Sun Devil Volleyball Drops Two Matches To Open 2001 Season

Aug. 31, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When you start four sophomores, a freshman and one senior, the uphill battle in collegiate volleyball can sometimes get even tougher. Playing a strong field in the 12th Annual Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge, the Arizona State Sun Devils dropped both of their matches to open the 2001 campaign by falling 3-2 to Nevada and 3-1 to No. 22 Santa Clara Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena. Santa Clara went 2-0 to open the tournament, while South Carolina was 1-0 and Hofstra was 0-2.

The Devils dropped a nail-biter in the opening match to Nevada-Reno, falling 3-1 (25-30, 34-36, 30-16, 30-22, 9-15). ASU had several chances in the second game, but the Wolf Pack fended off four game points and went on to gain the decisive game five with a 15-9 win. Senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin (Glendale) led the Devils with 16 kills and also had 13 digs. Sophomore Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe) notched a career high 13 kills and sophomore middle blocker matched her career high with 11 kills. Junior middle blocker Julia Leddy (Mesa) was solid, hitting a team-high .346 with 13 kills. Sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek), who set the ASU single-season record with 1,452 assists in 2000, paced the way with 60 assists.

Trying to fend off the tough defeat by Nevada, ASU faced a quick and feisty Santa Clara team that came into the match ranked No. 22 in the nation in the AVCA/USA Today preseason poll. Already having defeated Hofstra 3-0 earlier in the day, the Broncos defeated ASU 3-1 by scores of 29-31, 20-30, 30-22 and 24-30. Coughlin led all players with 19 kills and Leddy continued her impressive play by matching her career high with 18 kills. Anglin had 52 assists to lead ASU.

For the day, Coughlin led all Devils with 35 kills for a 3.89 kpg average. Leddy hit at an impressive .414 clip between the two games and averaged 3.44 kills per game (31 total). Freshman outside hitter Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson) was solid in her collegiate debut, notching 14 total kills between the two matches and adding six total blocks. The Devils will go for their first win of the season tomorrow with matches against Hofstra (3 p.m.) and No. 23 South Carolina (7 p.m.) All matches will be held at Wells Fargo Arena on the ASU campus.

Other Tournament Results:

Santa Clara 3, Hofstra 0 (30-13, 30-26, 30-19)
Led by four players with double-digit kills, the No. 22 Santa Clara Broncos opened the 2001 season with a decisive victory over the Hofstra Flying Dutchwomen. Toni Muratore and Jami Bari each recorded 14 kills and setter Kelli Sousa led all players with 52 assists.

South Carolina 3, Hofstra 0 (30-24, 30-23, 30-20)
The South Carolina Gamecocks, ranked No. 23 in the nation in the AVCA/USA Today preseason poll, handed the Flying Dutchwomen its second loss of the day with a decisive 3-0 win. The Gamecocks were paced by outside hitters Nadia Sefferovich and Cally Plummer who each recorded 12 kills. Setter Megan Hosp tallied 36 assists and Sam Alban recorded five total blocks. Hofstra's outside hitter Alessandra Pollo led the team with nine kills.

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