Sun Devils Hang Tough With No. 9 Cal, But Lose In Four Games

Oct. 3, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State Volleyball team played ninth-ranked California point-for-point in a close match, but was on the losing end of a four-game match Friday night in Pac-10 Volleyball action at Wells Fargo Arena. Game scores were 25-30, 27-30, 30-23, 28-30.

The Sun Devils dropped to 6-8 overall and 1-4 in Pac-10 play with the loss. Cal, ranked No. 9 in the recent AVCA/USA Today poll, continues its record start to the 2003 season with its 13th consecutive win (13-0) and leads the Pac-10 with a 5-0 mark. ASU handed Cal only its third loss in a game this year. Both sides played well above the net, with the Golden Bears edging out ASU .281-.279 in team hitting percentage.

ASU was led again by five players who tallied double-digits in kills. Junior outside hitter Natalie Harris (Tempe) recorded her third career 20-kill match (20 kills) and added 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Senior middle blocker Mandy Stephens (Napa, Calif.) added 11 kills on an error-free .550 hitting percentage (11-0-20) and senior outside hitter Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe) contributed a season-high 16 kills on a scorching .467 hitting percentage (16-2-30). Sarah Watkins (13 kills) and senior Juliana Escober (11 kills) also reach double-digits in kills. Escobar added a match-high 15 digs for her eighth double-double of the year.

The Golden Bears were led by Pac-10 kill leader Mia Jerkov. Jerkov led all players with 22 kills and added 18 digs. Middle blocker Camille Leffall was also a key to Cal's success with 14 kills on a .565 hitting percentage (14-1-23). Setter Samantha Carter led all players with 49 assists.

The Sun Devils return to action next weekend with a pair of conference road matches at No. 1 USC (Oct. 10, 7 p.m.) and No. 8 UCLA (Oct. 11, 7 p.m.). ASU will next play a home match at Wells Fargo Arena Oct. 17-18 against the Oregon schools.

--Sun Devil Volleyball--
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