(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
After another successful tournament in Iowa, the Arizona State Sun Devils head to Long Beach, California for the LBSU Baden Invitational.
Arizona State went 2-1 in its second tournament of the year, with its only loss coming to the host team Iowa.
The Sun Devils tallied 15 aces in their three matches.
This weekend, new head coach Stevie Mussie and the Sun Devils take on Pepperdine to kick off the LBSU Baden Invitational.
There is a question, however, of who will be the setter for the Sun Devils this weekend.
Sophomore setter Kylie Pickrell led ASU in its first tournament, garnering all-tournament team honors. But in their second tournament, the Sun Devils were under the direction of sophomore setter Caroline Pearson, and now the two setters are in a battle for the starting spot.
“The kids who are gonna play are gonna play because they earned it,” Mussie said. “We’re gonna put the best six players on the court regardless of who they are.”
The hitters don’t seem to mind the change in setters too much.
“Even from the summer, we got to work we both of them,” senior outside hitter Maya McClendon said. “You get to know their different kind of personalities and their different setting styles so it wasn’t a hard adjustment.”
Pepperdine enters into Friday’s game with a 4-2 record, identical to that of the Sun Devils.
The Waves are led by young talent, headed by sophomore outside hitter Heidi Dyer, who leads the team in kills with 53 and is second on the team in assists with 111. Sophomore outside hitter Nikki Lyons and freshman outside hitter Hannah Frohling are in the mix as well with 44 and 43 kills, respectively.
The Sun Devils are led by McClendon, as well as fellow senior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell and junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro.
Okaro has been in the top three in kills for ASU in five of the six games so far, leading the team in kills on the season with 63. Not far behind are Pickrell, racking up 62 kills, and McClendon, accumulating 43 kills with a hitting percentage of .317.
With two tournaments already played, ASU has limited time to get prepared for its rigorous Pac-12 schedule. The match with Pepperdine will be this Friday at 1 p.m.