(Photo: Trey Lanthier/WCSN)
No. 10 Arizona State looks to continue its hot streak as it heads into a 9-game home stand. The first of these matches is against Northern Arizona, who also is enjoying success at the beginning of the young season.
ASU is looking to have success in its first home match this season. ASU is coming off a statement win against then-No. 9 Colorado State. The Sun Devils looks to stifle the NAU team that went 3-0 this weekend, including a contest against Loyola Marymount that went five sets.
Something to watch in this match will be how ASU’s blocking attempts to stop NAU’s outside hitters, junior Lauren Jacobson and senior Janae Vander Ploeg. ASU is averaging 3.70 blocks per set. On the other hand, the Lumberjack’s top-two hitters enjoyed a solid weekend and are putting up solid numbers this season.
Vander Ploeg is averaging 4.68 kills per set while Jacobson is averaging 4.05 kills per set.
ASU’s block is highlighted by senior middle blocker Whitney Follette, who is averaging 1.75 blocks per set.
Another matchup to watch is going to be ASU outside hitters against NAU’s defense. ASU is averaging 13.6 kills per set as a team, led by senior outside hitter Macey Gardner and junior outside hitter Cassidy Pickrell. On the other hand, the Lumberjacks are averaging 15.45 digs per set.
After spending the first two weekends of the season on the road, ASU finally gets to play in front of its home fans in Wells Fargo Arena.
“It’ll be nice to be home,” Watson said. “It’ll be nice to get some rest since we aren’t travelling, but I think playing at home brings on a different sense of stress. You want to play well in front of your fan base.”
The match against NAU will be the first of nine consecutive matches in Tempe for the Sun Devils, something that the team is understandably looking forward to in the coming weeks.
“It’s gonna be really advantageous that we’re home for the next four weekends in a row,” ASU senior setter Bianca Arellano said. “It’s advantageous to have our support system behind us.”
The match is scheduled for 7 p.m., and it will be streamed live on Pac-12.com.