Sun Devil volleyball began in 1973 and opened its program with a 21-0 record and an AIAW Championship under storied Arizona State coach Mary Littlewood. In its 42 seasons, ASU has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, the latest coming in 2014 under current head coach Jason Watson.
Volleyball has two AIAW Championships (1973, 1974) and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in consecutive years (94-95). Individually, ASU has six AVCA All-Americans in its history and leads the Pac-12 Conference with the most All-Academic nods, with 62 (including eight in the 2014 season). ASU volleyball has had Olympians pass through its program and former greats who still own the highest marks in Pac-12 and NCAA records.
Dating back to the start of the program (1973), the Sun Devils lead the in-state rivalry with the University of Arizona, 48-46 in head-to-head matchups.
The volleyball team finished 20-14 in 2014 and earned an NCAA postseason berth for the third consecutive season. The Sun Devils appeared in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. Standout junior Macey Gardner became the sixth Sun Devil to earn AVCA All-America (3rd); this was the first in 14 years. Gardner was also named to the AVCA All-Pacific South Region Team and the Pac-12 All Conference Team for the third time.
Volleyball has a long tradition of its cancer awareness week where the student-athletes, coaches and staff wear pink during a weekend homestand. Dubbed Pink Game, the team raffles off its game-worn jersey’s at the end of the weekend.
A new tradition for the volleyball program, ASU brought back its victory bell. Following a victory, the bell is brought on the court to be rung by elected Sun Devil athletes who helped make the victory possible.
The team also participates in “Zero Waste Matches” in which they team up with ASU environmental efforts to have a completely sustainable match.
“The Office of Student Athlete Development serves as Sun Devil Athletics’ catalyst for student-athlete’s academic achievement while promoting the development of critical life skills toward life long achievement” - Jean Boyd, Diretor for Office of Student-Athlete Development
Built on a firm foundation of academic excellence and superior athletic performance, the Conference ushered in a new era on July 1, 2011, officially becoming the Pac-12 Conference with the additions of the University of Colorado and University of Utah.
Just 27 days after the Conference officially changed its named, Commissioner Larry Scott announced the creation of the Pac-12 Networks on July 27, 2011, solidifying a landmark television deal and putting the Conference on the forefront. The Networks, including one national network and six regional networks, in conjunction with four of the nation’s largest cable operators, marked the first time a U.S. collegiate conference or any other programmer has launched a collection of networks across a variety of platforms, rather than a sole network. In addition, the “TV everywhere” rights will allow fans to access coverage outside the home on any digital device, including smartphones and tablet computers.
On the field, the Pac-12 rises above the rest, upholding its tradition as the “Conference of Champions ®,” claiming an incredible 131 NCAA team titles since 1999-2000, including 10 in 2013-14. That is an average of over nine championships per academic year. Even more impressive has been the breadth of the Pac-12’s success, with championships coming in 28 different men’s and women’s sports. The Pac-12 has led or tied the nation in NCAA Championships in 48 of the last 54 years. The only exceptions being in 1980-81, 1988-89, 1990-91 and 1995-96 when the Conference finished second, and only twice finished third (1998-99 and 2004-05).
For the ninth-consecutive year, the Pac-12 had the most NCAA titles or tied for the most of any conference in the country, winning at least six every year since 2000-01. No other conference has won double-digit NCAA crowns in a single year, the Pac-12 doing so seven times, including a record 14 in 1996-97.
Wells Fargo Arena, the home for Sun Devil men's and women's basketball as well as volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling, is one of the nation's finest collegiate arenas. Constructed in the spring of 1974 at the cost of $8 million, the 14,198-seat facility also plays host to graduation ceremonies and a variety of concerts and shows.
Wells Fargo Arena plays host to volleyball’s Marriott Invitational during the nonconference slate each season, averaging around 2,700 visitors during the weekend.
The structure is 400 feet long, 340 feet wide and six stories high. The structure contains offices and locker rooms for volleyball, along with space for weight training, a training room and an equipment room.
A recent addition to Wells Fargo Arena was a multimillion-dollar center-court hung video scoreboard. The scoreboard offers the best in modern technology and gives ASU one of the best scoreboards in college athletics. The video scoreboard comes complete with four - eight foot by 12 foot visual display screens. In additions to the scoreboard, two White Way matrix scoreboards with up to the minute game statistics were installed on the east and west side arena walls.
As an emerging sport in the NCAA, the Sand Devils finished their inaugural season 6-5 in 2014. Highlights of the season include beating in-state rival Arizona and sweeping of Boise State. Sand volleyball was added on July 8, 2013 and is the 22nd sport sponsored at Arizona State University. Jason Watson, the head coach of the indoor volleyball program since 2008, also serves as head coach of the sand volleyball team.
At the high school level, Arizona is the first state to add sand volleyball as an officially sanctioned sport. The Arizona Interscholastic Association and USA Volleyball worked closely together as the AIA board voted to move forward with the addition, which is expected to add eight to 32 teams this spring. Arizona led the way with a local school Phoenix school playing in what was dubbed the "first official high school sand volleyball games."
Arizona State Athletics offers a plethora of opportunities for student-athletes to excel while at ASU and to prepare for career upon graduation. The Office of Student-Athlete Development has 11 full-time employees to assist student-athletes with academics, eligibility and life skills. ASU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is an organization that enhances the collegiate experience by providing educational, leadership and service opportunities that exemplify and exhibit the spirit and essence of the Sun Devil student-athlete. All activities encompass this vision and help to further maximize human potential in the pursuit of comprehensive excellence.
ASU has eight full time sports performance coaches that oversee all 22 programs for the Sun Devils. Volleyball’s sports performance coach Alex Boyd joined ASU in 2012 after completing her Master’s Degree in Sport Management at Middle Tennessee State. Boyd holds certifications through both the NSCA and CSCCA.
Working closely with volleyball and the sports performance coaches, the sports medicine staff ensures that all Sun Devil athletes are healthy. Graduate Assistant athletic trainers work with the volleyball team, along with the assistance of the full time sport medicine staff and team doctors that are present at every home event.