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ASU Volleyball: No.5 Sun Devils sweep No.4 BYU, advance to Sweet Sixteen

Arizona State beat the Cougars in three sets, second straight sweep of the tournament

Arizona v Arizona State Photo by Bruce Yeung/Getty Images

PROVO, Utah. — No. 5 seed Arizona State (28-6) took down regional host No. 4 seed BYU (25-7), sweeping the match in three closely contested sets. The Sun Devils won their second game in the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. ASU will move onto the third round of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament as one of the top 16 teams remaining, all in head coach JJ Van Niel’s first season.

The Sun Devils won three straight sets 25-20, 25-21 and 25-21, led by senior opposite hitter Marta Levinska who had 17 of ASU’s 40 total kills in the match in her double-double performance (17 kills, 10 digs). This is Levinka’s second straight game in the NCAA tournament with 17 kills. Levinska moved into the top 10 in program history in kills in Saturday’s match. As a team, the Sun Devils had 93 total attacks on the high-swinging night.

“They have earned it so I am really proud of them, that was a really fun match,” Van Niel said. “ BYU did a really nice job. The crowd was great. What a win. I am so proud of them, just awesome.”

Like their first-round matchup against Georgia, ASU’s serve defense limited their opponent to only one ace in the first set. The Cougars had 12 attacks and eight errors on 34 total attacks for a kill percentage of .118.

In the second, the ASU offensive spread the ball around with Levinska’s four kills, senior outside hitter Roberta Rabelo’s three kills and junior outside hitter Geli Cyr and senior middle blocker Claire Jeter’s two kills. The Sun Devils had an efficient .364 kill percentage in the second set with 12 kills on 22 total attacks and only four errors.

In the third set, Arizona State made quick work of BYU by not committing only three errors in the third set. The Sun Devils’ strongest set of the tournament so far came at the end of the match in Provo to a shocked BYU home crowd. ASU peppered BYU with 40 total attacks in the third set to finish the match strongly.

ASU will face No. 1 seed Stanford at 9:30 p.m. MST on Sunday, Dec. 9 in the third-round matchup. In two matchups this season, the record is even between these two conference opponents. Stanford swept ASU back in September in Palo Alto only to be swept by the Devils in Tempe in October.