Oct. 30, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State volleyball team stopped an eight-match losing streak with a 3-1 upset of No. 21 Washington State Friday night at the Wells Fargo Arena. ASU moved to 12-10 overall, 2-8 in Pacific-10 Conference action with the 25-22, 25-18, 15-25, 25-22 win over WSU (16-5, 5-5).
ASU's Sarah Reaves led the match with 19 kills and Erica Wilson had seven blocks. Sofie Schlagintweit contributed 15 kills and four blocks while Cat Highmark added 56 assists and 10 digs. Sarah Johnson and Ashley Kelty combined for 29 digs.
Meagan Ganzer led the Cougars with 14 kills while Jackie Albright and Brittany Tillman combined for another 21 kills. Albright had a double-double with 11 digs and Tillman added four blocks. Cassie Robbins led the Cougs with six blocks. Renee Bordelon had 43 digs and Oceana Bush had 15 digs.
"Arizona State did a good job and we didn't execute well. I didn't think our leadership played well tonight from the standpoint of wanting to be in the big points and wanting to be involved when the match was on the line," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "That's what it came down to. We had two sets where we were ahead late in the set and we had two older kids deferring the passes to younger kids. That just can't happen. As a competitor, we want to be in those moments and we did not want to be in those moments tonight."
The opening set was tied 19 times with 10 lead changes bur ASU used two four-point runs late in the set to take a 25-22 win. Reaves had four kills in this set but the Sun Devils spread the sets around among four players and tallied five blocks to WSU's two. Robbins had four kills (.429) for the Cougars.
The second set was in the hands of the home team Devils after extending a 10-8 lead to 18-9. The Cougars struggled offensively and hit .079 to ASU's .314. Reaves landed six more attacks in this set as Arizona State took the 25-18 set win and a two-zero.
WSU battled back to stay alive, taking an early third set lead and playing tough behind Ganzer's attacks. Tillman landing three big points at the end of the set and the Cougars grabbed the 25-15 win. WSU hit .324 and held ASU to a .000 hitting percentage with 12 errors in the set. Cougars landed five blocks in this set while Reaves added five more kills.
The Cougars scored four straight in the fourth set to go ahead 18-15 and advanced their lead to 21-19 but ASU steadily climbed back into the contest scoring six of the final seven points. Arizona State hit .353 in the 25-22 win, while WSU hit .314.
"We have the opportunity to come out and compete tomorrow night," Palileo said. "When we have had the opportunity to come out and compete on the road we haven't done it except at Oregon State. The coaching staff has to find a way to get the players motivated but at some point it will have to come from the leadership of team and taking advantage of the situation we are in. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose right now."
WSU takes on No. 18 Arizona (15-6, 4-6) Saturday, Oct. 31 at the McKale Center in Tucson.