Alyse Ford, Claire Kovensky have made an impact as transfers for ASU volleyball

The two Sun Devils transfers have made their presence known

Coming into the 2018 season, ASU volleyball had two new outside hitters that were transfers: senior Alyse Ford and sophomore Claire Kovensky.

Ford transferred for her senior year from a Pac-12 foe in USC, while Kovensky transferred after her freshman year at Grand Canyon University. 

“They both emailed me first with their interest,” head coach Sanja Tomasevic said. “Immediately when we saw them and saw their film, we thought they could make us better.”

Ford had an advantage during her transfer. She had already played three seasons at a Pac-12 school, and her level of play was similar to the Sun Devils. 

“She (Ford) brings the experience — been there, done that kind of a deal,” Tomasevic said. “She’s a senior, so it's her last go around. She’s pretty hungry, and she is excited to be here. It’s kind of like its fresh blood and experience."

Ford originally contacted ASU about transferring to be closer to her father, mother and brother, and after her official visit, she said she fell in love with the coaches and teammates. 

“I love it here. The girls are still pretty young, so I kind of feel like the old lady around,” Ford joked. “They are super nice and super supportive and all very talented.”

During her time at USC, Ford earned Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention honors, 791 kills and 375 digs. 

At the time of both of the players' transfers, ASU came off a season that could be argued as one of their worst in history, consisting of zero Pac-12 wins and a 10-22 overall record. 

“I took it as a challenge. I thought it would be something fun to be part of my senior year,” Ford said. “I could help the team get those Pac-12 wins and get ranked in the top-25. So far, I have been able to check everything off my list.”

As a Sun Devil, Ford achieved a career high in kills with 29 against Colorado.

Kovensky at the time of her transfer was already in Arizona playing volleyball for GCU, where she earned Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year honors. However, the sophomore admitted she wasn't very happy, despite the accolades. 

“Altogether, I wasn’t happy at that school. It (GCU) wasn’t really clicking for me,” Kovensky said. “I can’t really pinpoint why that was, but once I came out and talked to my coaches about it over at GCU, they were a little disappointed at first, but they were supportive and helped me get to where I am today.”

Kovensky said talking to her coaches at GCU was one of the hardest things she has ever done, but she knew she belonged somewhere else. 

That destination just so happened to be down the street at ASU. With a 13-9 overall record and a vastly improved team from last season, Kovensky has helped her new team in maroon and gold. 

While Ford might be entering the latter stages of her final college volleyball season, Kovensky still has two more years.

"I chose ASU because, first and foremost, when I talked to the coaching staff, they were very up front and honest with me. It's kind of hard to find that today in power-five programs," Kovensky said. "Even though they had a tough season last season, they were reforming the culture ... The way they were describing things to me, I really liked what they were doing with the program."

Kovensky and Ford will be in action this weekend when they take on Oregon and Oregon State at Wells Fargo Arena.

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