Arizona State Sun Devils

Two Ranked Wins Gets #18 Sand Devils Best Start in Program History

Photo - Sun Devil Athletics

(Tampa, FL)  A perfect 4-0 for the first time in program history, the No. 18 Sun Devil Beach Volleyball squad is 4-0 after earning a 4-1 win over No. 17 South Carolina and an intense 3-2 victory over No. 11 Florida Atlantic to wrap up the Tampa Invite on Saturday.

Never has a team in this program started the season 4-0 until first-year head coach Kristen Rohr‘s squad this year. The previous best had been 2-0 (2020). Additionally, Arizona State already has three ranked wins on the year, which ties the program record for ranked wins in a single-season (three in 2019).

Graduate Lexi Sweeney and senior Taryn Ames both moved up in the record book for career individual wins, now tied at No. 8 with 44. The veteran duo went undefeated today. 

The No. 5 pair sophomore pair of Adriana Nieves Papaleo and Kendall Whitmarsh also went 2-0 today, winning their first match in three and second in straight sets. 

Game One: #18 ASU 4, #17 South Carolina 1

The second ranked win of the season came against No. 17 South Carolina (0-3). The dual started bright and early with two matches going to three on the bottom two courts and the Sand Devils coming out on top in both matchups. The clinch came in a sweep on court two from Arden Besecker and Ava Williamson.

Anya Pemberton – Photo/Sun Devil Athletics

Game Two: #18 ASU 3, #11 FAU 2

The perfect start to the season continued with an intense 3-2 win over No. 11 Florida Atlantic (2-1). After the first wave, the dual was tied at 1-1. A win on court three gave the Sun Devils the 2-1 lead, but the Owls tied it back up on court two by winning in three. It all came down to court one, where Kensinger and Pemberton had come back to force a third set. Facing match point at 14-12, the Sand Devil duo battled back to go to extra points, winning 17-15.

Up Next

Arizona State is home next weekend for the Sun Devil Invitational from March 1-2, hosting Colorado Mesa and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Kimberlie Haner


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