Volleyball makes history with wins over USC & UCLA
In a match 15 years in the making the Sun Devil Volleyball team kicked it into high gear Friday night to rattle the cage in the Pac-10 as they toppled the fifth-ranked USC Women of Troy in 3-1 with final scores of 29-27, 25-23, 25-14 and 25-23 to seal the Sun Devil’s first win over USC since 1995. The win pushes ASU to 7-11 overall and 2-5 in Pac-10 play while USC falls to 14-3 on the year and 3-3 in conference action.
In a feat that the ASU Volleyball program has not laid claim to since 1995, the Sun Devils came out to shock and awe a hometown crowd over 1,000 proud Saturday night as they stepped up again to topple the 10th-ranked UCLA Bruins in four sets, winning 28-26, 25-19, 24-26 and 25-20. The program has waited 15 years between sweeps of the storied southern California teams, both of whom are ranked in the top-10 currently. The Sun Devils are now 8-11 on the season and 3-4 in conference play while UCLA falls to 13-5 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-10.
Set one set the pace for the match as it proved to be a scrappy one with 12 tie scores and two lead changes as well as taking into extra points to find a victor. The set was a huge one for Sarah Reaves who plastered 11 kills to push ASU's .238 attack percentage, while the defense pulled in 35 digs in the set with Sarah Johnson's leading 13 to stifle UCLA and snake a 28-26 win.
Round two saw both defenses step up to make the difference in the set as UCLA collected three blocks and 12 digs, but couldn't better the Sun Devils as they posted five blocks and 13 digs to better the Bruins. Sarah Reaves still put four on the floor and Sonja Markanovich hit .667 as well to give ASU just enough breathing room to take off with a 25-19 win and head into the break up 2-0.
With their backs against the wall in set three, the Bruins came out of intermission with a new vigor as Rachael Kidder blasted eight kills while hitting .353. While the Sun Devils out-blocked the Bruins in the set, errors bit them in the end with nine unforced errors and a dismal .091 attack percentage. Even so, ASU hung in it until the end, pushing UCLA to extras points to take a win in the match, 26-24.
Four was all ASU needed Saturday though as they came out to put no question to who was taking this W home as they hit a nasty .344 attack percentage that UCLA just couldn't stop while slamming four blocks back at the Bruins who stumbled to finish with ASU raking in a 25-20 win to slam the door shut and add some notes to the ASU history books.
The Sun Devils next take to the road again as they set to face Washington and Washington State next Friday and Saturday in Seattle and Pullman, Wash.