Volleyball Splits Day One of Montana Invitational

Sept. 11, 2009

MISSOULA, Mt. – A four game win over North Dakota and a tough five set loss to SMU spelled the day for the ASU Volleyball team as they wrapped up Day One of the Montana Classic with a 19-25, 25-15, 25-21 and 25-21 win over ND and 21-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21 and 11-15 loss to SMU to push their record to 6-2 on the year.


The first match versus North Dakota saw the Sun Devils come out a bit sluggish as A State seemed off-kilt overall with only 13 kills for an attack percentage of .154 with 11 unforced errors costing the Sun Devils as ND rattled off a .333 attack percentage to take a 25-19 win. Set two saw ASU storm back for a .433 attack percentage slamming 15 kills with Sarah Reaves collecting five of her 23 in the match to lead ASU to a 25-15 win to tie it up.


Set three saw Sarah Reaves take the reigns with seven kills in the set as Katie Crosby and Cat Highmark split the setting duties to push ASU to a 25-21 win. Four was all ASU needed as North Dakota struggled to keep it together hitting .000 in the set with 11 attack errors. Camri Zwiesler hit .400 to lead ASU with six kills as they took another 25-21 win to push their record to 6-1.


Head Coach Jason Watson commented after, “I like the process our program is showing towards continued improvement.  Going on the road is difficult, but the experience is extremely beneficial.  North Dakota pressured us all morning.  They competed well and forced us to play better the longer the match.”


“Overall, I’m pleased with the way we competed and closed out a difficult match.”


The nightcap for the Sun Devils didn’t fare as well as SMU came out ready to ball, hitting .295 in the first set, besting ASU’s .233, while posting more kills and blocks than the Sun Devils to snake off with a 25-23 win. The Devil D came alive in the second set posting 19 digs and three blocks with two block assists from Paige Mittelstaedt and Malia Marquardt while Sarah Reaves killed seven pushing ASU to a 25-19 win to knot it at one headed into the break.


Five tie scores and two lead changes spelled a tight story in the third set, which went extra points, but the SMU offense lit up a .321 attack percentage to smoke ASU’s .216, and even with ASU’s solid net play SMU pulled off the win 26-24 to take the lead. The Devils weren’t done yet, making a show of it in the fourth set as they held SMU to a 0.51 team attack percentage as Paige Mittelstaedt’s four kills and block assist led ASU to a 25-21 win to push a deciding set.


A dismal .107 attack percentage for ASU cost them in the end though as SMU stepped up to block three while ASU was caught guilty of six unforced errors to see the set and match slip away in a 15-11 loss to drop to 6-2 on the season.


Watson post-match stated, “SMU forced us to play and compete for an extended period of time. While we certainly had opportunities, I didn’t adequately prepare our team for the challenge presented by SMU.


These competitive opportunities are so precious. Our goal is to learn and ensure we’re better prepared to play well for a longer period of time.”

The Sun Devils will wrap-up the Montana Invitational tomorrow night at 7 p.m. MT as they face the host, the Montana Grizzlies. Live action can be found on BigSkyTv.org.


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