(Photo: Hannah Franklin/WCSN)
No. 7 Arizona State keeps proving time and time again why it deserves to be in the top-10. This Sunday, it has a chance to stretch its best start in over 30 years as the Sun Devils take on Oregon State.
While the Sun Devils may be having a terrific season, the Oregon State Beavers are hoping to turn things around. The Beavers are 2-11 on the season and just came off a very disappointing loss in the Civil War against Oregon.
On the other hand, the Sun Devils are coming off an exciting win over the No. 14 Arizona Wildcats. It was the first points that have been awarded in the Territorial Cup. The Sun Devil-blocking proved too much for Arizona as they were able to secure key blocks toward the end of the match in order to propel them to the victory.
One interesting thing to look for in the match today is to see how ASU runs its offense. In the match against the Wildcats, the Sun Devils transitioned from a 6-2 offense into a 5-1 as freshman setter Kylie Pickrell had to leave the game after the first two sets because of her knee that she tweaked against Illinois.
The Sun Devils showed no problem transitioning back to into this 5-1 offense as the experience of senior setter Bianca Arellano proved vital. She may have the task of moving ASU back into a 5-1 offense depending on the status of Pickrell’s knee. This change is also going to affect ASU’s front row lineup as it would lose some height on the right side when Arellano is in the front row; however, albeit small, Arellano is a solid blocker for her height.
Oregon State’s top outside hitter sophomore Mary-Kate Marshall will try and exploit this mismatch in the front. The Beavers may be having a rough season, but Marshall is not. On the season Marshall, already has 151 kills and is averaging nearly 4 kills per set with 3.87. It will be intriguing to see if ASU’s revamped blocking game can contain Marshall.
It may seem as if the Sun Devils are getting a day off after winning against two top-15 teams, Illinois and Arizona, but Pac-12 volleyball is challenging. Anything can happen, and Oregon State hopes to prove that point. This is a team that just got swept by a good Oregon team, but in the third set pushed the score to a crazy 32-30.
If you want to see the Sun Devils take on the Oregon State Beavers, it will be in Wells Fargo Arena at 1 p.m. and will be live streamed on the Pac-12 Network.