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ASU Volleyball: Sun Devils dominated in three-set loss to No. 20 Utah

More offensive struggles

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

Twentieth ranked Utah (11-4, 3-1 Pac-12) came into Tempe and dominated the Sun Devils (10-5, 2-2) in all facets of the game during their sweep on Sunday afternoon.

Offensive struggles continued to haunt the Arizona State volleyball team in the loss Sunday afternoon. At .162, the team’s hitting percentage was under .200 for a third straight game. Some credit must be given to Utah’s defense however, as the Sun Devils only committed 15 attack errors.

Head coach Sanja Tomasevic attempted to switch up the offensive strategy multiple times, as middle blocker Megan Beedie became a focus for the offensive attack. Beedie finished with 7 kills. The Devils finished a second straight Sunday match with no players above 10 kills, after doing the same against UCLA.

The Sun Devils’ outside hitters couldn’t find their rhythm, as only Jada Burse finished with a hitting percentage above .250. Burse only finished with five kills on 16 swings. Senior Andrea Mitrovic continued to be the Devils’ most reliable offensive weapon, as she led the Devils with 9 kills.

In the win on Friday night, both Nicole Peterson and Callie Jones finished with 20 or more assists. In the loss on Sunday, neither could find double digits in the same category.

Senior libero Courtney Leffel has been ASU’s best defensive player all season long, but she or any other Sun Devils could not stop the Utes balanced offensive attack. Utah finished with 52 kills on a .328 hitting percentage, the highest Arizona State has allowed all season.

The Utes exposed the Devils middle defense, as middle blocker Berkeley Oblad finished with a team-high 12 kills. Arizona State has allowed a middle blocker to lead their team in kills in two straight matches.

Claire Kovensky had a strong start to the season, but is taking a step back in Pac-12 play. She only finished with one kill after being benched on Friday night.

The Sun Devils will head to the Bay Area for matches against Cal and Stanford next weekend, on Friday and Sunday respectively. Both will be broadcasted on Pac-12 Networks.