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Levinska Bolsters Sun Devils To Opening-Day Wins

Aug 26, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Volleyball opened its season on Friday with a sweep over CSU Bakersfield and a reverse sweep against Northern Iowa at the Webb-Burbridge Classic in Desert Financial Arena, powered by two double-digit kill performances from junior Marta Levinska.

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (2-0) took down CSU Bakersfield (0-2) to start the season, followed by a five-set battle against UNI (0-2).
  • The Sun Devils put on the pressure at the service line, earning 16 total aces today, led by three from both Iman Isanovic and Ella Snyder. 
  • Junior Marta Levinska notched double-digit kills in both matches today to lead the Sun Devils, earning 12 against Bakersfield and a career-high 21 against UNI. Dating back to last season, she has collected 10-plus kills in five matches in a row.
  • The block came to life in the second match as ASU had 14 total. Junior Claire Jeter led that effort, tying her career high against the Panthers with nine.
  • The setting duties were split between senior Shannon Shields and junior Ella Snyder in both matches. The two were neck in neck as Shields led with 46 total assists, while Snyder added 39 total assists.
  • First double-double of the season by any Sun Devil went to senior outside hitter Iman Isanovic. Against the Panthers, she had 12 kills and a career-high 16 digs.
  • Sophomore libero Jaden Ravnsborg got the start at libero in her first outing as a Sun Devil against CSUB, as well as against UNI. She had 12 digs in the first match and 14 in the second, both surpassing her previous best of five earned at her last school.
  • Another sophomore in Geli Cyr had a great season opener. She had 12 kills and a blistering .611 hitting percentage, a career best for her. In the match against the Panthers, she reached 12 kills again, adding nine digs and two aces as well.
  • Freshman pin hitter Leah Miller made her collegiate debut in the first match against CSUB. She totaled four kills as well as a block. She surpassed that number against UNI with seven kills and two blocks.
  • Sophomore Andi Kreiling started as a middle blocker for the first time in her career today. She made her presence known right away, getting seven total blocks between the two matches.


Game One: Arizona State 3, CSU Bakersfield 0
The first match featured the Sun Devils' commanding sweep over CSU Bakersfield. The win saw a .408 team hitting percentage with contributions from Geli Cyr and Marta Levinska, both earning 12 kills. Shannon Shields led the team in assists with 19 while libero Jaden Ravnsborg notched 12 digs in her first start. Imposing early, ASU achieved the largest lead in the first set, at 14. 

Set One: ASU 25, CSUB 12
The Sun Devils got hot quickly, getting four straight towards the beginning. ASU's large lead forced CSU Bakersfield to call a timeout, but the intervention looked to help ASU, as they mounted three more on with two kills and an attacking error. One of those kills came from Geli Cyr, who had a perfect hitting percentage in the set with five kills. The Sun Devils went on a pair of 3-0 runs before CSU Bakersfield were cornered into calling for a second timeout. ASU pushed to the largest lead they would see in the set, with 14, as the score shot to 24-10. Cyr's closing kill would cap off the dominant first frame that saw Arizona State hit .500 in the 25-12 win.
Set Two: ASU 25, CSUB 14
After an efficient first set, the Sun Devils carried their momentum to the next frame. Tied at three, ASU went on a 6-0 run that was sandwiched in between a CSU Bakersfield timeout, making the game 9-3. Bakersfield would try to bite away at the lead, scattering one and two points in between the Sun Devils' kills by Isanovic, Cyr, but the lead proved insurmountable. A final late spark was provided by a kill from Roberta Rabelo, who subbed in late in the set. A wild ball from CSUB put a stake in the set, 25-14.

Set Three: ASU 25, CSUB 21
The Sun Devils were met with a more challenging set in the third. The score stayed within one, or two, with the two trading the lead to start the set. A trio of kills from Cyr and a pair from Isanovic kept them ahead. Levinska's kill tied the game at 10, which was the turning point in the set. Levinska would get three of ASU's next four points off of kills to get a lead of 14-11, which was the biggest lead of the set, up to that point. The Sun Devils continued to stack up kills from Claire Jeter and company, as well as a duo of service aces to get the largest lead of the set at seven. One point away from concluding the sweep, Bakersfield had 17 on the board. While ASU looked to wrap the game up, the Roadrunners scored four-consecutive points. With a surge of energy from the bench, Levinska floated a shallow ball over the net to seal the sweep and the game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Game Two: Arizona State 3, Northern Iowa 2
In a marathon battle that squeaked under three-hours, ASU picked up the fifth reverse sweep of the Tomasevic era, coming up triumphant in a five-set thriller against the Northern Iowa Panthers. The Sun Devils were bolstered by a career-high 21 kills from Marta Levinska, the last of which sealed the victory. Both sides played lockstep, with the largest lead of the match being five.

Set One: UNI 27, ASU 25
The squads traded blows early, with ASU pulling ahead 16-12 in the opener, forcing a UNI timeout. The Panthers closed the gap but the Sun Devils went up 23-22 after a 37-second rally and subsequently earned two set points at 24-22. The Panthers fended off both, eventually securing the opening set on a 5-1 run. ASU was paced on offense by four kills apiece from Cyr and Levinska, the latter of whom led all players in the first set with two blocks and Shields had an ASU-high seven assists.

Set Two: UNI 25, ASU 23
The second set was played tighter than the first as neither side earned more than a three-point advantage during the stanza. ASU was able to take the lead on a 5-0 run at 20-17, prompting two Panther timeouts in the run. From a 23-21 ASU edge, UNI rattled off four-straight points, including a long-range kill that found its way into the back row at 23-all, to take the frame.

Set Three: ASU 26, UNI 24
The match played to its tense rhythm as neither side could secure a significant advantage. UNI's four-point edge at 22-18 was its largest of the frame, but ASU rattled off three-straight points, prompting a timeout. The Sun Devils were able to close the gap at 23-all and then saved a match point at 24-23 on a kill by Levinska. ASU rattled off back-to-back service aces by Jeter to win the set. Levinska finished the set tied for a game-high with 13 kills and hit .800 in the frame. On the other hand, ASU's defense stepped up; the squad picked up eight blocks, two from Kreiling, Levinska, Isanovic and Miller.

Set Four: ASU 25, UNI 23
Playing tight through the early stages of the fourth, ASU went on a 4-0 run to make it 8-5 and force a Panther timeout. UNI refused to go away, going on a four-point run of their own to make it 18-17 and force ASU to burn a timeout. Back-to-back errors from UNI gave ASU a 21-20 lead and the Panthers used a timeout. At 23-all, the Sun Devils picked up a massive ace from Levinska, followed by a Panther error to force a fifth set. Isanovic secured a double-double early in the stanza, ending the fourth with 12 kills and 16 digs. 

Set Five: ASU 15, UNI 10
ASU opened the fifth set on a 7-2 scoring stretch, which featured six UNI errors and a kill from Cyr. A loud dual-block from Jeter and Levinska pushed the edge to 8-2. The defense only got louder after a thunderous block from Levinska pushed the lead to 10-3. Levinska's career-high 21st kill sealed the comeback win for the Sun Devils.

Up Next
Arizona State will conclude the Webb-Burbridge Classic tomorrow afternoon with a 3 p.m. MST contest against Toledo. The game will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network.