Spikers Rally, Top Beavers For Fiesta Title

Sept. 8, 2001

FLAGSTAFF - Junior Xylena Sanders (Oceanside, Calif.) tallied 18 kills, 10blocks and a .455 attack percentage to earn MVP honors as the NorthernArizona volleyball team rallied from a two-game hole to defeat Oregon State27-30, 29-31, 30-28, 30-15, 15-13 in the championship match of the FiestaBowl Volleyball Tournament. NAU successfully defended its tournament titlewith the victory and Sanders became the second two-time Fiesta Bowl MVP,following up her 1998 effort as a true freshman.

In the third-place match earlier Saturday, Radford (1-5) rode the 22 killsand 15 digs from all-tournament team member Katie Sherwood to a 30-28,30-21, 30-32, 30-25 win over UC Irvine (1-5). Radford hit a strong .261 inthe match, which included .340 combined in games one and two.All-tournament team member Chanda McLeod led UCI with 19 kills, 17 digs anda .390 attack percentage in the match.

The Lumberjacks (5-1) had to come from way back to win their fifth straightmatch, dropping game two after leading 15-8 and falling behind 13-4 in gamethree. But their block came up huge against the Beavers (5-2), as the teamposted 17.5 team blocks in the match, which included five in game fouralone, which NAU dominated. OSU hit just .151 in the match, which includeda minus-.114 effort in game four. NAU cinched the match by scoring thefinal four points on a pair of kills each by Sanders and senior MaggieBarrera (Salinas, Calif.).

With the sweep of the Fiesta field this weekend, NAU improved to 25-2(.926) at home against non-conference opposition since 1995, and improvedits league-best home record over that span to 62-12 (.838).

Helping Sanders in the winning cause for NAU was Barrera with 22 kills, 15digs, 3 aces and a .313 attack average, followed by all-tournament teamjunior Chelsea Robb (Phoenix, Ariz.) with 16 kills, 15 digs and 3 aces.Senior Megan Greene (Porterville, Calif.) added 12 digs and 7 blocks ondefense.

In the losing effort for OSU, all-tourney member Gina Schmidt tallied 25kills and 12 digs, added by 14 kills and a .407 average from Michele Solomon.

2001 Fiesta Bowl All-Tournament Team
Xylena Sanders, NAU (MVP), Laura Collins, OSU, Chanda McLeod, UCI, ChelseaRobb, NAU, Gina Schmidt, OSU, Katie Sherwood, RAD.

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