Volleyball Takes On No. 4 Nebraska In NCAA Volleyball Second Round

Dec. 7, 2002

Arizona State Match Notes
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers
December 7, 2002 | Lincoln, Neb. (NU Coliseum)

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    The Arizona State Sun Devils (15-11) advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after beating Cincinnati last night 3-2. The Devils will now face No. 4 Nebraska (29-1) in the second round tonight at 7 p.m. at historic NU Coliseum in Lincoln, Neb. (7 p.m. CST). The game will be televised in the Lincoln area, but will not be available over any satellite feed. The game can be viewed over the internet if you have a high-speed internet connection (cable modem, DSL, etc.) or listened to via the internet on www.huskers.com. LiveStats will also be provided by the University of Nebraska available at first serve on www.huskers.com.

    Recapping Last Night:
    Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar recorded 23 kills and 26 digs and senior middle blocker Julia Leddy had 22 kills on a .500 attack percentage to lead the Arizona State Sun Devil Volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats Friday night in first-round action of the 2002 NCAA Volleyball Tournament in Lincoln, Neb. Game scores were 35-33, 30-20, 27-30, 19-30, 15-10 in favor of the Sun Devils.

    About the Nebraska Match:
    The Sun Devils will meet the Huskers for the fourth time in the program's 30-year history and first since Sept. 10, 1994 when the two played in Lincoln in the FirsTier Invitational. Nebraska owns a 2-1-1 all-time lead in the series. ASU's only victory over NU was a 3-2 decision in the Nebraska Invitational on Sept. 27, 1986. NU went on to finish the season 29-6 and was an NCAA finalist. The Huskers enter tonight's match with a 29-1 overall record and has a 59-match winning streak at NU Coliseum. They have only lost six games all year and their only loss in 2002 was to No. 1 USC on Sept. 2 in the Radisson Hotel/Nike Classic in Muncie, Ind.

    Devils Not Afraid of Ranked Opponents:
    The match-up for the Sun Devils against No. 4 (AVCA/USA Today) Nebraska will be ASU's 12th match vs. a ranked opponent this year. The Devils will take a 3-8 record into the match with wins over No. 13 Pacific (9/7), No. 11 UCLA (9/21) and No. 12 Arizona (9/27). ASU has played four matches against teams ranked in the top five (Stanford and USC) and lost all four each in three games.

    ASU in the NCAA Tournament:
    With last night's 3-2 victory over Cincinnati, the Sun Devils improved to 7-13 all-time in their 14 years in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Patti Snyder-Park is now 5-6 in her seven trips to the NCAA Tournament since taking over the program in 1989. The Sun Devils are making their third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last four years and have won their opening-round match in each of the last two trips.

    Pac-10 Has a Hot Start Tournament:
    With a record eight conference schools making the tournament field of 64 this year, the Pac-10 has shown why it is one of the elite volleyball conferences in the nation. The Pac-10 also backed it up with all eight schools winning their first-round matches. UCLA and Washington lost in the second round last night.

    Escobar Records Second 20-20 Match of Year:
    With her 23 kills and 26 digs last night vs. Cincinnati, junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar notched her second 20-20 match of the year. The transfer from Barton County CC now has 16 double-doubles on the year and three matches with 20 or more digs. She leads the Devils in kills (4.26 per game), digs (3.40 per game), service aces (49) and points (5.03 per game). The 2001 AVCA Junior College Player of the Year equaled her season/career high with the 26 digs vs. Cincinnati and in doing so also tied the ASU rally-scoring single-match record. Escobar had a career night with 27 kills and 26 digs in a five-game win over the Oregon Ducks on Oct. 18.

    Devils Improve To 7-1 In Five-Game Matches:
    Arizona State improved to an unprecedented 7-1 in five-game matches this year with the 3-2 win last night over Cincinnati. For the third time ASU jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead before having to hold on for a victory. ASU's only loss in a five-game match this year came against No. 21 UCLA on Nov. 21. The Devils were leading 13-10 in game five before giving up five unanswered points to lose 15-13.

    Leddy Has Another Solid Night:
    Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy had another solid match last night with 22 kills and a .500 attack percentage to improve her season hitting percentage to .369. With a season-high matching 22 kills, Leddy was just one kill off of her career high of 23 set vs. Washington State in 2001. She has now recorded double-digits in kills in 18 of ASU's 26 matches and has hit over .300 in all but eight matches this year. She is second on the team with 3.09 kpg and second with 0.83 blocks per game.

    Leddy Destroying Career and Single-Season Hitting Percentage Records:
    With 22 kills and a .500 attack percentage against Cincinnati, senior Julia Leddy is on pace to shatter both the ASU career and single-season hitting percentage records. Her current mark of .369 in 2002 is 16 points higher than the school record of .353 set by Tammy Webb in 1985. She currently has the first (.369, 2002), third (.352, 2001) and fifth (.328, 2000) best single-season hitting percentages in school history. Her .342 career hitting percentage is also a career record as only Webb has hit higher in a single-season, let alone a career. Overall she has recorded 970 kills in 99 career matches (2.78 per game) and has recorded 50 career matches with 10 or more kills.

    Mehlhorn Continues Hot Streak:
    Sidelined at times during the 2002 season with severe migraine headaches, junior Kim Mehlhorn has been a sparkplug for the Devils when in the lineup. She recorded seventh match of the year with 10 or more kills with a season-high 17 vs. Cincinnati. Named to the all-tournament team at the Red Raider Classic and the UNLV/Hard Rock Thanksgiving Classic, Mehlhorn is riding a hot streak in which she is averaging 12.8 kills in her last five matches for a 3.56 per game average. She is fourth on the team with 2.33 kpg.

    Harris Also On a Hot Streak:
    Redshirt sophomore Natalie Harris is arguably ASU's hottest player heading into the 7 p.m. match against the No. 4 Huskers, having picked up nine or more kills in each of her last five matches. With 16 Friday in the 3-2 win over Cincinnati, Harris is averaging 13.8 kills per match and 3.63 kills per game over her last five matches. For the season she is ranked fifth on the team by averaging 2.14 kpg.

    Anglin Notches Fifth Career 70+ Assist Performance:
    For the fourth time in her career junior setter Cheryl Anglin broke the 70-assist mark in a match. She had 70 last night vs. Cincinnati and added a season-high 19 digs in the 3-2 victory. Anglin now owns the second (84), fifth (77), sixth (76), 11th (71) and 12th (70) best single-match assist performances in school history. She is ranks second in the ASU record books with 3,537 career assists and has 26 career matches with 50 or more assists.

    ASU Single-Match Assist Performances:

    1.	Regina Stahl, 1987	902.	Cheryl Anglin, 2000	843.	Tracy Heflin, 1996	804.	Tracy Heflin, 1993	785.	Cheryl Anglin, 2000	776.	Cheryl Anglin, 2002	76t-11.	Cheryl Anglin, 2000	71t-13.	Cheryl Anglin, 2002	70

    Escobar Moves Up To Fifth In Single-Season Service Aces:
    With two more service aces last night vs. Cincinnati, Juliana Escobar now has 49 on the year to rank fifth in single-season service aces. She passed Nancy Christian who had 48 in 1992. Escobar is leading the Pac-10 with 0.52 service aces per game.

    ASU Single-Season Service Aces:

    1.	Regina Stahl, 1984	652.	Tracey Barberie, 1985	633.	Regina Stahl, 1986	50	Tracie Kisro, 1988	505.	Juliana Escobar, 2002	49

    Escobar Moves Into 16th In Single-Season Kills:
    Juliana Escobar moved from 19th to 16th in the ASU single-season record books with 23 kills last night vs. Cincinnati. Escobar now has 405 kills in he rookie campaign with the Devils. She moved past two members of ASU's 30th Anniversary team with the performance, sliding into 16th past Lisa Stuck (383, 1983) and Jami Coughlin (404, 2000).

    ASU Single-Season Kills:

    1.	Amanda Burbridge, 2000	5992.	Mindy Gowell, 1990	5553.	Tammy Webb, 1985	5234.	Christy Nore, 1988	4975.	Christine Garner, 1993	4956.	Tammy Webb, 1986	4897.	Christine Garner, 1994	4778.	Christine Garner, 1992	4759.	Amanda Burbridge, 1998	45610.	Terri Cox, 1986	44111.	Christy Nore, 1986	43612.	Christine Garner, 1995	42413.	Terri Cox, 1997	41714.	Lisa Stuck, 1982	41315.	Amanda Burbridge, 1999	41216.	Juliana Escobar, 2002	405

    Devils Go Defensive vs. Bearcats:
    Arizona State recorded the second most digs in a match this season with 98 Friday night vs. Cincinnati. ASU had 108 vs. Oregon (10/17) in a five-game win in Eugene. The Devils had two players with 20 or more digs for the second time this year (Blocher/Escobar @ Oregon) and had four players with 10 or more digs. Escobar led all players with 23 digs, while senior libero Brittany Arnett notched her third 20+ dig match of the year with 20. Courtney Blocher had 14 digs and junior setter Cheryl Anglin recorded a season high with 19. Overall Escobar leads the Devils with a 3.40 dpg average and Blocher ranks second with 2.95 dpg.

    Five Players Reach Double-Digits in Kills:
    For the second time this year and for the first time since the Clemson match (9/14) the Sun Devils have five players reach double-digits in kills. Led by the 23 from Juliana Escobar, Julia Leddy (22), Kim Mehlhorn (17), Natalie Harris (16) and Jodi Smith (11) each notched double-digit kill performances.

    Sun Devil Starters:
    In the first-round match vs. Cincinnati, the Sun Devils started two seniors (Julia Leddy and Brittany Arnett), four juniors (Juliana Escobar, Jodi Smith, Kim Mehlhorn and Cheryl Anglin) and one redshirt sophomore (Natalie Harris).

    --Sun Devil Volleyball--
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