Arizona volleyball beat ASU in straight sets in not only their last game of the regular season but also on senior night. The senior players included middle blocker Zyonna Fellows, middle blocker Merle Weidt and defensive specialist Malina Kalei Ua.
Weidt was filled with emotions as she made her way onto the court between her parents knowing this would be her final game in a Wildcats uniform.
The Wildcats cruised to take the first two sets 25-11 and 25-16. The third and final set got a little chippy as the Cats were able to pull it out 27-25.
Set 1 (25-11)
The Wildcats set the tempo early in the first set with back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Jaelyn Hodge and freshman opposite Puk Stubbe. A kill from Weidt in the middle of the set changed the momentum as junior libero Kamaile Hiapo went on a 7-0 serving run to put the Cats on top 23-10. Sun Devils' fifth-year libero Jamye Cox put on a show recording nine digs of her own, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats took the set 25-11. Stubbe led the way with six kills, two digs, and two blocks. Hodge wasn’t far behind with four kills and two digs of her own. Maldonado Diaz showed out defensively in the first set recording three kills and nine digs.
Set 2 (25-16)
Sophomore outside hitter Maldonado Diaz went on an early four-point serving run including back-to-back aces to put the Cats up 8-2. As the Sun Devils went on a five-point run to cut the lead to one point, Arizona pulled away with a side out point then a three-point service run from Hiapo to put them up 12-7. From there, the two teams exchanged points for the most part until the Wildcats took the second set 25-16. Stubbe was on fire adding four more kills along with two extra digs and a block. Hodge recorded three more kills and a block, while Maldonado Diaz had three kills, three digs and a block for the set.
Set 3 (27-25)
This set was the last chance for the Sun Devils to make something happen in their final game of the season. They put up a good fight as this set was closer than the previous two. Three service aces in a row from Hiapo set the tone early on in the set as the Cats took the lead 6-2. From there, the Wildcats went on two 4-0 runs in the span of 10 points to put them up 14-6. But the Sun Devils didn’t hold back as they kept exchanging a point for Arizona for two points of their own as they were able to catch back up towards the end of the set. The Wildcats reached match point at 24-21, but Arizona State didn’t give up as they went on a 3-0 run to tie the game with two kills from sophomore outside hitter Marta Levinska and an attack error by Stubbe. Then a service error from Sun Devils’ Levinska turned into the final kill from Maldonado Diaz to win the game 27-25.
Stubbe finished with 13 kills and three blocks. Hodge recorded 10 kills, three digs, and two blocks for the match. Maldonado Diaz had 11 kills, 18 digs, and a block. Sophomore setter Emery Herman finished with 30 assists and 14 digs. Hiapo recorded 14 digs, seven assists, and four service aces for the match.
This Arizona volleyball team is not a team to be messed with as they finished off their season on a high note. Continue to follow our coverage of Arizona volleyball as postseason play begins for the Wildcats in the National Invitation Volleyball Championship starting Dec. 3rd.
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