Volleyball Completes Season This Weekend Against Washington State And Washington
Nov. 19, 2003
The Arizona State Sun Devils (9-16, 4-12 Pac-10) conclude the 2003 season this weekend with a pair of home matches against Washington State (8-19, 4-12) and No. 11 Washington (18-7, 9-7). Friday's match will start at 5 p.m. and be part of a rare volleyball-basketball doubleheader with the women's hoops team facing Akron at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's season finale will honor the five seniors that spent the last four years competing for the Sun Devils. ASU enters the final weekend of the year with a 9-16 record and is tied for eighth in the Pac-10 standings with Washington State.
Saturday's season finale against Washington will be a special night as five seniors will be honored in their final match as a Sun Devil. Cheryl Anglin, Courtney Blocher, Kim Mehlhorn, Jodi Proctor and Mandy Stephens have combined to play in 445 matches and 1502 games during their ASU careers. Anglin (Queen Creek) will end her career with the second most assists in ASU history and Blocher (Scottsdale) is ranked in the top 10 in career digs. Anglin has played in every match dating back to her freshman season and has missed only seven games during her ASU career out of a possible 325. Stephens (Napa, Calif.) is on pace to break the single-season school hitting percentage record and is having a stellar senior season averaging 2.14 kpg with a .388 hitting percentage. Mehlhorn (Tempe) is currently ranked 12th among active Pac-10 players with 782. Proctor (St. Johns, Ariz.) has not played this season due to a knee injury, but had three good seasons at middle blocker from 2000-02. Three of the five (Blocher, Anglin, Mehlhorn) came to ASU from Chandler Valley Christian High School, while Stephens and Proctor were redshirt freshman starting in 1999.
Recapping Last Weekend:
The Devils are coming off a weekend in which they went 1-1 at Oregon State and Oregon. ASU endured a tough three-game loss to the Beavers, but came back with a 3-1 win against Oregon to end a season-high six-match losing streak. Playing without outside hitter Juliana Escobar (dismissed from team), the Devils were led by the 3.43 kpg average from senior middle blocker Mandy Stephens. Stephens hit .404 combined between the two matches and tied a season high with 15 kills against the Ducks. Libero Courtney Blocher averaged 5.29 digs against the Oregon schools and added her third career double-double with 10 kills and 19 digs against the Ducks.
A Top Recruiting Class:
Arizona State Volleyball Head Coach Brad Saindon has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent (NLI) to join the Sun Devil Volleyball program for the 2004 season. The class includes players from four different states (Arizona, California, Oregon, Illinois) and includes one setter, one libero, two middle blockers and an outside hitter. The Sun Devils inked setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep), highly-touted libero Sydney Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa), middle blocker Staci Smith (Gresham, Ore./Gresham), middle blocker Kristin Trayser (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) and outside hitter Danielle Fernandes (Santa Monica, Calif./Taft).
Aces Are Wild:
Twice during the 2003 season a pair of Sun Devils have recorded seven service aces in a single match. The seven aces served up by Sarah Watkins (8/29 vs. Utah) and Kim Mehlhorn (9/26 vs. Arizona) are tied for the third most in ASU single-match history. The school record for service aces in a match is nine set by Regina Stahl vs. New Mexico in 1984. The performances by Mehlhorn and Watkins both established records under the rally scoring format. For the season, ASU leads the Pac-10 averaging 1.79 aces per game (161 total). The Devils demolished their 2002 total of 122 in 27 matches. Junior outside hitter Natalie Harris ranks ninth in the conference with 0.37 aces per game (33 total) and senior Kim Mehlhorn is 10th with 0.36 aces per game (31 total).
Watkins Named Academic All-District:
Arizona State sophomore outside hitter Sarah Watkins has been named to the CoSida Academic All-District VIII second-team for her outstanding accomplishments on the court and in the classroom. Watkins (Mishawaka, Ind.) has a 4.0 GPA in the classroom as an education major with an emphasis on Spanish. On the court, Watkins has started all 25 of ASU's matches while helping lead the Sun Devils to a 8-16 record. She is fourth on the team averaging 2.18 kills per game.
Harris Becoming Big-Time Player:
Redshirt junior Natalie Harris has quickly become ASU's go-to player on the court. For the season, Harris leads ASU and is fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 3.98 kills per game. She also leads the Devils with 33 service aces and is fourth on the team with 2.45 digs per game. She has 19 matches with 10 or more kills (76% of ASU's matches) and has recorded nine double-doubles. Harris made the all-tournament team at the SBC/Sand Regency Volleyball Classic in Reno, Nev. Harris tied her previous career high with 17 digs against Tennessee (9/6) and set a new high with 24 kills. She also had 27.5 points and four total blocks vs. the Lady Vols. She enters the final weekend of the season with 575 career kills in 76 matches (2.57 per game average).
Watkins Inks Name In Record Books:
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Watkins etched her name in the ASU record books with a memorable serving performance in the season-opening 3-1 victory over Utah (8/29). Watkins, one of ASU's starting outside hitters who played sparingly as a freshman in 2002, recorded seven aces to rank tied for third in the single-match record books. Senior OH Kim Mehlhorn also matched her performance against Arizona (9/26). Watkins is fourth on the team averaging 2.18 kills per game and has recorded 10 or more kills in 10 matches. She is also fourth with 28 service aces. She set career highs against Washington State (9/19) with 15 kills (.375), 20.0 points and 4.0 blocks. Watkins was a All-Academic District VIII second-team selection by the College Sports Information Director's of America (CoSida).
Stephens Looking For School Record:
Senior middle blocker Mandy Stephens (Napa, Calif.) ranks fifth in the Pac-10 and with a .388 hitting percentage and with two matches remaining in 2003 looks as if she is going to break the ASU single-season record. Julia Leddy set the single-season mark last year with a .367 attack percentage. Stephens is having an outstanding senior year, as she was named the tournament MVP of the SMU Radisson Volleyball classic held Sept. 12-13 in Dallas, Texas. Stephens averaged 3.00 kills per game and did not make a hitting error on 46 attacks (.587%) during tourney play. She recorded one of the best matches of her career in the three-game win over SMU (9/13) when she tallied 10 kills (.625 attack percentage) and a career-high six blocks. She has recorded 10 or more kills in 10 matches this year and has a hitting percentage over .500 in nine matches. She is coming off a solid weekend at the Oregon schools in which she tied a season high with 15 kills against the Ducks (.423). For the season, Stephens is averaging 2.32 kills per game and leads ASU with 0.69 blocks per game.
ASU Single-Season Hitting Percentage:1. Mandy Stephens, 2003 .3882. Julia Leddy, 2002 .3673. Tammy Webb, 1985 .3534. Julia Leddy, 2001 .3525. Tammy Webb, 1986 .346
* Senior OH Kim Mehlhorn has 782 career kills, 12th most among active Pac-10 players.
* The Sun Devils feature a roster of six seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen.
* Senior setter Cheryl Anglin is second in the ASU career record books with 4,226 assists.
* Head Coach Brad Saindon and assistants Terri Cox and Jami Coughlin are all ASU graduates.
* Senior libero Courtney Blocher became only the 13th Sun Devil to record 1,000 digs in a career (1,154).
* Senior Juliana Escobar was dismissed from the team for conduct and behavior detrimental to the team.
* ASU leads the Pac-10 with 1.79 service aces per game (161 total after recording only 122 in 2002.)
* Saindon became only the second coach in ASU Volleyball history to defeat Arizona in his debut.
* ASU's nine academic All-Americans are fourth most among Division I volleyball programs.
* Natalie Harris ranks fifth in kills (3.98) and ninth in service aces (0.37).
Packing the House:
The official attendance of 3,225 for the Arizona (9/26) match marked only the fourth time since 1990 that an ASU Volleyball match had a crowd of over 3,000. The crowd is the fourth best dating back to 1990 and is second most dating back to the 1994 season. The school record for attendance at a home match was in 1986 against Stanford when 8,516 fans attempted to break the NCAA record. ASU also drew 1,114 in the home match against No. 1 USC, marking the 21st largest recorded crowd in program history. In the weekly NCAA Volleyball Attendance Rankings, ASU ranks 31st with an average crowd of 989 and the 3,225 vs. Arizona is the 62nd highest attended match this year.
Down 0-2... No Problem:
After being down 0-2 to Arizona, the Devils stormed back to capture the thrilling 3-2 win over the Wildcats. The come-from-behind win marked the third straight year under the rally scoring format that ASU has rallied for victory after being down a pair of games. The Devils defeated California (Oct. 11) last year at home by scores of 27-30, 21-30, 30-27, 30-26, 15-10. In 2001, the Devils defeated in-state rival Northern Arizona (Oct. 23, 2001) also after being down 2-0. The Devils came back to defeat the Lumberjacks 28-30, 25-30, 30-21, 30-19, 15-9. ASU is 2-1 this year in five-game matches. ASU almost defeated No. 9 Stanford (10/31/03), coming back from a 2-0 deficit before falling 15-9 in the final set.
Anglin Becomes Second Best Setter in ASU History:
Senior setter Cheryl Anglin became only the second Sun Devil to record 4,000 assists in a career. Anglin gained sole possession of second place in the ASU career record books midway through her junior season, moving past former Sun Devil Jennifer Helfrich. With 4,226 in 108 career matches (10.59 per game average), Anglin has the most assists among active Pac-10 setters. She recorded 76 assists vs. Oregon (10/18/02) to ranks as the sixth most in ASU single-match history and established an ASU and Pac-10 rally-scoring (adopted in 2001) record. Anglin also 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. Anglin leads the Devils with 7.40 assists per game and has recorded nine matches with 30 or more assists.
ASU Career Assists:1. Regina Stahl (1984-87) 5,1802. Cheryl Anglin (2000-P) 4,2263. Jennifer Helfrich (1989-92) 2,9564. Noelle Fridrich (1986-89) 2,7315. Jolynn Faatulu (1995-98) 2,730
Blocher Reaches 1,000 Career Digs:
Senior libero Courtney Blocher made history during the Arizona match when she recorded her 1,000th career dig. Blocher, a three-year starter for the Sun Devils, notched 14 digs to pass the milestone, becoming only the 13th player in Sun Devil Volleyball history to reach 1,000 digs in a career. Current assistant coaches Jami Coughlin (1,528) and Terri Cox (1,382) are second and third respectively in ASU's career record books. She recently cracked the top 10 with 1,154 and needs 24 more digs to move into ninth place past former Sun Devil All-American Tammy Webb. She recorded 37 digs (5.29 per game average) over the weekend against OSU and Oregon, setting ASU single-match highs in three and four-game matches this year. Blocher ranks fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 3.42 digs per game this year.
ASU Career Digs:1. Christy Nore (1985-88) 1,5972. Jami Coughlin (1998-01) 1,5283. Terri Cox (1994-97) 1,3824. Mindy Gowell (1987-91) 1,3655. Leanne Schuster (1991-94) 1,2846. Christine Garner (1992-95) 1,2537. Nancy Christian (1990-93) 1,2218. Kelly Plaisted (1987-90) 1,1949. Tammy Webb (1983-86) 1,17810. Courtney Blocher (2000-P) 1,15411. Tracey Barberie (1984-87) 1,10412. Amanda Burbridge (1997-00) 1,06013. Noelle Fridrich (1986-89) 1,050