2013 Preview: Arizona State volleyball
The Sun Devils enter the 2013 season looking to carry the momentum over from last season where Arizona State recorded its first 20-win season and first NCAA Tournament appearance since head coach Jason Watson arrived in 2008. Helping the Sun Devil cause will be 10 returning letterwinners, including sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner, and four freshmen that helped comprise the 13th-ranked recruiting class as named by PrepVolleyball.com. Gardner was an all-Pac-12 pick in 2012, the first Sun Devil to earn the honor since 2002.
» Despite Erica Wilson's departure, the Sun Devils are well-tenured at the outside hitter position between SO Macey Gardner (pictured), JR Nora Tuioti-Mariner and SO Whitney Follette. Gardner, who competed for the Pac-12 All-Star Team in China over the summer, earned first team All-Pac-12 honors after an impressive freshman campaign where she led the Pac-12 and the Sun Devil squad in total kills with 577 total. Tuioti-Mariner and Follette combined for 185 kills of their own, and Follette was second on the team behind Alexas Pinson in total blocks.
» Libero Stephanie Preach returns for her senior season after tallying 619 digs, which was the most in the Pac-12. Her digs per set average of 4.73 was good enough to finish third overall in the Conference. Preach's 1,460 career digs are fourth all-time at ASU.
» SO S Allison Palmer earned her stripes last season as the team's primary setter and is primed to continue directing the floor for ASU. Her 1,482 assists were second in the Pac-12 last year and set a new school single-season record.
» Erica Wilson, one of the team's leading scorers and a dynamic presence at the outside hitting position, will be difficult to replace. Wilson finished her career ranked fifth in single-season kills (522), fourth in career block assists (297) and eighth in total blocks (325).
» Despite depth at the blocking spot, Arizona State was 11th in blocks last season, averaging 2.12 blocks per set. However, the Sun Devils had the third-least block errors in the conference with 47.