Sept. 15, 2012
Final Stats vs. FAU
Final Stats vs. Gonzaga
SHERATON INVITATIONAL RESULTS
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State volleyball claimed its third tournament title of 2012 when it outlasted Gonzaga 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-11, 25-13) on Saturday night. The Sun Devils move to 11-2 as it topped Villanova (3-0), UC Riverside (3-1), Florida Atlantic (3-0) and the Bulldogs over the weekend.
Macey Gardner was named the Most Valuable Player of the Sheraton Invitational, making it her fourth tournament honor of the year. Alexis Pinson and Stephanie Preach were also named to the All-Tournament Team to round out ASU's 4-0 weekend.
Arizona State (11-2) extended its win streak to four after a sweep of Florida Atlantic, 3-0 that also planted the Sun Devils in the tournament title match. In its first match on Saturday, ASU breezed past the Owls 25-11 and 25-13 in the first two sets. FAU kept pace in the third set but ASU was unwilling to let the victory get away, tallying the 3-0 sweep with a third set score of 25-20.
In the tournament finale, ASU picked up the first set 25-20 before Gonzaga tied it, 1-1, after taking the second 23-25. In the third frame, ASU frustrated the Gonzaga offense and capitalized on Gardner's and Wilson's hitting streaks (seven and six kills, respectively) to take a 2-1 lead, 25-11. Arizona State garnered its third tournament title after taking the fourth set 25-13 and the match 3-1.
GAME TWO: Arizona State, Gonzaga (25-20, 23-25, 25-11, 25-13)
ASU went up 6-1 in the opening frame after initial kills from the mix of Macey Gardner, Nora Tuioti-Mariner, Erica Wilson and Alexis Pinson. A five-point streak allowed the Zags to gain ground and eventually put the Devils behind, 10-11. An ace by Tuioti-Mariner tied it at 15-all and preceded ASU's four-consecutive points that forced GU into a timeout with ASU leading 20-18.
Using a crowd of 593 to gain a 23-19 edge, final attacks from Pinson and Tuioti-Mariner gave ASU the 1-0 lead with a first set score of 25-20. Even though the Devils were coming off a team attack percentage of .342, Gonzaga kept the start of the second set tight, tying it seven times and the lead exchanging hands twice as ASU trailed 11-13.
Bethany Jorgensen tied it at 13-all after subbing in and serving up a timely ace. Continuing to trade points, ASU fell behind 19-21 leading to a timeout. Though kills by Gardner and Pinson brought the Devils within reach, ASU stalled at 22-23 after Pinson and Tuioti-Mariners block and eventually fell 25-23.
Set three saw Gonzaga go to an early timeout, 9-4, after four kills and an ace by Wilson padded the ASU cushion. Back-to-back kills from Gardner and a pair of Palmer service aces made it 14-6 with ASU unwilling to give the Bulldogs any wiggle room. Picking up the pace, ASU extended its lead 23-10 behind heavy-hitters Wilson and Gardner to move forward 2-1 on sets with a final score of 25-11.
After an initial tie at 4-4 in the fourth set, the Sun Devil defense shined with back-to-back-to-back blocks to make it an 8-5 lead. Wilson then added her second and third aces before Gardner went off for five points with assists from Palmer to make it 17-9. Things escalated quickly as ASU stretched its lead double of the Bulldogs, 22-11. Arizona State shut the door on the set, 25-13 to take the match 3-1 and the tournament crown, its third of the year.
GAME ONE: Arizona State 3, Florida Atlantic 0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-20)
In the first set, a quick lead of 3-0 saw the Devils come out storming and push the Owls into their first timeout. ASU started to pull away, 14-7, using five kills on eight attempts from Gardner. Not only working cohesively on offense, Arizona State tallied four blocks as a team by the 18-10 mark.
Swinging at a .625 clip, ASU capped the first frame 25-11 with Gardner top in kills, with six, and Allison Palmer already in double digits for assists, with 11. In the second stanza, the score teeter-tottered until four-straight kills from Gardner and Pinson put ASU on top 10-6. A nine point run saw Arizona State go up 21-10, before its .440 attack percentage aided the team to go ahead 2-0 into the break on a set score of 25-13.
ASU worked from behind in the third set, 0-2, before tying it at 2-all, then 3-all. A four-point run gave the maroon and gold a slight cushion, 8-4, that the team held until the Owls capitalized on Sun Devil miscues to tie it 11-11.
Florida Atlantic kept pace with ASU in the third, cutting the Sun Devil lead to two, 16-14. Picking up the pace, kills from Binns and Gardner sandwich an Erica Wilson service ace to put it at match point 24-19. Gardner finished it off, 25-20, and posted a team best 17 kills in the 3-0 sweep.
ASU Sheraton Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP: Macey Gardner, Arizona State
Alexis Pinson, Arizona State; Stephanie Preach, Arizona State; Savannah Blinn, Gonzaga; Amanda Vialpando, UC Riverside; Jelena Jovanovic, Florida Atlantic.
ASU has five sweeps in 2012. The last time the program had as many was in 2009, when six were recorded under Jason Watson.
ASU is on a five game win streak, just one shy of its previous season record of six which dated from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1.
Gardner has six double-doubles on the year with 13 kills and 10 digs coming against FAU and against Gonzaga, 24 kills and 12 digs.
SHERATON INVITATIONAL RESULTS
Up Next: ASU opens Pac-12 play at Arizona in the first match of the Territorial Cup Series on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be on the Pac-12 Regional Network and also have live stats through GameTracker