Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Play Hosting Oregon And Oregon State

Sept. 20, 2005

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    Following a 5-5 record in non-conference play, the Arizona State University volleyball team opens Pac-10 conference play this weekend hosting Oregon and Oregon State at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils are coming off a weekend split against LSU and Tulane in College Station, Texas. ASU will play the remaining 18 matches of the season against league opponents, including five of its first seven Pac-10 matches at home. The Sun Devils will end the slate with seven of the last 11 on the road. Following the weekend matchup with the Ducks and Beavers, ASU will travel to the Northwest to face No. 2 Washington and Washington State (Sept. 30-Oct. 1).

    Live on the Internet:
    Fans across the world can follow the Sun Devil volleyball team in all 12 home matches this season via the statistical GameTraker and also on a live webcast. Fans can access the GameTracker at www.thesundevils.com, while the video webcast is available at asu.newtier.com. The live webcasts (video only) are currently free after you create an account, but will have a game-by-game or monthly charge in the near future.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    Playing without injured outside hitter Nicole Morton, the Sun Devils split a pair of matches against LSU (L, 3-1) and Tulane (W, 3-0) last weekend at the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic in College Station, Texas. ASU was originally scheduled to play four matches against LSU, NC State, New Orleans and Nicholls State, but were forced to alter the schedule due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Freshman outside hitter Margie Giordano led the Sun Devils averaging 3.12 kills per game and 3.00 digs per game. Sophomore middle blocker Staci Smith fueled ASU's win over Tulane, recording a career-high 14 kills and seven blocks in the four-game win. Sophomore libero Sydney Donahue had another stellar weekend leading the ASU defense, averaging 6.88 digs per game (55 total) in the two matches.

    Pac-10 Lid Lifters:
    The Sun Devils open their 20th season in Pac-10 play this weekend hosting Oregon and Oregon State. The matches mark the seventh time since 1996 that the Sun Devils will face the Ducks and Beavers on the opening weekend of league play. ASU owns an all-time 12-7 (.632) record in Pac-10 openers and a 17-18 (.486) record during the opening weekend of league play. When playing the Ducks and Beavers during the opening weekend, ASU has combined for a 9-3 record. Since the Pac-10 officially adopted volleyball in 1986, ASU is 153-89.

    Series History vs. Oregon:
    The Sun Devils are 31-7 all-time against Oregon and have won 14 straight matches against the Ducks dating back to 1997. ASU has not lost at home to Oregon since 1996. ASU swept the Ducks at home last season and won in four games in Eugene. Led by first-year head coach Jim Moore, the Ducks are off to a 10-1 start. Mira Djuric leads the team with 4.53 kills per game and Kelly Russell has 4.45 kpg and 2.45 dpg.

    Series History vs. Oregon State:
    The Sun Devils are 27-12 all-time against Oregon State and are 2-2 vs. the Beavers during the Brad Saindon era. ASU is also 3-2 in home matches against the Beavers dating back to the 2000 season. Under first-year head coach Terry Liskevych, the Beavers are 4-2. After winning its first four matches of the season, OSU dropped a pair of matches to UC Irvine and Colorado State the last time they took the court (Sept. 9-10). Kristin Murray leads the Beavers averaging 2.95 kpg.

    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 has backed that performance with 34 digs against Texas State (9/10) to tie for the fourth most digs in school history and 31 digs against Tulane (9/18). In 10 matches this season, Donahue leads the Pac-10 averaging 6.59 digs per game.

    Quick Sets -- Release Highlights:

    ... The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 averaging 17.97 digs per game... Three of ASU's five losses this season have come against teams in the current top 25.... ASU will appear on national TV twice this season on FSN -- Arizona (Oct. 7), Cal (Nov. 11).... Libero Sydney Donahue has recorded 10 or more digs in 29 of her 36 career matches.... Jr. outside hitter Nicole Morton is expected back after not playing last weekend with a sprained ankle.... Fr. outside hitter Margie Giordano was the 2004 Gatorade/Arizona High School Player of the Year.

    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 10 matches against teams that have appeared in the AVCA/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, including No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 23 Texas and No. 21 Saint Mary's. The Devils will also play six Pac-10 teams that are listed in the current top 25, including Washington (#2), Stanford (#3), USC (#12), UCLA (#13), Arizona (#15) and California (#25).

    Coach Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his third season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has compiled a 24-40 record at ASU and an all-time 268-180 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 2.94 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 seven matches this season and made one start... recorded career-high 12 digs against Tulane (9/18)... made her first career start vs. Notre Dame (9/4) and responded with 11 digs... averaging 2.00 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 31 matches and 77 games... averaging 1.43 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 fifth on the team averaging 1.88 kills per game... also leads the team among regular hitters with a .339 attack percentage and is second with 0.88 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 50 matches and 137 games... averaging 1.64 kills per game and 0.76 blocks per game... has recorded six matches with 10 or more kills in her career.

    #3 Staci Smith (6-2, Jr., MB, Gresham, Ore.) --
    Sophomore middle blocker who has started all 10 matches this season... ranks second on the team with a .327 hitting percentage and leads the squad with 0.97 blocks per game... also ranks third with 2.24 kills per game... has recorded six or more kills in nine of 10 matches... recorded career highs with 14 kills and seven blocks against Tulane (9/18)... had 10 kills on .444 hitting percentage against Auburn (9/9)... had nine kills on a .348 hitting percentage against Notre Dame (9/4)... Career -- Has seen action in 36 matches and 96 games in her career... averaging 0.76 blocks and 1.86 kills per game.

    #5 Rachel Mittelstaedt (6-1, So., S, Phoenix, Ariz.) --
    Has started three matches this season... averaging 6.21 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 while making starts in all three matches... Career -- Has played in 36 career matches and made 28 starts... averaging 9.50 assists per game and 1.50 digs per game... has recorded eight career matches of 40 or more assists... has shown a solid block averaging 0.77 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 nine matches this season... averaging 1.82 kills per game and 2.18 points per game... recorded a season-high 12 kills against Notre Dame (9/4)... had 10 kills adn three blocks against Tulane (9/18)... Career -- Seen action in 32 career matches and 75 games... averaging 1.63 kills per game and has scored 140.0 points.

    #8 Giovana Melo (5-9, RS-Sr., S, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) --
    Senior captain who has started seven matches this season... coming off knee surgery that forced her to sit out nearly the entire 2004 season... leads the team and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 averaging 8.96 assists per game, including five matches with 30 or more assists... recorded 54 assists at Notre Dame (9/4)... matched her career high with two kills against Notre Dame (9/4)... has three matches with 2.0 blocks... Career -- Has appeared in 39 matches and 131 games during her three seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 6.75 assists per game... has recorded five 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 10 matches this season... averaging 1.77 kills and 0.81 blocks per game... ranks fourth among regular players with a .266 hitting percentage... averaged 1.25 blocks per game last weekend... 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 37 matches and 112 games in her career... averaging 2.13 kpg and 1.09 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 10 matches this season and has made five starts... ranks fourth on the team averaging 2.09 kills and is third with 2.44 digs per game... also third with eight service aces... notched first double-double of the season with 12 kills and 15 digs against Tulane (9/18)... 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 1.97 kpg and 2.22 dpg in 32 matches (98 games)... has recorded 22 career matches with 10 or more kills and 15 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 eight matches this season... did not play last weekend due to a sprained ankle... 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 10 matches and made seven starts... averaging 1.21 kills per game and has four service aces... had season-high eight kills and one block in four-game win over Tulane (9/18)... 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 73 career matches and 237 games in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 2.27 kills per game for her career (539 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 10 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 6.59 digs per game... has recorded double-digits in digs in all 10 matches, including five 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... added 31 digs in four-game win over Tulane (9/18) that is tied for ninth in the record books... tallied 24 digs in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... Career -- Has seen action in 36 matches and 123 games during her two seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 5.03 digs per game (619 total) and has recorded double-digits in digs in 29 of 36 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 nine matches... named MVP of the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic after averaging 3.70 kills per game... second on the team averaging 2.94 kills per game and 2.72 digs per game... tied for the team lead with nine service aces... has recorded five matches with 10 or more kills and four double-doubles... 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.

    2004 Season in Review:
    The Sun Devils finished the 2004 season with a 10-17 record and tied for seventh place in the Pac-10 with a 5-13 record... both records (overall and conference) were one-game improvements from 2003 under second-year head coach Brad Saindon... the Sun Devils featured a young team with eight newcomers, including seven freshmen... ASU also had two key knee injuries that sidelined senior setter Giovana Melo and outside hitter Natalie Harris for the entire season... Melo is expected to return for a fifth year of eligibility in 2005... libero Sydney Donahue, middle blocker Colette Meek and setter Rachel Mittelstaedt were all named to the All-Pac-10 Freshman team... Donahue and Meek were first-team selections, while Mittelstaedt earned honorable mention honors... junior outside hitter Sarah Watkins was named first-team All-Pac-10 Academic for the second straight year and sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton earned honorable mention academic honors... Watkins was also named first-team Academic All-District VIII... ASU has 36 all-academic selections dating back to 1986, leading all Pac-10 schools... Morton led the team with 3.53 kills per game and 349.0 points (3.92 per game average)... she also led the team with 20 matches with double-digits in kills and seven double-doubles... Watkins finished second on the team with 2.97 kills per game and ranked second in the Pac-10 with 0.36 service aces per game (31 aces)... Watkins also had 12 matches with 10 or more kills, including a career-high 24 against Washington State (10/16)... Donahue set ASU freshman records with 4.36 digs per game and 375 total digs in her rookie season as the starting libero... she also broke the single-match freshman record with 30 digs against Oregon State (11/4)... she ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in digs per game (4.36) and sixth in service aces per game (0.30)... she also led all Pac-10 freshman in both statistical categories... Donahue recorded 19 matches with 10 or more digs... Meek set the ASU freshman record with 1.20 blocks per game, ranking fifth in the conference... she became the first Sun Devil to average over 1.00 blocks per game since 1998... senior libero Stephanie Kohner ended her career ranking second on the team with 2.36 digs per game... she came on strong near the end of the season recording double-digits in digs in her last three matches... ASU recorded seven or more blocks in 17 matches and the nine double-digit block matches are six more than the entire season output from 2003... the 17.0 blocks against Cal State Fullerton (9/18) were 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... ASU's tough schedule included 13 matches against ranked opponents... the competitive Pac-10 conference saw the six teams ahead of ASU earn final top 25 rankings and three teams (USC, Stanford, Washington) advanced to the NCAA Final Four in Long Beach, Calif... with Stanford winning the NCAA title, the Pac-10 has now won four straight national championships.

    --Sun Devil Volleyball--
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