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Blistering Offense Leads Sun Devils to Second-Straight Sweep

Mar 14, 2021

Final Box | Boxscore

TEMPE, Ariz. - Led by sophomore Iman Isanovic's match-high 17 kills, Sun Devil Volleyball won their third match in a row after taking down Cal in a second-straight sweep (25-17, 25-17, 26-24) in Desert Financial Arena on Sunday afternoon. 

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (4-10) has won nine-straight sets with this win over Cal (1-15), dating back to the Arizona win where ASU won the last three sets and then sweeping the last two.
  • This is the first season sweep over Cal since 2016.
  • ASU out-hit Cal, .301 to .148. For the Sun Devils, this is the second-highest hitting percentage of the season. This is also the fourth time this season that an opponent has been held to a sub-.200 hitting percentage.
  • The serve receive for the Sun Devils was the strongest it has been this season, not allowing a single ace for their opponent, which had yet to happen this year. 
  • Isanovic reached double figures in kills with her 17 on a career-high .351 clip. She has reached double digits in kills in three of the last four matches and 11 times this season. Additionally, she had one ace and six digs.
  • The Sun Devil block was a force in the win, with the team collecting nine compared to the Bears' four. Freshman Marta Levinksa led the team in blocks with seven, matching her career high. She also had seven kills and six digs for a well-rounded match.
  • Another Sun Devil reached double figures in kills with freshman Roberta Rabelo notching 11, a new career-high for her. It's just her second match reaching double digits. She hit .320, her second time hitting over .300 this season.
  • Sophomore libero Annika Larson had a match-high 14 digs, her 10th match of the year reaching double figures in digs. She also had one ace and five assists.

Quotes
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"What a fun way to finish the weekend. I'm super proud of the finish in the third set and that we won the game. We were playing really close at the end, so that was exciting. I'm glad we are taking care of our side of the net and doing what we've trained and practiced for."

On coming back during the third set:
"I talked to them about taking care of our side of the net, hitting the good shots and getting our feet to the ball. They know what they're supposed to do, but sometimes they don't know why they can't at times. We try to give them more mechanical help and help on their technique as well as feedback that they can hold on to."

On looking forward to Stanford next week:
"I'm excited and I hope we get to play them. They've been cancelling matches due to COVID protocol and injuries, so I really hope we get to go up there and play. We want to continue and improve. I've been saying this from the beginning of the season, but this is a young team. This has been a nice little run so they can believe that we belong and we can do this. Our game needs to always be improving so we can play a serve, serve receive game. We have pretty good arms on the pins and in the middle, we can play with any team in the conference."

On short-term memory between plays
"I think that's something we are getting a lot better at as a team. I am so excited because a lot of times people learn how to do that junior and senior year, and we are learning our freshman and sophomore year. As a coach you've got to be happy when something you preach so much finally starts sticking and we start seeing the benefit of it. It's really exciting and really reassuring for our future."

Sophomore outside hitter Iman Isanovic
On her strong play
"Shannon Shields was running a good offense and she was making it easier for me to get those kills. Because a lot of the time, it isn't just a one-man work, there was a lot of the team involved."

On the win streak
"It feels like something that was long anticipated. We have really young and really good players with great potential, so it is just nice to see our hard work paying. It is a really nice feeling, sweeping Cal in both games at 3-0. Especially in both games, the third set was more dramatic and more intense, and just taking care of business and owning our stuff felt good."

On the short term memory loss between plays
"I think we did a really great job on forgetting about the bad stuff and focused on the stuff we needed to. At the end of the day, you can't take back what has already been done; bad plays are in the past. Everyone was focused and that ultimately resulted in our win."

Set One: Arizona State 25, Cal 17
The Sun Devils started the match strong, doubling up the Bears early on at 12-6 after a 3-0 run that saw two kills from Levinska. Two-straight Cal errors made it 19-11, digging the hole deeper. The damage had been done and a kill by Isanovic closed out a win for Arizona State at 25-17 

Set Two: Arizona State 25, Cal 17
Levinska had back-to-back blocks in the beginning of the second frame to help ASU jump out  to a 5-0 lead. Cal responded right away, however, going on a 4-0 run to get within one. Cal tied the set at 8-8 but two attack errors on the Bears allowed for the Sun Devils to break the tie at 10-8. Another tie occurred at 13-13 and Isanovic snapped it with a solid kill to get back on top. A 5-1 run capped off by a tip kill by Boyd pushed the Sun Devils to a strong advantage over the Bears at 19-14. Isanovic ended the set with two kills in a row to win with an identical score to the first set at 25-17. 

Set Three: Arizona State 26, Cal 24
The third set was close from start to finish. The Bears took an early lead at 9-5 after a quick run for them. The Sun Devils put together a 4-0 run to take the lead at 16-15 after two-straight kills by Robelo. From there, neither team was able to put together more than two points, tying and trading leads until the end. Cal fought off the first match point, with Levinska answering with a kill to make a second match point at 25-24. An attack error by the Bears gave the Sun Devils the sweep with a 26-24 win. 

Up Next
Arizona State is scheduled to travel to Stanford next weekend, playing the Cardinal on Friday and Sunday.