The Arizona State Sun Devils (0-6 Pac-12, 10-8 overall) could not manage to knock off No. 15 USC (5-1 Pac-12, 13-4 overall), losing in four sets 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 Saturday night in Tempe.
The first set moved along at a slow pace. Both teams challenged calls on the court by the refs early on.
The Sun Devils edged out to a 17-15 lead after getting a in/out call overturned.
From that point on it was an 8-4 run in favor of the Sun Devils, capped off by a huge block from sophomore outside hitter Ivana Jeremic. She would also lead the team in hitting with three kills in the set.
The Trojans were able to answer back quickly in the second set. Jumping out to a 14-8 lead.
Senior middle blocker Danielle Geiger led the USC charge with four kills.
The Sun Devils would close the gap down to two points late in the set, 19-21, behind strong play from freshman setter Shelbie Dobmeier. However the Trojans would finish the set strong with a 4-0 run to close out.
USC sophomore outside hitter, and Arizona-native, Khalia Lanier was able to get going in the second set, erasing her -.571 hitting percentage with five kills on 13 attempts.
The third set was all Trojans from the get-go. Opening the third set on a 6-0, fueled by two early blocks USC would never look back.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we came out in game three,” ASU head coach Tomasevic said. “Especially with what was talked about in the locker room. Shelbie (Dobmeier) hung on to some mistakes from the end of game two. You can’t remember the past.”
Holding the Sun Devil attack to a measly .158 hitting percentage in the set, the Trojans played solid defense backed with an efficient attack. USC hit with a .289 hitting percentage, converting 18 kills on 45 attempts and only five errors.
Junior middle blocker Carmen Unzue led the charge in the fourth set for the Sun Devils. With three early kills to to bring her match total up to 13, which would set a career high.
“I try to enjoy every single play,” Unzue said. “I try to bring energy to the whole team. Forget about the mistakes and enjoy the game.”
But it was not enough as senior opposite Brittany Abercrombie put the match out of the way. The lefty had seven big kills in the set as the Trojans went on to win.
She would finish the match leading the Trojans with 18 kills.
After the first set the Sun Devils could not get anything going. Finishing the match with a .217 hitting percentage.
The Sun Devils have two more home matches before heading on the road again. They will get No. 25 Colorado and No. 17 Utah next Friday and Sunday.