Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics
OREM — The Utah Valley University volleyball team dropped its 2013 opener to Arizona State in straight sets (21-25, 18-25, 10-25) Friday evening at the PE Building. The contest also marked the Wolverines' first match of the La Quinta Inn and Suites Invitational that will continue Saturday.
"We had a lot of excitement coming into this match, but ASU played very well," head coach Sam Atoa said. "We had a lot of chances in the first set, but we just didn't take care of it at the end. We were humbled tonight and sometimes your greatest growth comes from these types of experiences."
Despite the lopsided scoreline in favor of the Sun Devils (1-0), the Wolverines (0-1) kept the first set close as they matched ASU point-for-point.
Late in the first set, Utah Valley took an 18-16 advantage after a kill from setter Brookelyn Hall. ASU answered right back by scoring the next three points, but UVU matched the run to tie the score at 20-all. The Sun Devils proved to be too much down the stretch, however, in the opening set as they finished it off by picking up five of the final six points.
In a set that saw 12 ties and nine lead changes, true freshman Macky Treanor led UVU by picking up five of her team-high 10 kills.
Arizona State, which had its best season since 1993 with 20 wins a year ago, stayed hot in the early stages of the second set as it jumped out to an 8-2 lead. The Wolverines quickly pulled to within four, but the Sun Devils maintained the momentum as they built a nine-point advantage midway through the set. UVU fought and got within five late at 21-16, but ASU finished off the set by scoring four of the final six points.
A 10-0 run by the Sun Devils early in the third set helped ASU put the match away as it took the final frame by 15 points.
Treanor led the Wolverines by posting a double-double of 10 kills and 12 digs. The freshman from Salem, Utah, also put up a .320 attack percentage in her first collegiate match. Preseason All-WAC selection Lauren Stringham led the Wolverines at the net with five block assists as well as a solo block. Outside hitter Kalani Norris also posted a notable performance with seven kills.
Macey Gardner and BreElle Bailey, daughter of former Utah Jazz great Thurl Bailey, and their 13 kills apiece led the Sun Devils.
The La Quinta Inn and Suites Invitational continues Saturday with a full slate of action. The Wolverines will partake in a day-night doubleheader, as they'll face North Dakota State at 12:30 p.m. and No. 24 Wichita State at 7:00 p.m. Also on tap at the PE Building during the day will be ASU against WSU at 10:00 a.m. and NDSU versus ASU at 4:30 p.m.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.