ASU women's volleyball falls to No. 14 Utah in three sets

The Sun Devils were unable to break their 17-game losing streak on Friday

The ASU women’s volleyball team (10-19, 0-17 Pac-12) traveled to Salt Lake City on Friday to compete against No. 14 Utah (20-8, 11-6 Pac-12). The first stop on the team's final road trip ended with the Sun Devils losing in three sets.

The first set began with the Utes dominating. They racked up five kills on a 5-2 run to begin the period. A kill by junior opposite hitter Peyton Grahovac midway through the set sparked energy in the team and rattled enough energy to pull within two of Utah. 

That short run allowed the Sun Devils to briefly remain in the match, before the Utes went on a 5-2 run to win the set 25-21.

The Sun Devils got off to a great start in the second set, opening with a 5-2 run. ASU earned the majority of the points in the beginning of the set from errors by the Utes. Following a kill by senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro, the Utes went on a 9-0 run, which dismantled the Sun Devils and left them scrambling to dig themselves out of another deep hole. 

The Sun Devils would pull within reach of the Utes as they neared the end of the set with the help of freshman outside hitter Griere Hughes and Grahovac; however, their attempts weren't enough and Utah's senior middle blocker Tawnee Luafalemana helped pull the Utes to a 25-19 victory.

After the break, the Utes went on a 6-0 run early in the third set and put the Sun Devils, once again, in a hole. Unlike the second set, Utah wouldn't allow the Sun Devils to get within more than four points of their lead. 

Multiple errors by ASU derailed its comeback attempt, as the Utes won the set 25-15.

Interim head coach Carlos Moreno spoke after the game on how the program is continuing to face adversity.

"F.I.G.H.T., is not simply an acronym, but a standard we as a program adhere to," Moreno said. "Day in and day out we show fight and irregardless of how this season has unfolded, we as a staff are proud of how this team has continued to grow in the face of adversity. This season has been a test, but one that I am sure will make us better as team and more importantly as a family moving forward."

The Sun Devils continue their road trip on Saturday where they will take on No. 21 Colorado at 7 p.m. MST.


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

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