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2022 Sand Devils Season Preview

Feb 15, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Beach Volleyball is set to begin the 2022 season at the end of the month, ready to make some noise. With fifteen returners and six newcomers, the Sand Devils will break in the new facility on campus and continue to be a program on the rise. 

2022 Season Outlook
The schedule is packed with competitive teams to strengthen the Sand Devils. Six teams on the schedule made it to the 2021 NCAA Championships: Cal Poly, Loyola Marymount, Stanford, TCU, UCLA and USC. The Bruins and Trojans advanced to the championship match and USC won the title. Ten opponents are ranked in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, including USC at No. 1 and UCLA at No. 2.

The Sand Devils will have three days this season with competitions on their home courts: March 8, March 24 and April 15. The new Sun Devil Beach Volleyball Facility will see big competition, with Arizona and Stanford coming to Tempe to play.

Last Season
The Sand Devils ended the season with a 10-12 record, collecting four sweeps. In head coach Brad Keenan's fifth season at the helm, the Sand Devils went 4-7 in the Pac-12, earning wins over Washington, Utah and No. 11 Cal. They pushed forward into the Pac-12 Championships where they picked up a win over Washington before bowing out. 

Record Breakers
Entering into her fifth year, Cierra Flood returns as a graduate to the roster. The 2021 season saw the Phoenix native get to 51 career wins, good for sixth in the record books. 

Other Sand Devils are making their way up in the all-time wins list as well. Senior Lauren Weintraub has 26 career wins, good for No. 13. Junior Lexi Sweeney has 17 to her name and is tied for No. 19.

The 2022 roster sees fifteen athletes returning with the combo of Flood and junior Sarah Waters among them. The two teamed up in the No. 3 spot for nearly all duals in the 2021 season. They had a record of 12-9 for the season, capturing wins over three pairs from ranked teams. 

Half of the No. 1 duo will return with Lexi Sweeney as she enters her junior season. Teamed with former Sun Devil student-athlete Katelyn Carballo, the two clinched a record of 11-11 for the 2021 season. Taryn Ames also returns after recording an 11-9 record playing at the No. 5 spot with Kate Fitzgerald, Weintraub, or Maddy Salazar, all who are returning this season. 

Six freshmen join the 2022 roster, all of whom have worked their way to success in the sport. The Sand Devils have the dual winners of the p1440 Southwest Championship both on the roster in that of Anya Pemberton and Rylie Kael. 

Success does not run short in the talent coming onto the roster with Katie Blomberg fresh off a win at the 2021 TAPPS Beach State Championship and Kylie Wickley with a Gold Metal at the 2021 AVP Arizona State Championships (AVP 4 Star 18U). 

Up Next
Sun Devil nation will get a chance to preview the team at the Maroon and Gold scrimmage on the evening of February 21 at the new Sun Devil Beach Volleyball Facility. The regular season will kick off the season in a tournament at Grand Canyon University on February 25-26.