Volleyball Rallies Hard But Falls Short In Day Two of the Adidas-Michigan Invitational
Sept. 20, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A tough day fell on the Sun Devil Volleyball team as they dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker against Western Kentucky and a hard-fought 3-1 match against No. 25 Michigan as they wrapped play in the Adidas/Michigan Invitational Saturday with an overall record of 9-4 headed into next weekend’s start of Pac-10 play.
Head Coach Jason Watson surmised the day stating, “This has been a valuable weekend for us in learning important lessons. The challenge for us now is to play solid, good volleyball over a long period of time. Our non-conference play has helped us identify areas of success and areas that we need to upgrade. We are looking forward to the start of conference play.”
Against the Lady Toppers, the Sun Devils came out strong taking the first two sets 25-23 and 26-24 to go into the break 2-0 with Sarah Reaves and Margie Giordano leading the pack with 11 kills apiece. The third set saw the Hilltoppers storm back to just barely squeak one past the Devils 25-23. They repeated the effort in the fourth set as they blasted a .341 attack percentage, taking the set in extras 26-24 to even it. With six tie scores and four lead changes in the fifth set it turned into a battle for the W, which ultimately the Lady Toppers won, 15-12.
After the loss, ASU regrouped to take on host, the unbeaten No. 25 Michigan Wolverines in the nightcap. While the Wolverines came out swinging with a .318 attack percentage, the Sun Devils hung tough in a 25-19 loss to open the match. Set two was a different story though as ASU came back to throw down as they walloped a .327 on the Wolverines to take set two 27-25 to tie it going into the break.
ASU bettered Michigan’s attack percentage in set three as well with a .295 average, but costly errors piled up for ASU as Michigan snaked another one away from the Devils putting them on the ropes for set four. The set was no contest however as ASU ran out of gas as Michigan’s Megan Bower’s four kills led the Wolverines to their twelfth straight win to keep their record unblemished.
The weekend wraps ASU’s non-conference tournament season as they head into the conference season with a 9-4 record, in their best start since 1997. The Sun Devils will kick open the Pac-10 slate at home this Friday and Saturday against Washington and Washington State.