(Photo: Kaley Kurowski/WCSN)
After building momentum with two consecutive Pac-12 wins, the No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils dropped the first of a Northern California road trip against No. 7 Stanford by scores of 25-17, 25-23, 25-9.
Set one started out tight, as the two teams were tied up at 5-5, but the Sun Devils could not find an answer for the Cardinal offense, as through Stanford’s first 17 points, the Cardinal hit with a percentage of .550.
ASU was not completely limited offensively as both junior opposite BreElle Bailey and senior middle blocker Whitney Follette led the team with three kills through the first 14 Sun Devil points. The Sun Devils were able to close the gap down to four points at 18-14, forcing the Cardinal to call their first timeout of the set. ASU was persistent, but Stanford was able to pull away again taking its lead out to 22-17. The Cardinal eventually took the second set by a score of 25-17 after rattling off nine straight points.
The Sun Devils defense could not keep up with the high-powered Stanford offense, as the Cardinal had 14 kills on 33 swings with only three errors. ASU only totaled one block in the first set, and the Cardinal hit with a percentage of .333.
The Sun Devils struggled to get anything going offensively hitting only .000 through the first six points of the second set. Bailey and Pickrell struggled to find the court with Bailey having four errors in 13 swings and Pickrell had five errors on 20 swings. The Sun Devils were able to fend off three set points to pull within one at 24-23. The Cardinal called their second timeout of the set when Bailey tallied her ninth kill of the set. Stanford was able to finish off the set by a score of 25-23 on a kill by freshman outside hitter Hayley Hodson.
ASU had two players tied for the team lead in kills going into the break. Follette and Bailey both had nine kills on 17 swings, but the Sun Devils block had trouble containing Stanford’s Hodson. She had 10 kills on 22 attempts with a hitting percentage of .318.
The ASU offense had trouble getting around the Stanford block as the Sun Devils got blocked nine times by the Cardinal. Offense was hard to find Sun Devils in the third set, tallying only seven kills on 31 attempts with five errors, a hitting percentage of .065. ASU dropped the final set by a score of 25-9.
The Cardinal posed a huge attacking threat to the ASU defense, and hit an efficient .324 while tallying 46 total kills. ASU, the 10th best blocking team in the nation, only recorded four blocks in the match.
Next up for the Sun Devils is the California Golden Bears tomorrow night in Berkley.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach Jacob Franklin via twitter @Jacob_Franklin4 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.