Arizona State volleyball fell just short of a second top-25 upset Sunday, losing 3-2 to No. 20 California at Desert Financial Arena.
Cal survived 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-27, 15-12 in a match that was important to ASU’s chance of making the NCAA Tournament.
The Sun Devils trailed 8-7 in the fifth set before a serving error by Dani Krstonosic and missed connection on a middle set to Avital Jaloba.
After that, ASU had five chances to pull within one including staving off two match points before Andrea Mitrovic netted a short serve attempt.
ASU is 13-12, 5-9 Pac-12 after a fourth straight loss. Cal improved to 20-4, 10-4.
“We still have a (postseason) chance,” ASU coach Sanja Tomasevic said. “We still have a lot of top-20 teams to play, but also we have teams we can’t lose to. These girls just don’t know how to play under pressure. Pressure is there. We have to win against the Oregon schools on the road.
“We have egos get in the way, just petty kid stuff. This happens a lot to us in practices and we think it’s going to change in games. We have a couple of players on our team that need to grow up because it affects everybody else. At this point, it’s not tolerable any more. It’s going to be something I’m going to have to recognize and start making some cuts.”
ASU is at Oregon State on Friday and Oregon on Nov. 17, looking to sweep both schools for the season. The Sun Devils have six matches remaining overall.
Andrea Mitrovic led ASU against Cal with 20 kills on .395 hitting. Megan Beedie added 13 kills/.476.
The Bears, who swept ASU 3-0 on Oct. 11, were led by Bailee Huizenga and Mima Mirkovic with 18 kills each. The left-handed Huizenga was a major problem for ASU in the second and third set, and the former ASU signee finished with .410 hitting.
No. 5 Stanford volleyball sweeps ASU
No. 5 Stanford volleyball won a close second set Thursday night then dominated in the third to sweep Arizona State at Desert Financial Arena.
The Cardinal won 25-16, 25-23, 25-10, taking three of the final four points to clinch the second set.
No Sun Devil had more than six kills as ASU (13-11, 5-8 Pac-12) dropped its third straight match.
Madeleine Gates had 13 kills on .323 hitting for Stanford (17-4, 11-2), which hit .349 overall to ASU’s .078.
ASU is at home again at noon Sunday against No. 20 California (19-4, 9-4), a 3-0 winner at Arizona on Thursday.
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