squad posted the same record.
Starting with A Sweep
The Sun Devils recorded a sweep in each of its first seven wins this season, marking the longest stretch of wins without relinquishing to start a season during the rally-scoring era, which was instituted in NCAA Volleyball in 2001.
Arellano Named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week
Bianca Arellano was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following her performances in the Illini Classic. The sophomore recorded 13-digs, 32-assists for her fourth double-double performance in the 3-0 sweep of then No. 2 Texas Longhorns. Arellano also added a season-high six kills in the match win.
Arellano, a Phoenix-native newcomer to the Sun Devils, also posted 40 assists and 20 digs in the five-set setback to host team No. 14 Illinois, after leading ASU to a win by totaling 29 assists. Arellano average 4.90 digs and 9.18 assists per set, as ASU went 3-1 in the Illini Classic.
Gardner Named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday, Sept. 9. Gardner, a native of Gilbert, Ariz., was named the Most Valuable Player of the Gonzaga Invitational where she averaged 5.94 kills and 7.06 points per game, while hitting .367 over three matches. Gardner had three-consecutive 20-kill outings, including 22 in a 3-0 win over UNLV. She hit .452 in that match, committing just three errors.
Ranked Teams vs. Watson
Head coach Jason Watson has grabbed 10 wins over ranked teams in his tenure at Arizona State. Most recently, the Sun Devils snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Oregon on the road in Eugene, Ore.
Notably, ASU topped defending national champion and then-No. 2 Texas, 3-0, at the Illini Classic on Sept. 13. This marks the second time in Watson’s tenure that ASU has defeated the No. 2 team in the country, as the Sun Devils defeated Cal, 3-2, during the 2011 season.
Top-25 Wins Under Watson
Oct. 25, 2008 at No. 24 Oregon State.........W 3-0
Sept. 25, 2009 No. 14 UCLA* ...................W 3-0
Oct. 15, 2010 No. 5 USC* .........................W 3-1
Oct. 16, 2010 No. 10 UCLA* .....................W 3-1
Nov. 24, 2011 at No. 2 California* .............W 3-2
Nov. 2, 2012 No. 6 USC*............................W 3-0
Nov. 21, 2012 at No. 5 Washington*...........W 3-1
Aug. 31, 2013 No. 24 Wichita State ……..W 3-0
Sept. 13, 2013 No. 2 Texas ……………….W 3-0
Nov. 1, 2013 No. 23 Oregon ...........................W, 3-1
The Sun Devils closed out the non-conference slate at home, hosting the Marriott Invitational, Sept 20-21. Arizona State picked up straight-set wins over Cal Poly, Alabama State and Louisiana-Monroe, and Bianca Arellano was named tournament MVP. Stephanie Preach and BreElle Bailey were named to the All-Tournament Team.
ASU earned its first marquee win of the year to close out the Ilini Classic, defeating the defending national champion and then No. 2 ranked Texas in straight sets.
In the second tournament, the Sun Devils trekked to Spokane, Wash., for the Gonzaga Invitational, Sept. 6-7. ASU defeated Seattle and UNLV in straight sets before executing the sweep of host-Gonzaga. Macey Gardner was voted tournament MVP for the second time this season while Bianca Arellano was voted to the All-Tournament Team.
ASU opened its 2013 season with a tournament win over the Utah Valley La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational, defeating Utah Valley and North Dakota State before upsetting then No. 24 Wichita State, Aug. 30-31.
Macey Gardner was named Tournament MVP, while Stephanie Preach and BreElle Bailey were named to the All-Tournament Team.