(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils played host to the No. 7 Washington Huskies on Friday night. The Sun Devils would leave as straight set losers 18-25, 21-25, 14-25.
Though the Sun Devils, on paper, were largely overmatched, they came out firing in the opening set, keeping pace with the Huskies and trading points until the score was tied at seven.
“We have nothing to lose at this point,” senior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell said. “You go out there and give it your best effort.”
ASU stayed within reach of Washington for the early parts of the set, but the Huskies were able to extend their lead throughout, and eventually came away with a 25-18 opening set victory.
Pickrell led the Sun Devils with three kills and two blocks in the opening set. Junior outside hitter Courtney Schwan for the Huskies led the team with five kills and nine digs.
Arizona State started the second set tied at four, then Washington went on two 3-0 runs, in large part to four Sun Devil errors, to take a 10-5 lead and force a timeout from the Sun Devils.
Two kills from the Sun Devils and three errors later in the set from the Huskies brought the Sun Devils back even, tied at 18.
The Huskies eventually pulled away and took the second set, capping it off with a service ace and winning 25-21.
The hitting woes continued for the Sun Devils, as they hit a lowly .081 through two sets.
“We need to make less errors,” Pickrell said. “Just keep the ball in play and make them make the errors.”
The third set started much like the other two, with Washington jumping out to a lead at the start, this time at 8-5.
The Huskies increased their lead to 15-8 before a timeout from the Sun Devils. Washington again extended its lead and finished the set off with a score of 25-14.
Pickrell led the Sun Devils with nine kills on the night, and junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro finished just behind with seven.
As a team ASU finished the match with a hitting percentage of just .074.
“I need to do a better job making sure the kids feel good taking big chances,” Sun Devil head coach Stevie Mussie said about the low hitting percentage. “My staff and I have to do a better job for sure.”
With the loss, the Sun Devils fall to 8-14 on the season, and 1-9 in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils will return to the road next week when they face the Oregon State Beavers in their next game on Friday, October 28th.