Sept. 18, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona State volleyball opened the Pac-12 slate with a 3-1 loss at Arizona with set scores of 20-25, 16-25, 25-20, 21-25. The Sun Devils look to even their Pac-12 record on Friday when they host Washington State at 6 p.m.
The Sun Devils are now 11-3 on the year and 0-1 in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats move to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in conference action with the win. Erica Wilson led the Arizona State offensive effort, recording 18 kills in the outing.
Wildcat miscues in the opening points allowed Arizona State to start off with a 4-1 lead behind a kill by Erica Wilson. Macey Gardner jumpstarted a four-point run after her three kills, with assists from Allison Palmer, pushed the Wildcats into a corner, 9-5, and their first timeout. After tying it at 12-12, UA held on to a marginal lead through the 15-19 point.
Despite both teams hitting .167 when ASU took its second timeout trailing 19-21, Arizona pulled away in the final moments with a set score of 20-25.
A tough second set score of 16-25 resulted in the Sun Devils trailing 2-0. After falling behind 3-10, a small streak of kills from Wilson and an ace by Palmer closed the gap at 7-11. Arizona State made it a two point game, 14-16, when freshmen Gardner and Whitney Follette rallied for a pair of attacks at the halfway point. ASU was unable to overcome the UA offense, which was hitting .364 during the frame, eventually falling 16-25.
Set three began with ASU behind 2-5 but after a three-point run sparked by an Alexis Pinson kill, the Sun Devils took the lead 7-6. After the clubs traded points, a kill by Wilson from out of bounds tied it for a fourth time, 10-all. Behind Gardner's serve, Arizona burned both timeouts while the Sun Devils went on an eight-point run to go up 16-10.
The maroon and gold remained in control of the third stanza despite UA coming close at 19-16. Not willing to let the Wildcats creep closer, a kill by Gardner and then a block assist from Follette and Wilson sealed the set for ASU, 25-20.
Arizona State worked from behind in the fourth frame before tying it at 11-11 via a block solo by Follette. With UA on a four-point run, the Sun Devils took a timeout at 12-16 to regroup. Shortly after, Wilson put down a kill then teamed with Pinson for a block assist as Arizona State chipped away at the deficit, 15-18. ASU was unable to dig itself out of the hole, eventually falling 21-25 in the set and 3-1 in the match.
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 has recorded a season-best six game win streak (Aug. 24 to Sept. 1) and recently snapped its five game win streak, which lasted from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15.
Can't make a match? No worries if your cable provider carries the Pac-12 Network, which will broadcast an additional 12 matches of the ASU volleyball season. The next match on TV is Washington State at Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.
The Sun Devils return home to Wells Fargo Arena on Friday to host Washington State at 6 p.m. in the volleyball program's Gold Game. The match will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Regional Network, will have live stats through GameTracker, here, and have online radio from Blaze Radio, here.
About the Washington State Series:
ASU has the edge on this series, 29-24 despite dropping both matches in 2011 (L, 3-0 Oct. 29; L, 3-2 Sept. 23). Under head coach Jason Watson the season is split 4-all. The last time the two teams met returners Tuioti-Mariner, Kylee Terhune and Wilson led offensively with seven, six and five kills each, respectively. McCready was held to 34 assists while defensively Preach (13 digs) split the digs with Jenny Teslevich (11 digs).