Sept. 21, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Washington State volleyball team (10-4, 0-2) struggled in its eighth consecutive road match Friday night and Arizona State (12-3, 1-1) took a 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23 win at Wells Fargo Arena.
ASU's Macey Gardner led the match with 25 kills and Erica Wilson added 19 kills as only five Sun Devils scored on attacks in the match. Allison Palmer set 52 assists and led the team with 13 digs and four blocks. Whitney Follette added another four blocks.
Jaicee Harris and Rachel Todorovich combined for 28 of WSU's 49 kills while Marcelina Glab landed nine kills and a match-high seven blocks. Camryn Irwin set 40 assists, landed two aces and had five blocks. Kate Sommer led the Cougars with 13 digs. WSU out-blocked ASU 12 to 7.
"When we can't get our middles going we have to rely on our outside hitters too much and that's when we get into trouble," Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny said. "I thought our serving wasn't great and we didn't block well and we've been doing those well all during the preseason. We talked about being consistent during the break. There were more valleys than peaks and we can't do that if we're going to be successful."
The first set was tied at 10 but ASU out-scored the Cougars seven to two to take a 17-12 lead. WSU made some inroads late in the set but could not overcome the deficit or the six kills from the talented freshman Gardner. Sun Devils take the first set win, 25-18.
The Cougars grabbed the early 12-5 lead in the second set and held off a late surge by the home team and went wire-to-wire to win 25-20. Harris landed eight kills for the Cougars but Gardner again led ASU with seven kills in the set. WSU hit .378 in this set and held ASU to a .177 hitting percentage.
The third set was tied 11 times with nine lead changes. WSU scored a trio of points to go up 17-15 but the Sun Devils laced together four points to take a 19-17 advantage. ASU scored six of the final 10 points of the set to take the 25-22 win.
The fourth was another tightly contested set with 10 ties and six lead changes. Tied at 21, Glab, Todorovich and Ver'Leea Hardaway combined on a block and WSU went ahead 22-21. Wilson tagged back-to-back kills and Cougar Coach Greeny took a timeout with the Cougars down 23-22. On the next play, Hardaway blocked and then hit the ball putting ASU at match point. A kill from Todorovich stopped the first attempt but Wilson landed her 19th kill of the match and the Sun Devils took the set 25-23.
After three consecutive weeks on the road, WSU returns to its home court at Bohler Gym for a match against defending national champions UCLA (9-2, 1-1) Friday, Sept. 28, and against defending Pac-12 champions USC (12-1, 1-1) Sunday, Sept. 30.