Breaking down ASU women's volleyball's lackluster season

The Sun Devil volleyball program has lost 14 straight matches, the worst losing streak for the program since 2011

There is no challenging the fact that the 2017-18 season has been a rough one for ASU women’s volleyball. With an overall record of 10-16 and three weeks of volleyball left to play, a few questions come to mind about the program. 

What is the cause of this lackluster season and where does the team go from here?

The Sun Devils' season thus far has been marred by inconsistencies. They’ll begin a match strong, but errors will get the best of them and they will fall into a deep hole they can not climb out of. 

This can be frustrating and as junior opposite hitter Peyton Grahovac said, it’s not that they aren’t a good program.

“Honestly, we have a good team," Grahovac said. "I know it's hard to say that because of our record, but we have such a good team and that's frustrating for us inside of practice and in games.” 

Grahovac said there is no exact reason for their unsatisfactory performance. If they knew what it was, they would have fixed it by now.

“We would have closed the game when we were ahead of Washington by two or when we were ahead of Utah,” Grahovac said.

Despite starting the season 10-2, the Sun Devils currently have a 14-match losing streak, their longest in record since the 2011 season where they lost 11 straight.

Graphic published on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.

One of the reasons for their poor season can be linked to the high level of skill seen in the Pac-12. More than half of the conference sits in the top 25 in the country, which makes every match a battle for ASU's young program. 

Interim head coach Carlos Moreno said there are no easy games.

“To win we need to perform at our highest level, and we haven’t reached that yet,” Moreno said. 

Moreno said the level of talent they’re competing with is “insane” and the team knows if they take one play off, it could cost them the match.

Senior libero Halle Harker agreed that the talent is tough to beat. 

“If we were playing teams that weren't as high of caliber and teams that take plays off like we do, then it would be much easier to hang around with those teams,” Harker said. “But we’re in the top conference in the nation and it makes it very difficult to have one great play and then take four plays off. We don't have any time for that, and right now that's what we’re doing.”

Moreno said one of the ways in which they are trying to reach that performance level is by making sure each player knows her role. 

“We need to do our jobs,” Moreno said. “By doing our jobs, we’re going to meet the standard. Meeting the standard means that we’re going to be playing at a higher level and then not only that, but we can see we’re playing really good volleyball, but we’re not able to maintain over time.”

Harker said a change the team has made over the past few weeks is honing in on what Moreno said.

“If you don't know what your job is then how are you gonna do it in the first place,” Harker said. “That's something that we’ve been talking about a lot ... and then if our coaches notice that we aren’t doing our jobs, then we’re being punished for it.”

Moreno and the other coaching staff had the players write essays on what they believe their role is on the team.

“I’m pretty sure that a lot of them are not clear about what their job is, or they think their job is one thing and it’s not,” Moreno said. “That’s one thing that’s going to help us know what kind of page we are on with the players.”

Moreno said the team and coaching staff will continue to work their hardest in everything they do.

“We have no control of winning or losing, but we have control of how hard we work,” Moreno said. “I told them, ‘I don’t promise you guys any wins, but I promise you that we’re going to work really hard.'”

The Sun Devils look to turn things around Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. as the team returns home to Wells Fargo Arena to take on No. 9 Oregon.

Reach the reporter at or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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