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ASU Volleyball: Sun Devils struggle to keep momentum in loss to California

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Inconsistency killed ASU en route to its twelfth Pac-12 loss this year.

Photo taken by Nicole Hernandez/Houseofsparky.com

On a day where senior outside hitter Oluoma Okaro struggled with consistency, the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-14, 0-12 Pac-12) could not find an answer and dropped their twelfth Pac-12 match to California (12-10, 4-8 Pac-12), falling 14-25, 25-22, 22-25, 11-25 on Sunday afternoon.

The absence of sophomore outside hitter Ivana Jeremic, who is nursing an ankle injury, was felt throughout the match.

Combining three service errors with six attack errors, and the Sun Devils struggled right out of the gates. The outsides mustered two kills on nine attempts with three errors to hit in the negatives through the first set.

Granted the Golden Bears block came up big with five first set stuffs. Allowing them to side out at an absurd rate of 92 percent, negating any momentum ASU would try to establish.

“When we were not aggressive we made their block look like a monster,” acting head coach Carlos Moreno said. “Which they’re not.”

The outsides used the first set struggles to get their feet back on the ground for the Sun Devils and came out firing better in the second set.

Combined, the two hitters had eight kills on 15 attempts. Freshman outside Griere Hughes was dependable throughout the set with six of those eight kills.

The defense came up big as well with three total team blocks.

Junior outside hitter Carmen Annevelink was not letting ASU comeback, as her five kills in the third set paced the Golden Bears.

She would finish the match with 11 kills.

The Sun Devils continued to struggle to get any run going and while they were able to keep the set tight and fend off a few set points, Cal was eventually able to put it away.

A quick 8-1 start to the fourth and final set for the Golden Bears was the final nail in the coffin for ASU.

The Golden Bears would keep the momentum all set behind an inconsistent attack from the Sun Devils. Only converting three kills on 35 attempts, but making matters worse with 11 errors.

Okaro would finish the match leading the team in kills with 14, but also in errors with 14 as well.

“We all have a job to do as coaches and as players,” Moreno said. “And when we don’t do our jobs we don’t play at the level we need to to survive in the Pac-12.”