Arizona State found themselves down a set and eight points early in the second set to the 16th-ranked Oregon Ducks. It was gut-check time or else the match was going to get out of hand quickly.
Sanja Tomasevic turned it around fast in that second set. Marta Levinska started a run with back-to-back kills. The gap continued to close until it was tied at 18. From there, ASU went on a 7-3 run to even the series.
Arizona State (6-13) rode the momentum to a 3-2 (15-25, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 15-10) upset win over Oregon (13-4) on Thursday.
The Ducks responded to earn the third set, but the advantage didn’t help them. Arizona State’s never-die spirit came out even more. On multiple occasions, Oregon raced to a three- or four-point lead before ASU erased the deficit.
It’d be a ping pong effect between a tie game and the Ducks having a small lead until the Oregon had match point at 24-22.
The underdog had one more chance to keep the match going, and the theme of the night continued. The Devils scored four answered points to push the contest to a do-or-die fifth set.
This time, Arizona State didn’t need a comeback. Instead, ASU took hold of the final set. After the teams were tied at five, Levinska had six kills and added a block to lead her team to the win.
Unsurprisingly, Levinska led the team with 20 kills. Roberta Rabelo, Iman Isanovic and Megan Beedie combined for 26 more.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday noon local time.