Stahlke Shines in Sun Devils' Setback to No. 15 UCLA
TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman Claudia Stahlke had seven blocks in her collegiate debut as Sun Devil Volleyball dropped a close four-set match (25-22, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22) to No. 15 UCLA in Desert Financial Arena on Friday night.
- Arizona State (1-8) continued its streak of matches with double-digit blocks, earning 11 to out-block UCLA's (6-3) eight.
- The Sun Devils hit .226 in the match, shy of the Bruins .343. This was the second-highest hitting percentage this season for ASU.
- Freshmen Alasia Ureña and Claudia Stahlke had their first collegiate starts in today's match, which was also the first collegiate appearance for Stahlke.
- Stahlke made an impression in her debut, leading the match in blocks with seven, including two solo blocks. She also had three kills on five attempts.
- Sophomore outside hitter Iman Isanovic notched 14 kills to lead the team. She has reached double figures in kills in all but one match this season.
- Sophomore middle blocker Kennedi Boyd had a well-rounded match with eight kills on a .471 clip and four blocks.
- Pacing the offense was freshman Ella Snyder, collecting 34 assists and two aces, tying a career high.
- Two Sun Devils reached double figures in digs. Sophomore Annika Larson started at libero and had 12 while Ureña had 11, her second match notching double-digit digs.
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"I thought there were some moments today where we looked better than the past couple weekends. Due to some injuries, we lost Megan (Beedie), so this is literally a team of freshmen and sophomores right now just trying to go out there and get some Pac-12 experience. It's been a tough night but I'm proud of how we fought. I want to give props to Claudia Stahlke who came up tonight and played a really good match for her first college career match and Regan Tinkle who came in late but I thought she also did a really good job."
On continuing to grow
"We're returning this whole team for another three years, and we talk about it as a group. This is an investment into our future. We're going to continue to get better. We're getting these reps and learning what it takes to win in the Pac-12. This young team didn't have a chance to compete in preseason because of COVID, so we didn't have a chance to really get something going. I'm really excited for the future, I think we have a lot of talent in this gym. They just need to get more experience and get things done. If you guys could see practices, they look a lot better than games. We have to bring that effort to the games and it's going to take some time."
Freshman middle blocker Claudia Stahlke
On her first college match
"My team helped me out a lot. It was my first match that I have ever played collegiately, so it was really helpful that they were all talking to me. I just wanted to execute that game plan that Coach Sanja had for us, and I think that helped me get my mind right and to have confidence in myself to help the team when the game was very close in the end. It was very exciting. My adrenaline was definitely pumping, but I put it to good use and the team helped me out a lot to try to execute the game plan."
Set One: UCLA 25, Arizona State 22
Set one was close from start to finish with the maximum lead the Bruins being four points. Towards the middle of the set, Boyd had a three-point run to tie the set, 13-13. The Sun Devils were forced to take both timeouts after two miscommunication plays on their side of the net. Coming out of their second timeout, the Sun Devils had a 3-0 run, minimizing the Bruins' lead to 22-21, forcing them to take their first timeout. The Bruins finished the match winning 25-22.
Set Two: UCLA 25, Arizona State 17
The Bruins started the set with a 4-0 lead. Stahlke had a huge block to close the lead to 4-3. The Sun Devils were forced to take their first timeout while the Bruins led 11-7. Larson earned Arizona State its second service ace, closing the deficit to 14-13. Levinska tied the game at 14-14 with a cross-court kill. The Sun Devils took their second timeout with the Bruins leading 18-16 and were unable to climb back into the set, falling 25-17.
Set Three: Arizona State 25, UCLA 22
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 3-1 lead to start the third set. With Snyder at the service line, Arizona State pushed its advantage to 7-4. However, the Bruins responded and tied the game at 10-10 with a service ace. Stahlke collected one of her blocks to tie the game 15-15, keeping it close. The Sun Devils went on a 4-0 run with two notable plays from Levinska, a kill and an ace at the service line, forcing the Bruins to take their first timeout of the match at 22-19. With a kill from Isanovic, the Sun Devils won the set 25-22.
Set Four: UCLA 25, Arizona State 22
The Bruins led 3-2 after a long rally at the start of the set. The Sun Devils took their first time out with the Bruins leading 15-11. ASU got the ball back at 18-12 and with a kill from Regan Tinkle to get to 18-13. The Sun Devils got to the service line, and scored three in a row with a notable block from Stahlke at 21-18. Arizona State held off two match points for UCLA before the Bruins were able to close out the match by winning 25-22.
These two teams will face off again on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST. It will be broadcast on the ASU Live Stream, with live scoring available as well. Fans are not allowed in Desert Financial Arena this season, but follow along on social media on Twitter (@SunDevilVB) and Instagram (@sundevilvolleyball) for updates.