Volleyball Advances With 3-1 Win Over College of Charleston
Nov. 30, 2006
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, the Arizona State Sun Devils wanted to make sure it wasn't a short stay in Gainesville. Staci Smith and Tierra Burnley made sure that ASU would stay in Florida a bit longer, as they helped the Sun Devils eliminate College of Charleston 3-2. The win puts the Devils season mark at 16-14, insuring their first winning season since 2002.
The first game was a tough, back-and forth-affair between the two squads. Neither team could take control early, alternating points for most of the first half of game one. The Sun Devils jumped out to a four point lead at the media timeout. After the timeout, College of Charleston game roaring back, eventually grabbing the lead. Arizona State fought back, and after a diving dig by Nina Reeves and a Staci Smith kill, ASU gained control on their way to a 30-26 game one win. Smith turned in six kills in the opening game, while the Devils turned in a team hitting percentage of .350. Charleston's nine attacking errors were canceled out by the five service errors the Sun Devils recorded.
Game two was more of the same, as the two teams continued to fight off one another for the advantage. The Cougars took an early lead, holding a two point edge for most of the early going. Arizona State took advantage of nine Charleston errors, as they were able to regain the lead and stretch the bulge to eight points after the mid-point break. That would be all the Cougars could handle, as ASU took game two 30-23 to go up 2-0 in the match. Tierra Burnley led the way in game two with five kills as the Devils hit .312 as a team.
College of Charleston finally broke through in the third game, outlasting the Devils in a barn-burner, 31-29 to cut it to 2-1. ASU hurt itself with seven attacking errors, once again negating the nine that College of Charleston had. During game three, Sydney Donahue recorded her 709th dig of the season, setting a new Pac-10 single season record. Donahue broke the record set by UCLA's Chrissie Zartman, set in 2004.
The Devils made sure they would move on to the second round by hitting .308 and forcing seven Cougar attack errors on their way to a 30-20 game four win and a 3-1 victory in the match. Staci Smith recorded nine kills in game four, giving her a match high 18 kills. Tierra Burnley set a new career high with her 16 kills.
College of Charleston had 34 attack errors to ASU's 18, but the Sun Devils struggled serving the ball, committing 13 service errors. Arizona State hit .292 as a team, while the Cougars hit only .139. The front line of the Devils turned in a solid effort with 11.5 total team blocks. Burnley had seven block assists. Sydney Donahue had 24 digs, her sixth straight match with 20+ plus digs and 22nd overall.
The Devils now await the winner of the Florida A&M/Florida match. Florida enters the match with the Rattlers as the 7th ranked team in the country and the #9 national seed in the tournament. They will meet the winner on Friday night at 5 p.m. Arizona time. If the Gators defeat the Rattlers, tomorrow night's match can be viewed online by logging on to GatorZone.com.