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Takeaways from Maroon and Gold game

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The Arizona State women’s volleyball team played their annual Maroon and Gold game today, but there is nothing ordinary about the talent on the court.

Setter Allison Palmer proved again why she set the ASU single-season assist record and the freshman assist record last year. Palmer had the opportunity to work with all of her hitters for the first time in a real-action environment, and that’s not something she takes lightly.

“This scrimmage really helped; rotating players between teams was great. My chemistry with the hitters is continuing to get better,” Palmer said.

The leader of those hitters looks to be Macey Gardner. The sophomore is looking to have back to back sensational years.

Gardner’s 577 kills last year led the Pac-12, only the third time in the history of the conference that honor was held by a freshman.  Gardner looks to make it back-to-back appearances on the Pac-12 All Conference First Team.

BreElle Bailey was the freshman standout at today’s scrimmage. At 6’4”, her length just seems to be too much for opposing hitters. ASU head coach Jason Watson doesn’t know exactly where Bailey will play yet, but he seems to like her all over the front row.

“There were opportunities where I wish we’d gotten her the ball a little bit more. She’s hitting it high and hitting it hard and I was thinking, oh, we should do that a lot more,” Watson said.

If Bailey gets the starting opposite spot, it’s going to be tough for teams to get off to a quick start against the Sun Devils. The duo of Gardner and Bailey on the outsides will be a dangerous one when matched with Palmer delivering the ball everywhere.

The starting middle blocker position may still be up in the air. Sophomore Mercedes Binns had an excellent showing today while Julia Katolik sat today out for precautionary reasons. Watson said that he is just erring on the side of caution after Katolik hurt her knee in practice last Wednesday.

The Sun Devils’ season starts next Friday, August 30th at Utah Valley.

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