Undefeated Beavers Begin Eight-Match Road Swing In California

Sept. 2, 2003

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THIS WEEK'S ACTION: After opening the season at home last week, the Beavers (3-0, 0-0 Pacific-10) hit the road for an eight-match road swing that begins in California this week. First up for the Beavers is a match at Saint Mary's (3-0) at 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 3. After that, OSU heads over to Sacramento for four matches in a tournament hosted by Sacramento State on Friday-Saturday, September 5-6. OSU opens with UC-Riverside (1-2) at 9 a.m. on Friday before playing Georgetown (1-2) at 5 p.m. later that day. On Saturday, OSU will play Fresno State (2-1) at 11:30 a.m., followed by Sacramento State (1-2) at 7:30 p.m.

BEAVERS DOMINATE AT OSU SHOWCASE: OSU went 3-0 with wins over Gonzaga (3-2), Mississippi State (3-0) and Northern Arizona (3-0) to walk away as champions of the 2003 Oregon State Volleyball Showcase last weekend. OSU dominated the field, hitting .339 with 15.91 kills per game while holding the opposition to just 9.09 kills per game on .094 hitting. Beaver players earned more than half the spots on the All-Tournament Team, with four OSU players represented on the seven-player team. Anne Watts-Roberts earned Most Valuable Player honors, and Allison Lawrence, Karah Rhoades and Laura Collins also were named to the All-Tournament Team. Watts-Roberts led all players with 46 kills (4.18 kpg) while hitting .488. She had double-figures in all three matches, including a match-high 21 against Gonzaga. Lawrence also had double-figure kills in all three matches, finishing with 40 total (3.64 kpg) including team-highs of 14 against MSU and 13 against NAU. She also led the Beavers with 31 digs (2.82 dpg) and had two double-figure matches. Rhoades hit .340 with 23 kills (2.09 kpg), 27 digs (2.45 dpg) and a team-high nine blocks (0.82 bpg). Collins dished out 109 assists (10.90 apg) to go along with 16 digs (1.60 dpg), 15 kills (1.50 kpg) and a .444 hitting percentage.

SOMERA PICKS UP WIN NUMBER 50: When the Beavers defeated Gonzaga in last week's season opener, fifth-year head coach Nancy Somera earned her 50th career victory. With two more wins later in the weekend, Somera's record now stands at 52-66. In 2002, Somera guided OSU to a 17-12 record, and the Beavers earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. Somera moved to Corvallis in 1999 after spending eight years as an assistant at Southern California, her alma mater. While at USC, Somera helped the Women of Troy earn eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and helped develop eight USC All-Americans. Somera also played collegiately at USC, and she was an All-Pacific-10 Team selection in 1987 and 1988. She still holds the USC record for career and single-season aces.

WATTS-ROBERTS WASTES LITTLE TIME GETTING IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Just three matches into her career as a Beaver, Anne Watts-Roberts etched her name into the OSU record books. She had 12 kills and no errors on 17 attempts for a .706 hitting percentage against Northern Arizona, good for the fourth-highest single-match percentage in program history (a minimum of 15 attempts are needed to be considered). She was flawless in another match that same day, hitting .545 with 13 kills and no errors in 23 tries against Mississippi State on Saturday morning.

SERVING TIME: The Beavers put a priority on improving their serving in the spring, and the results showed last week. OSU served 35 aces in the first three matches of the year, for an average of 3.18 aces per game. All eight Beavers who served last week had at least two aces. Allison Lawrence and Karah Rhoades had seven apiece, and Laura Collins and Katelyn Healy each served six. The Beavers averaged just 1.19 aces per game last year, ranking ninth in the Pac-10.

COMMENTS FROM COACH Nancy Somera

On having just two days (Monday and Tuesday) to prepare for five road matches'You have to play to get better, but you also have to train to get better. It's always a coach's dream to have a lot of time to prepare, but we've spent a couple days watching video and working on some things. It was helpful to be exposed to another opponent last week.'

On some tougher competition this week (two of the five opponents advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and another upset No. 23 Texas last week)'Everybody's a tough opponent, especially with the rally scoring format. It really levels the playing field. You have to be sharp and be consistent or any opponent becomes a difficult opponent. We'll make some adjustments depending on our opponents, but mostly our focus will be on our side of the net.'

SERIES RECORDS:
vs. Saint Mary's -
The Beavers are 2-1 all-time against Saint Mary's. The teams last played in 2000, when the Beavers defeated the Gaels, 3-0, in a tournament at Portland State. OSU's two current seniors were freshmen that season, but neither played in that match.

vs. UC Riverside - OSU is 1-2 all-time against the Highlanders, but the Beavers won the most recent match, a 3-0 victory in 2000. Neither of the current OSU seniors played in the match as freshmen.

vs. Georgetown - Friday's match will be the first between OSU and Georgetown in volleyball.

vs. Fresno State - OSU and Fresno State have played 12 previous times, with the Beavers leading the series 7-5. The Bulldogs won the last meeting, 3-2, in Corvallis in 1995.

vs. Sacramento State - OSU leads the all-time series, 4-1. The Beavers and Hornets last played in 2001, with OSU winning 3-2 in Corvallis. K.C. Frederic had 11 kills and 24 digs for OSU, and Laura Collins added 67 assists and 11 digs in the Beaver win.

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENTS: Saint Mary's - The Gaels may have gone just 9-18 last year, but opponents certainly won't be overlooking them this season. They enter Wednesday's match with the Beavers at 3-0, highlighted by a 3-0 sweep over No. 23 Texas last week. Other wins came against Cal State Northridge and Northeastern. Jill Parmele accounted for 48 kills (4.80 kpg) to lead SMC's offense last week, and Cassandra Kolkka topped the defense with 36 digs (3.60 dpg).

UC Riverside - UCR went 2-1 in the first week of the season, winning the opener against Rice (3-2) before losing to San Diego State (3-0) and Valparaiso (3-1). Rosanna Parizek contributed more than a third of the team's offense, hitting .298 with 65 (5.42 kpg) of the team's 183 kills. Jamie DeKiewiet led the defense with 52 digs (4.33 dpg).

Georgetown - The Hoyas opened up the 2003 season with a 2-1 record at the Patriot Invitational at George Mason, where they beat Fairfield (3-1) and lost to George Mason (3-0) and Southwest Missouri State (3-1). Ashley Lancaster led the offense with 39 kills (3.55 kpg), while Sara Albert hit .387 with 30 kills (2.73 kpg). Julie Grauert, a graduate of Jesuit HS in Portland, led the defense with 34 digs (3.09 dpg).

Fresno State - The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Led by three returning starters, Fresno went 2-1 to open the 2003 season last weekend, beating New Mexico (3-0) and Cal Poly (3-1) with a loss to Idaho State (3-2). Returning outside hitter Kristen Fenton provided most of the offensive firepower, hitting .414 with 56 kills (4.67 kpg), while returning libero Tina Brennan's 37 digs (3.08 dpg) led the defense.

Sacramento State - Although they opened the 2003 season 1-2, the Hornets have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in five of the last six years and have not lost more than three consecutive matches in 10 years. The team went 24-11 last year, and five starters are back from that team. Last week, the Hornets beat UNLV but lost to West Virginia and Loyola Marymount. Kazmiera Imrie led the offense with 28 kills (3.11 kpg), and Kristin Lutes turned in 32 digs (4.00 dpg).

BATTLE WITH THE BULLDOGS, PART THREE: When OSU meets Fresno State on Saturday, it will be the Beavers' third match against a Bulldog team this season. OSU beat Gonzaga, 3-2, and Mississippi State, 3-0, last week.

CLOSING IN ON TOP THREE: Laura Collins entered her senior year ranked fourth on OSU's career assists list, but she could take over the No. 3 spot as early as this week. She has 2,711 career assists, 150 shy of passing Christine Camp, who had 2,860 while playing from 1989-1991.

PAC-10 PREDICTIONS: Oregon State was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 race according to a preseason vote by the league's head coaches. Defending NCAA champion USC was selected to repeat as Pac-10 champion this season. Stanford was second, followed by Arizona and UCLA, which tied for third. California, Washington, Arizona State, Washington State, OSU and Oregon round out the poll.

BEAVERS ON TV: Oregon State will be on television four times this season. OSU's matches at Arizona on Oct. 17 and at California on Nov. 20 will be televised nationally by FOX Sports Net on a delayed basis. In addition, both of OSU's matches against Washington will be aired delayed on FOX Sports Northwest.

OSU PLAYER NOTES
#3 Karah Rhoades, So., OH
Named All-Tournament at last week's OSU Volleyball Showcase... Played in all 11 games and had 23 kills (2.09 kpg) while hitting .340... Led the Beavers with nine blocks (0.82 bpg) and was second with 27 digs (2.45 dpg)... Also served a team-high seven aces, including a career-high five against Northern Arizona... Hit .636 with eight kills against Mississippi State and eight kills in one other match... Had 10 digs in two of the matches.

#9 Desma Stovall, So., SHas already exceeded her assists numbers from a year ago even though the season is just a week old... Had 22 assists in seven games of work last week... Had a career-high 14 against Gonzaga and set the entire fifth game of that match to lead the Beavers to a victory in the deciding game... Also hit .571 with a career-high five kills in that match... Added two aces, five digs and two blocks throughout the weekend.

#11 Anne Watts-Roberts, Jr., OHAlready making a big impact on the program after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules... Was named the MVP of the OSU Volleyball Showcase after hitting .488 with 46 kills (4.18 kpg) in three matches... Led the Beavers with 21 against Gonzaga and added 13 against Mississippi State and 12 against Northern Arizona... Hit .706 against NAU for the fourth-best hitting percentage in school history... Also had two aces, seven digs and three blocks... Was a two-time first team All-Big Sky selection at Montana State in 2000 and 2001... Recorded 813 kills in two years with MSU.

#14 K.C. Frederic, Sr., LPlayed all 11 games as OSU's libero last week... Finished the weekend with 24 digs (2.18 dpg)... Had a high of 12 digs against Gonzaga.

#15 Brittany Cahoon, Fr., MBStarted in the middle against Gonzaga in the season opener, picking up three kills and three blocks in her first collegiate match... Did not play against Mississippi State but played one game against Northern Arizona, finishing with one kill.

#16 Katelyn Healy, So., MBAfter starting 10 of the last 11 matches last season, Katelyn started off this season in a reserve role against Gonzaga in the first match of the year... However, she regained her starting role in the matches against Mississippi State and Northern Arizona... Had a career-high 10 digs to lead the team against NAU and served a career-high five aces against MSU... Finished the week with 13 kills (1.30 kpg), 17 digs (1.70 dpg), seven blocks (0.70 bpg) and six aces (0.60 sapg).

#21 Amanda Eggert, Jr., MBPlayed all three matches as a starting middle blocker... Hit .396 with 28 kills (2.55 kpg)... Had a career-high 13 kills and hit .455 against Gonzaga and added 11 kills on .500 hitting against Northern Arizona... Had seven blocks (0.64 bpg), 12 digs (1.09 dpg) and three aces (0.27 sapg) over the weekend as well.

#22 Allison Lawrence, Jr., OH Earned All-Tournament honors at the OSU Showcase for the second year in a row... This year, she hit .295 with 40 kills (3.64 kpg, second on the team) and a team-high 31 digs (2.82 dpg)... Had two doubles-doubles (13 kills/15 digs vs. Gonzaga and 14 kills/12 digs against Mississippi State)... Led the team in kills against MSU and Northern Arizona (13) and was the team's dig leader against Gonzaga... Served a team-high seven aces over the weekend.

#23 Laura Collins, Sr., SEarned All-Tournament honors at the OSU Showcase for the second year in a row... Played in 10 of 11 games last week, with 109 assists (10.90 apg), 16 digs (1.60 dpg) and 15 kills (1.50 kpg) on .444 hitting... Hit a career-high .714 with five kills against Mississippi State... Had a high of 38 assists against Northern Arizona... Ranks fourth for career assists at OSU with 2,711.

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