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ASU beach volleyball hopes pairs can tear up the court in final stretch of regular season

With the Pac-12 Championship just around the corner, here's a breakdown of the 2022 duos and players fueling the team's performance

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ASU senior Maddy Salazar (3) kicks up sand while returning the ball against Stanford, at the Sun Devil Beach Volleyball Facility, Mar. 24, 2022. ASU lost 5-0.

With the final stretch of the 2022 season coming up, ASU beach volleyball currently holds a record of 10-12, with individual wins not always counting toward team total wins, here's a breakdown of the beach volleyball pairings. 

Two pairs lead the way for the Sun Devils: the sophomore duo of Tayrn Ames and Kate Fitzgerald  and the pairing of junior Sarah Waters and sophomore Lila Bordis each lead the way with ten wins. 

Fitzgerald leads all individual players with 12 wins, followed by Ames, freshman Kylie Wickley and senior Maddy Salazar, who are right behind her with 11 wins each. Some of the players use their win totals to push each other and try to help contribute to the team's win total. 

"When I see someone else on my team winning games I'm like 'Oh, I have to win to keep up with them,'" Salazar said. "I also try to contribute to the overall win count, so if I win my game I'm helping the team that much more."

For Ames and Fitzgerald, winning together is nothing new, as the two have been playing together since their club days in high school. 

"I love playing with Kate," Ames said. "I feel like we have that connection on the court where we communicate well just because we've known each other for so long; it feels like I'm playing with a family member out there."

This past weekend, there was a new pairing on the court, when Fitzgerald partnered with Wickley against No. 17 UA. They produced the most wins with two, and defeated No. 3 USC and UA's No. 4 pairs. 

However, one player has won more than anyone else on her team — graduate student Cierra Flood who recently moved into third on the all-time wins list when she notched her 60th win a couple of weeks ago. Flood is partnered with junior Lexi Sweeney, who tied 13th in wins alongside Waters.

Although Flood is proud of her accomplishments, she wants to focus on enjoying her final year of eligibility. 

"I was obviously thinking about it before I came in but I try now not to think about it because ultimately I came back just to play another year because I really love being a part of this team," Flood said. "Climbing in the ranks and everything is a bonus at this point because I'm trying to have fun and not think about it too much."

The all time leader in wins for a Sun Devil is Katelyn Carballo, who graduated last year with 67 wins to her name.Carballo was partnered with Sweeney in the No. 1 spot during her ASU tenure. 

Flood could pass Carballo with six matches left in the regular season, not including the Pac-12 Championship at the end of the season. 

"It's nice to be able to play with those types of players and know that our whole team can get better from that and it's nice to be able to practice with people like Cierra," Salazar said. 

Ames, Fitzgerald and the rest of the team will look to add to their win totals when they travel to Palo Alto, California to compete in the Pac-12 North tournament starting April 9. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @aviannahoppes on Twitter.

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