UC IRVINE LOSES TO ARIZONA STATE
PORTLAND, Ore. UC Irvine had four players in double-digit kills but was unable to get past Arizona State, falling 25-17, 25-22, 25-27, 25-21 to the Sun Devils Saturday at the Nike Portland Invitational. The loss dropped the Anteaters to 3-3 overall while ASU climbed to 5-2.
Outside hitter Larissa Nordyke recorded a career-high 16 kills and 15 digs while Shannan Homan also registered a career-best with 15 kills and five block assists. Lauren Kellerman and Kari Pestolesi chipped in 10 kills piece with Pestolesi adding 13 digs and four block assists. Taryn Robertson recorded 52 assists and five total blocks for a team-high and libero Devon Sutherland topped all players with 22 digs.
Arizona State jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set and would eventually widen the margin to eight points at 18-9 on a kill by Margie Giordano. The Anteaters came as close as six points at 20-14 on a kill by Pestolesi but the Sun Devils but the set away on another put-away by Giordano.
The second set was a closer battle for the two teams with 11 ties and four lead changes. After trailing by three points early in the contest, UC Irvine rallied and claimed a one-point lead at 19-18 on a kill by Homan. With the set locked at 21 points apiece, an ASU kill and a UCI attack error gave the Sun Devils a 23-21 lead. Following a kill by Nordyke, ASU took a 2-0 lead on a service ace to end the set.
The third set mirrored the second with the two teams seeing six lead changes and 12 ties. UCI wrestled a 21-20 lead from ASU with a 3-1 run as Homan and Pestolesi paired up to deny Sarah Reaves and force ASU to call a timeout. At 25-25, Robertson and Chelsea Ellis sent back a Reaves attempt and Homan put the ball away on set point.
A Nordyke kill in the final set gave UCI itís final lead at 16-15 as ASU scored the next three points on three UCI attack errors. Kellerman tied the frame at 18-18 with a kill but five straight points by the Sun Devils gave ASU a 23-18 edge. UCI responded with three consecutive points to close the gap to two (23-21) but ASU collected the win with a kill by Marina Mercer and a service ace by Giordano.
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