Dominant Defense Helps Volleyball Hang Tough In Loss To No. 9 UCLA
Nov. 28, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – With Sarah Reaves and Cat Highmark both posting double-doubles in the match and the Sun Devil defense posting a phenomenal 11.5 blocks, the Sun Devil Volleyball team hung tough Saturday afternoon in a 25-19, 28-26 and 25-22 loss to the ninth-ranked UCLA Bruin squad to close out their 2009 season. The match improved UCLA to 23-8 and 13-5 in conference play as the Sun Devils close out their season with a 13-17 and 3-15 record in Pac-10 play.
Set one saw ASU come out to hit .182 on the set, and matching UCLA’s three blocks on defense. Errors proved costly though as five of them added to UCLA’s tally who also collected 16 kills en route to a .303 attack percentage in the set. Two tie scores and a lead change couldn’t save the set for ASU though as they fell 25-19.
Set two set the stage for a battle royale as ASU put their dukes up swinging .204 in the set and again matching UCLA’s three blocks on defense. The Sun Devils looked to have it in control as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the set, but UCLA battled back with seven tie scores and six lead changes as it turned into an extra points extravaganza, that UCLA was just able to edge with only five to ASU’s seven errors as they snaked out set two 28-26.
Coming out of the break the Sun Devil defense decided to take control as they posted five blocks to stifle the UCLA offense to a .178 attack percentage, with the Sun Devil offense nipping at the heels of the Bruins towards the tail end of the set after rallying back from a 9-3 deficit to tie it up at 22-22 apiece before the Bruins locked it up, rattling off three straight points to finish it at 25-22.
Wrapping up the match, Head Coach Jason Watson stated that “We competed well tonight in made steps in the direction that this program needs to head in. This season it’s important for us to note the significant progress we’ve made throughout it to ensure we only build more on it next season.”
The match wraps the 2009 regular season for the Sun Devils, who’d like to thank their fans and friends for all their support throughout their campaign and endeavors.