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Ranked Matchups Result In Setbacks For Sand Devils

Mar 26, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. – It was another challenging day for Sun Devil Beach Volleyball as the team came up short against two ranked opponents, 5-0 to No. 11 Cal and 4-1 to No. 3 USC, in the first day of the Pac-12 South Invitational on Saturday at Bear Down Beach.

Arizona State (10-10, 2-3 Pac-12) took a point from defending champion USC on court four as sophomore Kate Fitzgerald and freshman Kylie Wickley teamed up for the upset on that court. ASU has faced four-straight opponents that are ranked in the top 15. The team is now 1-9 against ranked teams this season. For unranked teams, however, the Sand Devils are 9-1.

Game One: No. 11 Cal 5, Arizona State 0
The first dual of the day saw the Sun Devils try out a new lineup against the Bears (15-5, 1-1 Pac-12). Sophomore Malina Baker made her collegiate debut on court five, teaming up with freshman Kylie Wickley. Additionally, the two and three pairs swapped partners, with junior Lila Bordis going to court two with freshman Anya Pemberton. That put junior Sarah Waters and freshman Rylie Kael together on court three, and the pair saw the most success against Cal, winning their first set before ultimately falling in three.

Results (Order of Finish: 1, 5, 2*, 4, 3)
1) Mirkovic/Costa (CAL) def. Cierra Flood/Lexi Sweeney (ASU) 21-10, 21-12
2) Mann/Radell (CAL) def. Lila Bordis/Anya Pemberton (ASU) 21-14, 22-20
3) Buchner/Delgado (CAL) def. Rylie Kael/Sarah Waters (ASU) 24-26, 21-13, 15-13
4) McKeown/Sears (CAL) def. Taryn Ames/Kate Fitzgerald (ASU) 21-18, 21-17
5) Gessner/Martin (CAL) def. Malina Baker/Kylie Wickley (ASU) 21-17, 21-14

Game Two: No. 3 USC 4, Arizona State 1
The No. 4 pair of sophomore Kate Fitzgerald and Wickley earned the lone point for the Sand Devils against the Trojans (14-1, 3-1 Pac-12), winning their match in three sets. This was their first time playing together this season. Additionally on court three, Kael and Waters went to three sets for a second time in a row, again coming up short. For Waters, it was her third dual in a row going to three.

Results (Order of Finish: 2, 1, 5*, 3, 4)
1) Maple/Scoles (USC) def. Cierra Flood/Lexi Sweeney (ASU) 21-10, 21-14
2) Harward/Kraft (USC) def. Lila Bordis/Anya Pemberton (ASU) 21-11, 21-18
3) Schafer/Slater (USC) def. Rylie Kael/Sarah Waters (ASU) 21-11, 19-21, 15-13
4) Kate Fitzgerald/Kylie Wickley (ASU) def. A. Nourse/N. Nourse (USC) 13-21, 22-20, 15-11
5) Ebertin/Villapando (USC) def. Jensen Kaelin/Lauren Weintraub (ASU) 21-14, 21-19

Up Next
The Sun Devils will wrap up the Pac-12 South Tournament on Sunday with two more ranked matchups. ASU will take on No. 8 Stanford, a rematch from Thursday, before facing the No. 17 Arizona Wildcats for the second half of the Territorial Cup point. The duals are at 2:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. MST and will be on the Pac-12 Network.