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Sun Devils Fall in Straight Sets to No. 8 Utah

Feb 7, 2021

Final Box

TEMPE, Ariz. - Wrapping up the season series against No. 8 Utah, Sun Devil Volleyball lost in straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) to the Utes in Desert Financial Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (1-5) lost its second of two matches against Utah (6-0). This is the first time ASU has been swept this season.
  • The block was solid again for the Sun Devils, earning seven in the three sets compared to the Utes' five. 
  • Sophomore outside hitter Iman Isanovic has reached double figures in kills in every match so far this season. She had a team-high 15 today, as well as seven digs.  
  • At libero this match was sophomore Annika Larson. She tallied a match-high 15 digs, her fifth time earning double figures in digs this season. 
  • Two setters shared time in the match. Freshman Ella Snyder had 13 assists while sophomore Shannon Shields had 11. 
  • Freshman Regan Tinkle notched a career-high seven kills in the match, playing in the last two sets.
  • Sophomore Kennedi Boyd led the team in total blocks with five, including one solo. 

Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"I am really disappointed in our team. It is not that we lost to a really good Utah team, it is more about we played like our backs were against the wall the entire time. We played scared and we played timid. Our motto today before we walked out was 'we have to be aggressive' in everything we are doing. We have to swing hard, we have to serve hard, and we have to go for it. Unfortunately, it didn't look like it at all and it felt like they were scared. You can't play scared in the Pac-12."
On Regan Tinkle
"Reagan has a really heavy arm and we knew that recruiting her. When we lost two seniors right before the season began, we needed to get another arm in the gym. Reagan was in the Transfer Portal and we remember her from the recruiting process when she was in high school and club. We talked to her and were able to get her in the gym. She is giving us exactly what we thought she would at this point, which is a heavy arm and a consistent swing. She will get more comfortable with serve receive and more comfortable with defense. Those are things we will continue to work on her with. We knew she would be good at hitting and she was. I was proud of her and the way that she played."
On the team's mindset moving forward
"We need to take care of our side of the net. We need to take care of our offense, we need to take care of our situations that we are given like free-ball situations. The SportsCenter highlights, those are not what is going to win you games in the Pac-12. It is the consistent plays over time. A bunch of good plays over time are what is going to win us games. We are not there yet, we are very inconsistent. We are going to get in the gym and work on consistency and doing our job at each position."

Sophomore libero Annika Larson
On the difference between the teams today
"If you look at Utah, there were a couple players out there that were going all out. I think right now, that is something that we can look at as a good learning opportunity. It did seem like a lot of us were playing like, 'Okay what do we do next.' We should be owning our role on the team and being able to go out there and do whatever our job is."
On what to work on at practice this week
"We all have to work on owning it. Everyone has a list of things they work on in practice, but we need to work more cohesively as a team. Owning our role and being honest and truthful with each other as a team. For me personally, I want to be supporting my team and doing my role. I am trying to help each person on the team however I can. Whether it is getting the setter a better pass or just being real and honest. Technically and skill-wise, I am going to need to dig more balls and I think I lost a lot of opportunities out there that I could have executed. I know I am going to grind on defense. I am appreciative of the experiences we are getting now, but I think we are done with excuses. We need to get out there and say 'this is our game' and we are going to prove to you why we are here."

Set One: Utah 25, Arizona State 20
The teams kept it close in the beginning of the set, the Sun Devils taking an early 6-5 lead after a kill from Roberta Rabelo. However, the Utes responded with a 4-0 run right after that and did not look back. ASU went on a late 4-1 run with kills from Isanovic, but Utah was able to hold on and win 25-20.

Set Two: Utah 25, Arizona State 17
An early 3-0 run that saw two-straight aces from Larson put the Sun Devils up 5-3. The Utes responded with their own 3-0 run to get back on top. Four-straight points for the visiting team made it 14-8 for Utah. ASU was able to string together three in a row late to  make it 23-17, capped off with an ace from Paige Denton, but Utah closed the door and won 25-17.

Set Three: Utah 25, Arizona State 19
Utah opened up the third set with five in a row and would hold a big lead throughout the set. The Sun Devils used their second timeout when the Utes were up 13-3. Megan Beedie had a kill late in the set to spark a 3-0 run to make it 22-16 in favor of Utah and force a timeout from the visitors. The late comeback attempt fell short, however, and the Utes won it 25-19.

Up Next
Arizona State will travel to Corvallis to take on Oregon State in two matches, first on Thursday and the second on Friday. Both will be on the OSU Live Stream.