The 2019 Arizona State volleyball team kicked off their season this past weekend in Houston, which means that the roster choices made by head coach Sanja Tomasevic would be on full display.
The Sun Devils won all three of their games in the two day Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup tournament hosted by the University of Houston.
Game One vs. Houston
Arizona State’s first victory of the tournament came against Houston, winning the match 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21).
Nicole Peterson transitioned from outside hitter to setter in 2018, and seemed poised to be the Devils starting setter again in 2019. However, Tomasevic let the duo of Noa Miller and Callie Jones handle the duties at the setter position to start the 2019 season. The two combined for 38 assists in the match against Houston.
The battle for the four outside hitter spots is still ongoing, but Tomasevic decided to roll with Ivana Jeremic, Claire Kovensky, Jada Burse, and Iman Isanovic in the first match of the weekend. In the second match, the true freshman Isanovic was benched after three games, leaving the door open for the transfer from Buffalo, Andrea Mitrovic.
Game Two vs. LSU
The Devils beat Tigers 3-2 (25-27, 25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 15-7) after the thrilling comeback . Senior outside hitter Ivana Jeremic didn’t get her name called the most, but her attack percentage was above .300 in the first two matches, finishing with 12 kills in both matches.
Mitrovic helped spark a comeback against LSU after the Devils were down two games to one, finishing the match with 10 kills and a solid .308 attack percentage on 26 attempts.
The story of the second match however, was senior libero Courtney Leffel. Leffel finished the match with 39 digs, breaking her previous career high by 11. The Flagstaff native has not missed one match in her three years under Tomasevic, and she will wear the off-colored jersey all season. Leffel also became the 20th Sun Devil to reach 1,000 career digs.
Middle blocker Megan Beedie started the season with high expectations from her head coach, and this weekend she met them. In the second match of the weekend she tied her career mark for blocks in a game with six. She also finished with six kills.
Tomasevic and the setters called upon Claire Kovensky to finish the kill more than any other outside this weekend. Kovensky was not expected to be the go to pin hitter for the Devils, but she made more attempts than any other hitter. In the win against Houston she tied her career high 19 kills, a mark she reached only one other time when she was a freshman at Grand Canyon University.
Game Three vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christian
The third game was the story of Andrea Mitrovic. The junior finished with 19 kills at a .515 attack percentage in the 3-1 win (22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-15) over Texas A&M-Corpus Christian. Miller and Jones combined for 35 assists, while Jeremic finished with 11 digs and eight kills. The Devils also served 12 aces during the match.
Arizona State will head on the road again to continue their non conference play on the road in the Fleur De Lis Tournament in Louisville next weekend. The Sun Devils will take on Western Kentucky, Tennessee Tech and Louisville.