Volleyball Closes Out Regular Season Against No. 7 Stanford And No. 14 California

Nov. 23, 2004

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    #14 California (15-10, 10-6 Pac-10)
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    Friday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m. - Tempe, Ariz.
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    #7 Stanford (21-6, 13-3 Pac-10)
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    Saturday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. - Tempe, Ariz.
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    The Arizona State Volleyball team (10-15, 5-11 Pac-10) concludes the 2004 season this weekend with a pair of home matches against No. 7 Stanford (21-6, 13-3 Pac-10) and No. 14 California (15-10, 10-6 Pac-10). ASU is coming off a three-game loss to rival Arizona, but has won two of its last four matches to surpass the total number of wins overall and in Pac-10 play from last season. ASU opened the Pac-10 season with a four-game loss to Cal (9/23) and lost in straight sets to Stanford (9/24).

    Ranked Opponents:
    The Sun Devils conclude the season with three straight matches against teams ranked in the AVCA/CSTV Top 25 poll. ASU fell in straight sets to No. 22 Arizona last Friday, and close out the season this weekend with No. 7 Stanford (Nov. 26) and No. 14 California (Nov. 27) coming to town. ASU has played 11 of its 25 matches against ranked opponents this season.

    Donahue Sets Freshman Digs Record:
    Freshman libero Sydney Donahue wasted little time etching her name in the Arizona State record books. Donahue recorded 13 digs against Arizona to set the freshman single-season digs record with 361. She broke the old record of 355 set by current assistant coach Jami Coughlin in 1998. She is also on pace to break Coughlin's freshman record for digs per game. She ranks sixht in the Pac-10 averaging 4.51 digs per game. Twice this season Donahue has set the mark for the best defensive performance in ASU freshman history. She set the single-match freshman record when she recorded 27 digs in the four-game win over New Hampshire (9/4) and then improved that mark with 30 digs against Oregon State (11/4). Donahue is one of only six players in ASU history to record 30 or more digs. The 30 digs are tied for the 10th most in ASU single-match history and tied for best during the rally scoring era (2001-P). She also ranks seventh in the league with 0.32 service aces per game. She leads all Pac-10 freshman averaging 0.35 service aces per game and 4.73 digs per game in Pac-10 play. She has recorded double-digits in digs in 18 matches this season, including five with 20-plus digs.

    Meek On Pace To Break Freshman Blocks Record:
    Freshman middle blocker Colette Meek is on pace to break the freshman record for average blocks per game. Heading into the final weekend of the season, Meek ranks fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 1.25 blocks per game. The current freshman record was set by Laura Hibsman (1.09) in 1996. She is set to become the first Sun Devil to average over 1.00 blocks per game since Shawn Vanley in 1998.

    Senior Night For Kohner:
    While three players on the ASU roster are listed as seniors, Saturday's match vs. California will serve as an official senior night for only one player, Stephanie Kohner. The defensive specialist is averaging 2.26 digs per game this season and has five service aces in the last three matches. Kohner, who transferred to ASU last season from Glendale CC, has appeared in 32 matches and recorded 248 digs. Senior outside hitter Natalie Harris and setter Giovana Melo both suffered season-ending knee injuries and have applied to get another year of eligibility for the 2005 season.

    Watkins Earns Academic Honors:
    Junior outside hitter Sarah Watkins earned a pair of well-deserved academic honors for her outstanding contributions as a student-athlete. Watkins, who has a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in Education, was named first-team All-Pac-10 Academic for the second straight year and was also a first-team Academic All-District VIII selection. Watkins is second on the team averaging 2.99 kpg and has recorded 12 matches with 10 or more kills.

    Quick Sets:

  • Outside hitter Sarah Watkins ranks second in the Pac-10 averaging 0.38 service aces per game.
  • ASU is 2-0 in five-game matches this season and 11-4 over the last three seasons.
  • ASU has lost senior OH Natalie Harris and senior setter Giovana Melo to ACL injuries this season.
  • ASU ranks third in the Pac-10 averaging 1.37 service aces per game this season.
  • Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton has recorded double-digits in kills in 18 of 25 matches.
  • Libero Sydney Donahue ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in dpg (4.51) and seventh in sapg (0.32).
  • Friday's attendance vs. Arizona (1,778) was the largest this season and ninth largest in school history.

    Coach Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his second season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has a 19-33 record at ASU and an all-time 263-173 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. ASU signed Chandler High School setter Marina Mercer to an NLI for the 2005 season. Mercer is a two-time all-state selection.

    Block Party:
    The Sun Devils rank seventh in the Pac-10 averaging 2.53 blocks per game. Freshman middle blocker Colette Meek is also ranked fifth in the league averaging 1.25 blocks per game and leads all Pac-10 freshmen with 1.22 blocks per game in conference play. She has recorded three or more blocks in 18 of 25 matches this season and is on pace to break the ASU freshman record (1.09 bpg). 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 17 matches this season and the nine double-digit block matches are six more than the entire season output from 2003. With 17.0 blocks against Cal State Fullerton (9/18), ASU recorded the most total blocks since 2002 (20.5 vs. California). 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.

    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. Four freshmen (Mittelstaedt - S, Smith - MB, Meek - MB, Donahue - L) are expected to start for the Sun Devils this weekend.

    2004 Sun Devil Player Notes...
    #1 Alison Lund (5-6, L/DS, Bowie, Md.) --
    Freshman defensive specialist who has seen action in 22 matches this season... recorded season-high 10 digs against defending national champion USC (10/30)... 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 1.11 digs per game and has two service aces... often used as a defensive replacement and server late in games... has strong Pac-10 bloodlines as both parents and sister (DeLane) attended Washington State University.

    #2 Tierra Burnley (5-11, So., MB, Santa Clarita, Calif.) --
    Has seen action in 23 matches this season and made 19 starts... fifth on the team averaging 1.75 kpg and is hitting .290... third on the team averaging 0.87 blocks per game... recorded career-high 13 kills while hitting .550 (13-2-20) in season opener against Florida International (9/3)... also had 13 kills on a .474 hitting percentage in five-game win over Washington State (10/16)... recorded four blocks against Fordham (9/10)... recorded career-high six blocks against Long Beach State (9/17)... has two or more blocks in 17 matches... averaging 1.58 kpg and 0.72 bpg for her career.

    #3 Staci Smith (6-2, Fr., MB, Gresham, Ore.) --
    Has seen action in 24 matches while making eight starts... averaging 1.61 kpg and 0.65 blocks per game... third on the team with .263 hitting percentage... has started the last three matches while averaging 2.33 kpg... recorded career-high 13 kills on a .524 hitting percentage against Washington State (11/11)... also had five blocks for 16.0 total points against the Cougars... sparked ASU to 3-1 victory over Tulane (9/12) with nine kills and six blocks assists... had back-to-back seven-kill matches against Oregon State (11/4) and Oregon (11/5).

    #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 played in 24 matches and made 23 starts... took over sole setting duties with the season-ending knee injury to Giovana Melo... ranks seventh in the Pac-10 averaging 10.72 assists per game... averaging 11.34 assists in Pac-10 play... second among Pac-10 freshman in assists per game behind Stanford's Bryn Kehoe (12.12 apg)... also averaging 0.88 blocks per game and 1.77 digs per game... recorded season-high 66 assists in five-game win over Washington State (10/16)... also had 12 digs for her first career double-double against the Cougars... second double-double came with 65 assists and career-high 15 digs against Oregon State (11/4)... named to the all-tournament team in the Wyndham Buttes/Sun Devil Classic (9/10-12)... recorded 59 assists, five blocks and five digs in 3-1 win over Tulane (9/12)... has three or more blocks in 13 matches this season... 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 21 matches this season and has made four starts... averaging 1.60 kpg, 0.62 dpg and 0.30 blocks per game... 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 Volleyball Classic... established a career high with 54 assists in season opener against Florida International (9/3)... 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.) --
    Senior defensive specialist who as recorded 10 or more digs in seven matches this season... ranks second on the team averaging 2.26 digs per game... team co-captain... had 12 digs and two aces against Arizona (11/19)... recorded career-high three service aces at WSU (11/11)... had 17 digs in season opener against FIU (9/3)... recorded 16 digs against CS Fullerton (9/18)... had back-to-back nights with double-digits in digs against No. 1 Washington (10/15) and Washington State (10/16)... averaging 2.48 digs per game for her career.

    #10 Colette Meek (6-1, Fr., MB, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) --
    All-Pac-10 Freshman candidate... starting middle blocker who has seen action in all 25 matches and made 23 starts... third on the team averaging 2.32 kills per game while hitting at a team-best .304 clip... ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with 1.25 blocks per game... leads all freshmen in the Pac-10 with 1.22 blocks per game in league play... on pace to break the ASU freshman record for blocks per game (1.09 set in 1996 by Laura Hibsman) and is set to become the first Sun Devil to average over 1.00 blocks per game since 1998... has recorded three or more blocks in 18 of 25 matches and five or more blocks in seven matches... has recorded seven matches with 10 or more kills... recorded 14 kills on career-high .571 hitting percentage in three-game sweep of Oregon (11/5)... 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) for a career-high 20.5 points... also had nine blocks against Oregon State (10/9).

    #11 Nina Reeves (5-10, So., OH, Gilbert, Ariz.) --
    Sophomore transfer from UTEP... has seen action in 20 matches this year and has made 15 starts... missed three matches due to an emergency appendectomy surgery (UW, WSU, NAU)... ranks fourth in the team averaging 1.95 kpg and is fifth with 2.18 dpg for the season... also has 13 service aces (0.22)... has tallied three matches with 10 or more kills and six matches with 10 or more digs... had nine kills on .292 hitting percentage against Arizona (11/19)... recorded 16 kills and 18 digs against Oregon (10/8) for first double-double as a Sun Devil... had 11 kills and six blocks for 12.0 total points against Oregon State (11/4)... 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)... celebrated her 21st birthday with seven kills and 10 digs in three-game sweep at Washington State (11/11)... 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 most consistent offensive performer this season... has started all 25 matches this season and has recorded seven double-doubles... has recorded double-digits in kills in 18 matches, including a pair of 20-kill matches... leads the team averaging 3.54 kpg and is third with 2.24 dpg... also leads the team averaging 3.91 points per game... had 18 kills and 11 digs against Oregon State (11/4)... had 18 kills on career-high .359 hitting percentage at home against top-ranked Washington (10/15)... also had 15 kills on .353 hitting on the road against the Huskies... 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)... recorded career-high 4.0 blocks at Washington State (11/11)... played in only 15 games as a freshman, averaging 1.28 kpg.

    #14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Jr., OH, Mishawaka, Ind.) --
    Academic All-America candidate... two-time first-team All-Pac-10 Academic selection... also named first-team CoSida All-District VIII Academic with a 4.00 GPA as an Education major (Spanish)... junior outside hitter who has seen action in 24 matches and made 19 starts... second on the team averaging 2.99 kpg... has 10 or more kills in 12 matches this season and has four double-doubles... leads the team and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 0.38 aces per game (31)... has recorded three aces in a match four times... is averaging 3.50 kpg and 4.10 points per game over her last 14 matches... had team-high 16 kills on .297 hitting percentage against Arizona (11/19)... recorded career-high 24 kills on a .372 hitting percentage in five-game win over Washington State (10/16)... also had 20 kills and 13 digs against Oregon State (11/4)... 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 over UNH... notched career-high four blocks in five-game win over Cal State Fullerton (9/18)... has seen action in 61 career matches and has a 2.42 kpg average and 64 career service aces (0.32 per game average)... named second-team All-Academic District VIII last year and first-team All-Pac-10 Academic.

    #15 Sydney Donahue (5-7, Fr., L/DS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) --
    Pac-10 Freshman of the Year candidate... leads all Pac-10 freshmen with 4.51 digs per game and 0.32 service aces per game... broke the ASU freshman single-season digs record with 361, surpassing the old record of 355 set by current assistant coach in 1998... has broken the ASU freshman record for digs in a match twice this season... leads ASU and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.51 digs per game (361)... ranks second on the team and seventh in the Pac-10 with 0.32 service aces per game (26)... averaging 4.73 digs per game and 0.35 service aces per game in Pac-10 play... has recorded 10 or more digs in 18 matches, including five 20+ dig performances... set the ASU freshman record with 30 digs against Oregon State (11/4)... became only the sixth Sun Devil to record 30 digs in a match and ranks 10th in the ASU single-match record books... the 30 digs are also tied for the ASU rally-scoring record with current assistant coach Jami Coughlin... also had 27 digs against New Hampshire (9/4) which previously set the ASU freshman record... had 23 digs against Tulane (9/12) and 24 against Oregon (10/8)... 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 13 matches this season and has made one start... averaging 0.61 kpg and 0.35 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)... had 3.0 blocks against Stanford (9/24)... had two kills on two attacks against Oregon (11/5).

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