(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils will travel to Berkeley, California to take on the California Golden Bears on Friday, October 14, 2016.
The Sun Devils will look to turn their season around after dropping their eighth straight match against No. 20 UCLA.
The team that continues to hunt for their first Pac-12 victory has proven to panic when confronted with a deficit.
That was on display in ASU’s most recent loss. The frantic play pushes the players to be too aggressive resulting in errors. Arizona State recorded a total of 33 last week, a season-high in a three-set loss. This led to a season-low .073 hitting percentage in the match.
The Golden Bears are coming off an eventful weekend. It started off with the emotional return of redshirt freshman outside hitter Savannah Rennie. She took the court for the first time against Utah after receiving a liver transplant only five months ago.
Two days later, Cal snatched their first Pac-12 victory, upsetting previously No. 19 Colorado in four sets.
Their diverse offensive attack has carried the team all season. Three players have hit the 100-kill mark thus far in the season. The depth is only increasing with bold changes finally paying off.
Sophomore middle blocker Belen Castillo made the move to her current position at the start of the season. In the match against the Buffs, she had a career-high 16 kills and six blocks for the second time in college.
Senior setter Alyssa Jensen is one of the best setters in the Pac-12 and has been the core of the Golden Bears team. She’s racked up 616 assists and is averaging 10.27 per set – both good for second in the conference.
The weakness for the Golden Bears is that they are without their star. Senior middle blocker Jenelle Jordan who injured her shoulder nearly three weeks ago. She led her team in both hitting percentage and blocks at the time of the injury.
Junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro will likely play a big role in both the Sun Devils’ offense and defense. She is also the biggest threat in the Pac-12 at the service line recording 28 aces – good for 30th in the country.
A big factor in this matchup is the hitting percentage. The Golden Bears are allowing their opponents to hit for .240 – the highest in the Pac-12. However, the Sun Devils have the lowest hit percentage in the conference.
The Bears and Sun Devils face off at Haas Pavilion at 6 p.m. PT, and will air on the Pac-12 Network.