Volleyball beats the Beavers in three sets

November 7, 2011

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The Arizona State University volleyball team played on their best games of the season on Saturday, defeating Oregon State in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-10) at Wells Fargo Arena. 

Ashley Kastl finished with 17 kills while Erica Wilson added 11 of her own as the Sun Devils (6-20, 2-14 Pac-12) finished with a .336 hitting percentage to earn their second conference victory of the season.

ASU tallied 48 kills on the night, its most in a three-set match this season.  It was also just the third time this year the Sun Devils had won in three sets. 

Things got off to a rocky start for ASU as the Beavers (14-12, 6-10 Pac-12) jumped out to a 13-7 early in the first set.  However, the team came out guns blazing after a timeout, going on a 5-1 run to bring the score within 14-12.  The first set was back-and-forth for the remainder as the Sun Devils were able to draw even at 19-19 before taking their first lead of the set at 22-21. 

The team closed on a 3-1 run from there to end the set on the heels of seven Kastl kills, nearly half of the team’s 16 first-set kills. 

The second set saw the team ride the momentum of the first, jumping out to a 14-7 lead and never looking back en route to a 25-17 set victory heading into the break.  Kastle added six more kills to her total in the set as the team as a whole had just two errors to 16 kills while hitting .483 from the floor. 

From there, ASU was on cruise control as the squad dominated the final set that wasn’t even close, 25-10. 

ASU’s hitting percentage on the night was by far their best of the season after hitting a previous season’s best of .308 against Oregon last night. 

The Sun Devils will be back in action next Friday, Nov. 11 against Colorado as they continue their home stretch at Wells Fargo Arena.

Soccer defeats Arizona in Territorial Cup

November 7, 2011

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Senior forward Sierra Cook scored two goals, including the game winner with 5:45 remaining as the Arizona State women's soccer team defeated Arizona 2-1 on Friday night to claim the women's soccer point in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series.

The win was the second straight for the Sun Devils (8-11, 4-7 Pac-12) over the Wildcats (1-16-2, 1-9-1) and their 14th in 17 all-time meetings against Arizona.

For Cook it represented the second time in as many matches that she came through with the game-winning goal after netting the only goal in ASU's win over Washington on Sunday.

"I'm really excited [Sierra] got to finish her career like that - the game winner last week and the game winner tonight," ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said following the match. "She started the season with two goals [in ASU's season opening win over Northern Arizona] and ended with two in the last game and that's great with her."

With gusting winds at their backs to start the match, the Sun Devils came out aggressive on the offensive end early. It would take them a little more than 13 minutes to get the first goal of the game when Devin Marshall sent a pass from midfield to Cook, who outraced two Arizona defenders to the ball and finished by sending her shot past Wildcat goalkeeper Ashley Jett for the goal.

Although they finished the half with a 4-1 advantage in shots on goal, the Sun Devils were only able to score the single goal, something which concerned Boyd because Arizona would have the wind advantage in the second half.

"Any time there is wind it causes fits," Boyd said. "We had the wind at our back in the first half and we only scored one goal and I was pretty concerned because I felt like we needed at least two."

The Sun Devils would continue to hold Arizona's attack in check until the 76th minute when Wildcat forward Jazmin Ponce scored to tie the game at 1-1.

Now with a sense of urgency, the Sun Devils would turn the intensity of their attack up a notch, keeping the action on Arizona's end of the field for the majority of the ensuing nine minutes.

The Sun Devils' relentless approach would pay off in the 85th minute when Courtney Tinnin made her way towards Arizona's goal, occupying the attention the Arizona defense. With a Wildcat defender closing in, Tinnin slipped a pass to Cook, who slipped unguarded into a vacated area. Cook took the pass, avoided a sudden charge by Jett and sent her shot into an open net for the go-ahead goal.

The Sun Devils would hold off Arizona's desperation attempts to tie the game in the closing minutes to clinch their second straight win to end the 2011 season.

"I like that even though we didn't have the playoffs to play for this group kept fighting all the way through," Boyd said. "They played very well last weekend and played very well tonight for most of the game."