Sun Devils End Season In Loss To No. 16 Oregon
TEMPE, Ariz. - To conclude the season, Sun Devil Volleyball came up short to No. 16 Oregon on Saturday afternoon at Desert Financial Arena, falling in three sets (25-20, 25-15, 25-17).
- Arizona State ends the season with a 6-14 record after falling in straight sets to Oregon (14-4). The Sun Devils struggled to get the offense going while the Ducks hit .339 in their win.
- ASU splits the season series with Oregon after the Sun Devils won in five on Thursday night. Arizona State has at least split the series against Oregon in the last three seasons, going 4-2 against the Ducks in that span.
- Senior Megan Beedie played her final match in a Sun Devil uniform today. She had seven kills on a .429 clip, the best percentage among the offense.
- Sophomore Iman Isanovic concluded her standout sophomore season with a team-high 10 kills and eight digs. This was her 15th match reaching double figures in kills.
- The primary setter this match was sophomore Shannon Shields. She had 26 assists and tied junior defensive specialist Paige Denton for team-best nine digs.
- This was the final sporting event for Sun Devil Athletics in Desert Financial Arena in 2020-21.
Senior middle blocker Megan Beedie
Reflecting on her past four years at Arizona State
"I did give the fifth year a lot of thought and it was a really tough decision to make. I decided not to take it. I got a pretty good job offer back home and I want to go in that direction. It's really tough to say goodbye to volleyball. Who knows, there are leagues all around where I live and I could still be involved with coaching. I'll still be involved with this program by talking to the girls and watching from afar. As for the program, we are obviously headed in a great direction. If you compare it to my freshman year from now, there's been a huge improvement."
On what she will miss most
"I think I'll miss the girls the most. I have friends for life and it will be tough not seeing them everyday. We can still chat, text and use FaceTime but I think I will definitely miss them the most."
Thank you, Megan.
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— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) April 3, 2021
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"Not the finish that we wanted, but I am not surprised that Oregon made the adjustment that they did. They came out a lot stronger than they did on Thursday. They're a good team and in a way, it's good for them to get the little beating that they did Thursday before the NCAA Tournament. I would say we didn't do so well with some of the things that we did on Thursday. I still think there is a lot of excitement and things to build on after this season."
On her takeaway from this season:
"Our goal going into this season was to stay healthy and safe first and foremost. We wanted to get in as many matches as we could and stay COVID free. This is a team that has 16 underclassmen and two upperclassmen. Our goal was to have good serve and serve receive. Today was actually our best passing match of the season. All I'm asking for from our girls is improvement. The fact that we are playing volleyball during a world pandemic is just a huge blessing. For us, this year counts. It counts for us because this was an amazing opportunity for this young team to compete. For everyone to get that extra year of eligibility back is amazing. It'll be super fun to have them all back and I think we have improved throughout the season. The other thing that I'm super proud of is that we played eight five-set matches. We won three of those eight, but they could have gone either way. I'm super proud of how we fight."
On the impact of the extra year of eligibility for next year's team
"It's huge. Not just for us but for the conference and the country. I stopped feeling bad for this group of kids a long time ago. Every former athlete would have killed for an extra year of play in college. It's an amazing opportunity for our kids to get that year back. It's huge and they know it and we don't take it for granted. We are very grateful that we got to compete this year."
On the team mindset after Thursday's win
"What's hard about our team is that it's really hard to read them at times. They are so young so sometimes they think, 'Okay we got this' and then they get a little loose. We have to remind them Oregon is not going to come back and do the same thing they did on Thursday and we have got to play harder and make adjustments which (Oregon) did and we didn't. They are getting everyone back next year too and they are going to still be a good team and go to the NCAA Tournament. That win was good for our mindset and to remind us that we belong. I'm glad we got that for Megan."
On Megan's impact to the program
"Megan was my first commit as a head coach, so it's like that whole chapter just closed. She is someone that works hard and puts her head down no matter what the conditions are. If she wants to get set more but doesn't, she never throws a fit; she just keeps working hard. Whatever she decides to do in the future, she's going to be good at because of what she's done here. I told her that one day she is going to look back and say, 'I started that,' because she was here when it all started. She is someone we knew we could count on at all times."
On Megan's role as a leader this season
"She was like a mom essentially to the whole team. They all leaned on her and talked to her. She would cook for the underclassmen as well and it was cute to see. At times it probably felt overwhelming because she was the only senior and usually that responsibility is shared. She definitely got an earful of problems but she handled everything really well."
On a shorter offseason
"I am looking forward to being back with them in the gym. It's weird that we just finished and we've been working since August with only three weeks off in December. It was sad leaving practice yesterday knowing that was our last full practice. There is something special about this group of kids. They want to be good, they are dialed in, and they're talented. We want them to take some time off and get rest. Marta and Iman are going back home to play for their national teams, which I'm a little worried about because they need rest too. But they will be back in June or July and start again with us in August."
One last time with this crew! After yesterday's practice I had all the feels ?? so proud of how much they've grown on and off the court ?? this is a special group of Sun Devils. #fun #futureisbright #strongertogether @SunDevilVB pic.twitter.com/tJ9gOfxiJK
— Sanja Tomasevic (@21Tomasevic) April 3, 2021
Set One: Oregon 25, ASU 20
The opening set saw the Sun Devils scoring first. However, the Ducks struck back and maintained the lead for a majority of the set. A massive kill by Beedie brought the Devils to six points and within one on the Ducks. Another kill by Roberta Rabelo shifted the score to 13-10 in favor of Oregon. Annika Larson followed that up with a service ace that brought the Devils within two. A hitting error by the Ducks caused their lead to shrink to 19-18. A final hitting error by the Sun Devils ended the set and sealed the Ducks victory by a score of 25-20.
Set Two: Oregon 25, ASU 15
The second set was all Oregon as they took an early lead and ran with it. A kill by Rabelo tied the game up at 2-2, but the Ducks went on a 3-0 run to magnify their lead. An Oregon kill further increased their lead to 8-3. A kill by Isanovic shifted the score to 11-6, with the Sun Devils still trailing. Another Isanovic kill brought the score to 13-7 in favor of the Ducks. Back-to-back kills by the Ducks brought the score to 22-14. Another kill by Oregon finalized the set with a score of 25-15.
Set Three: Oregon 25, ASU 17
Oregon scored early and was able to go on a 6-0 run to open the set. An ace by Isanovic brought the score to 6-2. The Ducks went on another short run to increase their lead 9-2. A kill by Beedie brought the score to 13-5 with the Ducks still in charge. The Sun Devils went on a 3-0 run, shifting the score to 17-13. Isanovic's tenth kill of the night resulted in a score of 23-17 with Oregon still in the lead. A final kill by Oregon ended the match and allowed them to complete the sweep by a score of 25-17.