Volleyball Wraps Up Regular Season At Long Beach State Tournament

Nov. 21, 2000

THIS WEEK: Oregon State (16-14, 6-12 Pacific-10) wraps up the regular season at the Long Beach State Tournament this week. The Beavers take on No. 16 Long Beach State (20-7) at 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 24. OSU plays Cal Poly (15-10) at 5 p.m., Saturday, November 25.

WHAT'S AT STAKE THIS WEEK: With its win over Cal last week, the Beavers assured themselves of their first non-losing season since 1996. The Beavers will finish no lower than 16-16 on the year. However, at least one win this week will give the Beavers a winning record, making them eligible to be considered for an NCAA Tournament berth. While OSU did finish seventh in the Pac-10, the NCAA has selected seven teams from the Pac-10 in six previous NCAA tournaments (most recently in 1994).

OSU VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: OSU has never played Long Beach State on the volleyball court. The Beavers are 1-4 against Cal Poly, although the teams haven't played each other since 1990 (OSU won that match in three games).

SOMERA SAYS:

* On being on the bubble for an NCAA berth: 'We have to get a split this weekend, and I feel really confident. Our Pac-10 schedule has prepared us to get a split. One of our strengths is being able to compete well for the whole weekend. In some ways, we're looking at it as if this is the first round. We survive and we advance, and if not, we don't. But the work we've put in and the strength of our schedule have prepared us to do well at this time of the year. The team's ready for the challenge, and I'm confident that they'll do well.'

RECENT ACTION: The Beavers split their matches in the Bay Area, picking up a win over Cal but falling to No. 21 Stanford, last week. OSU defeated Cal in five games (15-13, 9-15, 15-12, 11-15, 15-11), much in part to a career-high 19 kills and .353 hitting percentage from Michele Solomon. OSU also got 17 kills from both Gina Schmidt (.368) and Angie Shirley (.343). The Beavers were swept by the Cardinal (15-5, 15-9, 15-3). Solomon had a team-high nine kills with a .318 hitting percentage, while Laura Collins hit .545 with seven kills in the loss.

HOMECOMING IN ORDER FOR OSU ASSISTANT: OSU assistant coach Sabrina Hernandez was an All-America setter for Long Beach State. Hernandez, who played for the 49ers from 1989-92, earned All-American honors as a junior and senior. Her team won the national title her freshman year, and the 49ers also advanced to the final four her junior and senior seasons.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Brandi Bonnarens needs just eight assists to break the single-season assists record at Oregon State. Bonnarens enters the week with 1501 assists, second only to Miya Malauulu's 1508 assists in 1995. In addition to chasing the school record, she is also nearing another milestone. Bonnarens, who has 3975 career assists, needs just 25 more assists to become the second Beaver to record 4000 career assists (Malauulu, with 5368, is the other). Bonnarens also holds six of the top 10 single-match assists totals at OSU, including a school-record tying 82 at Washington State this year. She's had 80 or more assists three times this year, making her the only Beaver to record 80+ assists more than once. In addition to her strong assists numbers this year, she has 187 digs (1.61 dpg) to rank fifth on the team, and she's fourth with 70 blocks (0.60 bpg). She has 124 kills (1.07 kpg), giving her 100-plus kills for the first time in her collegiate career. She had a career-high nine kills against California last week. She's had six double-doubles this year (all asssists/digs).

FORTUNE 500: Gina Schmidt added 22 more kills to her season total last week, giving her 516 kills for the year. That makes Schmidt just the third Beaver with 500 kills in a season (and the first since 1995). Schmidt also had 23 digs last week, moving her into the top 10 on OSU's single-season digs list. She has 379 digs for the year, which ranks ninth on the season charts. She needs two digs to move into eighth place, four to move into seventh and 10 to move into sixth. With 21 more digs, she will become the sixth Beaver to pick up 400 digs in a season (and the first to do so since 1995). Schmidt's 4.41 kpg mark is fourth best in the Pac-10 this season. She has had 20+ kills in 12 matches this year (including a career-high 32 in a match at Washington) and has had 10 or more kills in all but three matches. Schmidt's 3.24 dpg average ranks sixth in the Pac-10. She's had 10 or more digs 19 times and has had 20 or more three times. (including a career-high 27 against Cal). She's led the team in kills 23 times this year and has been the team's leader for digs in 13 matches. She's led the team in both kills and digs in 12 matches, and she's had a total of 19 double-doubles this year. She's had 20 or more kills and digs in the same match twice.

SHIRLEY AMONG ELITE TRIO: Angie Shirley is one of only three Beavers with 1000 career kills and 400 career blocks. After picking up 13 blocks last week (for an impressive 1.63 bpg average in two matches), Shirley moved into third place for career blocks at OSU with 483. She also added 25 kills last week and now has 1,079 kills to rank seventh all-time at OSU. Shirley is second on the team with 357 kills (3.08 kpg), and she leads the Beavers with 126 blocks (1.09bpg). She's had 10 or more kills 19 times this year, highlighted by a season-high 19 twice. Her season high for blocks is 12 (also a career-high) at UCLA on September 28. She also had 16 kills in that match for her second career double-double.

SOLOMON LEADS OSU FOR FIRST TIME: Up until this past weekend, Michele Solomon hadn't been the Beavers kill leader in a match all year. But last week, the sophomore was OSU's leader for kills in both matches, with a career-high 19 kills against California while adding nine against Stanford. She averaged 3.50 kills per game in those two matches and finished the weekend with an impressive .339 hitting percentage, both well above her season averages (2.43 kpg and a .264 hitting percentage). Solomon is fourth on the team with 282 kills and has had 10 or more kills in 14 matches this year. She had double-figure kills in just two of 26 matches as a rookie, even though she played in every game. Solomon is also putting up solid numbers at the net and ranks ninth in the Pac-10 for blocking with an 0.99 blocks per game average. She ranks second on the OSU squad with 115 total blocks. Even though she hasn't completed two full seasons with OSU, she's already made her way into OSU's career record books. She has 226 career total blocks, which ranks 10th all-time. She has 196 career block assists, which puts her at No. 8 on OSU's all-time block assists list. Her season high for blocks is 10 against California. She also had 17 kills in that match, giving her the first double-double of her career.

COLLINS NOTCHES FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Freshman setter Laura Collins started both matches in the Bay Area last weekend as the Beavers used a 6-2 offense for the first time this year. Collins put together solid numbers in both matches, and she posted her first collegiate double-double in the match at Cal. She had career-highs of 16 assists and 10 kills in that match, and she had career-highs of six digs and three aces as well. The following night at Stanford, she hit an impressive .545 with seven kills to go along with nine assists and six digs. For the year, Collins has 63 assists (2.74 apg), 26 digs (1.13 dpg) and 20 kills (0.87 kpg).

PAPELL'S STREAK ENDS: Jessica Papell didn't serve an ace in either of OSU's two matches last week, thus ending her streak of hot serving. Papell had served at least one ace in seven straight matches up until last week. Still, she's tied for second on the team with 24 aces. Although her serving streak ended, Papell did manage to record her first career double-double, with 10 digs and a career-high 10 assists against Cal last week. She's now had 10-plus digs in 13 matches, including four matches with 20 or more (highlighted by a career-high 23 twice, against Washington and Oregon). She's been the team's dig leader in eight matches this year. Overall, she ranks second on the squad with 274 digs (2.54 dpg), marking the first time she's had 200-plus digs as a Beaver.

HANNAFORD'S HAPPENINGS: Joscelyn Hannaford turned in 16 kills against California last week for her sixth straight 10-plus kill outing, although the streak was snapped when she had just one kill against Stanford the following night. Hannaford has had a total of 14 double-figure kills matches this season, including a career-high 20 kills three times (most recently against Washington on November 10). Hannaford has also had double digits in the dig column eight times and has had seven double-double efforts this season, highlighted by one 20-20 performance (20 kills, 23 digs at Washington State on October 13). She ranks third on the team with 302 kills (2.82 kpg) and is fourth with 218 digs (2.04 dpg). Her numbers are actually better against Pac-10 teams. Of her 302 kills, 210 have come against Pac-10 teams for an average of 3.09 kills per game (that average is second best on the team in league action). She's picked up 145 of her 218 digs in Pac-10 matches as well, good for an average of 2.13 dpg. Hannaford also had two aces last week, upping her team-leading total to 35 for the year, good for an average of 0.33 aces per game to tie for seventh in the Pac-10.

BEAVERS SET NEW TEAM RECORD FOR KILLS: Oregon State had a total of 124 kills in two matches last week, giving the Beavers 1,950 kills for the year. That total breaks the school record for team kills in a single season, bettering the old mark of 1,861 set back in 1995. The Beavers have three players with 300-plus kills this season: Gina Schmidt (516), Angie Shirley (357) and Joscelyn Hannaford (302). The last time OSU had three players with 300-plus kills in the same season was 1997. Michele Solomon is closing in on 300 kills as well. With 18 kills this weekend, she will join the group of Beavers with 300 kills this year. The Beavers haven't had four players with 300 kills in one season since 1990.

INJURY UPDATE: Katrina Nelson is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee at OSU's match at Arizona State on November 3. Lori Daedelow has missed the last four matches due to a concussion, but she has been cleared for this week. Daedelow had started 12 straight matches before the injury.

A LOOK AT THIS WEEKEND'S OPPONENTS: Long Beach State brings a five-match winning streak into the tournament. The 49ers are led by Cheryl Weaver (4.31 kpg, 2.29 dpg,1.52 bpg, .317 hitting percentage) and Tayyiba Haneff (3.82 kpg, .369 hitting percentage, 1.01 bpg). Cal Poly is coming off a 3-2 loss to No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. The Mustangs are led by Melanie Hathaway (4.49 kpg, 3.35 dpg, 0.42 sapg, .271 hitting percentage), while also getting strong numbers from setter Carly O'Halloran (10.88 apg, 1.52 kpg, .355 hitting percentage, 1.83 dpg).

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: The Beavers are under the direction of second-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 24-32, arrived at OSU in February 1999 after spending time as an assistant coach at USC since 1991. While at USC, Somera helped the team earn eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. She also helped develop eight USC All-Americans. Somera also played collegiately at USC, and she was a two-time All-Pacific-10 Team selection. She still holds the USC record for career and single-season aces.

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