Arizona State Sun Devils 2003 Volleyball Outlook

Aug. 19, 2003

ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

TEAM PREVIEW
There's a new coach in town as Brad Saindon takes over in Tempe. Saindon spent the last two years with the USA Men's National Volleyball team, but is no stranger to the collegiate game. He was the first coach at Colorado when the Lady Buffs started their program and he quickly developed the program into a national power. Look for him to do the same at Arizona State.

STRENGTHS

  • A veteran squad awaits Saindon as six experienced seniors return. Among them are senior setter Cheryl Anglin (9.94 assists per game) and All-Pac-10 outside hitter Juliana Escobar (4.29 kills per game/3.36 digs per game). Anglin's 3,560 assists are most among active setters in the Pac-10, while only six other players in ASU history posted more than Escobar's single-season total of 420 kills last year.
  • Senior Kim Mehlhorn (2.31 kpg) and junior Natalie Harris (2.13 kpg) will give the Sun Devils quality depth at outside hitter. While senior Courtney Blocher developed into a dependable libero, averaging 2.89 digs per game.
  • The coaching staff will instill the true school spirit. Saindon is an ASU graduate ('76), as are his two assistant coaches Terri Cox ('98) and Jami Coughlin ('02).

    CONCERNS

  • As with any program that brings in a new coach, how quickly will the team respond to a new system and coaching philosophy?
  • Depth at middle blocker. Only senior Jodi Procter (2.41 kpg/0.86 bpg) returns with extensive experience at middle blocker. The Sun Devils will look to senior Mandy Stephens and freshmen Tierra Burnley and Katie Wilson for support along the net.

  • The coaching staff is hopeful that Proctor and Escobar have recovered from off-season knee surgeries.

    ACCORDING TO COACH SAINDON
    'We are building everything around the setter. We have a proven leader in Cheryl (Anglin) and a newcomer in Giovana Melo who is really dynamic on the court and can do a lot of different things. I think we are going to run a two-setter offense and really get everyone involved this season. Everyone will play this year and everyone will. I think it is good for team chemistry to get the whole team involved and it also helps keep things fresh.

    'The fans will see a real exciting brand of volleyball and I think we will be one of the fastest teams in college volleyball. Everyone will jump serve and the players will be flying around the court. That is my brand of volleyball. We aren't a big team, so we will try to make speed the antidote for size. The Pac-10 will offer a lot of intriguing match-ups and it will be a great battle of styles.'

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