ASU Volleyball Opens 2001 Season With Sun Devil Challenge

Aug. 28, 2001

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WHAT'S ON TAP: The Arizona State Sun Devil volleyball team opens the 2001 season this weekend with the 12th Annual Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge at Wells Fargo Arena on the ASU campus. The Sun Devils will host Hofstra, Nevada, South Carolina and Santa Clara for the two-day, nine-match tournament that highlights Labor Day Weekend for ASU Athletics. The Devils will open the tournament and the 2001 season with Nevada at 1 p.m. on Friday, and then play Santa Clara at 5 p.m. ASU will also play at 3 p.m. (Hofstra) and 7 p.m. (South Carolina) on Saturday. The 2001 edition of Sun Devil Volleyball is led by lone senior Jami Coughlin (OH, Glendale, Ariz.) and a group of seven sophomores. Junior Julia Leddy (MB, Mesa, Ariz.) is back for her junior year after finishing 7th in the Pac-10 last year with a .328 hitting percentage.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

Day

Match

Location

Time

Friday

Santa Clara vs. Hofstra

Wells Fargo Arena

11:00 a.m.

Friday

Arizona State vs. Nevada

Wells Fargo Arena

1:00 p.m.

Friday

South Carolina vs. Hofstra

Wells Fargo Arena

3:00 p.m.

Friday

Arizona State vs. Santa Clara

Wells Fargo Arena

5:00 p.m.

Saturday

Nevada vs. Hofstra

Wells Fargo Arena

11:00 a.m.

Saturday

Santa Clara vs. South Carolina

Wells Fargo Arena

1:00 p.m.

Saturday

Arizona State vs. Hofstra

Wells Fargo Arena

3:00 p.m.

Saturday

Nevada vs. Santa Clara

Wells Fargo Arena

5:00 p.m.

Saturday

Arizona State vs. South Carolina

Wells Fargo Arena

7:00 p.m.

THE SENSATIONAL SOPHOMORES: While senior Jami Coughlin and junior Julia Leddy are the extent of the veteran leadership on the 2001 squad, a group of six talented sophomores make up the core of the team. Tabbed as the 'Sensational Sophomores,' setter Cheryl Anglin, middle blockers Jodi Smith and Mandy Stephens, outside hitter Natalie Harris and utility player Kim Mehlhorn all have a valuable year of experience in the Pac-10 and NCAA Tournament under their belt. Anglin set the school record for assists in a season with 1,452 during her rookie campaign, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. Mehlhorn played a valuable utility role and earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. Both, along with outside hitter Natalie Harris and defensive specialist Courtney Blocher, all prepped together at volleyball powerhouse Chandler Valley Christian.

OPENING DAY NOTES: The Sun Devils take a 21-6 all-time record in opening matches into the 2001 opener vs. Nevada. The Devils are looking to end a streak though, dropping their last two season openers to San Jose State last year and to Pepperdine in 1999. Before those two losses, head coach Patti Snyder-Park had led ASU to nine consecutive opening day wins. The Devils are 31-7 all-time (.816) in the annual Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge that dates back to 1990. ASU defeated tournament opponent Santa Clara to open up the 1993 season.

TOUGH SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS 2001 SLATE:The 2001 Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge is a sign of things to come for the ASU volleyball team. The Devils will open the year with ranked teams in four of their first eight matches. Playing #22 Santa Clara Friday, then #24 South Carolina on Saturday. ASU will then play in the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic and take on the nationally ranked LMU Lions (#24). ASU also has two matches each with #2 USC, #6 Arizona, #7 UCLA and #10 Stanford.

PATTI SNYDER-PARK: Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park begins her 13th year at the helm of the ASU volleyball program. Snyder-Park has led ASU to five NCAA appearances in the last eight years and has posted a winning record in seven of her last 10 seasons. She has posted a career 191-152 record as a Sun Devil, which ranks first in ASU history. She recently became the fifth coach in Pac-10 history to surpass the 100 win mark in league play. Her overall Pac-10 record is 101-112. A graduate of Portland State University, Snyder-Park is assisted by sixth-year assistant coach Scott Swanson and second-year assistant Christine Garner. Swanson is in his first year as the associate head coach. Snyder-Park is married to husband John and has two kids (Sydney, 6) and (Samuel, 4) and Sophia Rae who was born last January. She is only nine wins short of 200 for her career. Snyder-Park is 31-7 in the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge and is 9-3 on opening day in her career.

COUGHLIN'S CORNER: Senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin became the 11th Sun Devil to record over 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in a career. Her 10 kills in the season finale at Minnesota put her over 1,000 in her career. She also has 1,138 digs in her career, most among active Pac-10 players, and already ninth in the ASU record books with the 2001 season ahead of her. She needs 459 to match the school career record of 1,597 set by Christy Nore (1985-88). She is only the eighth Sun Devil to join the 1,000 kill, 1,000 dig club. Coughlin set a career high with 26 digs in the Duke (12/1/00) match and for the season recorded 27 matches with at least double-digits in digs. Her 4.00 digs per game ranked second in the Pac-10 in 2000, just .01 behind the league leader, while her 464 digs is the fifth most in a season in ASU history. Her dig total in 2000 was the most by a Sun Devil since Mindy Gowell's school record of 601 in 1990. Coughlin was solid all year for the Sun Devils and a true 'iron women' on the court, playing in each of ASU's 116 games. The junior tallied 17 double-doubles during her junior campaign and had 20 or more kills in three matches. She also had seven matches with 20 or more digs. Coughlin averaged 3.48 kills per game, which was well above her 2.94 average from 1999, and ranked 10th in the Pac-10. The Glendale native also has a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom and was named a All-Pac-10, all-District VIII Academic, and Academic All-American award winner.

ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS PLENTY FOR SUN DEVILS IN 2000: Four Sun Devils were honored by the Pac-10 when the conference announced its annual awards. Amanda Burbridge became only the second player in school history to earn back-to-back all-league honors. Current assistant coach Christine Garner is the only other Sun Devil to match that honor. Michelle Mortensen was named honorable mention. Freshman setter Cheryl Anglin made All-Pac-10 Freshman and Kim Mehlhorn was an honorable mention selection for the freshman team.

THE SUN DEVIL CLASS OF 2005: In four years, two ASU freshman will be veteran seniors and leading the Devils to national prominence. At least that is what the plan is for the 2001 freshman class, comprised of middle blocker Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson, Ariz.) and outside hitter Melissa Stapley. Akporiaye comes to ASU from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, where she played three years of varsity volleyball. She was named first-team all-region and second-team all-state during her senior year. Akporiaye (pronounced Awk-poor-I-A) will contribute greatly in 2001 after showing great talent and promise during preseason camp. Stapley is a likely redshirt candidate for 2001 after breaking a bone in her foot during two-a-day practices. She was the captain of Mountain View High School in 2000 and 2001 and was named all-state last year by The Valley Tribune.

THREE TRANSFERS DOT 2001 ROSTER: Three transfers have joined the ASU volleyball program. Setter Fernanda Habiger (Barton County CC), outside hitter Crystal Bluth (Auburn) and defensive specialist Brittany Ahlstrom (Ricks College) add veteran depth to the relatively young Sun Devil squad. Bluth averaged 2.09 kills per game in two years at Auburn and will add great depth for ASU at the outside hitter position. Habiger was a junior college All-American setter in 1999 and adds a strong block to the front row as a setter. Ahlstrom was the MVP of her conference last year at Rick's College as an outside hitter.

SUN DEVILS ON THE NET: Catch all the latest news, statistics, bios, feature stories and match results on the Arizona State volleyball team on the official Sun Devil Athletics website at http://www.TheSunDevils.com. Historical features, as well as media guides and valuable links are provided on the internet site. For more stats, bio information and to set up interviews, please contact Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations department at 480-965-6594.

ACADEMIC ACCOLADES: Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin were both named Verizon District VIII Academic All-Americans in 2000 with their outstanding performances in the classroom. Burbridge has a 3.43 GPA in Sociology and graduated last May after four outstanding years in the Maroon and Gold. Coughlin, ASU's lone senior in 2001, continues to maintain 4.0 in Education. Coughlin was named a first-team Academic All-American in the University division, while Burbridge was a third-team pick. Coughlin was selected to the All-Pac-10 Academic first team, while Burbridge and Julia Leddy were second-team picks. Three Sun Devils were named to the 1999 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team: Burbridge (first team), Coughlin (first team) and Laura Hibsman (second team). Two Arizona State student-athletes were selected to the 1999 GTE Academic District VIII All-Academic Team as well. Burbridge and Coughlin were both second team picks. They were two of only twelve athletes selected to the first and second teams (out of 49 total nominations). ASU has 24 Academic All-Americans since 1996, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Stanford's 26.

ANGLIN SETS SCHOOL RECORD WITH 1,452 ASSISTS IN 2000: Sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin broke the freshman school record for assists in a season vs. Stanford (10/27/00), and continued on to break the overall school record with 1,452 in a season with 39 assists in the season finale in the NCAA Tournament at Minnesota. Anglin passed Regina Stahl who recorded 1,062 in her freshman year of 1984, to set the freshman record. In her first collegiate start, she wasted no time leaving her name in the ASU record books. The Valley Christian product recorded 77 assists vs. Cal Poly (9/1/00) to rank fourth (at the time and now fifth) all-time in single-match history at ASU. Anglin recorded the second-best assist performance in school history with 84 vs. Washington State (10/20/00). The 84 assists broke her own freshman school record which she set vs. Cal Poly with 77. The record was previously set by Tracy Heflin (74) in 1995. The school record for assists in a match is 90 set by Regina Stahl in 1987. Anglin also ranks 10th on that same list with a 71-assist performance at Washington State, and once again added her name to the record books with a 65-assist performance vs. USC (19th). Anglin had nine (9) 60+ assists matches in '00. Her 13.08 assits per game average ranked third in the Pac-10. She was named to the all-Pac-10 freshman team in 2000.

ASU Single-Season Assists

1.	Cheryl Anglin (2000)	1,4522.	Regina Stahl (1985)	1,4503.	Noelle Fridrich (1988)	1,4444.	Regina Stahl (1986)	1,4135.	Regina Stahl (1987)	1,255

2000 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Arizona State University Sun Devil volleyball program finished the 2000 season with a 18-12 record and made their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. At the conclusion of 28 years of ASU volleyball, the program made great strides towards returning to a national power. The team led the Pac-10 defensively with 18.89 digs per game and Amanda Burbridge finished second in the Pac-10 with 5.55 kills per game. ASU won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1995 when they knocked off Duke 3-1 in Minneapolis, Minn. The host Golden Gophers, ranked 9th in the nation, beat ASU 3-1 the following night to end the Sun Devils season. While ASU loses four seniors, the team returns its four fabulous freshmen from Valley Christian High School, two redshirt freshmen, middle blocker Julia Leddy and standout outside hitter Jami Coughlin. Coughlin will be the lone senior on the squad. First year setter Cheryl Anglin broke the school record for assists with 1,452 and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 13.08 per game average. Coughlin racked up the fifth most digs in a season in ASU history with 464 and finished second in the Pac-10 with a 4.00 dpg average. Her overall total of 464 led the conference. The 18 wins in 2000 is the most by a Sun Devil squad since 1995 when the team won 19 matches. ASU has now placed fifth in the Pac-10 the last three years.

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