Skip to main content

Win And Advance! Sand Devils Beat Dawgs And Cats At Pac-12s

Apr 28, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. – With the season on the line, No. 6-seed Sun Devil Beach Volleyball came through with two wins on Thursday to stay alive in the 2022 Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship, sweeping No. 7-seed Washington before upsetting No. 5-seed Arizona 3-1

Arizona State (17-14) keeps its championship hopes alive with the two dual wins today in the contenders bracket. ASU will next face No. 4-seed Cal at 9 a.m. MST on Friday, with all duals on the Pac-12 Network. This is just the second time in program history that ASU has won two duals at Pac-12s, the other in 2019.

The No. 3 duo of freshman Rylie Kael and junior Sarah Waters was the only team to win twice today. They clinched both duals, winning in straight sets against the Huskies and in three sets against the Wildcats, who are ranked No. 17 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.

Head Coach Brad Keenan

"Super proud of the way the team played today. They all played confident and aggressive in the tightest of situations, and that is something we have been stressing to them the whole year. They are finally in the mindset where they expect to win these matches. I'm excited to see what they can do tomorrow"

Fifth-Year Senior Cierra Flood
On general thoughts after the win:

"Really exciting, especially to get a big win like that at Pac-12s. I feel like it amplifies the win because it's do or die; you have to win in advance. It was definitely a highlight for my college career."

On what stood out and how they found success:
"I was just trying to soak in every moment because these are my last matches potentially, so I was really just trying to enjoy it. I would say a stand-out moment was the end of the second set when I dove and the ball trickled over on a free ball to get the point. I think after that I was like, okay as long as I keep really trying to grind it out it should go our way."

On facing Cal tomorrow:
"I think similar to today, we just have to go in with confidence. We have to go in with our gritty mentality. I thought everybody today played amazing and we are so scrappy. If we can stick with them and grind it out then things could go our way."

Freshman Rylie Kael
On general thoughts after huge win:

"That was really exciting. I think especially because me and Sarah are used to third sets. They haven't always gone our way, so I feel like winning that was exciting, especially when it mattered. It was a relief. I wanted to make a memorable freshman year, I didn't want to go out losing to UofA."

Game One: Arizona State 3, Washington 0
The Sun Devils stayed in the tournament with a win over the Huskies (12-20). Each of the three points were straight-set wins. It came down to court three where Kael and Waters faced a set point for UW in the second set but battled back to win in extra points and clinch the dual. ASU improved to 2-2 against Washington in the Pac-12 Championship all-time.

Results (Order of Finish: 5, 2, 3*)
1) Cierra Flood/Lexi Sweeney (ASU) vs. Dahl/Robinson (UW) 21-18, 16-21, 0-0 DNF
2) Lila Bordis/Anya Pemberton (ASU) def. Griffin/Wilmes (UW) 21-13, 21-17
3) Rylie Kael/Sarah Waters (ASU) def. Shook/Yerex (UW) 21-13, 23-21
4) Kate Fitzgerald/Kylie Wickley (ASU) vs. Calle/Petersen (UW) 21-15, 21-18, 0-4 DNF
5) Taryn Ames/Maddy Salazar (ASU) def. Mikkelsen/Savoldelli (UW) 21-12, 21-11

Game Two: Arizona State 3, Arizona 1
With the win over Arizona (19-12), ASU won two of the three rivalry matchups this season. It was a tight contest across the majority of the courts, with three matches going to a third set. The Sand Devils won just two of the first sets, but the No. 1 and 3 pairs rallied to force third sets and ultimately win. Kate Fitzgerald and Kylie Wickley on court four won their match in straight sets to get the team on the board. After the Cats tied it up, Cierra Flood and Lexi Sweeney won a gritty three-set match on the top court to take the 2-1 lead, setting up the threes to clinch in their third set.

Results (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 1, 3*)
1) Cierra Flood/Lexi Sweeney (ASU) def. Rennie/Parkhurst (ARIZ) 19-21, 21-19, 15-12
2) Blacker/Kaiser (ARIZ) def. Lila Bordis/Anya Pemberton (ASU) 21-12, 21-18
3) Rylie Kael/Sarah Water (ASU) def. Gedikoglu/Safar (ARIZ) 21-23, 21-18, 15-9
4) Kate Fitzgerald/Kylie Wickley (ASU) def. Russell/Parker (ARIZ) 21-13, 22-20
5) Taryn Ames/Maddy Salazar (ASU) vs. Kost/Shannon (ARIZ) 21-19, 18-21, 11-11 DNF