ASU volleyball eliminated from NCAA tournament

HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Arizona State volleyball team’s season came to an end Friday night, as the Sun Devils fell to BYU 3-2 by set scores of 25-21, 22-25, 17-25, 26-24, 10-15 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

ASU ends its season at 19-14 on the year. This was the first time the Sun Devils appeared in back-to-back NCAA tournaments since the 1999-2000 seasons.

In the season-ending loss, senior libero Stephanie Preach picked up 25 digs, pushing her career total to 2,010, making her just the second Sun Devil in program history to pass the mark of 2,000. She joins Sydney Donahue (2004-07, 2,358 digs), who holds the school and Pac-12 record.

Macey Gardner led the way with 27 kills on the night while Whitney Follette added 17. Both were just two short of tying their career highs of 29 and 17, respectively. BreElle Bailey added 15 kills on the night.

ASU opened the match by taking the first set, but BYU (23-6) responded and took the next two, 25-22 and 25-17, to push the Sun Devils to the brink.

Down 22-18 in the fourth, ASU stormed back, staving off BYU’s match point with a kill from Gardner before Preach picked up a service ace to tie the set at 24-24. With a kill from Follette and a block from Gardner, the Sun Devils completed the comeback for the 26-24 set win.

But BYU took control in the final frame and put the match away with a 15-10 win.

The Cougars will face the winner of Saturday’s match between 11th-seeded Hawaii and Idaho State.