Sun Devils Face Cincinnati In NCAA Volleyball First Round Action
Dec. 3, 2002
The Arizona State (14-11, 8-10 Pac-10) Sun Devil Volleyball team competes this weekend in the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds in Lincoln, Neb. ASU is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third in the last four years. The Sun Devils will take on Cincinnati (23-8, 11-2 C-USA) in the first round at 5 p.m. (CST) at NU Coliseum. National No. 3 seed Nebraska (28-1, 20-0 Big 12) will take on Tennessee-Martin (24-5, 17-1 OVC) in the 7 p.m. match-up. The winners of each match will square off in the second round Saturday at 7 p.m. to decide who moves on to the Sweet 16.
ASU in Postseason Play:
Arizona State makes its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend in Lincoln, Neb., with three coming in the last four years. Head coach Patti Snyder-Park will end her career taking seven of her 14 teams into the NCAA Tournament and eight teams into postseason play. Snyder-Park carries an all-time 6-8 postseason record into the 2002 first and second rounds and ASU owns an all-time 6-13 record in the NCAA Tournament. ASU's last NCAA opponent was Minnesota (L, 3-1) and Duke (W, 3-1) in 2000 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Against the Field of 64:
Arizona State played 17 matches against nine teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament this year. Combining for a 6-11 record against the 64-team tournament field, ASU earned splits against UCLA, California, Washington and Arizona, while also picking up wins against Pacific and Oral Roberts.
Devils With NCAA Experience:
Six current Sun Devils have past NCAA experience with all playing in the 2000 first and second rounds in Minneapolis, Minn. Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy has been to two NCAA Tournaments, but did not play in 1999 as a freshman in a 3-0 loss to Wisconsin. Leddy averaged 2.50 kpg and hit .362 in the 2000 tournament, while redshirt sophomore Natalie Harris averaged 2.43 kpg and 3.43 dpg in 2000. Junior setter Cheryl Anglin averaged 12.75 assists in the matches against Duke (W, 3-1) and Minnesota (L, 3-1).
The Last Time in the NCAA Tournament:
Arizona State has now advanced to the postseason play 17 times in the program's 30-year history and is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years (1999, 2000, 2002). ASU last played in the Tournament in 2000 when they finished with an 18-12 record (9-9 Pac-10) and lost to regional host Minnesota (3-1) in the second round. The last time ASU advanced past the second round was a pair of Sweet 16 finishes in 1994 and 1995. Current assistant coaches Christine Garner and Terri Cox were members of those Sweet 16 squads.
Escobar and Leddy Earn All-Pac-10 Acclaim:
Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar and senior middle blocker Julia Leddy were named to the 2002 All-Pac-10 team. Escobar became ASU's 11th player and 15th overall selection when she was named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection. She is ranked in the top five in the conference in kills (4.24 per game), digs (3.30 per game), service aces (0.52 per game) and points (5.01 per game). Leddy was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 while being ranked in the top four in the league in hitting percentage (.360).
ASU Volleyball has a legacy of academic success in the program's 30-year history and that tradition continued this year with six student-athletes earning Pac-10 All-Academic honors. Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy (3.75 GPA, Secondary Education) was named to the first team for the second straight year. Senior setter Fernanda Habiger (3.72, Communication), junior outside hitter Kim Mehlhorn (3.80, Recreation Management/Tourism) and junior setter Cheryl Anglin (3.65, Nursing) were all named to the second team. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Natalie Harris and junior Courtney Blocher were both honorable mention selections. With the four first and second-team selections, Arizona State now has the most all-academic selections among the 10 conference members with 30 dating back to 1986.
Leddy a Three-Time Tournament MVP:
Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy was named the tournament MVP last weekend at the UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic in Las Vegas. The honor marked the third time in her illustrious career and the second time in 2002 that she was named a tournament MVP. Leddy also picked up MVP honors at the Texas Tech Red Raider Classic (2002) and the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic (2001). In ASU's wins over Oral Roberts and Weber State last weekend, the senior averaged 3.50 kills per game and hit .463.
Leddy Closing Out a Record-Setting Career:
Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy is nearing the end of a career that could end up as one of the best middle blockers in school history. Leddy now has 227 block assists in her career to rank 10th in the ASU career record books. After ranking second all-time in ASU single-season history with a .352 hitting percentage last year, Leddy is on pace to surpass the school record of .353 with a .360 mark through the end the regular season this year. Her .340 career hitting percentage is also on pace to break a school record as only two Sun Devils, including herself, have hit higher in a single season, let alone a career. She is currently 9th among active Pac-10 players with 948 kills and sixth with 299 total blocks.
Escobar Sixth In Single-Season Service Aces:
Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar has moved into sixth place in the ASU record books for service aces in a single season. With two aces at the UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic, Escobar now has 47 on the season and is first in the Pac-10 with 0.52 per game. The ASU single-season record is 65 set by All-American setter Regina Stahl in 1984.
Mehlhorn and Harris Named All-Tournament in Las Vegas:
Junior Kim Mehlhorn and sophomore Natalie Harris both earned spots on the UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team. Mehlhorn and Harris filled in nicely for Juliana Escobar (limited due to knee injury) to catapult ASU to a pair of three-game victories over Oral Roberts (11/29) and Weber State (11/30). Mehlhorn averaged 4.50 kills per game in the tournament and recorded a season-high 16 kills vs. ORU. Harris averaged 3.67 kpg in the two matches and 3.00 digs per game.
Escobar Having All-American Type Year:
Arizona State outside hitter Juliana Escobar was named first-team All-Pac-10 and continues to have an All-American caliber year leading the Sun Devils in several statistical categories. She recorded her 15th double-double of the season vs. UCLA (11/21), but did not play vs. No. 1 USC (11/22) and was limited last weekend in Las Vegas as she rested her injured knee. Escobar was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 23-Sept. 29 becoming ASU's 14th all-time POW award winner. On the season, Escobar is fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.24 kills per game, seventh with 3.30 digs per game and leads the conference with 0.52 service aces per game. She has recorded 15 double-doubles (kills/digs) this year (out of 24 matches played), 10 of which have been 20+ kill matches. She recorded ASU rally-scoring records of 27 kills and 26 digs in a five-game win over Oregon (10/18). She is currently sixth in ASU single-season history with 47 service aces and 18th with 383 kills.
Natalie Harris Has Been a Sparkplug:
Sophomore outside hitter Natalie Harris had a career night in ASU's five-game loss to No. 21 UCLA (11/21). Harris set new career highs with 22 kills, 17 digs, five total blocks and 25.5 total points. She recorded her second career double-double, surpassing her previous career high of 12 kills vs. Duke (12/1/00) in the NCAA First Round in Minneapolis, Minn., as a freshman. She has been playing well as of late with an average of 13.25 kills in the last four matches for a 3.79 per game average. For the season the redshirt sophomore is ranked fifth on the team with 2.05 kpg.
Mehlhorn Proving to be Headache For Opposing Teams Lately:
Junior outside hitter Kim Mehlhorn has put her recent string of migraine headaches behind her to be a real headache for opposing teams. Missing complete matches at different points of the season due to her chronic headaches, the junior has been key in ASU's strong finish to the 2002 regular season. In her last four matches she has contributed two double-doubles (kills/digs) and averaged 3.62 kpg and 2.62 dpg. For the season she is fourth on the team with 2.24 kpg and has four double-doubles.
The End of An Era for Patti Snyder-Park:
In addition to the three seniors that said farewell during senior night vs. Oregon (11/16) during senior weekend, 14th-year head coach Patti Snyder-Park also bid farewell to the Sun Devil faithful. With a career 215-180 record heading into the NCAA Tournament, Snyder-Park announced at the beginning of the season that 2002 would be her final year of head coaching at the college level so she can spend more time with her family. ASU has now advanced to postseason play seven times under Snyder-Park and has finished in the top 25 four different times under her tutelage. This marks the seventh time Snyder-Park has taken one of her squads to the NCAA Tournament, posting a 6-8 all-time postseason record.
Anglin Becomes Second Best Setter in ASU History:
Junior setter Cheryl Anglin gained sole possession of second place in the ASU career record books midway through the season moving past former Sun Devil Jennifer Helfrich, who dished out 2,956 assists as a four-year setter from 1989-92. With 3,467 in 81 career matches (11.52 per game average), Anglin has the most assists among active Pac-10 setters. Her season-high 76 assists vs. Oregon (10/18) are the sixth most in ASU single-match history and established an ASU and Pac-10 rally-scoring (adopted in 2001) record. Anglin already holds the single-season school record and freshman record when she had 1,452 in 2000 and also has the second (84) and fifth (77) most assist in single-match history.
Blocher a Digging Machine:
Junior libero Courtney Blocher has proven to be ASU's latest in the line of great defensive players in the program's 30-year history. She is second on the team this year with 2.96 digs per game (275 total) and with 869 total in her Sun Devil career and next year will become the 13th Sun Devil to surpass the 1,000 dig mark for a career. She has recorded 13 matches this year with 10 or more digs and has three 20+ dig matches in 2002.
Devils Snap Six-Game Win Streak in Five-Game Matches:
Arizona State endured its first five-game loss of the year vs. UCLA (11/21). They had a perfect 6-0 record in five-game matches snapped with the loss. ASU led 13-10 late in game five, but could not seal the win. In two of ASU's five-game wins, the Devils have had to battle back from a 0-2 deficit to keep their perfect record. ASU's five-game victories have come against Pacific (9/7), Clemson (9/14), Texas Tech (9/15), Washington (10/3), Cal (10/11) and the Oregon Ducks (10/18). Comparatively, ASU was 2-3 in five-game matches last year. The Devils also own a 3-2 record in four-game matches and are 5-8 in three-game matches. ASU was also a perfect 5-0 when playing at a neutral site and 6-1 vs. non-conference opponents in 2002.
Sun Devils in the National Rankings:
The Arizona State Volleyball team earned a No. 24 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA poll on Sept. 30 to appear in the poll for the first time since Sept. 3, 1996 (#23). With a No. 18 ranking on Oct. 21, ASU earned its highest national ranking since finishing the 1995 season at No. 11. Now 3-6 against ranked opponents this year, the Devils have notched wins against No. 13 Pacific (3-2; 9/7), No. 11 UCLA (3-1; 9/21) and No. 12 Arizona (3-0; 9/27). 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 130 times in school history. The 130 times ASU has appeared in the AVCA poll are the 19th most of all Division 1 volleyball schools. ASU is not ranked heading into the NCAA Tournament, but did receive some votes to place No. 37.
ASU Wins #500:
The three-game sweep of then 12th-ranked Arizona (9/27) 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 508-357 (.587).
The Barton County CC/Brazilian 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 hail from Barton County CC in Kansas. Escobar, who averaged 6.17 kills per game in her junior college career and was the 2001 AVCA JC Player of the Year, is from Brasilia, Brazil, while Habiger is from Cruzeira, Brazil.
30 Years of Sun Devil Volleyball:
The Sun Devil Volleyball program continues its 30th year of competition this weekend in the 2002 NCAA Volleyball Championships First and Second Rounds. The program has combined for an all-time 508-357 (.587%) record dating back to the first year in 1973. The 1973 season 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 17 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 14 Pac-10 Player of the Week awards and had 11 different players earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors.
2002 Sun Devil Player Notes...
#1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, Jr., MB/OP, Napa, Calif.) --
Has seen action in 15 matches this year, including one start vs. Cal (10/11)... averaging 1.38 kills per game... has recorded season-high six kills on three different occasions... recorded career-high two service aces vs. California (11/9)... had six kills in victory over Creighton (9/7) and six kills vs. Stanford (10/10) while hitting .462... have five kills on a .571 hitting percentage vs. Oral Roberts (11/29)... second on the team with .297 attack percentage. Career Notes: Averaged 2.51 kills per game while playing in 39 games and 18 matches in 2001... has a career 2.00 kpg average in 45 matches (96 games) as a Sun Devil.
#2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
Has started 23 matches this year at opposite hitter, but did not play last weekend in the UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic... averaging 1.89 kills and 1.93 digs per game this year... averaged 1.98 kpg and 1.95 dpg in Pac-10 play... recorded four of her six career double-doubles this year, including a 12-kill and career-high 21-dig match vs. Oregon (10/18)... had her best career match vs. Cal (10/11), nearly tabbing a triple-double with 14 kills, 18 digs and a career-high blocks (8)... recorded career-high 16 kills and added 10 digs in five-game win over Washington (10/3)... notched double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs vs. UCLA (9/21)... the 17 digs matched her previous career high... recorded nine kills in season opener vs. South Carolina (9/6). Career Notes: 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 1.77 (278 total) kpg and 1.95 (306 total) dpg in her 47 career matches (157 games) as a Sun Devil.
#3 Juliana Escobar (5-11, Jr., OH, Brasilia, Brazil) --
Has started 24 of ASU's 25 matches at outside hitter...became ASU's 11th player to earn All-Pac-10 First Team honors... AVCA All-American candidate... missed one match against No. 1 USC (11/22) due to an injured knee... has recorded a double-double (kills/digs) in 15 matches this year... also has 20 or more kills in 10 matches and one 20-20 match this year... double-digits in kills in 19 of her 24 matches played (79%)... leads the team and is ranked fifth in the Pac-10 with 4.24 kpg average... also seventh in the league with 3.30 digs per game... leads the Pac-10 with 0.52 service aces per game, already ranking sixth in single-season school history with 47... ranks 18th in ASU single-season history with a rally-scoring record 382 kills... averaged 4.21 kpg and 3.51 dpg in Pac-10 play this year... had solid weekend at Oregon and Oregon State (10/18-19), averaging 4.67 kpg and 4.89 dpg in two matches... recorded ASU rally-scoring records with 27 kills, 26 digs and 32.5 points in win over Oregon (10/18)... 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) by recording 20 kills and 16 digs vs. Arizona (9/27)... had 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)... tallied 25 kills vs. No. 13 Pacific in her second match as a Sun Devil... 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 Texas Tech Red Raider Classic. Career Notes: 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 21 of ASU's 25 matches this year, including nine starts at outside hitter and opposite hitter... named honorable mention All-Pac-10 Academic... named to all-tournament team at UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic while averaging 3.67 kpg in the two matches... fifth on the team with 2.05 kpg and fourth with 2.19 dpg... playing well down the stretch heading into postseason play with two of her three career double-doubles and a 3.79 kpg average... recorded career-best match vs. UCLA (11/21) when she had 22 kills, 17 digs, five blocks and 25.5 total points... all four are career highs... recorded a then season-high nine kills in victory over Creighton (9/7) and also had nine in loss to Washington State (10/4)... notched 10+ dig matches vs. Arizona (9/27) and Washington (10/3). Career Notes: Coming off shoulder surgery and a redshirt season in 2001... has recorded three career double-doubles... averaging 1.57 kpg and 1.93 dpg in 49 career matches (127 games) as a Sun Devil.
#5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Sr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
Nearing the end of her Sun Devil career with two regular season matches remaining... ASU's only four-year senior... has started all 25 matches at middle blocker... named tournament MVP at Red Raider Classic and UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic... honorable mention All-Pac-10 named second team Academic All-District and first-team All-Pac-10 Academic with 3.75 GPA in Elementary Education... has recorded double-digits in kills in 17 of ASU's 25 matches and hit over .300 in all but eight matches this year... second on the team with 3.02 kpg and is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 with .360 hitting percentage... second on the team with 0.84 blocks per game... had team-high 18 kills on a .471 hitting percentage vs. Oregon State (10/19)... recorded 15 kills and was one off of her career high with eight blocks in win over Cal. (10/11)... her four solo blocks vs. Washington (10/3) are tied for second best in the Pac-10 this year... had solid weekend on the road at Oregon and Oregon State (10/18-19) in which averaged 4.44 kpg and 1.00 bpg in the two victories... hit .526 with 22 kills in win over Oregon (10/18)... named tournament MVP at Red Raider Classic after averaging 2.90 kills in the two matches... had 14 kills in back-to-back matches vs. South Carolina and #13 Pacific in the season-opening Carolina Classic... named to all-tournament team at Carolina Classic. Career Notes: 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 49 matches with 10 or more kills throughout her career and boasts a .340 hitting percentage in 98 career matches (344 games) as a Sun Devil... only two players (including herself) have hit higher than .340 in a single season in ASU history, let alone a career... three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection... her 948 kills are the eighth most among active Pac-10 players and 299 total blocks are sixth most... is ranked 10th in career block assists in ASU history (227).
#7 Kim Mehlhorn (5-11, Jr., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
Has started 15 of the 25 matches this year and seen action in 59 games... has been sidelined during the 2002 season with a string of severe migraine headaches, including missing the UCLA match (11/21)... named to all-tournament team at Red Raider Classic and UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic... second-team All-Pac-10 Academic selection... fourth on the team averaging 2.24 kills per game and seventh with 1.64 dpg this year... has recorded four of her 18 career double-doubles this year, including two in her last four matches... ended the regular season on a strong note with 3.62 kpg average in her last four matches (47 total)... recorded season-high 16 kills and added 10 digs in 3-0 win over Oral Roberts (11/29)... hit .583 with seven kills off the bench to help ASU to 3-1 win over Oregon State (10/19)... notched consecutive double-doubles at the Red Raider Classic vs. Clemson and Texas Tech... had season-high 15 kills vs. Clemson (9/14). Career Notes: Recorded 19 matches with 10 or more kills in 2001, 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 18 career double-doubles (most among active Sun Devil hitters) and is averaging 2.37 kpg and 2.09 dpg in her 77 matches (244 games) as a Sun Devil.
#8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, Jr, LI/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
Has started 17 of 25 matches this year, with 16 coming at libero and one (Cal; 10/11) at outside hitter... honorable mention All-Pac-10 Academic selection... has recorded 10 or more digs in 13 times this year, including four in the last five matches... second on the team and has been ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-10 with 2.96 digs per game... had career-high four service aces (her first four of 2002) in four-game win over Oregon (11/16)... recorded her seventh career 20+ dig match with season-high 24 at Oregon (10/18)... also had 23 digs in five-game win at Washington (10/3)... recorded 20 digs vs. then No. 11 UCLA (9/21)... had 16 digs in five-game win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7). Career Notes: Started all 26 matches and played in every game in 2001... 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 2.86 digs per game (869 total) and has 44 career matches with 10 or more digs in her 81 matches as a Sun Devil... her 869 digs are eighth most among active Pac-10 players.
#10 Cheryl Anglin (5-9, Jr., S, Queen Creek, Ariz.) --
ASU's starting setter in 24 of the ASU's 25 matches this year... named to second-team All-Pac-10 Academic team... averaging 9.79 assists per game this year, seventh best in the Pac-10... recorded a Pac-10-best 76 assists at Oregon (10/18) to rank as the sixth-best assist performance in ASU single-match history... the 76 assists are the third most in Anglin's career and established an ASU and Pac-10 rally-scoring record... also dished out 67 assists vs. Clemson (9/14)... moved into second place in ASU career record books for assists (3,467) past former Sun Devil (1989-92) Jennifer Helfrich... her 17 assists vs. Arizona (10/25) were a single-match career low during her three years at ASU. Career Notes: Has the most career assists among active Pac-10 setters with 3,467... school single-season record and freshman record holder for assists when she had 1,452 as a freshman in 2000... owns the second (84), fifth (77) and sixth (76) best assist performances in school history... has recorded 41 career matches with 40 or more assists and 25 matches with 50 or more assists in her career... averaging 11.52 assists per game in 81 career matches (301 games) as a Sun Devil.
#11 Jodi Smith (6-1, RS-Jr., MB, St. Johns, Ariz.) --
Has started 24 matches this year at middle blocker... has 10 or more kills in 11 of ASU's 25 matches... leads the team with 0.88 blocks per game... has four or more blocks in eight of ASU's last 14 matches and 12 total times this year... had career-high eight blocks in five-game win over Cal (10/11)... set season-high with 15 kills vs. Oregon (10/18)... averaging 2.42 kpg to rank third on the team and is third in hitting percentage at .252... had career-high three service aces vs. Pacific (9/7)... had 14 kills and hit .370 in win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7)... had 12 kills in four consecutive matches (9/20-10/3). Career Notes: 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 2.31 kpg and is a career .259 hitter in 55 matches (184 games) as a Sun Devil... one of three married players on this year's squad (Habiger, Arnett).
#12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Sr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
Has seen action in all 25 matches this year, including her first career start on senior night vs. Oregon (11/16)... second-team all-Pac-10 Academic selection... was ASU's sparkplug off the bench in wins over Texas Tech (9/15), UCLA (9/21) and Arizona (9/27)... averaging 0.49 blocks per game this year to rank third on the team... had a career-high 4.0 blocks vs. UCLA (9/21) and vs. Washington (10/3)... notched a career-high seven kills vs. Washington... averaging 3.62 assists per game, including a career-high 30 in five-game victory over Texas Tech (9/15)... has reached double-digits in assists in 11 matches this year... her 30 assists vs. TTU marked the first time since 1999 that a player other then Cheryl Anglin has led the team in assists. Career Notes: 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)... averaging 2.98 assists per game in her Sun Devil career (123 games).
#13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Sr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
One of three seniors on this years team... started a stretch of eight straight matches at the libero position to end the Pac-10 season... had career-high 22 digs vs. Washington (11/02) and 14 vs. Washington State (11/01)... had 17 digs in five-game victory over California (10/11)... averaged 13.13 digs per match in her eight starts (3.75 per game average... ranks third on the team with 2.65 dpg in 55 games played (20 matches) this year. Career Notes: Finished second on the team with 23 service aces last year... has 15 career matches with 10 or more digs, including five this year... one of three players who are married (Smith, Habiger)... averaging 2.36 digs per game in 46 matches as a Sun Devil (153 games).
#14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Fr., OH/S, Mishawaka, Ind.) --
One of two true freshmen on this year's squad... made her first career start against Washington (11/02) and recorded her first career double-double with 11 kills and 22 digs... sidelined lately with an ankle injury... played in all three games vs. Creighton (9/7), recording one dig and one service ace... came off the bench in win vs. California (10/11) to record six kills while hitting .308... has played in 10 matches and 23 games this year (3 starts), averaging 1.09 kpg and 1.52 dpg... 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 12 of ASU's 25 matches this year and has played in a total of 26 games... had one kills and two digs in ASU debut vs. South Carolina (9/6)... season-high six digs vs. Clemson (9/14)... averaging 0.96 digs per game this year... 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.
**For the complete release, please download the Postseason Media Guide in .pdf format above**