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ASU Volleyball: Sun Devils struggle in Northern California, drop both matches

Arizona State failed to get its first conference win against either Stanford or California.

Photo taken by Nicole Hernandez/

Coming off two home losses to start off conference play, the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-6, 0-4 Pac-12) had a tough trip up to Northern California.

They could not even pick up a set, as the Sun Devils dropped both matches in sweeps to No. 2 Stanford (11-2, 4-0 Pac-12) and the California Golden Bears (10-4, 1-2 Pac-12).

Match 1: Stanford

It was a slow start that would do the Sun Devils in, as the Cardinal rolled past 12-25, 18-25, 24-26.

The team as a total only had 22 digs through three sets and allowed Stanford’s offense to post a blistering .432 hitting percentage.

Leading the way for the Cardinal was sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Plummer. She posted 13 kills on 25 swings with only six errors. Junior middle blocker Tami Alade was also a big factor, grabbing nine kills on 12 swings and not recording an error.

Junior middle blocker Peyton Grahovac tried to keep the Sun Devils in the match almost posting a perfect attack. She found the court with eight of her nine swings on the night. However, the rest of the team combined for 14 hitting errors through the three sets to lower the team hitting percentage to a .220.

The Cardinal block proved too much as they grabbed eight total blocks in the match.

Match 2: California

After a slow start in Palo Alto, California, the Sun Devils tried to get back on track, but the Golden Bears swept the match 19-25, 20-25, 19-25.

Senior opposite Oluoma Okaro tried to put the Sun Devils on her back through the match, finishing with a team high of 16 kills and turning that into a double-double while also adding 12 digs.

Senior libero Halle Harker did her best to reassert the Sun Devil defense picking up another 20-dig match with 22, respectively.

However, the hitting errors piled up once again. As a team, ASU hit a low .115 and ended up with 22 hitting errors. Only eight of those errors were due to the Golden Bear block.

Cal had no player reach the double-digit mark in kills for the match. Senior outside hitter Antzela Dempi led the team with nine. Three players would add six kills each for the Golden Bears.

During the third set Okaro took the Sun Devils out to an early lead, but the hitting errors derailed the effort and they came up short.

The Sun Devils will head back home, but the matches will not get any easier. Up next on the schedule is No. 13 UCLA on Friday night followed by No. 20 USC on Saturday evening.

Head coach Sanja Tomasevic will still be looking for her first Pac-12 win in her first season as head coach with the Sun Devils.