No. 20 Sand Devils Start Season at Canyon Classic This Weekend
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 20 Sun Devil Beach Volleyball will kick off the 2021 season this weekend at the Canyon Classic hosted by No. 7 Grand Canyon, starting with two matches on Friday and a pairs tournament on Saturday.
Sun Devil Outlook
No. 20 Arizona State (0-0)
- The Sand Devils are ranked No. 20 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, the same spot the finished the 2020 season.
- Last season, the team did not lose to an unranked team, continuing a trend from the 2019 season. With a 4-6 record, the team recorded two sweeps against Boise State and Utah.
- Fifth-year senior Katelyn Carballo returns to the team in 2021, using her fifth COVID year. She played at the No. 1 spot five times last season, playing in the top three spots in every match.
- Sophomore Lexi Sweeney led the Sand Devils in wins in 2020, finishing the shortened season with a 6-4 record. Next is senior Cierra Flood with five wins, followed by Carballo and junior Maddy Salazar with four.
- There are 13 returning letterwinners on the roster and nine newcomers, including one transfer senior. By class, there are eight freshmen, five sophomores, four juniors and five seniors.
Colorado Mesa (0-0), Friday at 11 a.m. MST
- In 2020, the Maveriks had only played three games before the season was canceled. They came up short in all three, including a close 3-2 loss to Stephen F. Austin.
- The Sun Devils have faced the Maveriks three previous times, winning all three matchups. They last met in 2018 when they played twice and ASU swept both duals.
No. 7 Grand Canyon (0-0), Friday at 1 p.m. MST
- The Lopes are ranked No. 7 in the preseason AVCA Coaches Poll, which ties for their highest ranking in program history. They also finished the 2020 season ranked No. 7.
- Before the 2020 season was cut short, GCU was 10-2 with three ranked wins, including a 3-2 victory over No. 4 USC.
- Arizona State has played Grand Canyon just once, back on the first day of the 2019 season. The Sun Devils upset the Lopes in a close 3-2 dual that came down to the final court. Current Sun Devils Carballo and Plaster both earned wins on their respective courts to help the team.
- Saturday will be a pairs tournament with different duos from Colorado Mesa, Grand Canyon and Arizona. It will begin at 8 a.m. and will go throughout the day.
How To Follow
The tournament will not be open to the public. Fans can follow along on social media on Twitter (@SunDevilBeachVB) and Instagram (@sundevilbeachvb).