Sun Devil Volleyball Classic: Day One
TEMPE, Ariz. - Led by a blistering offense, Sun Devil Volleyball opened the season with two-straight sweeps, beating Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and Cal Poly in the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic on Friday in Desert Financial Arena.
For a match-by-match breakdown, scroll down.
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"I am super proud of the way we played tonight, I think the girls did a great job offensively in particular. We have some room to make improvements in defense and blocking, but offensively we did a great job all around. It's something to look forward to and to build onto tomorrow."
On recruiting Claire Jeter
"It was huge for us, I saw Claire in the transfer portal, and I recruited her when she was in high school. She committed to Texas A&M pretty early. As soon as I saw her name in the transfer portal, I texted her and we talked the next morning and she said she didn't consider any other options, so I was stoked. She didn't even come and visit so she was sold as soon as we started talking. It's a huge get for us, to know that we have her for the next four years. She's not only a great player but also a great culture kid. She's fiery, she has a good vibe for the team, she never makes it about her and is a really good teammate. I think adding Claire opens up Marta and Iman so much more, it makes their lives easier."
On playing Louisville tomorrow
"We want to keep on building and getting better, to keep preparing for what's to come each game and take it one game at a time. Louisville is a really good team, the last two years they made the Elite Eight. They have a lot of good players on that team, so we're going to try to hit good serves and try to put them out of system to make it easier for us. I think our offense will cause some trouble for their defense as well."
On Jamye Cox's veteran leadership
"She was steady, she wasn't having the best match, but she doesn't panic. She did okay defensively and receiving, but she ducked some important balls for us in the second set. I think she has been practicing better than she played today, but she's consistent and I think she brings that experience to keep them calm which is what we need."
On the outlook for the rest of the season
"I don't think this is even close to what we'll be in a few weeks, this isn't even the beginning, and this isn't what we'll be looking like toward the end of the season. This team is going to be good and we're going to have most of these players for the next two to three years. It's really exciting to keep on growing and building as a team. A big thing we've talked about this year is that together we will do whatever it takes to for each other, and we're doing it, it's fun and it seems like they're having a blast out there. Andi Kreiling was recruited as a middle, but she's been an outside hitter for a week in college, so she's another kid who brings great culture to the program. They make it fun, they're enjoying volleyball and they care about volleyball.
On spreading the offense
"I think our offense is so diverse right now. Ella has a chance to set more balls to more people. If you look at it, Claire had 18 attempts, Andi had 21, Marta 31 and Iman 34 attempts. The offense is more spread out and you can already see it. There's so many options, sometimes you don't know where to go."
Sophomore Setter Ella Snyder
On added targets on offense
"It makes my life a lot easier (to have options). These hitters are amazing. They know what to do and they have a plan in action, so having hitters lined up is amazing and I love getting to set all of them and just continuing to grow. In the gym, everyone just wants to get one percent better, so it's so rad to see everyone going."
On having fans back
"It's like a whole different ball game, but it brings a lot of energy and it helps us continue the energy the bench is bringing. We want everyone there. It's exciting."
On this year's team
"I think it's important having the non-conference and playing these games and getting that experience, because we're so young. Compared to our team last year, we're different people now. We had a couple months off and then we had a gnarly preseason. We were all locked in and now we get to showcase what we have and what we've become. However well we did last year, it's going to be different this year. We're going to keep going up and put a challenge on every single team. I'm just excited to see what we have for the future."
Sophomore Middle Blocker Claire Jeter
On her first games as a Sun Devil
"It feels great. The team is really open and all our personalities are really fun to play with. I think that they trust me and it's rare to get it that fast, so it's really enjoyed playing with them."
On playing first games at home
"The preseason was really fun and the scrimmage got us used to having some people in the crowd, but I think a home opener is just something that's different and a different vibe for everyone. I think it really gets us going and I think that we perform really well when we see the crowd out there. I know we'll have more fans. I think it was really fun to perform well here."
Match One: Arizona State 3, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 0
In the opening match of the season, the Sun Devils came out with a bang. Behind a program-best .461 hitting percentage, Arizona State swept Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in dominant fashion, winning by eight points or more in each set.
We hit .476 in the match, the best percentage in a single match* in ASU history!! ??
*rally-scoring era pic.twitter.com/58XbBydXZG
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) August 27, 2021
- The team hit .476 in the first win of the season, the highest hitting percentage in program history in the rally-scoring era. It surpassed the former top mark, which was a .461 against Creighton in 2002. Arizona State held Corpus Christi to a .122 clip.
- Three Sun Devils reached double figures in kills: Marta Levinska (12), Iman Isanovic (11) and Claire Jeter (10).
- In her first match as a Sun Devil, sophomore middle blocker Claire Jeter made an impression. She scored the first point of the match and went on to hit a team-best .625 with 10 kills along with six blocks, also a team high. Her kill and block numbers are career highs, surpassing her previous bests she earned at Texas A&M.
- Sophomore setter Ella Snyder paced the offense with 34 assists to go with her 12 digs, a team high, to earn her eighth career double-double. She also matched her personal best in blocks with two. She surpassed 500 career assists in the match.
- Sophomore outside hitter Marta Levinska hit a career-high .545 in the win, earning 12 kills on 22 attempts with no errors.
- The blocking was strong to start the season as ASU earned 11 blocks. On the other side of the net, TAMUCC had zero blocks.
- Four Sun Devils made their debut in the Maroon and Gold. Jeter, Beatrice Badini and Andi Kreiling started the match, with Jamye Cox coming off the bench for Kreiling in the backrow. This was the collegiate debut for Badini and Kreiling.
- This was the first non-conference opponent since 2019 for the Sun Devils as they only faced Pac-12 opponents in the 2020-21 season.
Set One: Arizona State 25, TAMUCC 17
The Sun Devils came out hot, scoring three straight in the opening set against the Islanders. Jeter had three early kills in the set to get the team going. With ASU leading by five midway through the first set, Corpus Christi called its first timeout and ASU scored twice more after the timeout to stretch the lead to seven at 14-7. An ace by the Islanders would bring them within three, but back-to-back kills by Isanovic brought the lead back to six, 19-13. A kill by another newcomer middle blocker Beatrice Badini sealed the deal for ASU in set one. The Sun Devils outhit the Islanders .484 to .114 in the opening frame.
Set Two: Arizona State 25, TAMUCC 13
A much tighter beginning to the second set saw both teams battle back and forth. An ace by grad transfer Jamye Cox pushed the Sun Devils to its highest lead of the set to that point at 12-8, but the Islanders kept the score close. A net fault and an attack error by TAMUCC pushed ASU's lead to six, 16-10. A block assist by Jeter and Levinska extended ASU's lead to 23-13. The Sun Devils went on a 7-0 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
S2 | Heck of a rally from the Sun Devils! ??
Timeout Islanders, we are up 20-13! pic.twitter.com/U0CDoAdI5K
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) August 27, 2021
Set Three: Arizona State 25, TAMUCC 11
In the most dominant set of the match, the Sun Devils completed the sweep over the Islanders and picked up their first win of the season. ASU and Corpus Christi were tied early in the set, but errors by the Islanders coupled with an ace by Isanovic pushed ASU's lead to seven at 13-6. The Islanders called their first timeout of the set down by 11 after the Sun Devils went on a 5-0 run. From the timeout and on, ASU continued to increase their lead and won the match on a tip from Isanovic.
Match Two: Arizona State 3, Cal Poly 0
The Sun Devils battled to 2-0 in the win over the Mustangs. Despite the sweep, the sets were competitive with 11 total lead changes and 30 ties.
- The Sun Devils improved to 2-0 with another sweep and another strong offensive performance, hitting .307 in the match.
- The same three Sun Devils who reached double figures in the first match did it again in this win: Iman Isanovic, Marta Levinska and Claire Jeter all had 11 kills each.
- Jeter shone again, hitting .556 and getting a career-high 11 kills. She also led the team in blocking with four total.
- Isanovic notched her first double-double of the season and seventh of her career with 11 kills and 11 digs.
- Annika Larson had a match-high 16 digs in the winning effort, her second match in a row reaching double figures in digs.
- Sophomore setter Ella Snyder had another solid outing, dishing out 38 assists.
Set One: Arizona State 25, Cal Poly 22
The Sun Devils were able to find momentum after a back-and-forth battle early in set one. Jeter had three kills and a block during a 6-0 run that extended the Sun Devils' lead to 11-6. Cal Poly looked to cut into Arizona State's lead and called a timeout down by five. However, ASU remained strong and secured a 1-0 lead in the match after a kill by Levinska sealed it. In the opening frame, Jeter had a .833 attack percentage and five kills.
Set Two: Arizona State 25, Cal Poly 19
The Sun Devils and Mustangs kept things close throughout the second set. A kill by middle blocker Beatrice Badini started a 3-0 run for the Sun Devils that would push their lead to 19-16. Cal Poly called a timeout late in the set after a block by Jeter put ASU up by five, which was the largest lead up to that point. A kill by Isanovic sealed the deal and gave ASU a 2-0 lead in the match.
Set Three: Arizona State 25, Cal Poly 22
A late push by the Sun Devils allowed them to come out victorious in the final frame. A kill by Isanovic allowed ASU to tie things up at 13-13 and they continued to gain momentum after that. The Sun Devils went on a 5-0 run, started by a kill from Jeter, to extend their lead to 24-20. ASU called a timeout after Cal Poly scored back-to-back points. Following the timeout, the Mustangs had a service error which gave the Sun Devils the winning point.
Arizona State will host No. 13 Louisville on Saturday at 4 p.m. MST in Desert Financial Arena to wrap up the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic. It will be on the ASU Live Stream with live scoring available as well. The match will be open to the public and tickets are available here.