Volleyball upsets Pacific but loses two

The 2010 season continues to be a building and improving process for the ASU volleyball team.

With Pac-10 conference play on the horizon, the Sun Devils (5-7) concluded their final non-conference tournament with a one win, two loss performance in the ASU Sheraton Tournament.

ASU upset Pacific Saturday afternoon, but fell to No. 21 Michigan on Friday night and Utah on Saturday night.

State Press Television By F. Diamond Grijalva

Although ASU suffered two difficult losses, the Sun Devils proved they could compete with some of the nation’s top talent.

“Yesterday we went to four, today we all went to five,” freshman outside hitter Danica Mendivil said. “It shows that we’re working hard, and that we want to win and we’re being competitive. It shows that we are here to fight, and we are here to win and we’re going to do what it takes to get there.”

Fight is exactly what the Sun Devils did beginning Friday night against UM. ASU exploded in the 25-12 first-set victory. However, UM took control and won the next three sets 25-21, 27-25, and 25-19 to steal the match.

“They responded and we lost some of our intensity,” freshman libero Jenny Teslevich said. “We were battling all those sets. We just missed a couple chances that we had.”

Sophomore outside Ashley Kastl paced the Sun Devils with 16 kills against the Wolverines in a game that saw 20 tie scores and 10 lead changes.

Saturday brought an afternoon contest against Pacific. ASU made an early statement with 25-23 and 26-24 victories in the first two sets.

After the Tigers (7-4) evened the match at 2-2, ASU responded with a 16-14 final set win to defeat Pacific.

The Sun Devils got 18 kills from Mendivil, and senior outside hitter Sarah Reaves smacked 20 in the ASU victory.

With Kastl unavailable on Saturday due to injury, Mendivil took advantage of the opportunity.

“She’s this true freshman, she’s banging at balls, and she rose to the challenge,” ASU coach Jason Watson said. “She threw it out there and did a nice job for both matches.”

In another five-set thriller, ASU came up just short against Utah.

Mendivil powered the Sun Devils with 25 kills in the match, and helped earn the 25-16 fourth set win to force a decisive final set.

The Sun Devils rallied to score 13, but Utah fired back to win the set 15-13.

State Press Television By Alex Clark

Despite the 1-2 tournament record, the Sun Devils are taking a lot of positives with them from this weekend.

“We are 5-7, but we are playing really nice volleyball at times — better than we’ve played in my three years,” Watson said. “I hope our kids feel good about some things. Life changes now as we get to play in the Pac-10.”

Reach the reporter at gregory.dillard@asu.edu

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