ASU women's volleyball falls to No. 2 Stanford in four sets

The Sun Devils remain winless in Pac-12 play in Carlos Moreno's first home game as acting head coach

In assistant coach Carlos Moreno’s first home game as acting head coach, the ASU women’s volleyball program (10-13) took on No. 2 Stanford (18-2) in a hard fought fashion Friday night, ultimately falling to the Cardinal in four sets. 

The Sun Devils began the first set staying within reach of the Cardinal. Senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro led the Devils throughout the set once again with her consistency on offense — she put up seven kills on 10 attempts. 

The Sun Devils remained within striking distance even toward the end of the set, but the Cardinal took the set 25-22 after a short serve resulted in a service error by the Devils.

In the second set, the Sun Devils were unable to maintain the same intensity that they did in the previous period. They allowed the Cardinal to go on a 4-0 run to start the match with three straight kills and a service error. 

It wasn’t until the middle of the set that the Sun Devils showed hustle, however, they were never able to maintain a lead or go on any sort of run in the period. At the end of the set, sophomore outside hitter Ivana Jeremic went down after an awkward landing. She was assisted off of the court with the help of two trainers. 

After losing Jeremic, the Cardinal would go on a 5-0 run which would help them pull away and take the set, 25-16.

After the break, the Sun Devils opened with a 7-1 run to start. With kills from Okaro, junior opposite hitter Peyton Grahovac and Isabel Miller. Stanford responded with a run of their own after three attack errors by the Devils. 

Despite these errors, The Sun Devils were able to hold a lead until halfway through the set after Stanford sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Plummer notched in two back to back kills. After tying things up at 14, the Sun Devils responded by going on an 8-0 run with three straight kills by Okaro. 

The Cardinal responded by mounting a comeback and pulling within four, however the Sun Devils were able to steal the third set, 25-21.

In the fourth set and final set the Cardinal came back strong with two kills to open the period. They had control over most of the set as blocks and errors were the factors for the Sun Devils following an attack error by Grahovac and a service ace by freshman outside hitter Sidney Wilson, and the Cardinal began to pull away from the Sun Devils. 

At one point the Sun Devils made five of their points off of Stanford’s errors. However those mistakes by the Cardinal would not be enough for the Sun Devils to cut the deficit down despite their attempts — at one point cutting pulling themselves within five. 

In spite of their efforts, the Cardinal took the fourth set 25-13 and won the match 3-1.

Acting head coach Carlos Moreno spoke on the condition of Jeremic after the game.

“Hopefully she’s going to be back and up and moving for Sunday, but we don't know,” Moreno said. 

Moreno said that while the outcome wasn’t what they wanted, he feels as though they are getting better.

“I think we had a good game,” Moreno said. “I think we played against a really, really tough team … I think for the first time, our girls had some fun and they fought for every play.”

Okaro and sophomore setter Nicole Peterson spoke after the match on how the team has improved.

“It is frustrating when we get to the point where we can’t finish these games against these really good teams, but we still have a lot to work on,” Okaro said. 

“I think if we play like that against every team, I mean Stanford’s really high up so, I think if we play like that we’ll be hopefully very successful,” Peterson said.

“I think our hardest thing is keeping that motivation and play those teams that aren’t as highly ranked,” Okaro said. “But I think if we just stay disciplined and stay doing our job and have that same amount of fight and eagerness that we want to beat a highly ranked team … than I think we can beat them easily.”


The Sun Devils hope to end their 11 game losing streak on Sunday where they will take on Cal at 11 a.m. They previously lost to Cal earlier this season in three sets. 


Reach the reporter at klbroder@asu.edu or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.