No. 7 Stanford tops ASU volleyball, 3-1

Arizona State University volleyball fell 3-1 to No. 7 Stanford on Sunday at Wells Fargo Arena in front of a season-high home attendance of 1,583. The Sun Devils dropped the match in set scores of 27-29, 17-25, 28-26, 23-25.

ASU is now 13-4 and 2-2 in Pac-12 while the seventh-ranked Cardinal improve to 12-2 and 4-0 in conference. Top hitter for Arizona State was Macey Gardner who posted her first double-double in conference and seventh on the year with 27 kills, one shy of her single-match high, and 13 digs. Erica Wilson chipped in 15 kills of her own while Shannan McCready and Allison Palmer aided the effort with 29 and 25 assists, respectively.

After jumping to a 3-0 lead, the Cardinal tied it at 3-all, but the Sun Devils were quick to respond to make it a three-point lead again, 6-3. Despite Stanford tying it four times,Arizona State was unwilling to give up its advantage heading into a media timeout, ahead 15-13.

Stanford took its first lead of the set at 22-23, having previously tied it two times following a solo three-point killing spree by Gardner at 19-16. Coming into the home stretch, Alexis Pinson tied it at 23 and 24-all followed by Gardnerkeeping ASU alive at 26 and 27-all. The thriller of a set came to an end as Stanford recorded the final points, 27-29, to go ahead one set.

Whitney Follette opened the second frame with three kills and a block assist, but the Sun Devils would work from behind only to inch closer at 12-15 after a pair of kills from Wilson. With the Cardinal steadily pulling ahead, ASU went into its largest deficit of 13-20. Stanford's .375 hitting percentage proved costly to ASU, who would head into the locker room down two sets after dropping the second 17-25.

In the third set, ASU bounced back to lead 8-5 behind four kills from Gardner. Hitting .240 at the media timeout, 15-11,Arizona State took a timeout at 16-15 with the Cardinal on a four-point run. Back-to-back Stanford errors sandwiched consecutive timeouts from the Cardinal with ASU leading 22-19. Following an ASU timeout at 23-22, four ties ensued before senior Wilson put it away, 28-26.

Using its momentum from the third stanza, the Sun Devils rolled to a 9-5 cushion on a .385 attack percentage to open the fourth. McCready ensured Arizona State kept its lead with an ace at 15-13, but the grudge match continued until the Cardinal took its first lead, 19-20, with ASU calling a timeout shortly after, 20-22. Stanford remained hot and in the lead en route to taking the match, 3-1, with a set score of 23-25. 

Up Next:

The Sun Devils hit the road for the next two week starting next weekend at UCLA and USC. ASU has a 5:30 p.m. tilt against UCLA on Friday, Oct. 5 and a 4 p.m. matchup on Sunday, Oct. 7, at USC. Both matches will be on the Pac-12 Network.