(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
Arizona State rallied back from a big first set loss to defeat Oregon State in four sets 15-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-21.
The first set began with even play until the Beavers won the next eight of nine points to take a 14-7 lead. The run was heavily offensive as the Beavers identified the holes in the Sun Devil defense and attacked.
Freshman outside hitter Ivana Jeremic was shut down during the set converting only two of her 14 attempts. Overpowered, ASU lost the first set 15-25.
The second set began with an exchange of points. ASU built up its confidence and put down aggressive kills in play – led by sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Koonts and Jeremic who each drilled four kills.
The Sun Devils let a four point lead slip down to one late in the set at 23-22, but Jeremic and junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro nailed kills down the middle to grab the 25-22 set victory.
The performance shift was mostly due to the improvement of hitting accuracy. ASU went from hitting .050 in the first set to .298 in the second while the Beavers dropped from .467 down to .162.
The third set started out in an unusual fashion with three blocks, all involving Koonts. ASU won the first six of eight points to take an early 6-2 lead.
The Sun Devils kept the Beavers off balance and took advantage of their errors and continued to extend their lead.
Koonts dominated the attack and nailed kills to the floor left and right. Throw in an ace by freshman setter Nicole Peterson, and the Sun Devils found themselves with a ten-point lead.
Six of the next seven points were errors. The Beavers committed nine in the set alone. ASU took a commanding 21-9 lead and allowed OSU little breathing room before taking a 2-1 match lead with a 25-15 victory. As a team in the set, ASU hit .250 and kept OSU in the negatives.
The fourth set would prove to be the final. It started our well for the Sun Devils. Kills all around coupled with a big block by senior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell secured an early 8-4 lead for the Sun Devils that soon became 15-8.
But, they let their foot off the gas a little too soon. Junior outside hitter Mary-Kate Marshall, who had been limited since the first set, led the comeback attempt. She recorded six kills and one block in the final set to tie it up 18 all.
The Sun Devils only let the Beavers grab three more points, one on a service error. Jeremic completed the victory with a final kill to win the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Koonts set career highs with 12 kills and eight blocks. ASU hit .216 as a team in the match and rebounded from the first set to finish with 13 total blocks. But, the Sun Devils still committed ten service errors with only two aces.
ASU will head south to Eugene, Oregon to face No. 20 Oregon on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. PT.
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Delilah Cassidy via Twitter @delilah_cassidy or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.