(Photo by: Blake Bernard/WCSN)
No. 5 Arizona State took on Pac-12 foe Washington State today in Pullman, Washington. The Cougars were able to drop the Sun Devils in three sets by a score of 25-14, 25-17, 25-21.
The Sun Devils came out in a different offensive set up. Due to the absence of senior outside hitter Macey Gardner, ASU came out in a 5-1 offensive system, and senior outside hitter Andi Lawrance got the start in her spot.
The Sun Devils started out slow in the set, with the Cougars taking an early 9-7 lead. ASU was struggling as they tallied four hitting errors through their first 17 hitting attempts. The slow start continued as the Cougars continued to extend their lead as they pulled out 18-11. The Sun Devils as a team were not able to contain the Cougars offense as the Cougars hit with a percentage of .394. On the other side of the ball ASU finished the set hitting .026 and tallied a total of eight hitting errors. The Cougars were able to take the first set 25-14.
In the second set the Sun Devils made some adjustments, bringing back the 6-2 offense. Also, the Sun Devils started freshman outside hitter Lexi MacLean and freshman middle blocker Jasmine Koonts, who started opposite of junior right side BreElle Bailey. However, the set started off in the Cougars favor as they took an early 10-7 lead. The Sun Devils were able to tie it up at 11, but the Cougars were able to respond by pulling out to a 17-13 lead. ASU called its first timeout of the second set when the Cougars moved their lead to 21-16. WSU was able to hold on finishing with a big block to end the set. The final score of set two was 25-17.
The Sun Devils really struggled through the first two sets to get anything going offensively or defensively. The Sun Devils were only able to record one block, and the Cougars hit .319. On the offensive side of the ball ASU had 19 kills, but the team also had 16 errors putting them down in a 0-2 hole heading into the third.
The third set did not start well for the Sun Devils as the Cougars were able to jump out to an early 6-1 lead, making head coach Jason Watson call a timeout. Things did not get much better for the Sun Devils as the Cougars were able to keep extending their lead when they climbed out in front 5-12. The Sun Devils started to crawl back as they forced Washington State to call its first timeout of the match when the Sun Devils pulled within four at 12-16. The set remained tight as ASU continued to fight back into the set, making it a one point game at 21-22. The Sun Devils came out of a WSU timeout and could not keep the intensity they had before, Washington State was able to get the set, and match, win by a score of 25-21.
All together it was a rough match for the Sun Devils as they couldn’t find their rhythm without the team leader Gardner. The Sun Devils will have a week to try and figure things out before they head out to Los Angeles to take on USC and UCLA next weekend.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach Jacob Franklin via twitter @Jacob_Franklin4 and via email at email@example.com.