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Volleyball battles, but defeated by Stanford 3-1

October 24, 2011

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Despite a stellar offensive performance from Ashley Kastl in front of the highest-attended game so far this season, the Arizona State volleyball team fell to the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night 3-1, with final scores of 22-25, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-18. The Devils fall to 5-16 on the season, and 1-11 in Pac-12 play.

Wells Fargo Arena saw a season-high attendance on the night of 1,793, as Kastl was the only Devil in double-digit attacks with 17 on the night, and a hitting percentage of .189. Terhune and Markanovich followed with eight kills apiece, and the team had 3.5 total blocks on the night in comparison to Stanford's eleven. 

The first set went back and forth between the Devils and the Cardinal, but the Cardinal slowly pulled away, leading by as much as five at the first timeout. Kastl turned up the heat and led ASU to chip away at the lead, and by the time Stanford took their first timeout, the Devils had taken the lead 16-15. The score stayed close as Stanford hit two balls out of bounds to keep the Devils in the lead. Kylee Terhune got two impressive kills and Stephanie Preach saw a service ace before Erica Wilson and Kastl exploded with the last two kills of the set, giving ASU the first at 25-22. Kastl had 7 kills in the first set, and Terhune went 5-for-5 on attacks as the team hit 73% overall.

The second set saw ten tie scores as ASU and Stanford continued to battle. Danica Mendivil hit .714 in the set with five kills, and Sonja Markanovich saw three impressive kills to keep the Devils in the set. The Cardinal, however, outblocked ASU and it proved to be a key difference as the Cardinal took the second set, 25-21. Lydia Bai saw four kills in the set and led with a .800 attack percentage as the Cardinal hit 63%.

The score teeter-tottered in the third set as both sides saw impressive kills. The Cardinal pulled some tricks out of their sleeves with skillful tips and second-hit attacks to catch the Devils off-guard, and Stanford began to pull away, leading by 14-10 at the first timeout. The Cardinal continued to hold on to their lead, up by as many as six points and with six stellar kills from Carly Wopat. Regardless of a service ace from Jenny Teslevich and four kills from Kastl, the Cardinal was victorious, winning the set 25-20.

The Devils came roaring out of the gate, leading early by as much as 8-2 as Markanovich established a strong presence at the net. But the Cardinal began chipping away at the lead, and by the second ASU timeout they were down by only two points. Carly Wopat tied the game at ten on a second-hit kill, but the Devils regained the lead, pulling to a 13-10 score. Intense rallies kept the scoreboard close, but the Devils made three consecutive attack errors to give the Cardinal a 19-16 lead at ASU's last timeout. Stanford continued to pull away and didn't look back as they won 25-18. Although the Cardinal hit their lowest percentage in the fourth set with 52%, the Devils hit at only 37%.

A-State will travel to the state of Washington next weekend to take on the Washington Huskies on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and the Washington State Cougars on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.