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ASU Volleyball: Sun Devils go back to the 5-1, still having struggles in loss to Cal

(Photo: Elaine Wilson/WCSN)

In a match with some interesting lineup decisions, the No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils fell to the Golden Bears in four sets (25-14, 21-25, 19-25, 22-25).

Things were different from the start for ASU, as they switched from the 6-2 offensive system to the 5-1 under senior setter Bianca Arellano. Not only was that, junior BreElle Bailey who normally plays on the right side, played outside for the first time this season.

It was an efficient start for the Sun Devils in set one, recording five kills and only one error in their first 11 swings. The hot start coupled with great defense that forced an early California timeout. ASU then went on an 8-3 run out of the timeout to take a commanding 19-9 lead.

In the middle of the set, senior middle blocker Whitney Follette moved up to No. 2 in ASU history in block assists, ending the day with four and needs 45 more to pass Tina Berg for the number one spot.

ASU, with some incredible defense, kept its foot on the gas and won the first set convincingly 25-14. The set was ended on a kill from junior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell, her fourth of the set.

The Golden Bears started off a lot cleaner in the second. They recorded five kills on their first eight swings to begin the set. Cal ran with that early lead until ASU was able to tie it up at 13, but still maintained a slim lead throughout the set pulling ahead 24-21, prompting a timeout from head coach Jason Watson. Out of the timeout Cal quickly put up a kill to finish the set 25-21.

The set was not lost by mental mistakes made by the Sun Devils, as they hit .333 in the set and only recorded two attacking errors. Cal simply played better, hitting .425 and had only one error raising their hitting percentage over .200.

In the third set, ASU had problems with errors that started to rear its ugly head. In the set the Sun Devils had nine errors and dug a hole that they were unable to come out of. Cal never trailed in the set and won by a final score of 25-19.

The fourth set looked a lot like the third as the Sun Devils were down 17-12 at one point. However, notching a comeback they brought the game within one forcing Cal to call a timeout. Coming out of it, ASU struggled as they committed three attacking errors ending the set and the match 22-25.

After winning the first set by a 11 point margin, then losing the next three, there were still some bright spots for the Sun Devils as senior defensive specialist Mia Mazon got on the court for the first time since Texas Southern earlier this season. The senior put up a career high in digs with 12, eight of them coming in the first two sets when the Sun Devils were still winning.

Arizona State dropped down to 6-6 in conference play and will come back home for their next two games against No. 5 Washington on Friday November 6 at 7:00 p.m. then Washington State on Sunday November 8 at 11:00 a.m.

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