Arizona volleyball falls in close sets to rival ASU
ASU swept the match Tuesday against the Wildcats to start off Pac-12 play.
The No. 16 Sun Devils won the first set 25-22, 25 -21 in the second set and 26-24 in the third set. ASU has still not lost a single set in the 12 matches it has won.
“I think we put ourselves in position to win every set,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “It was obvious that we just didn’t execute well at the end of every single set, we put ourselves in position to win. We served the ball out of bounds in game one, I felt that both teams are pretty evenly matched, it was going to come down to who executed best.”
Rubio said the team had chances but just couldn’t get it done.
Arizona senior libero Candace Nicholson had a team high 14 digs. Junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon had an unusually low hitting percentage at just 0.22. She also had eight digs and three total blocks.
“I think that Madi was trying to score, she had 14 kills, but she just made way too many errors,” Rubio said.
ASU freshman setter Bianca Arellano dominated with 36 assists, 13 digs and three total blocks. Freshman outside hitter BreElle Bailey and sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner combined for 24 kills.
In the first set ASU started out with a 3-0 lead, but Arizona bounced back and took a 12-11 lead. The set was tied at 18 then the Sun Devils took a 20-18 lead and finished with a 25-22 win.
In the second set the Sun Devils again started out winning 3-0, but Arizona came out and took a 10-8 lead after a 5-0 run. The score was tied at 17, but ASU scored three straight points to take a 20-17 lead and went on to win the set 25-21. The Wildcats only shot .091 for the set.
In the third set Arizona started with a 14-8 lead, at which point ASU head coach Jason Watson took a timeout. The Sun Devils responded and tied the match at 17. The Wildcats found themselves up 24-22, but a 4-0 run to end the set gave ASU the sweep.
The Wildcats play their next match Friday night against Cal in Berkeley.
“Like anything else, we got to get back, we got to get ready for Cal on Friday, so it’s not like we have much time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Rubio said.
— Follow Derek Evans @DerekEvans20