Levinska Powers Sun Devils To Four In A Row
TEMPE, Ariz. - Led by a double-double from Marta Levinska, Sun Devil Volleyball opened the Sparky Volleyball Invitational with a 3-1 win (25-20, 25-15, 24-26, 25-20) over Pacific on Thursday.
- Arizona State (7-3) is now on a four-match winning streak after winning in four sets over Pacific (2-7). The Sun Devils out-hit the Tigers .231 to .047, the lowest mark ASU has held an opponent this season.
- Sophomore pin hitter Marta Levinska had her fourth double-double of the season, eighth of her career, with 15 kills and 11 digs. She has reached double figures in kills in eight of the 10 matches so far this season. She also had a career-high six aces for the Sun Devils tonight.
- Junior libero Annika Larson had her second match of the season, sixth of her career, collecting 20 or more digs, notching 21 in the victory.
- Another Sun Devil reaching double figures in kills was Iman Isanovic with 13. She has notched 10+ kills in every match this season and 11 in a row dating back to the spring.
- Setters Ella Snyder and Shannon Shield had 27 and 17 assists, respectively. Shields added eight digs while Snyder had seven.
- In the middle, sophomore Claire Jeter had six kills and a team-high five blocks, two of which were solo blocks.
Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"I am happy we got a win but thought there were two different teams playing in the first half versus the second half. When you have a team like ours who is still full of young players, it's always good to come out on this end and have Pacific put some pressure on us."
On momentum going into Saturday
"We're going to have to be a lot better today than we were on Saturday. UNLV is a really good team, I am predicting they will be the champions of their conference again. They have lots of experienced players, so we are going to have to be a lot better than we were today. The cool thing is we can be better and we'll see who shows up. I know this team wants to be good and they're going to try hard to show up on Saturday."
On the inexperience of the team
"Trust me, as a coach you want to fast forward through these moments and you're just like I know exactly what this is going to look like next year or even by the end of this year. But unfortunately, we can't fast forward through that experience and some things come with time. We have a lot of talent right now, more than we've ever had before. You have to kind of gel them together and help them make the most of it right now at this moment."
On setting the tempo
"Before we got on the floor tonight, I said it's always hard to play against teams like this. When you play against an experienced team, they set the tempo of the game and they know what their tempo is and it doesn't matter who they play, they do their own thing. When you have a team like ours who's younger and has girls who haven't played much at this level, it's normal to have ebbs and flows. So when you pull down and play at that level, that's not something we're used to. So, we're better than them in my opinion, we just can't let them dictate the tempo of the game and we have to be the one setting the pace. That's something we really needed to work on and unfortunately in the third set, Pacific set the pace."
Sophomore Pin Hitter Marta Levinska
On dropping the third set but taking the fourth set
"In the first two sets, we got a little too comfortable and it really showed in the third. We also showed them that we can come back. That was a lesson to never let our opponents get in the game and play their game."
On mentality during the match
"The first two sets were good but whenever you play at this level, you can't let your gas pedal off the gas. You have to go and show your game every time. We're pretty familiar with pressure when it's tied, so we at the end really locked ourselves in and pushed through the pressure. It's kind of like a responsibility. Some of my teammates were struggling, so I had to execute."
Set One: Arizona State 25, Pacific 20
ASU opened with a block assist from Isanovic and Jeter, but Pacific went on a quick 3-0 run to lead early. ASU tied the set at three apiece but Pacific went on another 3-0 run to lead, 6-3, until a kill by Levinska cut the lead to two. The Sun Devils went on an 8-1 run made up of six errors by the Tigers to lead by four, 18-14. Kills by Levinska and Isanovic gave them a five-point lead, 23-18. The Sun Devils took the set 25-20 on a kill from Isanovic, who had five kills in the first set.
Set Two: Arizona State 25, Pacific 15
The Sun Devils came out hot to open the second set and scored eight of the first nine points. The Tigers cut their deficit down to five, but a service error by Pacific and an ace by ASU made it a seven-point lead, 14-7. Pacific went on a quick 3-0 run to be within four of ASU, but a Levinska kill stopped the run. From then on it was all Sun Devils as they went on a 6-0 run to take the set, 25-15. Levinska had five aces in this set alone, including two in the final run.
S2 | WHAT A HAMMER FROM MARTA ??
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) September 17, 2021
Set Three: Pacific 26, Arizona State 24
The Tigers opened with an early 8-3 lead, but a kill by Isanovic finally stopped the run for Pacific. ASU called its first timeout of the set down 10-4, but errors by the Sun Devils kept the Tigers ahead. With hitting errors by Pacific along with a kill by Levinska, ASU cut its deficit to five. However, Pacific had three-straight points to regain its eight point lead, 16-8. The Sun Devils scored seven of the next nine points to cut its deficit to three, 18-15. ASU crafted five-straight points to tie the set, but Pacific regained its lead with back-to-back kills. The set went to extra points, and the Tigers took the set, 26-24, on back-to-back tools off the block.
Set Four: Arizona State 25, Pacific 20
ASU had its seventh ace of the match to take an early lead in the fourth set. Neither team was able to create separation until an ace and kill by Levinska gave ASU a 12-9 lead. The Tigers had three straight to cut a five-point deficit to one, 14-13, leading to a Sun Devil timeout. Scoring three of the next four points, the Tigers took an 18-17 lead. ASU regained its lead on an error by the Tigers. Back-to-back kills by freshman Andi Kreiling gave ASU a three-point lead, 22-19. A kill by Levinska sealed the match and set for the Sun Devils, 25-20.
S4 | That's ace number *checks notes* 3,852 for Marta Levinska tonight!
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) September 17, 2021
Arizona State will play its next match of the Sparky Volleyball Invitational on Saturday at 5 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena, playing UNLV on the ASU Live Stream. UNLV will play Pacific on Friday at 1 p.m. MST in the second match of the invitational.