Volleyball Battles But Falls To Arizona State
TEMPE, Ariz. - In a winner-take-all face off for the ASU Sheraton Invitational tournament title, the Gonzaga University volleyball team lost to host Arizona State University 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 11-25, 13-25) in the primetime finale.
With the defeat the Zags dropped its record to 8-5 and Arizona State moved to 11-2.
Arizona State opened the first set on a 5-0 run before redshirt freshman Savannah Blinn recorded the Bulldogs first point. GU would go on a 5-1 run of its own in response. The back-and-forth continued for most of the set until Gonzaga had an 18-16 advantage.
Down two points, ASU went on a 7-1 run to take a four point lead on the Zags. Gonzaga took a timeout down 23-19 but the Sun Devils finished off any Bulldog comeback and won the set. Blinn contributed six of the Zags 15 kills.
The second set was nothing short of a battle. Both GU and ASU were unable to gain a comfortable lead and there were a total of nine ties in the set. Gonzaga shut down the set when sophomore Katie Rutherford set Blinn for a kill on match point.
Jumping into the middle
of the third set, a Gonzaga timeout down 14-6 appeared to be the turning point
of the match. The Bulldogs came out of the break with a block by redshirt
freshman Kalistina Takau but it was all Sun Devils from then on.
ASU controlled the remainder of the set and captured a 2-1 lead. Sun Devil Macey Gardner totaled seven kills, equaling the entire Gonzaga team total for the set.
Gonzaga put up a fight in the fourth but it was not enough. The Sun Devils attack continued its momentum from the third and defensively Gonzaga had no answers.
ASU doubled the Bulldog
score at 10-5 prompting Gonzaga head coach Dave Gantt to use a timeout. Before
the timeout, Gonzaga was 0-for-16 on kill attempts and the team hitting
percentage was -0.312.
Coming out of the timeout, Gonzaga failed to respond and the Sun Devils closed out a perfect weekend on its home court. ASU clinched the tournament title with a double-digit advantage in the fourth, 25-13.
Even though it was a tough defeat, the Zags had their moments. Blinn finished the night with 14 kills followed by senior Kylie Edinger's seven and senior Terran Poindexter's seven. Rutherford had another 30 plus assist night with 32.
With the conclusion of the match, Gonzaga ends the nonconference portion of its schedule with conference play starting Thursday. The Bulldogs first three West Coast Conference matches are on the road and they take on Santa Clara University at 6 p.m. Thursday.