TUCSON, AZ – Returning to action after an impressive weekend, Arizona Volleyball (10-2, 0-1) came crashing back to reality as they lost to ASU.
After an impressive weekend by Arizona Volleyball at the Wildcat Classic, where Arizona went a perfect 3-0, the Wildcats have come crashing back down to reality.
Returning to action on Wednesday evening to take on those folks up north in the first conference game of the season, the Wildcats put up a fight in the first set but were ultimately no match for a determined Arizona State team that won 3-1 in four sets.
The Sun Devils ultimately proved to be too much for Arizona Volleyball
Squaring off against rival Arizona State in their first conference action of the season, Arizona showcased its offensive firepower in the first set. Opening the match with a dominant, 8-2 lead, it looked like the Wildcats were going to be a tough out in this one as they eventually cruised to the 25-23 win.
Unfortunately, Arizona State would respond in a big way in the second set. Arizona would open things with a 9-6 run over the Devils, creating a nice cushion; however, ASU would rally, eventually pulling ahead 14-13. ASU would never look back in that second set as they paced themselves to the 25-20 win.
Tied at 1-1 in the match, Arizona entered the third set needing a big response. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t get it. Shell-shocked from the start, ASU jumped on the Cats early, building a comfortable 11-3 lead before Arizona could have much of a chance to respond.
The Wildcats would rally, cutting ASU’s lead down to 13-10. Arizona would tie it a few series later at 20-20, even pulling ahead at 24-23, but unfortunately, the Cats could not seal the deal as they came up short, losing 26-24 and falling to 2-1 in the match.
Entering the fourth set, Arizona needed to rally, otherwise, this one would be over. Perhaps dejected from their tough loss in the third set, once again, the Sun Devils jumped on the Cats early, pulling out to a 6-0 lead.
Granted, Arizona would rally a bit, cutting ASU’s lead to just 11-9 just a few series later. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Wildcats would get it in this one as Arizona ultimately faded at the end as ASU paced itself to a 25-20 set win, and 3-1 match win.
Offensively, Arizona would be led by Jaelyn Hodge (13), Alayna Johnson (12), and Sofia Maldonado Diaz (9); however, ASU’s front row was far too talented and determined to be stopped in this win.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 10-2 (0-1) on the season and will return to action on Saturday when they take on conference rival, Utah (7-4).