Volleyball Travels To No. 12 UCLA And No. 5 USC

Oct. 27, 2004

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    #12 UCLA
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    Friday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. - Los Angeles, Calif.

    #5 USC
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    Saturday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m. - Los Angeles, Calif.
    GameTracker

    The Arizona State Volleyball team (8-10, 3-6 Pac-10) starts the second half of the Pac-10 slate this weekend with a pair of matches at No. 12 UCLA (13-6, 6-3 Pac-10) and No. 5 USC (12-3, 7-2 Pac-10). ASU has lost two straight matches heading into the weekend series that starts Friday at 7 p.m. against the Bruins. The Sun Devils are tied for seventh in the Pac-10 with a 3-6 record and need only one more victory to equal the four conference wins from last season. ASU is in the midst of a four-game road stretch before returning home to face the Oregon schools (Nov. 4-5). The Sun Devils will play five of their last seven matches at home.

    Ranked Opponents:
    The matches against No. 12 UCLA and the No. 5 Women of Troy mark the eighth and ninth matches for the Sun Devils this season against a ranked opponent. After this weekend ASU will have played 45% of its matches against ranked teams (9 of 20), including nine of the last 14 matches.

    This Season Against UCLA and USC:
    The Sun Devils begin the second wave of Pac-10 matches this weekend with UCLA and USC. ASU lost to both teams in straight sets earlier in the year. The Women of Troy defeated ASU 30-21, 30-28, 30-21 on Oct. 1, while UCLA earned a 30-18, 30-28, 30-22 victory the following night.

    The All-Time Series:
    Arizona State trails in the all-time series to the Bruins 6-51 and 10-44 to the Women of Troy. The Sun Devils carry a four-match losing streak into the match vs. the Bruins and have lost eight straight matches at Pauley Pavilion dating back to 1995. The Women of Troy have defeated the Sun Devils in 17 straight matches dating back to Nov. 11, 1995 (3-2 ASU victory).

    Recapping Last Week:
    The Sun Devils endured a pair of three-game setbacks to in-state rivals Northern Arizona and Arizona last weekend. NAU upset the Devils (30-21, 30-22, 30-16) in ASU's worst loss of the year to start the week and ASU couldn't respond in a 3-0 loss to the No. 23 Wildcats (30-17, 30-25, 30-24). Junior outside hitter Sarah Watkins led the team averaging 3.50 kills per game, recording double-digits in kills in each match. Freshman libero Sydney Donahue continued to lead the defense averaging 3.83 digs per game.

    Watkins and Morton Leading The Way:
    Junior Sarah Watkins and sophomore Nicole Morton has been ASU's most consistent offensive performers over the last seven matches. Morton is averaging 3.78 kpg with 10 or more kills in six straight matches. For the season, Morton leads the Sun Devils averaging 3.70 kpg and has 10 or more kills in 15 matches. Watkins is averaging 2.77 kpg for the season and 3.42 kpg over the last seven matches. She has recorded double-digits in kills in six of the last seven matches and 10 matches overall in 2004.

    Baby Devils:
    The 2004 roster consists of seven freshman, three sophomores, one junior and three seniors. With season-ending knee injuries to seniors Natalie Harris (OH) and Giovana Melo (S), the Sun Devils are left with only two active upperclassmen on the roster. During parts of several matches this season, the Sun Devils have featured five freshmen and one sophomore on the court at the same time.

    Quick Sets:

    - The Sun Devils hold an 8-3 record against non-ranked opponents this season (0-7 vs. top 25).- ASU is 2-0 in five-game matches this season and 11-4 over the last three seasons.- The Pac-10 currently has six teams ranked in the AVCA/CSTV top 25, including #1 Washington.- ASU has lost senior OH Natalie Harris and senior setter Giovana Melo to ACL injuries this season.- 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.- Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton has recorded double-digits in kills in 15 of 18 matches.- Middle blocker Colette Meek has recorded three or more blocks in 14 of ASU's 18 matches.- Libero Sydney Donahue leads the team and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with 4.27 dpg.- Outside hitter Sarah Watkins ranks third in the Pac-10 averaging 0.38 service aces per game.

    Coach Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his second season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has a 17-28 record at ASU and an all-time 261-168 record in 14 seasons at the collegiate level. He compiled a career 181-112 record at the University of Colorado from 1986-96, 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). Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Nina Reeves (Gilbert, Ariz.) also transferred in from UTEP.

    Block Party:
    The Sun Devils are fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 2.66 blocks per game. Freshman middle blocker Colette Meek is also ranked fifth in the league averaging 1.29 blocks per game and has recorded three or more blocks in 14 of 18 matches this season. Meek is trying to become the first Sun Devil to average over 1.00 blocks per game since 1998 (Shawna Vanley - 1.42). ASU has recorded seven or more blocks in 14 matches this season. ASU's eight double-digit block matches are already five 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 CSF and Oregon State (10/9) are also the most by a single player since Amanda Burbridge and Michelle Mortensen also had nine in a single match in 2000.

    Donahue Sets Freshman Digs Record:
    Freshman libero Sydney Donahue 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 4.27 digs per game this season. She has recorded 10 or more digs in 13 matches this season, including a string of six straight. She has also posted four matches with 20 or more digs.

    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.

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