The University of Arizona volleyball team faced ASU at home in McKale Center on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The Wildcats fell short in their match against the Sun Devils. ASU won in four sets with scores of 23-25, 25-20, 26-24 and 25-20. With this defeat, Arizona suffered their first loss at home of the season.
Arizona started strong, feeding off of the crowd's energy. The Wildcats were able to open up a quick 8-2 lead against the Sun Devils. Zyonna Fellows and Jaelyn Hodge led the Wildcats in kills for this first set. Arizona kept control of the set, despite ASU’s late attempt to come back. The Wildcats closed out set one with a victory.
In the second set, ASU was determined to block out the home crowd from the match and regain momentum. They opened the set with two quick kills, and then it turned into a back-and-forth battle throughout the rest of the set.
At the 21-18 mark, the Wildcats trailed by 3, but Fellows ultimately delivered an electric strike and the crowd erupted. Unfortunately, despite Arizona cutting their deficit down to 2, ASU eventually pulled away and won the second set.
The Wildcats looked flat in the third set. The Sun Devils went on a 6-1 run and forced Arizona to call a timeout. After the timeout, Arizona still did not look great and the lead for ASU only grew.
After the two timeouts used by Arizona, the Wildcats went on a run, Hodge leading the way with three kills and helping the Wildcats to cut their deficit down to 2. It then turned into a back-and-forth contest, and ultimately ASU pulled away, winning set three 26-24.
After the loss in this set, the entire stadium went quiet and the energy that was so high at the beginning of the match was gone. The Wildcats looked drained as they fought back as much as they could entering the fourth set.
In the fourth set, the Wildcats committed eight attack errors in the set and Iman Isanovic showed no mercy as she delivered five brutal kills in this set for ASU.
The Wildcats looked defeated from the start of the set as they quickly found themselves in a 6-0 hole. The Wildcats attempted to battle back, but it was not enough as the Sun Devils never let up and won the set 25-20.
Arizona falls to 10-2 overall and 6-1 at home. The team faces the University of Utah next in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. MST.
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