Sun Devils win in four sets
With kills leader Krista Vansant still sidelined by injury, the fifth-ranked Washington volleyball team could not overcome a superb defensive effort by Arizona State and fell 3-1 to the unranked Sun Devils on Wednesday night at home in front of 1,987 spectators.
Arizona State (19-13, 8-11), which upset No. 4 USC earlier this season, produced 89 digs to UW’s 75 as, limiting the Huskies (22-6, 13-6) to a .178 hitting percentage in the 25-19, 16-25, 25-23, 25-20 win.
Washington led late in the third set (23-20) and fourth set (19-17), but both times got blitzed by a 5-0 closing run by ASU.
Vansant watched from the bench with her left ankle in a protective boot, recovering from what team trainer Michael Dillon calls a moderate ankle sprain suffered Friday.
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“I’ve sprained my ankle before, but never this bad,” Vansant said. “This time the pain didn’t go away.”
She said she passed some volleyballs earlier Wednesday. Will she be ready by the start of the NCAA tournament Nov. 29-30? “I can walk pretty much fine without the boot on, but he (Dillon) makes me wear it anyway. But I’m doing well. Today was a good day.”
Her status for Friday’s final regular-season match at Washington State (a 3-1 winner over Arizona Wednesday) is uncertain.
• The Huskies will learn their postseason assignment Sunday during the NCAA tournament selection show (ESPNU, 1 p.m.). It will be Washington’s 11th consecutive tournament appearance during McLaughlin’s 12 years at UW. The Huskies, fifth in the coaches’ poll and 12th in RPI, are a virtual lock to be one of the 64-team field’s top 16 teams, earning the right to play host to first- and second-round matches.
• Wednesday, UW the signing of two recruits ranked among the nation’s top 20 seniors by PrepVolleyball.com — Carly DeHoog, a 6-foot-4 right-side hitter with a left-handed attack, and Bailey Tanner, a 6-2 setter/outside hitter. DeHoog, from Ontario, Calif., was ranked 18th among graduating seniors by PrepVolleyball.com. Tanner, from San Clemente, is daughter of Troy Tanner, a gold medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.