Seniors Go Out with a Bang in Win Over OSU

Arizona State University Athletics
21 Min Read

TEMPE – Led by stellar numbers from multiple people, No. 18 Sun Devil Volleyball closed out the home season on a high note, beating Oregon State in four sets (30-28, 25-13, 21-25, 25-23) on Sunday afternoon in Desert Financial Arena. 

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State improved to 25-5 (13-5 Pac-12), which is in sole possession of the third-highest win total in program history. Additionally, the 13 conference wins tie for the most in ASU history (1993, 1986, 1975).
  • ASU avenged its loss to Oregon State (11-17, 6-12 Pac-12) from earlier this season to split the season series. The Sun Devil serve showed up, as usual, dropping in eight aces, compared to the Beavers’ two. 
  • For the second match in a row, graduate setter Shannon Shields earned a double double, getting 47 assists and a team-high 14 digs (ties her season high). It is her ninth of the season and 19th of her career. Additionally, it was her eighth time this season with 40-plus assists. She also had a career high in kills with eight and added four blocks.
  • Junior outside hitter Geli Cyr hit a blistering .632, a career high, with 12 kills. She earned double figures in digs with 13, reaching double-digit digs in four of the last five matches. This was her second-straight double-double, which is the fourth of the season and 10th in her career. 
  • Senior opposite Marta Levinska had her 15th-straight match with double-digit kills, notching 18 to lead the team. She also had eight digs and four blocks. 
  • Bringing another strong offensive weapon, senior middle blocker Claire Jeter had 10 kills on a .588 clip, her fourth match of the year reaching double figures. She also had three aces.
  • Graduate libero Mary Shroll had her eighth match in a row with double-digit digs, collecting 11. 
  • Leading the defense at the net was graduate middle blocker Maddie McLaughlin with four blocks, adding five kills as well.
  • Junior defensive specialist Meadow Cooper tied her career high in aces today with two.
  • First set (30-28) was the second-longest set of the season after a 31-29 first set at UCLA, which ASU also won. Arizona State is 4-4 in sets that go to extra points this season.
  • This was the fifth match of the season that Arizona State had 3,000-plus fans in attendance. Today, there were 3,313.
  • The team finished the home slate with an impressive 9-1 record.
  • Prior to the match, six Sun Devils were honored for Senior Day: Cooper, Levinska, McLaughlin, Jaden Ravnsborg and Shields.


1982: 31-16

1986: 27-7

2023: 25-3



2023: 13-5

1993: 13-5 (T2nd)

1986: 13-5 (3rd)


Head Coach J.J. Van Niel 

Opening Statement

“As I always say, any Pac-12 win is a good win, and I think Oregon State is arguably one of the scariest teams for anyone to play. They’ve done a really good job, their new staff there, of just getting that team fighting and scrapping for every single point and they’ve got some physicality. So it was nice to get that win, and after the third set, to lose that – you never know how the team is gonna react. So, I thought we did a good job because even in the fourth, when we were down, we came back. They were ahead by like two points, it was 16-14, and I could hear them (our team) talking. They’re in there like, ‘Hey, we’re in this. We get a sideout, one point.’ It was cool to see them just hopefully gain some confidence from that, because I know we’ve been working on that a lot. Sometimes when the games are close, we still look like we’re almost not in it. And we are, so it was cool. It was really nice to see them battle and I’m proud of the team and it was a great crowd. How awesome to get another match with over 3,000 people. So thank you to all of our fans.”

On whether they’re improving on starting fast: 

“Well, we didn’t do it on Friday, but we’re just trying to get better every time. Today we did a better job there. I thought we were pretty consistent today. Maybe defensively could have been a little bit better, but our offense was humming. We talk a lot about a saying that when we did our little retreat, Shania (Cromartie) brought up. It’s ‘Ubuntu’ and Doc Rivers talks about it in a documentary about the Celtics. And it means, ‘I am because we are.’ The idea of, ‘Hey, we’re good because of the team, not because of me.’ We really like it and I thought that match kind of displayed it. We just had contributions from everyone. Meadow (Cooper) was serving really well. Even if we didn’t score a point when she served, it was a tough serve. Jaden (Ravnsborg) went in and was serving tough and Estella (Zatechka) did a nice job and Geli (Cyr) was on fire. We had double-digit kills from three people. It was a cool team effort and I’m super fired up for them. I’m proud of them.”

On how excited he is about the future of the program: 

“I’m very excited. Obviously, we’re gonna lose some key kids, but I think we have a really nice base to build on. Geli, like I said, even when she isn’t playing well in the front court, she just passes well and takes the same amount of balls as Mary (Shroll). She just comes out and she’s like having a libero on the court and then Claire (Jeter). On Friday night, Claire had some massively timely blocks, and her serve – I talked to coaches, and they always bring up her serve. Her serve is scary and when she’s good, she’s really good, and she was on tonight, attacking. I thought Shannon did a really nice job. Marta was a little off and it’s my fault because I think I’ve had so many interviews lately and they’ve said, ‘What makes Marta so good?’ I said she doesn’t have bad games. And the scary thing is I’m saying she’s off because she had 18 kills and hit .216. You get spoiled, right? But the rest of the team stepped up, so it was pretty cool. Shannon and Claire were awesome tonight. They didn’t even make an error, which is crazy.”

On laying the groundwork to make volleyball a big sport in Tempe: 

“I think our team has put a really good product on the floor. One of the things that I love when I walk around town is when people stop me, a lot of their comments are not, ‘Oh, it’s so fun to see you guys win.’ The comments are, ‘It’s so fun to watch you play.’ I just think these guys fly around the court and we’re scrappy and we have a fast offense and we just have a bunch of really cool, exciting kids that are just fun to watch, and that’s the thing that makes me the most proud. It’s not whatever our record is. I love when people are just talking about how much they love and enjoy watching our team play and compete. That’s cool. That’s really cool.”

Setter Shannon Shields

On senior day

“I didn’t really get emotional tonight, which is so out of character for me. They know me, I’m very emotional and I was seeing Jaden cry and I was like, hold it back. But I feel like I wasn’t as emotional because I know we have so many more games. I feel like we’re going to go so far in this tournament. We still have two in season matches left. But I’m excited to see what we can do for the end of this season.”

On a successful conference season

“We’re not afraid, every team we play, I think we come in with that intention. If we do our jobs, if we play our game, we can take anybody, and that’s kind of hard to have that mentality sometimes. Like with Stanford, when we went against them, they were ranked third and we came out there with just going balls to the wall, hitting every ball. We had confidence in each other and I think that’s what makes this team so special. We know we can beat anybody if we stay to our offense and we stay to what makes us us.”

On this team’s potential

“We’re a super flexible team. We adjust to different teams and I think it’s hard. Sometimes you’re stuck in a system and if you notice like we come out with different plays with different ways that we block and we’re not stuck in ways. We can move to different things and adjust really fast. So I think that’s what makes us also really good.”

Opposite Hitter Marta Levinska

On Senior Day

“For me it doesn’t feel like an end because we still have plenty to play. I was just excited to experience this with the girls, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

On passing down leadership roles to other members of the team:

“I’m so glad that we get to give them the flag, but also build the reputation of where I think this is – all people are going to be attracted to this program.”


Middle Blocker Maddie McLaughlin

After big win over Oregon State on Senior Night

“It wasn’t as emotional because it feels like there’s so much unfinished business still, not just in the Pac-12, but then beyond. I was talking to Marta earlier and we were just feeling grateful that this season has gone the way that it has and that we get to have a senior night that isn’t the end. I think it’s really special that we still have so much more to look forward to. So it definitely doesn’t feel like the end.”

On returning from an ankle injury

“Like anything that you’ve been through a lot, you get better at handling it and learning how to go through pain as opposed to going around it. So when my ankle happened, it was devastating in the moment and then after I kind of had processed the initial reactionary emotions, it felt like, ok, what do I need to do? The doctors told me I had no chance of playing this weekend or even next weekend, they said hopefully NCAAs and I said, ‘Respectfully, no,’ that timeline was not gonna work for me. So I just forced myself to move the ankle and to demand what I needed from it. I didn’t ice it, I didn’t do the normal traditional stuff, and so that is what enabled me to get back so much faster. And then with any injury, I think most of it is mental. And so against Oregon, I definitely was a little more nervous on the court and so it felt like today, I felt much more relaxed and I could play freely. And as JJ (Van Niel) said, just play with reckless abandon and it felt like I was finally able to get back to that today.”

On the impact the seniors have had on the program:

“I think it’s just so much more meaningful to build a program and to come in at the foundational stages of it. It’s great to play for Stanford or Wisconsin or something, but they have sort of a legacy that they’re expected to maintain. What’s really exciting for us is that we get to be in it at the ground floor of building something that is, I think, really exciting.”


Set One: ASU 30, OSU 28

The Sun Devils and Beavers opened the first set close but Arizona State continued on to lead with a 5-0 scoring run to go up 5-2. The following eight plays were back and forth with each team alternating points with the home team holding a 15-12 lead after a block from Shields and McLaughlin, forcing Oregon State to call their second timeout. The Beavers came back to get within one and make the score 16-15, resulting in the Sun Devil’s first timeout. The points alternated between each team with Arizona State preserving its lead of 21-19 until Oregon State came back to tie the set 22-22, calling for another Sun Devil timeout. Both teams returned to the court fighting for the first set result all the way until the final score of 30-28 for a Maroon and Gold win.

Set Two: ASU 25, OSU 13

The Sun Devils started the second set with a 5-0 scoring run, sending Oregon State to call an early timeout, but Arizona State came back from the break to extend the run to 6-0, all with Jeter serving and getting an ace in the process. The Beavers started to catch up, but the Sun Devils held their lead of 14-6 with a run of 4-0 that saw another ace (from Shroll), Oregon State called its second timeout. After the timeout, the ASU points kept coming as the team went on to hold a minimum of an eight-point lead and secure its second set win with a final score 25-13.

Set Three: OSU 25, ASU 21

Looking for a comeback, Oregon State recorded the first four points of the set and held a lead of 7-2 over Arizona State until the home team called a timeout. The Sun Devils battled, but it was not enough to steal the Beaver’s 18-13 lead before calling an additional timeout. The break served the Sun Devils well as they recorded six more points, including kills from three different Devils, to catch up to the Beavers’ lead of 21-19 and force them into a timeout. Despite ASU earning two additional points, OSU preserved its lead and ultimately won the set by 25-21. 

Set Four: ASU 25, OSU 23

The final set opened with Oregon State holding a single point lead until Arizona State stole the advantage with a 3-0 scoring run, making the set 6-3 and resulting in an OSU timeout. The Sun Devils owned the advantage for the next nine points but lost it when the Beavers recorded a 3-0 scoring run of their own to lead 11-10, which sent the Sun Devils into a timeout. The home team secured the lead again but turned it over to the visiting team who earned three-consecutive points and forced Arizona State to call another timeout. After five ties starting at 17-17, the Sun Devils took the lead again at 22-21 following an OSU serving error. The final scenes were as close as they could be with the score tied 23-23 before the Sun Devils earned the victorious two final points off of back-to-back kills from Cyr.

Up Next

No. 18 Sun Devil Volleyball closes out the season next weekend with a trip to Washington State for a match on Wednesday at 1 p.m. MST, followed by the annual rivalry match against Arizona on Saturday in Tucson at 5 p.m. MST. 

Arizona State University Athletics

2023-11-20 03:22:30 , "arizona things to do" – Vivrr Local

Share this Article
Leave a comment