(Photo: Jasmyne Lott/WCSN)
The match between No. 19 Arizona State University and No. 18 University of Arizona was just as expected, a battle. The Sun Devils ended up taking a loss to the Wildcats in five sets (25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 27-25, 13-15). Not only was it a battle, but a couple Sun Devils put up career numbers at the McKale Center on Wednesday night.
ASU took an early lead in the first set, where at one point they were winning 10-3. With the help of Arizona’s senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon’s few kills and key back-to-back blocks, the Wildcats managed to cut ASU’s lead down to only two points before taking the first set.
The Sun Devils maintained a healthy lead up until Arizona tied the score at 22. They then lost the lead with a couple hitting errors and Wildcats’s 6’8” sophomore outside hitter Ashley Harris’s back-to-back kills to tie the match at a game a piece.
Even though Kingdon finished her night with a team leading 20 kills, junior outside hitter Macey Gardner and junior middle blocker Mercedes Binns did a good job with their block limiting Kingdon’s play, forcing her to make 15 hitting errors.
In the fourth set, Gardner went off. Gardner ended her night with a career-high 30 kills and ten of those came in the fourth set to help the Sun Devils win 27-25 and forced a fifth set.
Despite Arellano’s career-high 61 assists, the Wildcats continued to battle.
Harris had 19 kills and only five errors and produced whenever the game was tight.
ASUs look to even their conference record to 1-1 when they play No. 9 USC who was just swept by No. 20 UCLA. They will be playing in the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif., this Friday at 6:00 p.m.
You can reach Troy Lynch on Twitter @mrtroylynch