Sun Devils Take No. 8 Utah to Five, Come Up Short
TEMPE, Ariz. - With another strong performance from the underclassmen, Sun Devil Volleyball came up just short of getting the upset against No. 8 Utah on Friday night at Desert Financial Arena, falling in five sets (25-8, 21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8).
- Arizona State (1-4) took Utah (5-0) to five sets, the second match to go to five this season. The Sun Devils also went to five with the Cougars last weekend, falling in that match as well.
- The Sun Devils had their best blocking match of the season, collecting 15 team blocks, six more than the previous high of nine. They out-blocked the Utes 15-6.
- Sophomore outside hitter Iman Isanovic earned her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and a career-high 15 digs. She has reached double figures in all five matches this year.
- Two freshmen continue to be key contributors for ASU. Setter Ella Snyder had 29 assists and 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Pin hitter Marta Levinska notched 10 kills, her fourth match reaching double figures, and a career-high seven blocks.
- Three Sun Devils earned seven blocks in the match: Levinska, Kennedi Boyd and Megan Beedie. For Boyd, that number matched her career best and for Beedie it was a season high.
- Sophomore libero Annika Larson led the team on defense with 18 digs. She also had three aces, a season best for her.
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"Tough loss, we are still processing what just happened. We got to be a lot better offensively, our serve receive was bad, we're working on it but we need to get better. Our offense crumbled tonight. When they more than double our kills, it is going to be tough to play. We knew they were going to go to Dani (Drews); we couldn't stop her, she's a great player. And good for her for carrying her team on her shoulders tonight. We just have to be ready to go on Sunday, make our adjustments and own our side of the net."
Going into Sunday
"What's given me more confidence is that we took the No. 8 team to five sets when we weren't playing our best. I am excited about it and the girls want to win that, so hopefully they bring what it takes on Sunday. In these COVID times you just want to see the other team on the other side of the net and play them so that is always a win. Playing them in five by itself isn't satisfactory, we want to win."
Sophomore outside hitter Iman Isanovic
On what changed after the first set
"We knew we had to go all out and step up our serving and we essentially did that in the second and third set. We were really aggressive. We responded to what they did to us in the first set. We served hard and got them where we wanted them and we were prepared to block and our defense was doing a solid job."
Set One: Utah 25, Arizona State 8
Utah led with an 8-2 start right out of the gate and never looked back. A service error on the Utes gave a point and some momentum for Arizona State, but it was not enough. The Utes stayed strong and took the win for the first set of the match.
Set Two: Arizona State 25, Utah 21
Arizona State bounced back in the second set. Beedie broke the 10-10 tie with a block and the teams went back and forth from there. The Sun Devils were up two and Levinska had another block to push the lead for Arizona State. ASU finished the set with a block to even the match at 1-1.
Set Three: Arizona State 25, Utah 21
The third set started out an early block, keeping that energy going for the Sun Devils. An ace from Isanovic and a few digs kept the ball alive, scoring another point for ASU to cut into the Utah lead, 17-14. After a tie at 20-20, Isanovic pulled it to 22-21 with a kill leaving Arizona State to grab the third set for their second win.
Set Four: Utah 25, Arizona State 20
Isanovic continued her strong play in the fourth set, starting with a block. The Utes took the lead until Larson tied it back at 10-10 with an ace. Beedie broke the tie with a kill to push ahead at 11-10. However, Utah went on a run and took the lead to 20-15. Arizona State picked it up with a few kills for a late run, but that wasn't enough to end the set in their favor as the Utes ended up with the victory.
Set Five: Utah 15, Arizona State 8
The last set was all Utah as they took advantage of Arizona State's miscues. The Utes came in with back-to-back kills to finish the final set for the win.
These two teams will match up again in Tempe on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST. The match will be on the Pac-12 Network. Desert Financial Arena is not open to the public, but fans can follow along with live stats or on Twitter (@SunDevilVB).