Sun Devil Volleyball Travels To Washington And Washington State
Oct. 1, 2002
What's On Tap:
The Sun Devils continue their 2002 season this weekend with the first Pac-10 road trip of the year. Fresh off a three-game sweep of rival Arizona last Friday and back-to-back wins over ranked opponents, the Sun Devils will face Washington (Oct. 3, 7 p.m.) in Seattle and the 19th-ranked Washington State Cougars (Oct. 4, 7 p.m.) in Pullman. Arizona State (6-2 overall, 2-1 Pac-10) will return home Oct. 10-11 when they host nationally ranked Stanford and California. The Oct. 10 match against Stanford will be televised nationally as the Fox Sport Net Pac-10 Volleyball Game of the Week.
Sun Devils Crack Top 25:
The Arizona State Volleyball team, fresh off back-to-back wins over ranked opponents and off to a 6-2 start to the 2002 season, has earned a No. 24 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA national poll. The Sun Devils are already 3-1 this year against ranked opponents, beating No. 13 Pacific (3-2; 9/7), No. 11 UCLA (3-1; 9/21) and most recently No. 12 Arizona (3-0; 9/27). ASU is ranked in the national poll for the first time since Sept. 3, 1996 when they were No. 23. The last time ASU finished a season ranked in the poll was 1995 when they were No. 11 and made an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. ASU Volleyball, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year (1973-2002), has now been ranked 125 times in school history.
Escobar Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Arizona State outside hitter Juliana Escobar has been named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 23-Sept. 29. Escobar recorded 20 kills (6.67 kpg) and 16 digs (5.33 dpg), both match highs in ASU's 3-0 win over rival Arizona. She also led the Sun Devils with three service aces in a 3-0 win over No. 12 Arizona (9/27). On the season, Escobar is averaging 4.66 kills per game, 3.12 digs per game and 0.84 aces per game. She has recorded six double-doubles (kills/digs) this year (out of ASU's eight matches), all of which have been 20+ kill matches.
The Washington Huskies enter Thursday's match with a 10-3 record and are 2-2 in Pac-10 play. UW swept the Oregon schools at home to open the Pac-10 season, but fell to both USC and UCLA last weekend, each in three games. The Huskies are led by senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin. Benjamin is ranked second in the Pac-10 with 5.50 kills per game and 6.16 points per game. Senior setter Gretchen Maurer leads the conference with 13.27 assist per game. The Sun Devils and Huskies split the series last year with each team winning on the road. UW leads the all-time series 19-17 and ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park is an even 13-13 vs. UW. ASU owns an even 13-13 record in Seattle under Snyder-Park (1989-P), but are 1-0 since their home court was renamed Bank of American Pavilion. The Devils have won five of the last six matches and seven of the last nine dating back to 1997.
Scouting Washington State:
Arizona State faces 19th-ranked Washington State Friday night in what is promised to be a packed and hostile Bohler Gym on Homecoming Weekend in Pullman. The Cougars are led by Adrian Hankoff (3.85 kpg, 3.25 dpg) and senior outside hitter LaToya Harris (3.81 kpg, 2.69 dpg). The Cougars enter Thursday's match with Arizona with an 11-2 overall record and a 2-2 start in Pac-10 play. ASU had not lost a match and carried a school-record 32-game winning streak into last weekend's series of matches against No. 1 USC and No. 17 UCLA. WSU had not faced a ranked opponent heading into its Pac-10 openers in Los Angeles. The Cougs were swept by the Women of Troy (18-30, 21-30, 24-30) and then lost in five games to UCLA the next night. WSU led the Bruins 2-0, before UCLA game back to defeat the then No. 18 Cougars. ASU leads the all-time series against WSU 18-15 and the two schools are an even 5-5 since the 1997 season. ASU swept WSU in 2000, while the Cougs returned the favor last year with a 3-0 win in Pullman and a 3-1 win in Tempe.
Devils Tough Against Ranked Opponents:
The Sun Devils were 0-9 against ranked opponents last year... and oh what a difference a year makes. Facing a very challenging slate to start the season, 24th-ranked ASU is already 3-1 against ranked opponents, knocking off then No. 13 Pacific (9/7), No. 11 UCLA (9/21) and most recently sweeping rival Arizona (#12) last Friday. ASU will play seven more ranked opponents throughout the season, including an upcoming stretch of two ranked teams in the next three matches. ASU's last three matches have also come against ranked teams. The Pac-10 currently has six teams ranked in the top 25 in the most recent AVCA/USA Today Top 25 poll, with California (#29) and Washington (#33) all receiving votes in the poll.
ASU Wins #500:
The three-game sweep of then 12th-ranked Arizona not only ended a five-match losing streak to the Wildcats, but also earned a milestone No. 500 all-time victory for the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Dating back to the perfect 21-0 season in the inaugural 1973 season, ASU is 500-348 (.590).
Aces Are Wild:
Led by the 15 service aces from junior Juliana Escobar, ASU recorded 34 service aces in the season-opening Carolina Classic. ASU has since added to that impressive number with 58 so far this season. The Devils are ranked sixth in the Pac-10 with 1.81 aces per game and junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar is second in the conference and in the top 15 in NCAA with 0.84 aces per game. ASU's 58 service aces in eight matches this season is 45% of the total number of aces the 2001 when the Sun Devils recorded 128. Escobar's 27 aces is just one short of ASU's team leader (Jami Coughlin, 28) from a year ago. Her six aces against Creighton (9/6) rank tied for seventh most in ASU single-match history.
The Barton County CC/Brazillian Connection:
With the addition of 2001 AVCA Junior College Player of the Year Juliana Escobar, the Sun Devils now have two players who are native to Brazil. Senior setter Fernanda Habiger and Escobar both came from Barton County CC in Kansas. Escobar, who averaged 6.17 kills per game in her junior college career, is from Sobradinho DF, Brazil, while Habiger is from Cruzeira, Brazil. Escobar is leading the Sun Devils with 4.66 kpg, 3.12 dpg and 0.84 aces per game. Habiger is coming off consecutive solid weekend in which she set a career-high with four blocks vs. UCLA and helped spark ASU to victory over Arizona (9/27).
The Arizona Victory:
The Sun Devils swept the rival Arizona Wildcats 3-0 (33-31, 30-26, 42-40) on Sept. 27 for their third win against a ranked opponent this year. The victory snapped an overall five-match losing streak to the Wildcats and was ASU's first win at home against UA since 1996. The last time ASU swept Arizona was Sept. 30, 1994. Juliana Escobar had 20 kills and 16 digs in the match to earn Pac-10 POW honors.
Snyder-Park's Swan Song:
ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her 14th and final season as the head coach for the Sun Devils. Arriving in Tempe after serving as an assistant coach at Cal in 1989, Snyder-Park has recorded a career 207-171 record in her 14 seasons at the helm of the program. She has a career 15-12 record against the University of Arizona with one match remaining.
30 Years of Sun Devil Volleyball:
The Sun Devil Volleyball program continues its 30th year of competition this weekend by hosting rival Arizona at Wells Fargo Arena. The program has combined for an all-time 500-348 (.590%) record dating back to the first year in 1973. That 1973 year, also provided the best record in school history, with the Sun Devils going 21-0 under the guidance of head coach Mary Littlewood. Four head coaches have guided the program to 16 appearances in postseason play, including a string of four straight regional appearances from 1985-88 and 1992-95. The program has finished in the AVCA Top 25 rankings nine times and has had five players earn AVCA All-America status. Since beginning play in the Pac-10 in 1986, ASU has had 13 Pac-10 Player of the Week awards.
2002 Sun Devil Player Notes...
#1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, Jr., MB/OP, Napa, Calif.) --
Has seen action in four matches this year, averaging 1.50 kills per game... had six kills in victory over Creighton (9/7), hitting .273 in that match... inserted into lineup for an added block... averaged 2.51 kills per game while playing in 39 games and 18 matches in 2001... has a career 2.20 kpg average in 32 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
Has started all eight matches this year at opposite hitter... averaging 1.97 kills and 2.06 digs... second on the team with 0.29 service aces per game... notched third career double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs vs. UCLA (9/21)... the 17 digs matched her career high... matched her career high in kills with 13 vs. Clemson (9/14)... recorded nine kills in season opener vs. South Carolina (9/6)... named honorable mention freshman All-Pac-10 in 2001... ranked sixth on the team in 2001 by averaging 1.64 kills per game and third with 0.65 blocks per game... averaging 1.74 kpg and 2.00 dpg in her 32 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#3 Juliana Escobar (5-11, Jr., OH, Sobradinhio DF, Brazil) --
Has started all eight matches at outside hitter... has recorded a double-double (kills/digs) in six of ASU's seven matches this year... also has 20 or more kills in those six matches... averaging 4.66 kpg and 3.12 digs per game, both of which lead the team... also leads the team with 27 service aces (0.84 per game average) to rank second in the Pac-10 and in the top 15 in the NCAA... ranks third in the Pac-10 in kpg (4.66) and points per game (5.72)... had 20 kills and 16 digs to help lead ASU to 3-0 win over Arizona (9/27)... became ASU's 14th player to ever earn Pac-10 Player of the Week (9/30) recorded 23 kills and 13 digs in win over #11 UCLA (9/21)... had 21 kills and 18 digs in her first match as a Sun Devil (South Carolina; 9/6)... her 25 kills vs. No. 13 Pacific are the most by a Sun Devil since the NCAA adopted the new rally scoring system last year... had 15 service aces in three matches at Carolina Classic, including six vs. Creighton (9/7)... the six aces are tied for the seventh most in ASU single-match history... named to the all-tournament team at the Carolina Classic and Red Raider Classic... came to ASU from Barton County CC (Great Bend, Kan.) where she was the 2001 AVCA/NJCAA Player of the Year... averaged 6.17 kpg, 1.11 service aces per game and 2.29 dpg over her two years at the junior college level... played with Sun Devil teammate Fernanda Habiger at Barton County CC.
#4 Natalie Harris (5-11, RS-So., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
Has seen action in all eight matches this year, including a start vs. Arizona last weekend... averaging 1.41 kpg and 1.64 dpg... recorded season-high nine kills in victory over Creighton (9/7)... notched fourth seventh career 10+ dig match vs. Arizona (9/27)... best match this year was a nine-kill, nine-dig effort off the bench vs. UCLA (9/21)... coming off shoulder surgery and a redshirt season in 2001... averaging 1.21 kpg and 1.69 dpg in 36 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Sr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
Has started all eight matches this year at middle blocker... named tournament MVP at Red Raider Classic after averaging 2.90 kills in the two matches... second on the team with 2.81 kpg this year and leads ASU with 0.78 blocks per game... hitting .351 on the season to lead the team and ranks eighth in the Pac-10... had season-high six blocks vs. UCLA (9/21)... also contributed match-high five blocks vs. Arizona (9/27)... season-high 18 kills in five-game win over Clemson (9/14)... had 14 kills in back-to-back matches vs. South Carolina and #13 Pacific... named to all-tournament team at Carolina Classic... ranked third on the team in 2001 by averaging 2.84 kills per game and led ASU with a .352 hitting percentage, notching the second-highest single-season hitting percentage in school history... had career-high 23 kills vs. Washington (10/12/01) ... named tournament MVP of Loyola Marymount Volleyball Challenge during junior year... recorded double-digits in kills in 14 of ASU's 26 matches last year... has recorded 37 career matches with 10 or more kills and boasts a career .333 hitting percentage in 81 career matches... two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
#7 Kim Mehlhorn (5-11, Jr., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
Has started seven of the eight matches this year... averaging 2.00 kills per game and 2.18 dpg... ranks fourth in both categories (kpg and dpg)... is being challenged for the starting spot by Natalie Harris... notched consecutive double-doubles at the Red Raider Classic vs. Clemson and Texas Tech... named to all-tournament team at Red Raider Classic... had season-high 15 kills vs. Clemson (9/14)... has recorded double-digits in kills in three of ASU's seven matches this year... recorded 19 matches with 10 or more kills last year, including a string of 14 of the last 15 matches to end the season... ranked eighth in the Pac-10 as a sophomore with 3.83 kills per game in league matches only... averaged 3.88 kills per game over the final 15 matches of 2001... has 16 career double-doubles (most among active Sun Devils) and is averaging 2.36 kpg and 2.18 dpg in her 63 matches as a Sun Devil.
#8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, Jr, LI/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
Has started all eight matches this year at the libero position... second on the team with 3.09 digs per game... recorded her fifth career 20+ dig match with season-high 20 vs. UCLA (9/21)... had 16 digs in five-game win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7)... also had 16 digs vs. Clemson (9/14)... started all 26 matches in 2001 and recorded four matches with 20+ digs... averaged 3.09 digs per game, second-best on team and ranked fifth in the Pac-10... one of ASU's four sophomores from Chandler's Valley Christian High School... 1999 Arizona Gatorade State Player of the Year... averaging 2.85 digs per game (693 total) and has 38 career matches with 10 or more digs in her 64 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#10 Cheryl Anglin (5-9, Jr., S, Queen Creek, Ariz.) --
ASU's starting setter... will play mainly as a back-row setter with Fernanda Habiger rotating into the lineup... averaging 10.37 assists per game this year, seventh best in the Pac-10... had match-high 36 assists vs. Arizona (9/27)... recorded a season-high 67 vs. Clemson (9/14), ranking as the top assist performance in the Pac-10 this year... recently moved into third place in ASU career record books for assists (2,877) and is now 81 off second place... has the most career assists among active Pac-10 setters... school single-season record holder for assists when she had 1,452 as a freshman in 2000... Anglin has recorded 37 career matches with 40 or more assists and 23 or matches with 50 or more assists in her career... she is averaging 12.04 assists per game in 64 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#11 Jodi Smith (6-1, RS-Jr., MB, St. Johns, Ariz.) --
Has started all eight matches this year at middle blocker... has recorded three straight matches (all vs. ranked opponents) with 12 kills... averaging 2.53 kpg to rank third on the team and is second in hitting percentage (behind Julia Leddy) at .344 (9th in Pac-10)... had career-high three service aces vs. Pacific (9/7)... had 14 kills and hit .370 in win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7)... ASU's only two sport female athlete... also a high jumper on the ASU track & field team... tied for third in last year's Pac-10 meet with a jump of 5 ft, 7.25 inches... led the team with 0.86 blocks per game last year and ranked fifth with a 2.27 kill/game average... is averaging 2.29 kpg and is a career .284 hitter in 38 career matches.
#12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Sr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
Has seen action in all eight matches this year and is contending for more playing time... has been ASU's sparkplug off the bench in recent wins over Texas Tech (9/15), UCLA (9/21) and Arizona (9/27)... averaging 0.80 blocks per game over her four three matches... had a career-high 4.0 blocks vs. UCLA (9/21)... averaging 4.09 assists per game, including a career-high 30 in five-game victory over TTU (9/15)... finished her first year as a Sun Devil (2001) with 0.39 kpg, 2.15 assists/game and 0.39 dpg... transferred from Barton County CC in Great Bend, Kansas... one of two ASU players who are native to Brazil... was the JC teammate of Juliana Escobar... one of three players on this years team that is married (Smith, Arnett).
#13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Sr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
One of three seniors on this years team... will be used as a defensive specialist and libero this year... averaging 1.38 dpg in 13 games (five matches) this year... had season-high 11 digs in victory over Pacific... finished second on the team with 23 service aces last year... one of three players who are married (Smith, Habiger).
#14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Fr., OH/S, Mishawaka, Ind.) --
One of two true freshmen on this year's squad... played in all three games vs. Creighton (9/7), recording one dig and one service ace... a four-time all-conference selection in high school... named state MVP her senior year.
#15 Nora Pirzynski (5-6, Fr., DS/LI, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) --
One of two true freshmen on this year's squad... has seen action in four of ASU's five matches this year... had one kills and two digs in ASU debut vs. South Carolina (9/6)... season-high six digs vs. Clemson (9/14)... attended Mira Costa High School where she lettered three years in varsity volleyball... first-team all-CIF as a senior and helped lead Mira Costa to back-to-back CIF championships.
Anglin Moves Up To Third In ASU Record Books:
Junior Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek, Ariz.) moved into third place in the ASU career record books during the Red Raider Classic (9/14-15) and continues to inch toward the No. 2 spot. Anglin's 67-assist performance against Clemson moved her all the way from sixth place into third place and is currently ranked as the top assist performance in the Pac-10 this year. She now needs 81 assists to claim the No. 2 spot in the record books. As a freshman she set the school record with 1,452 assists and will finish the season as the No. 2 all-time setter in ASU history (see list at left). As a sophomore in 2001 she recorded nine matches with 50 or more assists and four 60+ assist matches. She ended the season on a high note, recording 40 or more assists in eight of the last 14 matches. Anglin arrived at ASU in 2000 and took the freshmen record book by assault. She broke the freshman record for assists in a season vs. Stanford (10/27/00) midway through the year, and continued on to break the overall school record with 1,452. 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 little 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 earlier in the year. The record was previously set by Tracy Heflin (74) in 1993. For her career, Anglin has recorded 2,877 assists and has 37 career matches with 40 or more assists.
Since the Pac-10 added women's volleyball, the Arizona State Sun Devils have been a defensive powerhouse. Always a trademark of Patti Snyder-Park's teams, who herself was an outstanding defensive specialist at Portland State and professional volleyball, ASU has led the conference in total digs four times and digs per game four times as well. In the 16 years of Pac-10 Volleyball, an Arizona State individual has led the conference in digs per game. Jami Coughlin led the league in digs twice during her career, in 2001 with a 3.98 average and in 1998 with a 3.62 digs per game average. Current assistant coach Terri Cox led the league in her junior and senior years (1996-97) with a 4.90 and 3.54 per game average respectively. The Devils currently rank sixth in the Pac-10 with a 14.94 dpg average and Juliana Escobar and Courtney Blocher rank in the top 15 in the league with 3.12 and 3.09 dpg respectively.
ASU Volleyball has a legacy of academic success in the programs 30-year history. Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin were both named Verizon District VIII Academic All-Americans in 2000 with their outstanding performances in the classroom. Coughlin, who graduated with a perfect 4.0 in Education, was a two-time first-team Academic All-American in the University division. ASU now has 26 Academic All-Conference selections since 1986, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Stanford's 27. Coughlin and Julia Leddy were both named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team in 2001.
More Rule Changes:
The libero (pronounced 'LEE-bah-ro) is a designated backrow player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the backrow without counting as a substitution and there is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The color of the libero's uniform must contrast from the color of her teammates' uniforms, but the libero's shorts must be the same as her teammates'. The libero plays only in the backrow but may not serve, block or attempt to block. The addition of the libero comes one year after the NCAA adapted a the new rally scoring system with games now played to 30.
For You Stat Rats:
The 2001 season had many changes, including the change to rally scoring and also the introduction of a new category of stats. Now every kill, block and ace will not only earn a team a point, but the responsible player gets a point as well (just as a basketball player contributes 20 points in a game). The formula is as follows: points = kills + service aces + solo blocks + 1/2 block assists. For example, Juliana Escobar leads the team this year with 183.0 points (149 kills, 27 service aces, 5 block solos and 4 block assists).
Gatorade State Players of the Year Common at ASU:
Gatorade really is thirst aid for Arizona State University recruits coming out of high school. Several Gatorade Arizona State Players of the Year have gone on to attend ASU. Laura Hibsman (1995), Amanda Burbridge (1997), Jami Coughlin (1998) and Courtney Blocher (1999) have all won the prestigious award as the state's best prep volleyball player.
This is ASU Volleyball:
The ASU Volleyball program is rich in tradition with 12 appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils advanced five years in a row in the mid '80s under head coach Debbie Brown, and have made five appearances under current head coach Patti Snyder-Park. The program has an overall 500-348 (.590%) record in 30 years of competition.
The Snyder-Park File:
ASU Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park begins her 14th and final year at the helm of the ASU volleyball program. Snyder-Park has led ASU to six NCAA appearances in the last 10 years and has posted a winning record in seven of her last 11 seasons. She has posted a career 207-171 record as a Sun Devil, which ranks first in ASU history. Last year she became the fifth coach in Pac-10 history to surpass the 100-win mark in league play. Her overall Pac-10 record is 108-129. A graduate of Portland State University, Snyder-Park is assisted by two of her former players, Christine Garner and Terri Cox. Snyder-Park is married to husband John and has three kids; daughters Sydney and Sophia Rae and son Samuel.
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