Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Season On The Road In The Bay Area

Sept. 21, 2004

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    Arizona State Volleyball (5-3, 0-0 Pac-10) opens the 2004 Pac-10 slate this weekend on the road against a pair of nationally ranked opponents. The Sun Devils travel to the Bay Area to face No. 16 California (Thursday, 7 p.m.) at Haas Pavilion and then play No. 12 Stanford at Burnham Pavilion (Friday, 7 p.m.). Maples Pavilion, the normal home of Stanford basketball and volleyball, is currently being remodeled. Arizona State returns home the following weekend to host No. 2 USC (Oct. 1, 7 p.m.) and No. 10 UCLA (Oct. 2, 7 p.m.) at Wells Fargo Arena.

    All-Time Series:
    ASU is 27-13 all-time against California (5-3, 0-0 Pac-10), but has lost three straight matches to the Golden Bears. ASU last defeated the Golden Bears at home in 2002 in five games. The Devils are 4-43 all-time against Stanford (7-2, 0-0 Pac-10) and has lost seven straight to the Cardinal dating back to 2000. ASU has lost 21 straight matches on The Farm.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils improved to 5-3 by splitting a pair of matches last weekend in Long Beach, Calif. The Devils played No. 21 Long Beach State hard in a 3-1 loss and had one of their better statistical matches of the season. Sophomore OH Nicole Morton recorded 23 kills and setter Rachel Mittelstaedt and Colette Meek each had eight blocks. The Devils picked up a five-game victory over Cal State Fullerton the following night by scores of 30-25, 34-32, 21-30, 24-30, 15-5. Morton led the way with her fifth double-double of the year with 17 kills and a career-high 25 digs. Meek had 14 kills and added nine blocks in the victory.

    Ranked Opponents On Tap For ASU:
    The Sun Devils are currently in a stretch where they will face a ranked opponent in five of six matches. After falling 3-1 to then No. 21 Long Beach State, ASU travels to No. 16 California and No. 12 Stanford this weekend. The Devils return to Wells Fargo Arena to face No. 2 and defending national champion USC (Oct. 1) and No. 10 UCLA (Oct. 2). ASU is scheduled to play 13 matches against teams currently ranked in the AVCA/CSTV National Top 25.

    Donahue Sets Freshman Digs Record:
    Freshman libero Sydney Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) wasted little time etching her name in the Arizona State record books. Donahue set the single-match freshman record when she recorded 27 digs in the four-game win over New Hampshire (9/4). The 27 digs are not only a freshman record, but also second most by a Sun Devil since the rally scoring era dating back to 2001. Donahue leads the Sun Devils and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.17 digs per game this season.

    Injury Bug Bites The Sun Devils:
    Redshirt senior outside hitter Natalie Harris (Tempe, Ariz.) and senior setter Giovana Melo (Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) are likely out for the entire 2004 season after suffering ACL knee injuries. Harris suffered her injury during the first practice during spring drills, while Melo went down Sept. 10 before the Fordham match. Harris earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors last year after finishing fifth in the league with 3.95 kills per game and was ASU's best returning player before going down with the injury. Head Coach Brad Saindon said that ASU will petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Harris also sat out her sophomore season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Melo, who is considered the team leader, started two matches this season and was averaging 10.60 assists per game.

    Quick Sets:

  • The Pac-10 currently has six teams ranked in the AVCA/CSTV top 20.
  • The Sun Devil roster consists of seven freshman, three sophomores, one junior and three seniors.
  • ASU finished 9-18 overall and placed ninth in the Pac-10 last year with a 4-14 record.
  • The Devils have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last five seasons (1999, 2000, 2002).
  • The 2004 schedule includes 15 matches against teams that played in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
  • ASU is 6-4 in Pac-10 openers and a combined 9-9 during the opening Pac-10 weekend over the last 10 years.

    Head Coach Brad Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his second season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has a 14-21 record at ASU and an all-time 258-161 record in 14 seasons at the collegiate level. He compiled a career 181-112 record at the University of Colorado from 1986-86, leading the Buffalos to six NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16 appearances. Prior to being named ASU's fifth head volleyball coach, Saindon spent time as an assistant coach with the USA Volleyball Men's National program. He was also the head coach of the Australian Women's National Team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Saindon graduated from ASU in 1976 with a degree in business administration.

    The Coaching Staff:
    Assistant coaches Terri Cox-Spann and Jami Coughlin join head coach Brad Saindon as graduates of Arizona State. Both Cox-Spann and Coughlin were standout outside hitters for the Sun Devils during their respective collegiate careers. Cox-Spann (1994-97) earned All-Pac-10 honors in 1996 and ranks third in the ASU career record books in digs (1,382) and ninth in kills (1,185). Coughlin (1998-2001) ranks second with 1,528 career digs and sixth with 1,360 kills. They are among the elite to ever wear the Maroon and Gold as they are two of eight players in ASU history to record 1,000 or more kills and digs in a career.

    A Top Recruiting Class:
    Arizona State Volleyball Head Coach Brad Saindon's first recruiting class will go down as one of the best in school history. The Sun Devils brought in eight new players, including seven freshman for the 2004 season. The class was tabbed by PrepVolleyball.com as the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation and the fourth best in the Pac-10. The newcomers includes players from five different states (Arizona, California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland) and Canada. The class consists of one setter, two liberos, three middle blockers and two outside hitters. The Sun Devil rookies are setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep), 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), outside hitter Danielle Fernandes (Santa Monica, Calif./Taft), libero Alison Lund (Bowie, Md./St. Mary's Annapolis) and middle blocker Colette Meek (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Salisbury Composite). Outside hitter Nina Reeves (Gilbert, Ariz.) also transferred in last semester from UTEP.

    Block Party:
    The Sun Devils are averaging 2.83 blocks per game through the first eight matches of the season to rank fifth in the Pac-10. Freshman middle blocker Colette Meek is fourth in the league averaging 1.41 blocks per game. ASU has recorded seven or more blocks in each match this season and has a string of five straight matches with 10 or more blocks. The five double-digit block matches are already two more than the entire season output from 2003 and the 17.0 blocks against Cal State Fullerton (9/18) are the most by an ASU squad since recording 20.5 against California in 2002. Meek's 9.0 total blocks against Cal State Fullerton are also the most by a single player since Amanda Burbridge and Michelle Mortensen in 2000.

    On the Road Again:
    The Sun Devils take back to the road this weekend to continue a trend that will have the Sun Devils play seven of their first 10 matches on the road. After taking on Stanford and California in the Bay Area this weekend, ASU returns to Wells Fargo Arena to face No. 2 USC (Oct. 1) and No. 10 UCLA (Oct. 2).

    On The Tube:
    The Sun Devils are scheduled to appear on national TV twice this season. Matches at Washington State (Nov. 11) and at home against rival Arizona (Nov. 19) will air on FSN on a tape-delayed basis.

    2004 Sun Devil Player Notes...
    #1 Alison Lund (5-6, L/DS, Bowie, Md.) -- Freshman defensive specialist who has seen action in five matches this season... recorded one service ace and eight digs in collegiate debut against Florida International (9/3)... had six digs in five-game win over Cal State Fullerton (9/18)... averaging 1.42 digs per game... has strong Pac-10 bloodlines as both parents and sister attended Washington State University.

    #2 Tierra Burnley (5-11, So., MB, Santa Clarita, Calif.) -- Has seen action in all eight matches and made seven starts... averaging 2.22 kpg and hitting .297... recorded career-high 13 kills while hitting .550 (13-2-20) in season opener against Florida International (9/3)... recorded four blocks against Fordham (9/10)... recorded career-high six blocks against Long Beach State (9/17)... has two or more blocks in six matches... averaging 1.63 kpg and 0.66 bpg for her career.

    Season                GP-MP      K    K/G     E    TA    Pct     A   A/G    SA  SA/G    SE2003................  42-15     55   1.31    32   130   .177     1  0.02     0  0.00     12004................  23-8      51   2.22    18   111   .297     0  0.00     0  0.00     0TOTAL...............  65-23    106   1.63    50   241   .232     1  0.02     0  0.00     1

    Season DIG D/G RE BS BA TB B/G BE BHE Points Pts/G2003................ 4 0.10 2 4 17 21 0.50 1 0 67.5 1.602004................ 2 0.09 0 6 16 22 0.96 1 0 65.0 2.83TOTAL............... 6 0.09 2 10 33 43 0.66 2 0 132.5 2.03

    #3 Staci Smith (6-2, Fr., MB, Gresham, Ore.) -- Has played in all eight matches while making two starts... averaging 1.83 kpg and 0.67 blocks per game... had four kills on a .300 attack percentage against Toledo (9/4)... sparked ASU to 3-1 victory over Tulane (9/12) with nine kills and six blocks assists.

    #4 Natalie Harris (5-11, RS-Jr., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) -- Redshirt senior outside hitter who is likely out for the 2004 season with a knee injury... will apply for a sixth year of eligibility with the NCAA... started all 27 matches for the Sun Devils in 2003... led the team and finished fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 3.95 kills per game... also led the team with 446.0 total points (4.60 per game average) and was fourth with 2.39 digs per game... led ASU with 34 total service aces and was second with a 0.35 per game average... recorded 21 matches with 10 or more kills (78%), including five matches with 20+ kills.

    #5 Rachel Mittelstaedt (6-1, Fr., S, Phoenix, Ariz.) -- Freshman starting setter... has taken over sole setting duties with injury to Giovana Melo... averaging 9.69 assists per game, 1.00 blocks per game and 1.50 digs per game... named to the all-tournament team in the Wyndham Buttes/Sun Devil Classic (9/10-12)... averaged 11.80 assists per game during the three-day tournament... recorded 59 assists, five blocks and five digs in 3-1 win over Tulane (9/12)... has four or more blocks in each of her last four matches... recorded 44 assists and career high 8.0 blocks vs. Long Beach State (9/17)... Arizona Republic Phoenix Area Player of the Year (2003) and earned all-state honors as a junior and senior at Xavier College Prep.

    #7 Kristin Trayser (6-1, Fr., OP/MB, Crystal Lake, Ill.) -- Has seen action in all eight matches this season and is fourth on the team averaging 2.39 kills per game... also averaging 1.13 digs per game and 0.39 blocks... had an impressive collegiate debut recording 17 kills and three blocks against Florida International (9/3)... had 15 kills and six digs against New Hampshire (9/4).

    #8 Giovana Melo (5-9, Sr., S, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) -- Senior setter who sufferred a season-ending knee injury in a practice (9/10)... started two of the three matches in the New Hampshire Volleyblal Classic... established a career high with 54 assists in season opener against Florida International (9/3)... also broke the 50-assist mark with 50 and added career-high four blocks in four-game win over New Hampshire (9/4)... recorded her third career double-double with 54 assists and 16 digs against FIU... was a JC All-American at Western Nebraska.

    #9 Stephanie Kohner (5-7, Sr., L/DS, Anthem, Ariz.) -- ASU's senior libero who as recorded 10 or more digs in four matches this season... had 17 digs in season opener against FIU (9/3)... averaging 2.59 digs per game this season and 2.81 for her career (160 digs)... played at Glendale CC before coming to ASU last year.

    Season                 DIG   D/G    RE    BS    BA    TB   B/G    BE   BHE  Points Pts/G2003................    85  3.04     7     0     1     1  0.04     0     1     0.5  0.002004................    75  2.59     6     0     1     1  0.03     0     0     5.5  0.17TOTAL...............   160  2.81    13     0     2     2  0.04     0     1     6.0  0.11

    #10 Colette Meek (6-1, Fr., MB, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) -- True freshman middle blocker who has started seven of the eight matches this season... third on the team averaging 2.41 kills per game while hitting .327... ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 1.41 blocks per game... also tied for the top solo block performance with four against CSF (9/18)... has at least three blocks in all eight matches this season, including 17 in two matches last weekend... named to the all-tournament team at the Ocean National Bank Invitational... recorded 15 kills (.538) and five total blocks against New Hampshire (9/4)... had 14 kills (.429) and nine blocks against Cal State Fullerton (9/18)... the 9.0 blocks are the most by a Sun Devil since 2000 (Amanda Burbridge/Michelle Mortensen)... played volleyball and basketball for the Canadian Junior Olympic programs.

    #11 Nina Reeves (5-10, So., OH, Gilbert, Ariz.) -- Sophomore transfer from UTEP... has seen action in six matches this year and has made two starts... averaging 1.59 kpg and 1.00 dpg... also has seven service aces... recorded two kills and one block in ASU debut against FIU (9/3)... had 10 kills and one block against Tulane (9/12)... recorded five kills (.294) and team-high three service aces against No. 11 Long Beach State (9/17)... averaged 3.29 kpg and 3.00 dpg as a redshirt freshman at UTEP last season.

    #12 Nicole Morton (5-10, So., OH, Bonsall, Calif.) -- Has been ASU's best offensive performer this season... started all eight matches and has recorded five double-doubles... leads the team averaging 3.71 kpg and is second with 3.07 dpg... also averaging 4.11 points per game... ranks ninth in the Pac-10 with 3.07 dpg... recorded career-high 23 kills (.452) and 17 digs against Long Beach State (9/17)... notched a career-high 25 digs to go along with team-high 17 kills in five-game win over Cal State Fullerton (9/18)... named to the Ocean National Bank Invitational All-Tournament team... set what were then career highs in kills (18) and digs (11) in season opener against FIU (9/3)... notched double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs against Tulane (9/12)... played in only 15 games as a freshman, averaging 1.28 kpg.

    Season                GP-MP      K    K/G     E    TA    Pct     A   A/G    SA  SA/G    SE2003................  25-14     32   1.28    22   109   .092     0  0.00     2  0.08    132004................  28-8     104   3.71    42   302   .205     3  0.11     7  0.25    19TOTAL...............  53-22    136   2.57    64   411   .175     3  0.06     9  0.17    32

    Season DIG D/G RE BS BA TB B/G BE BHE Points Pts/G2003................ 22 0.88 1 2 1 3 0.12 0 1 36.5 1.442004................ 86 3.07 5 1 6 7 0.25 0 1 115.0 4.11TOTAL............... 108 2.04 6 3 7 10 0.19 0 2 151.5 2.85

    #14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Jr., OH, Mishawaka, Ind.) -- Junior outside hitter who has seen action in seven matches and made five starts... second on the team averaging 2.54 kpg and fifth with 2.04 dpg... ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 0.42 aces per game... has 10 or more kills in four matches... recorded season-high 14 kills on .323 hitting percentage against Tulane (9/12)... was the spark in ASU's 3-1 win over New Hampshire (9/4) recording her third career double-double... had 10 kills and 14 digs to go with two blocks in the victory... notched career-high four blocks in five-game win over Cal State Fullerton (9/18)... has seen action in 44 career matches and has a 2.12 kpg average... a standout in the classroom with a 4.00 GPA in Secondary Education (Spanish emphasis)... named second-team All-Academic District VIII last year and first-team All-Pac-10 Academic.

    Season                GP-MP      K    K/G     E    TA    Pct     A   A/G    SA  SA/G    SE2002................  23-10     25   1.09    19    92   .065     3  0.13     3  0.13     52003................  98-27    221   2.26    95   565   .223    10  0.10    30  0.31   1102004................  26-7      66   2.54    29   188   .197     4  0.15    11  0.42    27TOTAL............... 147-44    312   2.12   143   845   .200    17  0.12    44  0.30   142

    Season DIG D/G RE BS BA TB B/G BE BHE Points Pts/G2002................ 35 1.52 4 2 3 5 0.22 1 2 31.5 1.352003................ 108 1.10 19 2 26 28 0.29 3 0 266.0 2.712004................ 53 2.04 2 2 10 12 0.46 1 1 84.0 3.23TOTAL............... 196 1.33 25 6 39 45 0.31 5 3 381.5 2.59

    #15 Sydney Donahue (5-7, Fr., L/DS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) -- Freshman starting libero... set the ASU freshman record with 27 digs against New Hampshire (9/4)... the 27 digs were also the most by a Sun Devil during the rally scoring era (2001-P)... also had 23 digs against Tulane (9/12)... leads the team and is sixth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.17 digs per game... has recorded 10 or more digs in five matches, including a pair of 20-dig performances... a Fab 50 freshman who played at volleyball powerhouse Mira Costa High School... named the CIF and Daily Breeze Player of the Year in 2004... her aunt, Denise Corlett, is the associate head coach at Stanford.

    #32 Danielle Fernandes (6-1, Fr., OH/MB, Santa Monica, Calif.) -- Freshman who is making the conversion from a prep middle blocker to an outside hitter... has seen action in five matches this season... averaging 0.90 kpg and 0.30 blocks per game... recorded three kills and one block against Toledo (9/4)... had career-high 4.5 points with three kills, one service ace and one block against Cal State Fullerton (9/18).

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