Volleyball Travels To The Desert To Play Arizona State, No. 16 Arizona

Nov. 12, 2002

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UPCOMING ACTION: The Beavers head south to take on the Arizona schools this weekend. OSU (7-16, 2-12 Pac-10) begin the week at Arizona State (10-9, 6-8), taking on the Sun Devils at 6 p.m. PST on Friday, November 15. The Beavers then play at No. 16 Arizona (13-9, 8-6) at 6 p.m. PST on Saturday, November 16.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: OSU lost two matches to ranked opponents last week to extend its losing skid to four matches. The Beavers dropped 3-0 decisions to both No. 19 UCLA (30-19, 30-25, 33-31) and No. 2 USC (30-27, 30-18, 30-17). Allison Lawrence and Karah Rhoades combined for 50 kills (8.33 kpg) in the two matches. Lawrence had a match-high 18 against UCLA, and Rhoades led the Beavers with 11 against USC. The duo also combined for 48 digs (8.00 dpg), including career-highs of 18 for Lawrence and 13 for Rhoades against the Bruins. Nikki Neuburger led all players with 33 (5.50 dpg) for the weekend.

COMMENTS FROM COACH NANCY SOMERA:
'We just want to play good volleyball the rest of the season. Practices will be short but intense, and we'll save everything we've got for the weekend. Everybody's working hard, and we'll keep building on some of the good things we've put together. Katrina (Nelson) will be back this week, and that's refreshing. Her play and personality should bring a lift to the team.'

MAGIC EIGHT BALL: Nikki Neuburger needs just eight digs to become the 10th Beaver with 1,000 career digs. She picked up 33 last week, upping her career numbers to 992. Neuburger has a team-best 342 digs this season, with double figures in 18 matches (including 10 against Arizona State in the first meeting this year). She's had 20 or more in five matches. Her 4.17 digs per game average ranks second in the Pac-10 and would break the OSU single-season record if it stands for the rest of the year.

SERIES RECORDS: vs. Arizona State: OSU is 10-24 all-time against the Sun Devils. The Beavers won twice in 2001, but ASU won this year's first meetings in four games (31-29, 30-28, 21-30, 30-28) in Corvallis on Oct. 19. Allison Lawrence led the Beavers with 22 kills, and Karah Rhoades hit .306 with a career-high 18 kills in the loss. ASU was led by Julia Leddy's 18 kills on .471 hitting. vs. Arizona: Oregon State is also 10-24 all-time against the Wildcats. Arizona has won the last 12 matches in the series, including a 3-0 win (30-21, 30-27, 30-19) in Corvallis on Oct. 18. Megan McMillan hit. 257 with a match-high 14 kills for OSU, while Bre Ladd hit .500 with 11 kills for the Wildcats. OSU last beat Arizona in 1996, but the Beavers haven't won in Tucson since 1993.

A LOOK AT ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils (10-9, 6-8) are looking to end a five-match losing streak that dropped them out of the Top 25 poll this week. ASU has won only one game during that span. The Sun Devils have been led by Juliana Escobar, who has team-highs of 314 kills (4.30 kpg) and 243 digs (3.33 dpg). Julia Leddy adds 3.01 kills and 0.85 blocks per game with a team-best .353 hitting percentage.

A LOOK AT ARIZONA: The Wildcats (13-9, 8-6) split a pair of 3-0 matches with the Bay Area teams last week, beating California but losing to Stanford. Kim Glass leads Arizona with 390 kills (5.00 kpg) on .303 hitting. Lisa Rutledge chips in 3.56 kills and a team-best 2.65 digs per game.

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: OSU is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 48-62, arrived at OSU in February 1999 after spending time as an assistant coach at USC since 1991. Last season, Somera guided the Beavers to a 17-12 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. 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.

OSU PLAYER NOTES
#1 Lianne Dela Cruz, Jr., DS

Has played in 62 of 82 games... Has 88 digs (1.42 dpg)... Had a career-high 11 digs at Oregon (10/3) and had 10 against Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has two aces and two kills.

#3 Karah Rhoades, RS-Fr., OH
Seen action in 55 games... Has had double-figure kills in nine of OSU's last 11 matches... Averaging 2.71 kills per game overall and 3.27 kills per game in Pac-10 play... Last week, she led OSU with 11 kills against USC and had 13 kills and 13 digs against UCLA for her first career double-double... Hit .367 with a team-high 16 kills in a win at Cal (10/25)... Had a career-high 18 kills against Arizona State (10/19)... Has 58 digs (1.05 dpg), 15 blocks (0.27 bpg) and four aces (0.07 sapg).

#4 Tami Halleck, Sr., DS
Has played in six games, most recently one game versus Oregon (11/1)... Picked up her first career dig against Arizona State (10/19).

#5 Michele Solomon, Sr., MB
Played in every game but four, missing only the Arizona State match (10/19) because of an injury... Hitting .279 and has 175 kills (2.24 kpg)... Has had double-figures seven times, most recently with 10 against Oregon (11/1)... Had a season-high 15 against Ball State (9/14) and hit a career-best .591 with 13 kills against Cal State Northridge (9/7)... Leads OSU with 51 total blocks (0.65 bpg), including a season-high eight against Oregon (11/1), good for the highest total by a Beaver this year... Has 385 career total blocks, seventh best all-time at OSU... Ranks eighth for career hitting percentage (.266).

#9 Desma Stovall, Fr., S
Eight games of action as a backup setter... Last played at UCLA (10/10), with career-highs of eight assists, five digs and one kill in that match... Had two service aces against Boise State (9/7).

#13 Joscelyn Hannaford, Sr., Opp.
Out for the season after being hampered with knee problems throughout the year... Played in 41 games... Averaged 2.68 kills per game (110 total) and hit .213... Had double-figures four times, with a career-high 24 against Missouri (8/31)... Averaged 2.93 digs per game... Had 120 digs with six double-figure performances, including a season-high 17 twice... Had three double-doubles... Earned MVP honors at the OSU Challenge and all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase... Finished her career with 684 kills and 532 digs... Her 2.58 career kills per game average ranks 10th in OSU history.

#14 K.C. Frederic, Jr., DS/OH
Has played in 67 games... Has 130 digs (1.97 dpg)... Averaging 2.13 dpg in Pac-10 matches... Has five double-figures matches, most recently picking up 11 against UCLA last week... Had a season-high 16 digs against Oregon (11/1) to lead the team for the first time this year... Served four aces last week, with two apiece against UCLA and USC... Now has nine aces for the year... Also has eight assists and five kills.

#15 Megan McMillan, Sr., OH
Has played in 79 games... Ranks second on the team with 258 kills (3.27 kpg)... Has had double-figures 14 times, most recently with 10 against Oregon (11/1)... Had a career-high 20 against North Carolina (9/14) and had 19 at Stanford (10/26)... Hitting .188... Second on the team with 223 digs (2.82 dpg)... Has had double-figures 11 times, most recently with 13 against Arizona State (10/18)... Had a season-high 20 against Cal (9/28)... Led the team in kills nine times and in digs six times... Has eight double-doubles... Leads OSU with 21 aces (0.27 sapg), with a career-high five against Cal... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Challenge.

#16 Katelyn Healy, RS-Fr., MB
Walk-on who has become a key factor for the Beavers the last month... Has played in 33 games and has started five of the last six matches... Made her first career start against Arizona State (10/19), filling in for the injured Michele Solomon... Returned to a back-up role at Cal (10/25), where she came off the bench to record eight kills with a 1.000 hitting percentage... That earned her a starting job in the last four matches... Has had a career-high eight kills three times... Had career-highs of six digs, four blocks and two aces against ASU... For the season, is hitting .177 with 39 kills (1.18 kpg), 14 blocks (0.42 bpg) and 14 digs (0.42 dpg).

#19 Katrina Nelson, Sr., MB/OPP
Has missed the last 11 matches with a fractured thumb, but should play this weekend... Started every match prior to the injury, playing in 40 of 43 games... Hitting .296 with 102 kills (2.55 kpg)... Had double-figures five times, including her last three matches... Had a season-high 17 kills while hitting .382 against Cal (9/28)... Had a team-high 10 kills against Stanford (9/27) and Washington State (9/20)... Hitting a team-best .368 with 3.14 kills per game in Pac-10 games... Leads the team with 0.80 blocks per game (32 total).

#21 Amanda Eggert, So., MB
Has played in 59 games... Had a solid weekend against UCLA and USC last week... Hit .333 with 10 kills (2.00 kpg) in five games of action off the bench... For the season is hitting .224 with 79 kills (1.34 kpg)... Hit .400 with a season-high eight kills versus Arizona State (10/18)... Had a career-high seven blocks against ASU (10/19) and Cal (9/28)... Has 34 total blocks (0.63 bpg).

#22 Allison Lawrence, So., OH
Has played in 80 of 82 games... Has a team-best 284 kills (3.55 kpg) on .188 hitting... Averaging a team-best 3.89 kills per game in Pac-10 play (7th best in the Pac-10 for conference matches)... Hit .418 with a career-high 26 kills against Cal (9/28)... Has had 22 kills three times, against Oregon (11/1), Arizona State (10/19) and Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has 14 double-figure matches and has led the team nine times, most recently with 18 against UCLA (11/8)... Has six double-doubles this year, including three of the last four matches... Had a career-high 16 digs twice, at Stanford (10/26) and last week against UCLA... Has a total of 155 digs (1.94 dpg), with 10 or more seven times... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase.

#23 Laura Collins, Jr., S
One of two Beavers to play in all 82 games... Ranks fourth for career assists at OSU with 2,405... Has 1,040 this year, good for 12.68 per game (2nd in the Pac-10)... Named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 28 for the second time in her career... Was named Pac-10 Player of the Week once as a sophomore as well... Had a season-best 72 assists in a home match against Cal (9/28), good for the second highest total of her career and eighth best in OSU history... Is the third OSU setter with two 70-plus assist matches in her career... Her 72 assists versus Cal is the third best total in the Pac-10 this year... Has 184 digs (2.24 dpg), with a season-high 16 against Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has six double-doubles, most recently against Oregon (11/1), with 52 assists and 10 digs... Hitting .147 with 61 kills (0.74 kpg)... Second on the team with 18 aces (0.22 sapg)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase (MVP) and OSU Challenge.

#31 Nikki Neuburger, Sr., L
One of two Beavers to play in all 82 games... Leads the team and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 4.17 digs per game (342 total)... She's on paceto set an OSU record for digs per game in a single season (Rachel Hochgesang's current mark of 4.10 dpg was set in 1993)... Needs just eight digs to become the 10th Beaver with 1,000 career digs... Ranks 10th all-time with 992... Had a career-high 33 digs against Eastern Washington (10/5), good for the fourth-best total in OSU history and the first 30-plus total since 1995... Just missed another 30-dig effort with a then-career-high 29 against Cal (9/28), now the eighth-best total at OSU... The 33 and 29 digs rank first and third in the Pac-10 this year... Has had 20-plus digs in three other matches as well, most recently with 21 against UCLA last week (11/8)... Has had double figures 18 times this year and has led the team 13 times.

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