Volleyball Wraps Up Regular Season Play With No. 10 Colorado State

Nov. 21, 2001

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THIS WEEKEND: The Oregon State volleyball team (17-10, 10-8 Pacific-10) concludes regular season play with a non-conference match against No. 10 Colorado State (25-3, prior to a Wednesday night match at Portland). The Beavers will host the Rams at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 24. It will be the fifth match against a top 15 team in a 10-day span for Oregon State.

TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS: Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and youth (HS and under). OSU students are free with a valid ID. Saturday's match is Take a Kid to the Game night, with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. In addition, fans who show a ticket stub from the OSU women's basketball game against No. 8 Texas Tech (set for 2 p.m. Saturday) will be admitted free to the volleyball match against CSU.

SENIOR RECOGNITION: Oregon State's three seniors - Lori Daedelow, Jessica Papell and Gina Schmidt - will be recognized prior to the match against Colorado State this Saturday when they play their final match in Gill Coliseum.

AWAITING THE NCAA SELECTIONS: Oregon State is anticipating an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will be aired Monday, November 26 at noon PST. Fans are invited to watch the show with the Beavers at the weekly Beaver Huddle on the third floor of the Valley Football Center. If the Beavers are selected, it will be just the second time in program history OSU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament, with OSU's only appearance so far coming in 1983.

SERIES RECORDS: Oregon State and Colorado State have played just once in volleyball, with the Beavers winning the only meeting in three games back in 1990.

A LOOK AT COLORADO STATE: Colorado State (21-3) will face Portland on Wednesday before Saturday's match against Oregon State. Two of CSU's three losses have come against No. 13 Utah, both in five games, and its other loss was a 3-0 setback to No. 3 Stanford earlier this week. Of the 20 wins this season, 17 were won in three games, the other three victories came in four games. The Rams are led by Angela Knopf, who is hitting .500 while averaging an impressive .424 kills per game to go along with 1.41 blocks per game.

THE OREGON STATE-COLORADO STATE CONNECTION: Colorado State redshirt freshman Katie Jo Shirley is the younger sister of former Beaver middle blocker Angie Shirley, who was a senior on last year's OSU squad. The younger Shirley has played in 37 of CSU's 91 games this year, hitting .412 while averaging 1.35 kills per game.

THREE BEAVERS RECEIVE ALL-PACIFIC-10 RECOGNITION: Gina Schmidt and Laura Collins were named honorable mention All-Pacific-10, while Allison Lawrence was named an honorable mention selection on the league's All-Freshman Team. Schmidt ranks third in the Pac-10 for digs (3.33 dpg) and ninth for kills (3.71 kpg). Collins, who ranks fifth in the league for assists (12.05 apg), was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on October 1. Lawrence is averaging 1.89 kills and 0.68 digs per game.

PAC-10 SUCCESS FOR THE BEAVERS: OSU's upset win over No. 11 UCLA on Monday gave the Beavers their 10th Pac-10 win of the season, giving OSU double-figure wins in Pac-10 play for just the second time (The Beavers won a school record 11 Pac-10 matches in 1990.). That 10th win assured the Beavers of sole possession of fifth place in the final league standings, also good for OSU's second best finish in Pac-10 play. The Beavers finished third in 1990 but aside from that season, OSU has never finished above seventh place in the final standings until this year.

NATIONAL POLLSTERS TAKING NOTE: Oregon State's success this season has hit the national scene as the Beavers have received votes in the last three USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Polls, each week receiving more votes than the previous week. OSU received nine votes in the latest poll, which came out November 19 (prior to the win over UCLA). That puts the Beavers at 31st nationally. OSU received seven votes, good for 32nd, in the November 12 poll, and the Beavers received four votes on November 5.

EARLIER THIS WEEK: OSU concluded Pacific-10 play with two home matches against No. 11 UCLA and No. 5 USC on Monday and Tuesday - just three days after wrapping up two matches against those same teams in Los Angeles. The Beavers came away with a 3-1 upset over the Bruins, good for OSU's second ever victory against UCLA - and the first in Corvallis. The win gave the Beavers a chance to rest some players the following night against USC, and the Women of Troy ended up victorious in three games. Joscelyn Hannaford led the way against UCLA, hitting .378 with a match-high 17 kills to go along with 14 digs. Lori Daedelow led OSU against USC, finishing with six kills and eight digs.

SCHMIDT'S BITS: Gina Schmidt now ranks all-time third for career kills, with 1,341, and she's seventh for career digs with 1,115. She is one of only five Beavers to record 1,000 career kills and digs. She'll likely remain at No. 3 for kills when she concludes her career (she's 213 kills shy of second place), but she could possibly move up one more spot for career digs depending on how many more matches the Beavers play. She needs 67 to move into a tie for sixth place in that category. Schmidt leads the Beavers with 17 double-doubles in 27 matches this season. For the year, she has team-highs of 360 kills and 323 digs, ranking third in the Pac-10 for digs (3.33 dpg) and ninth for kills (3.71 kpg). Schmidt has had 10 or more kills in 21 matches, including four with 20-plus, with a season-high 26 against UC Irvine. She also had 25 in a match against Northern Arizona. She's also had 10-plus digs in 18 matches, with 20-plus three times, including 22 twice.

COLLINS' CORNER: Laura Collins has been a key factor in OSU's success this season. Her 1,181 assists this year ranks eighth on OSU's single-season charts, and she ranks fifth in the Pac-10 for with 12.05 assists per game. Collins was named to the all-tournament teams at both of OSU's preseason tournaments, and she was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts in leading OSU to a sweep over the Washington schools in September. She had a career-high 75 assists in OSU's win at Washington, with that total equalling OSU's sixth best single-match assists total for an individual. It's also good for the most assists by a Pac-10 player in a single match this season. Collins has also jumped into the top 10 for all-time assists at Oregon State, now ranking sixth with 1,232 career assists - 50 away from the No. 5 spot. Collins is a key defensive player for the Beavers as well, ranking fifth on the team with 201 digs (2.05 dpg). She's had 10 or more in seven matches, including a career-high 14 against Oregon on October 10.

MIDDLES COULD EARN A SPOT IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Michele Solomon and Katrina Nelson could become the first Beavers since 1997 to earn a spot in the single-season hitting percentage category in the OSU record books if their current marks hold up. Solomon is hitting .315 and Nelson is at .314 heading into the Colorado State match. If those hold up, they would finish as the fifth and sixth best single-season marks at OSU (minimum of three attempts per game played). Solomon ranks second on the team with 255 kills (2.58 kpg) with double figures in 12 matches. Nelson ranks fourth on the team with 196 kills (2.18 kpg), with 10 or more in eight matches. Solomon leads OSU with 96 blocks (0.97 bpg), with Nelson second with 63 (0.70 bpg).

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE: Oregon State has relied on strong defensive play all year, ranking second in the Pac-10 with 17.06 digs per game. The Beavers, who were the top-ranked team in the league for digs for five weeks this season, have outdug (or tied) their opponents in all but five of their 27 matches this season. Individually, Gina Schmidt ranks third in the Pac-10 (3.33 dpg). For the year, Schmidt leads the team with 323 digs, and four other Beavers have at least 200. Nikki Neuburger is second with 255, followed by Lori Daedelow with 241, Jessica Papell with 214 and Laura Collins with 201. OSU has two of the top five single-match team totals in the Pac-10 this year (110 against Washington State and 98 against Sacramento State). Eight Beavers have combined for 68 double-figure dig performances in 27 matches this season. Schmidt leads the way with 18, while Neuburger has had 15 double-figure efforts. Four Beavers have had matches with 20+ digs this year, led by Schmidt with three and Megan McMillan with two. Schmidt has had a season-high 22 digs twice. McMillan had a career-high 25 against Northern Arizona and added 24 at home against WSU. K.C. Frederic had 24 against Sacramento State, while Daedelow had a career-high 20 at Arizona State.

REGIONAL RANKINGS: OSU has moved up to seventh in the latest NCAA regional poll (Nov. 14) after being ranked eighth in the first three polls this season.

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: The Beavers are under the direction of third-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 41-44, 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 and 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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