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Sun Devils Down Bears in Straight Sets

Mar 12, 2021

Final Box | Boxscore

TEMPE, Ariz. - Led by freshman Marta Levinska's strong offensive performance, Sun Devil Volleyball took down Cal in straight sets (25-21, 25-14, 25-22) at Desert Financial Arena on Friday. 

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (3-10) earned its second sweep of the season in the win over Cal (1-14) and the second home win.
  • The Sun Devils hit .270 in the match, their second-highest hitting percentage of the season. They also held the Bears to .117, which is the lowest an opponent has hit this year.
  • Freshman pin hitter Marta Levinska had a match-high 15 kills on a .393 clip. She has hit over .300 in three of the last four matches, four times total in this season.
  • The serves were on fire in the win, led by sophomore Iman Isanovic's career-best five aces. Isanovic also had eight kills.
  • Sophomore libero Annika Larson notched a match-high 15 digs as well as two aces and four assists. She has reached double figures in digs in 11 matches this year. 
  • Senior middle blocker Megan Beedie hit .383 in the match with six kills. She also had two blocks. 
  • Arizona State won consecutive matches for the first time in 2021 and picked up its first win over Cal since 2018. 

Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"Pretty excited about how this went tonight. I'm really proud of the way the team played even though I feel like we still had a lot more to be desired for over there, especially in the first set we came out pretty flat. Something for this young team to learn is that we should set our game and not let the other team dictate the tempo of the game, however good or bad that team is on the other side. I think at no point we gave a chance to Cal to come back and that is something I am really proud of."

On coming back and winning a close set:
"I honestly think that even though that was the score, at no point I felt like we were going to lose and at no point I felt like there was a panic on our side of the net. We always felt like we were in charge and in control because the reason they were up wasn't because of anything they were doing, it was because of things we were not doing and we can always change."

On Marta's performance:
"We don't need Marta to tip. We don't need any of our hitters to tip. We've got some good arms. I think she did a good job knowing where her defensive block was too. They called and stayed down a lot on her which opened up the whole court for her. She's able to come up with 15 kills in 3 sets, that's big time for a freshman especially."

On beating Cal:
"It's always a good thing when you can play another Pac-12 team and beat them, especially in three. So I wouldn't focus on the fact that it was Cal, it's just another big time that we got another Pac-12 win. And do the same thing on Sunday, and just go one at a time. Keep on improving and keep on changing the mindset and learning how it feels to win and how it feels to be in charge.'

On winning consecutive games:
"That's super exciting. We had a tough going early on. We opened with Washington, Washington State and Utah. Those are the best teams in the conference and yes, we had them at home, but still those are the best teams in the conference. We're just learning how to play with Rob (Rabelo) and Regan (Tinkle) so that was tough. We talk about not letting whatever happened early on define how we move forward. We talk about short-term memory loss and just make sure we forget about the last game whether it's good or bad, last point whether it's good or bad, and be in the now. Volleyball is a game of now and we have to play it as such. It felt really good though because how they walk, they talk differently and you want to see that in your young team because they need that confidence." 

Sophomore Libero Annika Larson
On what it means to win consecutive games:
"To us it means a lot because obviously you can tell that win against U of A helped rebound us. But it gives us a lot of room for potential and knowing the standards that we need to set for ourselves. Especially in practice, we need to make sure that we're consistently having that winning mentality, so I think it was really good for us."

On what it was like to comeback in the third set:
"I think that was a really good opportunity for us because finishing has been something we need to prioritize in the gym and in practice, so for everyone it showed that we can finish. We did a really good job at point scoring. It all starts on the service line, so i'm really proud of everyone who stepped in and that was a big game changer for us, especially in that third set."

On Marta's performance:
"She's a stud. I'm so proud of her, especially as a freshman. One thing we've been working on is ownership and she's come in and she's definitely taken her spot and she owns it. I'm really proud of the way that she has rebounded, especially off of U of A, the first game we played against them."

On Shield's big kill:
"Shannon's a stud. That feeling, I think everyone felt it especially being on the court. It was so good it's an indescribable feeling because it was just so good. It was picture perfect, like a nice dig, it was nice and high. It was really awesome."


Set One: Arizona State 25, Cal 21
ASU started the set off with a 4-0 scoring run against Cal. However, the Bears responded and tied the game 7-7. With the Sun Devils back on top, freshman Roberta Rabelo had a solo block to push the advantage to 16-13. The Bears responded again with a 3-0 scoring to tie the game 20-20, but the Sun Devils reclaimed their lead at 22-20, forcing the Bears to take their first time out. ASU won the set 25-21, finishing with a kill from Levinska. 

Set Two: Arizona State 25, Cal 14
Isanovic started off set two with a kill and a service ace back to back. Levinska followed with a kill of her own, bringing ASU to a 3-0 lead. Paige Denton served up an ace to bring ASU to a 7-3 lead. The Sun Devils were on a roll, putting together a 7-1 scoring run to push the lead to 15-5. Rabelo notched another kill, bringing Arizona State into the final stretch at 20-12. Arizona State finished the set at 25-14. 

Set Three: Arizona State 25, Cal 22
The Sun Devils started this set off strong with a 3-0 scoring run, leading 3-1. Cal came back with a run to take the lead at 6-3, forcing ASU to take a timeout. Levinska's kill cut the deficit 8-5, but Cal kept the lead after a 3-0 run to make it 11-5. The Sun Devils put together their own run with a 7-1 scoring run to take the lead at 14-13. It was back and forth for the remainder of the set, with a service ace from Levinska tying the score at 18-18. After Cal called a timeout at match point, Beedie ended the match with an overpass kill off of a strong serve from Isanovic. 

Up Next
These two teams will match up again on Sunday at noon MST. It will be streamed on the ASU live stream with updates provided on Twitter (@SunDevilVB) and on live stats. Our matches are not open to the public.