Beavers Host Washington Schools In Final Home Matches

Nov. 19, 2002

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UPCOMING ACTION: The Beavers (7-18, 2-14 Pacific-10) host the Pac-10's Washington schools this week and then finish out the season with a non-conference match at Portland early next week. OSU will play Washington (15-10, 7-9) on Thursday, Nov. 21 and No. 13 Washington State (19-7, 9-7) on Friday, Nov. 22. Admission is free, and both matches start at 7 p.m. OSU then wraps up the season at Portland (14-14) at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: OSU lost two matches in Arizona last week to extend its losing skid to six matches. The Beavers lost 3-0 to both Arizona State and No. 16 Arizona, losing three of the six games by just two points. Karah Rhoades led the Beaver offense with 21 kills (3.50 kpg) and was the only OSU player with double figures in both matches. Michele Solomon hit. 444 with 18 kills (3.00 kpg) in the two matches, and Allison Lawrence led the defensive action with 18 digs (3.00 dpg).

COMMENTS FROM COACH NANCY SOMERA:
'Despite a continual change in the lineup all season for a variety of reasons, we have shown that we can compete with the best teams in the country. But playing close and winning are two different things. We've lost too many close games this year because we beat ourselves. In our final three matches of the year, I'd like to see us be tougher and put away games when we have the chance.'

NEUBURGER REACHES CENTURY MARK: Nikki Neuburger picked up 12 digs in Arizona last week to become the 10th Beaver with 1,000 career digs. She has 1,004 entering this week's matches.

SERIES RECORDS: vs. Washington: OSU is 22-34 all-time against the Huskies. The Beavers won twice in 2001, but UW beat OSU 30-21, 30-28, 30-26 in Seattle on Sept. 19. Megan McMillan had 10 kills and 15 digs in the loss, while Paige Benjamin hit .486 with 19 kills for UW. vs. Washington State: OSU is 26-36 all-time against the Cougars. WSU holds a two-match win streak in the series, but OSU won the last meeting in Corvallis. The Cougars beat OSU 30-24, 30-27, 30-21 in Pullman on Sept. 20 in this year's first meeting. McMillan and Katrina Nelson had 10 kills apiece for OSU, and LaToya Harris hit .387 with a match-high 14 kills for WSU. vs. Portland: OSU holds a 34-6 edge against Portland, which hasn't beaten OSU since 1989, when UP won in five games in Portland. Joscelyn Hannaford hit .577 with 16 kills and Michele Solomon added 12 kills in last year's 3-0 win in Corvallis.

A LOOK AT WASHINGTON: The Huskies (15-10, 7-9) head into Corvallis looking to snap a three-match losing streak, including a 3-1 loss to then-No. 1 Stanford and a 3-2 loss to California last week. Paige Benjamin continues to lead the Huskies. She averages 5.12 kills per game, second best in the Pac-10, and her .331 hitting percentage is sixth in the league. Sanja Tomasevic chips in 3.70 kills and 3.10 digs per game, and setter Gretchen Maurer leads the league with 12.99 assists per game.

A LOOK AT WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars (19-7, 9-7) are coming off a 3-1 upset of then-No. 1 Stanford last week to extend their winning streak to three matches. LaToya Harris had a career-high 29 kills in the upset to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Harris ranks second on the WSU squad with 3.42 kills per game, with Adrian Hankoff leading the team with 3.58 kills per game. Kortney Jamtaas leads the defense with 4.39 digs per game, second best in the Pac-10.

A LOOK AT PORTLAND: The Pilots (14-14) have more than doubled last year's win total of six. With two matches remaining (Gonzaga and OSU), the Pilots have a chance for their first non-losing season since 1991 (16-16). Sara Vercruyssen leads the team with 3.15 kills per game, and Carlie Price averages a team-best 4.96 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 48-64, arrived at OSU in February 1999 after spending time as an assistant coach at USC since 1991. Last year, Somera guided OSU 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 65 of 88 games... Has 89 digs (1.37 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 61 games... Has had double-figure kills in 11 of OSU's last 13 matches and was the only Beaver with double figures in both matches last week (10 at ASU and 11 at Arizona)... Averaging 2.79 kills per game overall and 3.40 kills per game in Pac-10 play... Had 13 kills and 13 digs against UCLA (11/8) 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 70 digs (1.15 dpg), 16 blocks (0.26 bpg) and seven aces (0.11 sapg).

#4 Tami Halleck, Sr., DS
Has played in seven games... Picked up one dig against Arizona State (10/19).

#5 Michele Solomon, Sr., MB
Played in every game but four, missing one match (10/19) because of an injury... Hitting .291 with 193 kills (2.30 kpg)... Has eight double-figure matches, most recently with a team-high 11 at Arizona State (11/15)... Hit a career-best .786 in that match... Had a season-high 15 kills against Ball State (9/14) and hit .591 with 13 kills against Cal State Northridge (9/7)... Has a team-high 54 blocks (0.64 bpg), including a season-high eight against Oregon (11/1), the most by a Beaver this year... Has 388 career blocks, seventh best all-time at OSU... Ranks eighth for career hitting percentage (.269).

#9 Desma Stovall, Fr., S
Nine games of action as a backup setter... Played one game at Arizona State last week, picking up six assists and a kill... Had a career-high eight assists and five digs at UCLA (10/10)... Had two aces against Boise State (9/7).

#13 Joscelyn Hannaford, Sr., Opp.
Out for the season with a knee injury... 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.

#14 K.C. Frederic, Jr., DS/OH
Has played in 73 games... Has 134 digs (1.84 dpg)... Has five double-figures matches, most recently picking up 11 against UCLA (11/8)... Had a season-high 16 digs against Oregon (11/1)... Has 10 aces (0.14 sapg).

#15 Megan McMillan, Sr., OH
Has played in 85 games... Ranks second on the team with 268 kills (3.15 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 .183... Second on the team with 235 digs (2.76 dpg)... Has had double-figures 12 times, most recently with 10 at Arizona last week... Had a season-high 20 against Cal (9/28)... Led the team in kills nine times and in digs seven times... Has eight double-doubles... Leads OSU with 21 aces (0.25 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 39 games and has started seven of the last eight 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... She's started every match since then... Has had a career-high eight kills three times... Had career-highs of six digs, four blocks and two aces in the first match meeting with ASU... Hitting .185 with 46 kills (1.18 kpg), 16 blocks (0.41 bpg) and 16 digs (0.41 dpg).

#19 Katrina Nelson, Sr., MB/OPP
Returned to action at Arizona State last week after missing 11 matches with a fractured thumb... Came off the bench to pick up seven kills at ASU, but suffered a knee injury in that match and will be the rest of year... Played in 43 games... Hit .284 with 109 kills (2.53 kpg)... Had double-figures five times... Had a season-high 17 kills while hitting .382 against Cal (9/28)... Hit .327 against Pac-10 teams, averaging 3.00 kills per game in league play... Had 32 total blocks (0.74 bpg).

#21 Amanda Eggert, So., MB
Played in 61 games... Hitting .222 with 80 kills (1.31 kpg)... Hit .400 with a season-high eight kills and a career-high seven blocks versus Arizona State (10/19)... Also had seven against Cal (9/28)... Averages 0.57 blocks per game.

#22 Allison Lawrence, So., OH
Has played in 86 of 88 games... Has a team-best 298 kills (3.47 kpg) on .184 hitting... Averaging a team-best 3.72 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... Had a career-high 16 digs twice, at Stanford (10/26) and against UCLA (11/8)... Has a total of 173 digs (2.01 dpg), with 10 or more eight times... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase.

#23 Laura Collins, Jr., S
One of two Beavers to play in all 88 games... Ranks fourth for career assists at OSU with 2,467... Has 1,102 this year, ninth on the single-season list... Her 12.52 assists per game average ranks 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 194 digs (2.20 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 .169 with 69 kills (0.78 kpg)... Second on the team with 19 aces (0.22 sapg)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase (MVP) and OSU Challenge... Received third team Verizon Academic All-District honors.

#31 Nikki Neuburger, Sr., L
One of two Beavers to play in all 88 games... Leads OSU and ranks third in the Pac-10 with 4.02 digs per game (342 total)... Could become only the second Beaver to average more than 4.00 dpg in a season (Rachel Hochgesang had a school record 4.10 dpg in 1993; no other OSU player has averaged more than 3.83 in a year)... Became the 10th Beaver with 1,000 career digs after getting seven at Arizona last week... Ranks 10th all-time with 1,004... Had a career-high 33 against Eastern Washington (10/5), 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 second and fourth in the Pac-10 this year... Has had 20-plus digs in three other matches as well, most recently with 21 against UCLA (11/8)... Has had double figures 18 times this year and has led the team 13 times.

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