(Stanford, CA) An incredible postseason run and a historic season came to an end for No. 5 seed Sun Devil Volleyball in the NCAA Regional Semifinal as the team fell in a four-set battle with No. 1 seed Stanford (22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21) on Thursday night and into Friday morning.
Arizona State finished the 50th season of the program with a 28-7 record. The .800 winning percentage is the highest in program history.
ASU fell to 1-2 in the season series with Stanford (29-3) after the four-set loss. This was the second time all season that the Sun Devils lost after winning the first set.
Senior opposite Marta Levinska led ASU in kills with 17, moving her into fourth for single season kills in the program record book with 571. This was her 20th match in a row with double-digit kills, tying her career-long record. She also had one ace to put her in ninth place in career aces at 107.
Graduate libero Mary Shroll had her most impressive defensive performance of the season, earning a season-high 30 digs. This was her second match this season with 20-plus digs, 10th in her career. This was her first time reaching 30 digs this season. She had 10-plus digs for the 29th match this season, reaching double figures in just the second set.
Another Sun Devil ending the season on a high note was junior outside hitter . She notched 16 kills, matching her career high. She reached 10-plus kills for the 15th time this season, second time this postseason. Additionally, she had six digs and three blocks.
Graduate setter Shannon Shields ended her career on a solid note, notching 38 assists. She also had four kills, four digs and two blocks.
Leading the blocking effort was senior middle blocker Claire Jeter with six blocks, with graduate middle blocker Maddie McLaughlin not far behind with four. Jeter also had four kills and McLaughlin had three.
Due to the Texas and Tennessee match going to five sets, this match did not begin until 9:51 p.m. PST.
Set One: ASU 25, Stanford 22
The first set was all about the scoring runs with there being five runs of four or more. The Sun Devils jumped out to a 6-3 lead after scoring four in a row, capped off by a block from Roberta Rabelo and McLaughlin. However, the Cardinal battled back in, going on a 4-0 run of their own to tie it at 11-11. But the momentum switched again as Cyr served Arizona State to another run of four to go up 15-11 at the media timeout, heading into the break after an untouched ace. Stanford again responded with another streak of five-straight points to take a lead before Rabelo’s kill even it up again at 16-16. From there, the teams traded points until a kill from Cyr sparked yet another 4-0 run to get to set point, 24-20. With a great defensive play from Estella Zatechka to keep the ball up, Cyr crushed the ball down the line to take the first set, 25-22.
Set Two: Stanford 25, ASU 21
Stanford opened the second frame with three-straight points, but the trend of runs continued to be the story in this match. ASU scored four in a row with kills from Cyr and Levinska to take the 8-6 lead. The Cardinal got back on top after a 4-0 run, 14-11. Three-straight kills from Levinska tied it up at 17-17, but three in a row from Stanford put it up 21-18. Jeter and Cyr teamed up for a block to get within one, down 21-20 and bring a Cardinal timeout. However, Stanford scored four of the next five to win the set, 25-21.
Set Three: Stanford 25, ASU 20
Behind the serve of Jaden Ravnsborg, the Sun Devils took an early 6-4 lead after scoring four in a row, including an ace from Ravnsborg. The Cardinal got ahead after scoring three in a row at 9-8, and then another run of three made it 15-11 at the media timeout. Ravnsborg’s serve was clutch again, scoring three in a row to get within one, down 16-15. Following a few back and forth points, Stanford scored three in a row to get to set point, 24-19. ASU held off one, but Stanford took the set, 25-20.
Set Four: Stanford 25, ASU 21
The Sun Devils got behind to start the fourth but kept it close. An ace from Jeter made it a one-point game, down 8-7. With Stanford up 11-8, ASU called a timeout to try to stop the momentum and got a block out of the break from McLaughlin to get a sideout. Two kills in a row from Cyr got ASU within one again, down 13-12, but Stanford went on a 4-0 run to push its lead to 17-12 and bring Arizona State’s second timeout. The Cardinal started pulling away when the Sun Devils put together five in a row behind some scrappy play and tough serving from Shroll to make it 23-21 and bring both Stanford timeouts. However, the comeback was too late and the Cardinal won 25-21.
Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Kimberlie Haner