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Blocking Powers Sun Devils To Win At No. 18 Utah

Oct 22, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY - With the highest block total since 2016, Sun Devil Volleyball took down a second-straight ranked team, this time beating No. 18 Utah for the first time since 2015 in four sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-27, 28-26) on the road on Friday. 

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (10-10, 3-5 Pac-12) beat Utah (12-6, 5-4 Pac-12) for the first time under head coach Sanja Tomasevic. 
  • The Sun Devils have back-to-back ranked wins for the first time since 2015 when ASU beat No. 6 Illinois and No. 14 Arizona in consecutive matches.
  • The team earned 17 total blocks, the most since 2016 against Portland State. The previous high this season was 11.
  • Junior outside hitter Iman Isanovic led all players with 24 kills, her fifth time this season notching 20 or more kills in a match. She also tied her career high in blocks with six and earned a new career high in solo blocks with four. Additionally, she had 12 digs for her eighth double-double of the fall.
  • Leading the blocking group was sophomore middle blocker Claire Jeter with a career-high nine blocks. She also had nine kills with no errors for a .450 clip.
  • Three Sun Devils reached double figures in kills. After Isanovic, freshman outside hitter Geli Cyr had 12 to match her personal best, as well as nine digs and three blocks, another career high. Sophomore pin hitter Marta Levinska had 10 kills and 12 digs for her eighth double-double of the season.
  • Sophomore setter Ella Snyder continues her high level of play, earning her ninth double-double of the season with 45 assists and 15 digs. This was her seventh match earning 40 or more assists this fall.
  • On defense, four earned double-digit digs. In addition to Isanovic, Levinska and Snyder's dig totals, junior libero Annika Larson earned 13 digs, her 14th time this season reaching double figures in that category.

Arizona State Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic
"I just love how this team has been competing and how much fun we are having as a group! I wish everyone had this much fun doing their job as I have every day coaching this team. I loved how Iman and Claire played today. Our blocking was amazing and it made it so much easier to dig and convert. We get to enjoy this tonight then get ready for a really good Colorado team."

Set One: Arizona State 25, Utah 23
Capped off by an ace from Larson, ASU jumped out to an early 5-2 lead. A 3-1 run from the Sun Devils that saw kills from Levinska and Cyr made it a 15-11 lead heading into the media timeout. ASU scored three-straight points after a couple of errors from Utah and an ace from Cyr, making it 18-13. Another 3-0 run pushed the lead to 22-15, forcing the Utes' second timeout. The home team went on a big 8-1 run, including four in a row, to tie it at 23-23. The Sun Devils were able to persevere, kills from Cyr and Jeter getting their team to the 25-23 final. ASU held Utah to a .095 hitting percentage in the first frame.

Set Two: Arizona State 25, Utah 23
The two teams kept it close to start the second set, neither able to create much separation. Isanovic caught fire and scored every point of a 7-1 run with three kills, two aces and two blocks from the junior outside hitter. That push made it a 12-7 lead. The Utes slowly climbed back in it, eventually scoring four in a row to tie it at 14-14. From there, it was back and forth, the teams tying five times until ASU scored two in a row with a kill by Jeter and a block to go up 22-20. Isanovic's 10th kill of the day got her team to set point, 24-21, but Utah battled back to get within one, 24-23, forcing an ASU timeout. Isanovic closed out the set with her 11th kill.

Set Three: Utah 27, Arizona State 25
The start of the third was close for the first part of the set until Utah scored three in a row to go up 13-9. Some miscommunication miscues for the Sun Devils gave the Utes a 17-14 lead, forcing a timeout from ASU. Three-straight points from Arizona State tied it at 17-17, a run that saw two kills from Isanovic. The teams kept it close from there until the Utes went up by two, 23-21. A couple errors from the home team tied it up at 23-23, but Utah got to set point first. ASU scored two in a row off of kills from Cyr and Isanovic to get to match point, 25-24. However, the Utes scored three in a row to force a fourth set, winning 27-25.

Set Four: Arizona State 28, Utah 26
In the fourth frame, ASU started off strong, jumping out to a 5-1 lead behind two kills from Levinska and two blocks. The Utes got within one, down 11-10, but the Sun Devils scored three in a row with back-to-back blocks to extend the lead to 14-10. A 3-0 run from Utah cut the lead to one before a sneaky kill from Snyder made it 18-16. After another three-straight points for the Utes, they took the 19-18 lead. The teams tied it up five times up to 23-23 before Utah called a timeout. ASU missed one opportunity at match point when it was 24-23, but the team held off Utah's set point to tie it up at 26-26 after a kill by Cyr. Appropriately, a block from the Sun Devils was what clinched the win at 28-26.


Up Next
The road trip continues at Colorado on Sunday at 11 a.m. MST. It will be live on the Colorado Live Stream.