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ASU volleyball ends opening weekend on a high note

The Sun Devils secured their first two sweeps of the season in the UNM tournament.

ASU's volleyball team regroups after a point against Washington on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The Huskies swept the Sun Devils 3-0.
ASU's volleyball team regroups after a point against Washington on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The Huskies swept the Sun Devils 3-0.

Even though the ASU volleyball team lost one match to host school New Mexico 3-1, the team ended opening weekend and the UNM Tournament on a high note. The Sun Devils managed to sweep two of the three matches that they played in their first regular season action.

This weekend also marked the beginning of a new era for the team. This was head coach Stevie Mussie's first official time coaching the team in competition. The first sweep of the weekend was also her first victory at the helm.

ASU vs Fairfield (3-0) 

The first match on Friday against Fairfield saw the ASU team winning all three games, even topping Fairfield by ten points to take the second game of the match. 

During that second game, the Sun Devils managed to keep their opponent to a low .122 hitting. The overall average hitting for the match was .211. 

The match not only gave the Sun Devils their first win of the season, but also allowed two members of the team to reach career highs.

Junior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro reached her career high of 16 kills on .682 attacking. 

Sophomore setter Kylie Pickrell obtained two career highs in the match. She finished with a career-best 41 assists, adding four blocks along the way.

The scores of each game were: 25-19, 25-19, and 29-27. 

ASU vs New Mexico (1-3) 

The second match on Friday came against tournament host New Mexico, and was the only defeat for ASU this past weekend. 

Although the Sun Devils lost the match, junior liberio Halle Harker was a key player, keeping them in the game with 17 digs. Harker now has a career total of 978 hits. If she manages to reach 1000, she will be 19th in Sun Devil history to do so.

Having just broken a career high in assists the night before, Pickrell one-upped herself and obtained 43 assists, setting a brand new career high for herself. 

The scores of each game were: 23-25, 25-21, 27-29, 20-25. 

ASU vs Abilene Christian (3-0) 

The Sun Devils sealed their second sweep of the UNM tournament in their final match against Abilene Christian. 

In this match, the standout player was senior outside hitter Maya McClendon, who hit the Sun Devils first double-double of the 2016-17 season. She ended the match with 13 kills and 14 digs. 

ASU finished the weekend with a record of 2-1. The Sun Devils are now just five wins away from the 700th in program history.

Stars of the Weekend

Four stars of the tournament are: 

  1. Kylie Pickrell set a total of three career highs over the course of the weekend. She also had the highest amount of assists in all three games for ASU.
  2. Oluoma Okaro set a career high in kills, and also had the highest amount of kills in two out of the three games. 
  3. Maya McClendon had the teams first double-double of the season, while also leading the team in kills and digs in that game. 
  4. Head coach Stevie Mussie started her time at ASU on good terms, securing her first victory for the Sun Devils in that position.

Reach the reporter at tsclark5@asu.edu or follow @taylorsedona on Twitter.

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