Despite losing their first two sets on the road, Arizona State rallied for a strong road victory behind the efforts of freshman Iman Isanovic, who led the Devils to a win over No. 21 Washington State in five sets (19-25, 17-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-12) on Sunday afternoon.
For the first time since 2015, ASU (11-8, 3-5 Pac-12) beat Washington State (16-4, 5-3 Pac-12). It was also the first time they won on the road against the Cougs since 2014. The Sun Devils snapped a three-match losing streak and secured their first road win in conference play.
”I am super proud of the way we came back and played the last three sets,” head coach Sanja Tomasevic said. “In the first two sets, we had glimpses of good stuff, but there was some panic and we played timid and nervous. I love the way our bench players came in and responded. They brought the team up and kept us disciplined.”
Isanovic earned a new career-high in kills in the match, finishing the night with 20. It was an efficient too, as she hit. 256 and had just four errors in five sets played.
”I felt freaking amazing,” Isanovic said. “Being down two sets against the 21st team in the country and after having a few losses in a row, to come back like this was amazing. To come together and play for everyone is the best feeling ever.”
Isanovic was not the only Sun Devil who had a solid offensive showing, as two other hitters reached double-figures in kills. Senior Jada Burse had 16 kills and four blocks, as both numbers tied season-highs. Junior Andrea Mitrovic had 12 kills on the outside as well.
Additionally, junior middle blocker Megan Beedie had another solid night in the front row. She finished with 10 kills and a .471 hitting percentage.
The offense was not the only bright spot, as the Devils played solid defense to back up their hitters. Senior libero Courtney Leffel had 23 digs for her ninth match with 20 or more digs. She also had an ace.
Tomasevic is still trying to find a consistent offensive gameplan, but she likes to use two setters. It’s just a matter of which two she decides to put into the equation.
On Sunday, it was senior setter Nicole Peterson who got the call, and she answered. The veteran had a season-high in assists with 28 in addition to her 11 digs, also a season-high.
Furthermore, senior setter Callie Jones finished 25 assists and 13 digs, as both senior setters finished with double-doubles.
Arizona State beat a top-25 team for the first time this season, as they lost all four of their previous attempts. A solid win for the Devils could bring momentum for next weekend’s matches in Tempe as ASU continues a rigorous Pac-12 slate.