Volleyball Faces LSU And Tulane In College Station

Sept. 14, 2005

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    The Arizona State volleyball team concludes its preseason schedule this weekend with a pair of matches against LSU (8-1) and Tulane (1-0) in College Station, Texas at the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic. ASU was originally scheduled to travel to Louisiana to play matches against NC State, LSU, New Orleans and Nicholls State, but the effects of Hurricane Katrina cancelled that event. UNO has completely cancelled its season and Tulane has moved its volleyball program to train on the Texas A&M campus. ASU will play LSU on Friday (12 p.m. CST) and Tulane Sunday (1 p.m. CST). The Sun Devils open Pac-10 play the following weekend hosting Oregon and Oregon State to a pair of matches at Wells Fargo Arena.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils captured the tournament title at the Wyndham Buttes Volleyball Classic by going a perfect 3-0. Dropping only one game in the three matches, ASU netted three-game sweeps over Northern Arizona and Auburn and a 3-1 win over Texas State to move its season record to 4-4. Freshman outside hitter Margie Giordano was named the tournament MVP averaging recording a pair of double-doubles and averaging 3.70 kpg and 3.20 dpg. Sophomore libero Sydney Donahue and junior outside hitter Nicole Morton were also named to the all-tournament team. Donahue averaged 6.90 digs per game, including 34 in the 3-1 win over Texas State. Morton proved to be a sparkplug all weekend in leading ASU to the perfect weekend. Over the three matches, ASU combined to hit at an impressive .277 clip and recorded 22 service aces.

    Series History:
    With the revamped schedule this weekend, ASU adds Tulane to the schedule for the second straight season. ASU is 2-2 all-time against LSU and 1-0 against the Green Wave. ASU and Tulane met on the court for the first time last season in the Wyndham Buttes Classic with the Sun Devils earning a come-from-behind 21-30, 31-29, 30-28, 30-24 victory. The Green Wave are 1-0 on the season, but due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina have not played since a season-opening 3-0 win over Nicholls State on August 26. The volleyball program, under first-year head coach Liz Kritza, has moved its operation to the campus of Texas A&M University. LSU is off to its best start since 1991 at 8-1 and received votes in this week's AVCA/CSTV poll. ASU last faced each other on the court in 1989 at the Red Raider Classic in Lubbock, Texas.

    Donahue Digs Into The Record Books:
    Sophomore libero Sydney Donahue recorded a near-record-breaking 43 digs in ASU's five-game loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 4. Donahue nearly eclipsed the 17-year-old school record of 44 digs set by Christy Nore in 1988 vs. Oregon State. In addition to being the second most digs in single-match school history, Donahue's stellar defensive performance established an ASU rally-scoring record (previous was 30), tied for fourth most in Pac-10 history and are the most by any player in the country this season. Donahue backed that performance with 34 digs against Texas State (9/10) to tie for the fourth most digs in school history. In eight matches, Donahue leads the Pac-10 averaging 6.52 digs per game. The 2004 All-Pac-10 Freshman selection is averaging 4.90 digs per game for her career (564 total) and has recorded double-digits in digs in 27 of 34 career matches.

    Quick Sets:

    ... ASU had 22 service aces last weekend after recording only 21 in the previous five matches.... Three of ASU's four losses this season have come against teams in the current top 25.... So. MB Colette Meek helped lead Alberta to a bronze medal in the 2005 Canada Games.... ASU will appear on national TV twice this season on FSN -- Arizona (Oct. 7), Cal (Nov. 11).... Freshman OH Margie Giordano was the 2004 Arizona/Gatorade State Players of the Year.... Libero Sydney Donahue has recorded 10 or more digs in 27 of her 34 career matches.... ASU is 5-4 in five-game matches under Brad Saindon and 12-5 dating back to 2002.... Junior Nicole Morton leads ASU with 3.21 kills per game and has 10 or more kills in five matches.... The Pac-10 currently has six teams ranked in the CSTV/AVCA top 25 poll.

    A Tough Schedule:
    ASU's tough slate for the 2005 season includes 14 of its 30 matches against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Sun Devils have already played three of their five matches against teams that have appeared in the AVCA/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, including No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 18 Texas. The Devils will also play six Pac-10 teams that are listed in the current top 25, including Washington (#2), Stanford (#3), UCLA (#11), USC (#12), Arizona (#20) and California (#21).

    Coach Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his third season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has compiled a 23-39 record at ASU and an all-time 267-179 record in 15 seasons at the collegiate level. He coached the University of Colorado to a 181-112 record 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 Spann and Jami Coughlin join head coach Brad Saindon as graduates of Arizona State. Both Spann and Coughlin were standout outside hitters for the Sun Devils during their respective collegiate careers. 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.

    All-Pac-10 Freshmen:
    Setter Rachel Mittelstaedt, middle blocker Colette Meek and libero Sydney Donahue were all named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team last season. Meek led ASU with 1.20 blocks per game to rank fifth in the Pac-10 and broke the ASU freshman record set previously by Laura Hibsman (1.09) in 1996. Donahue shattered ASU's freshman record with 4.36 digs per game and recorded double-digits in digs in 19 matches. Donahue and Meek were first-team selections, while Mittelstaedt was honorable mention.

    Giordano Named MVP of Wyndham Buttes Volleyball Classic:
    Freshman outside hitter Margie Giordano was named the MVP of the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic. In three matches, Giordano recorded a pair of double-doubles and led ASU averaging 3.70 kills per game. She also had six service aces and averaged 3.20 digs per game. For the season, Giordano is second on the team with 2.88 kills per game and has a team-best nine service aces.

    2005 Sun Devil Player Notes...
    #1 Alison Lund (5-6, So., L/DS, Bowie, Md.) --
    Has appeared in five matches this season... made her first career start vs. Notre Dame (9/4) and responded with a career-high 11 digs... averaging 1.83 digs per game to rank fifth on the team... missed ASU's first tournament while attending her sister's wedding in Portland, Ore... Career -- Has appeared in 29 matches and 69 games... averaging 1.32 digs per game... has strong Pac-10 bloodlines as both parents and sister (DeLane) attended Washington State University.

    #2 Tierra Burnley (5-11, Jr., MB, Santa Clarita, Calif.) --
    Has started five matches this season and is third on the team averaging 2.16 kills per game... also leads the team among regular hitters with a .333 attack percentage and 1.05 blocks per game... tied season high with 10 kills and four blocks in three-game sweep over Auburn (9/9)... recorded 10 kills and four blocks (12.0 points) in season-opener against Saint Mary's... had eight kills on a .538 hitting percentage against Notre Dame (9/4)... recorded season-high five blocks against Texas State (9/10)... Career -- Three-year player who has seen action in 48 matches and 131 games... averaging 1.66 kills per game and 0.78 blocks per game... has recorded six matches with 10 or more kills.

    #3 Staci Smith (6-2, Jr., MB, Gresham, Ore.) --
    Sophomore middle blocker who has started all eight matches this season... ranks second on the team with a .307 hitting percentage and 0.81 blocks per game... also ranks fourth with 2.15 kills per game... has recorded six or more kills in seven of eight matches... season-high 10 kills on .444 hitting percentage against Auburn (9/9)... had nine kills on a .348 hitting percentage against Notre Dame (9/4)... recorded career-high seven blocks against UNLV (8/27)... Career -- Has seen action in 34 matches and 88 games in her career... averaging 0.69 blocks and 1.81 kills per game.

    #5 Rachel Mittelstaedt (6-1, So., S, Phoenix, Ariz.) --
    Started all three matches last weekend after coming off the bench in the first five matches... started 25 matches as a freshman in 2004... ranks 10th in teh Pac-10 averaging 7.00 assists per game, including a season-high 52 against Texas State (9/10)... averaged 11.60 assists per game in the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic... Career -- Has played in 34 career matches and made 28 starts... averaging 9.82 assists per game and 1.54 digs per game... has recorded eight career matches of 40 or more assists... has shown a solid block averaging 0.78 per game... was an All-Pac-10 Freshman honorable mention selection in 2004 while averaging 10.59 assists per game.

    #7 Kristin Trayser (6-1, So., OH, Crystal Lake, Ill.) --
    Outside hitter who has seen action in seven matches this season... averaging 1.80 kills per game and 2.03 points per game... recorded a season-high 12 kills against Notre Dame (9/4)... had two blocks in season-opener against Saint Mary's (8/26)... Career -- Seen action in 30 career matches and 68 games... averaging 1.60 kills per game and has scored 122.5 points.

    #8 Giovana Melo (5-9, RS-Sr., S, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) --
    Senior captain who has started five matches this season... played sparingly last weekend in the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic... coming off knee surgery that forced her to sit out nearly the entire 2004 season... averaging 8.35 assists per game, including three matches with 30 or more assists... matched her career high with two kills against Notre Dame (9/4)... has three matches with 2.0 blocks... Career -- Has appeared in 37 matches and 123 games during her three seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 6.50 assists per game... has recorded four career matches with 40 or more assists.

    #10 Colette Meek (6-1, So., MB, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) --
    Sophomore middle blocker who has seen action in all eight matches this season... averaging 1.74 kills and 0.65 blocks per game... ranks fifth among regular players with a .269 hitting percentage... recorded 11 kills on a .435 hitting percentage in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... had seven kills on a .353 hitting percentage against Texas State (9/10)... did not participate in preseason practice due to playing with Alberta in the Canada Games... helped Team Alberta to a bronze medal... Career -- Has appeared in 35 matches and 104 games in her career... averaging 2.15 kpg and 1.08 bpg... named All-Pac-10 Freshman in 2004 after averaging 1.20 blocks per game... has played internationally with the Canadian Junior National program.

    #11 Nina Reeves (5-8, Jr., OH, Gilbert, Ariz.) --
    Junior outside hitter who has seen action in all eight matches this season and has made three starts... ranks fifth on the team averaging 1.92 kills and is fourth iwth 2.17 digs per game... third on the team with seven service aces... recorded 15 kills on a .419 hitting percentage off the bench against Notre Dame (9/4)... also had three aces and three blocks for 19.5 points vs. UND... had eight kills and two blocks against UNLV (8/27)... Career -- In two seasons with the Sun Devils is averaging 1.91 kpg and 2.13 dpg in 30 matches (90 games)... has recorded 21 career matches with 10 or more kills and 14 double-doubles... averaged 3.29 kpg and 3.00 dpg as a redshirt freshman at UTEP.

    #12 Nicole Morton (5-10, Jr., OH, Fallbrook, Calif.) --
    Junior outside hitter who has started all eight matches this season... named to the all-tournament team at the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic and the Cal State Northridge Tournament... leads the team averaging 3.21 kills per game... has recorded 10 or more kills in five matches and has three double-doubles (kills/digs)... also ranks third on the team averaging 2.725digs per game... had season-high 17 kills and eight digs against Notre Dame (9/4)... recorded 16 kills and 19 digs in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... Career -- Three-year player who has seen action in 49 matches and 142 games... averaging 3.07 kills per game (436 total kills) and 1.96 digs per game (279 total digs)... has recorded 25 career matches with double-digits in kills and 10 double-doubles.

    #14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Sr., OH, Mishawaka, Ind.) --
    Senior outside hitter who seen action in all eight matches and made five starts... averaging 1.04 kills per game and has four service aces... had season-high six kills and two blocks in four-game win over Texas State (9/10)... recorded four kills and two service aces against Texas (9/2)... played in front of several family and friends when ASU played at the Notre Dame tournament near her hometown of Mishawaka, Ind... Career -- Four-year player who has appeared in 71 career matches and 231 games in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 2.29 kills per game for her career (528 total)... listed in the ASU record books as having tied for third with seven service aces vs. Utah during her sophomore season... has 68 career service aces... two-time selection to the All-Pac-10 Academic team and was a first-team CoSida All-District VIII Academic selection last year... has a perfect 4.0 GPA as an Education major.

    #15 Sydney Donahue (5-7, So., L/DS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) --
    ASU's starting libero in all eight matches this season... named to the all-tournament team at the Shamrock Invitational and Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic... leads the team and the Pac-10 averaging 6.52 digs per game... has recorded double-digits in digs in all eight matches, including three matches with 20 or more digs... nearly broke the ASU single-match record with 43 digs against Notre Dame (9/4)... the 43 digs established an ASU rally-scoring record (previous was 30 set by Jami Coughlin and Donahue) and are the second most in school history (record is 44 set by Christy Nore in 1988), tied for the fourth most in Pac-10 history and currently the most in the NCAA this season... had 34 digs vs. Texas State (9/10) to tie for the fourth most in ASU single-match history... tallied 24 digs in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... Career -- Has seen action in 34 matches and 115 games during her two seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 4.90 digs per game (564 total) and has recorded double-digits in digs in 27 of 34 career matches... named first-team All-Pac-10 Freshman in 2004 after ranking fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.36 digs per game... broke the ASU freshman single-season digs record with 375, surpassing the old record of 355 set by Coughlin in 1998... also broke the freshman mark for digs per game (4.36) and twice bettered the freshman record for digs in a match (26 and 30).

    #18 Margie Giordano (5-10, Fr., OH, Glendale, Ariz.) --
    Freshman outside hitter who has started who has started seven of eight matches... named MVP of the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic after averaging 3.70 kills per game... second on the team averaging 2.88 kills per game and 2.62 digs per game... has a team-best nine service aces... recorded season-high 17 kills on a .298 hitting percentage in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... also added 13 digs for her first career double-double... had 16 kills and four service aces for career-high 21.0 points vs. Northern Arizona (9/9)... High School -- Was the 2004 Gatorade/Arizona State Player of the Year out of Glendale's Mountain Ridge High School... helped lead Mountain Ridge to the 5A State Championship with a 41-1 record... one of 10 finalists for the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year award.

    #32 Danielle Fernandes (6-1, So., OH, Santa Monica, Calif.) --
    Sophomore outside hitter who has been hampered by a knee injury this season... has seen action in four matches and five games... averaging 1.60 kills per game and 0.40 blocks per game... recorded a career-high four kills and two blocks against Cal State Northridge (8/26)... Career -- Has seen action in 18 career matches and 29 games... averaging 0.76 kills and 0.34 blocks per game.

    --Sun Devil Volleyball--
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