Arizona State (1-3) dropped its second straight game against Washington State (3-1), falling in four sets (22-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19) to the Cougars on Saturday morning.
After winning the opening set, the Sun Devils dropped three in a row. Washington State was spurred by outside hitters Julianna Dalton and Kalyah Williams, who both had 12 kills to lead the Cougs.
As for ASU, they had more strong outings from Iman Isanovic and Marta Levinska. Isanovic had a game-high 16 kills (her fourth game in a row with double-digit kills), while Levinska had 13 of her own and recorded a double-double, as she put together 13 digs, too.
Nevertheless, Washington State rallied after dropping the first set and flexed their strength at the net, as the Cougs had 15 blocks compared to ASU’s five.
“I’m not very happy with how we played today. It was not a good match or good showing for us. We passed better than we have in the past games, but we couldn’t get our offense running,” said ASU head coach Sanja Tomasevic. “On the other side, it kind of looked like they wanted it more than we did. As a coach that’s always frustrating, seeing that the other team wanted it more than your team. Hopefully we can come back this week and be ready to go in practice. We have a really, really good team coming to play against us (Utah). We’ve got to get ready and we’ve got to be better when we show up again on Friday.”
Among other notable stats from ASU on Saturday, outside hitter Maddie McLaughlin had a career-high eight kills, and Paige Denton got her first career start at libero, where she had a game-high 16 digs.
After a back-and-forth nail-biter on Thursday where ASU fell just short, Saturday’s loss was in more convincing fashion for the Cougs.
Up next, things don’t get much easier for the Sun Devils when No. 8 Utah makes its way into Desert Financial Arena for two games on Friday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Jan. 7.
In a loaded Pac-12 Conference, the Utes are already 3-0 and are built to make a deep run in this year’s NCAA Tournament under head coach Beth Launiere.
“I think we are going to have to get better faster. Utah is a really good team, and in my opinion, the best team in the Pac-12,” Tomasevic said. “We are going to have to be a lot more disciplined and stay patient throughout the rallies. That starts with practice. We’re going to have to get good shots in at practice, pass good balls at practice, and make good decisions at practice.”