Macey Gardner injured in No. 5 ASU women volleyball's first loss of 2015 season

Macey Gardner went down with a knee injury late in set two. She will not play on Sunday against Washington State.

No. 5 ASU lost its first match of 2015 to No. 6 Washington, but it potentially lost a lot more than just a match.

Star senior outside hitter Macey Gardner collapsed after going for a hit with a 20-17 lead in set two. She got up with help from trainers and walked off, limping severely and was barely able to put pressure on her left leg.

After the match, head coach Jason Watson said that she sat in the third as precautionary measures. She will continue resting until the doctors can examine her on Monday.

This injury came after ASU had completely folded in the first set.

The Sun Devils fell behind 6-3 early, and it looked clear that Washington was outplaying them. The net wasn’t altering Husky shots and the back row couldn’t get a good touch on digs.

Set-by-set hitting percentages by team:


Set one: -.179

Set two: .234

Set three: .083


Set one: .619

Set two: .222

Set three: .314

Washington took a 10-3 lead and was hitting .700 at that point.

The Huskies went on a 16-1 run, going up 22-4. ASU lost 25-6 in a set in which the Sun Devils had five kills and 10 hitting errors.

Set two was looking up for ASU. It had gained momentum and taken a late lead behind Gardner’s five set kills. After hitting -.179 in the first set, the team improved to .234 in set two.

Things went downhill after Gardner went down as Washington went on a 6-2 run to retake the lead after her exit. 

ASU hung in. It tied the score at 24, then 25, and then 26 before Washington senior middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon got consecutive kills to win the set.

At the break after two sets, Sybeldon was 6-9 with one error. She finished the match with seven kills and a .417 hitting percentage.

With Gardner out, ASU switched to a 5-1 offense in set three. Junior outside hitters Cassidy Pickrell and Kizzy Ricedorff played around the rotation, and junior outside hitter BreElle Bailey played the front row while switching out in the back with senior middle blocker Andi Lowrance.

It was ASU’s first chance to see how the offense looked with Pickrell leading the way. She had moderate success, getting 10 kills, but she wasn’t able to hit into the block as well as Gardner has been. In the final set, she had four kills on 13 attempts.

Ricedorff had more success in the third set than the first. She was benched after the first set because of her error count, but came back in for Gardner. She finished the match with four kills and four errors.

ASU stayed close for the majority of the third set, but Washington’s serving elevated the Huskies.

Senior libero Cassie Strickland’s serve was powerful and accurate. She helped the team go on a 7-0 run and take a 9-4 lead. Later, junior libero Justice Magraw forced ASU into poor receipt and had an ace to ice the match.

ASU’s winning streak ended at 15 games, four of which came in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils will take on Washington State without Gardner on Sunday afternoon. 

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