Volleyball Faces No. 19 USC And No. 21 UCLA

Oct. 18, 2005

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    The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-11 overall, 1-6 Pac-10) take back to the road this weekend to face a pair of nationally ranked opponents. ASU will play No. 19 USC (8-7, 4-3 Pac-10) Friday and No. 21 UCLA (10-6, 3-4 Pac-10) on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. The Devils are in the midst of season-high six-match losing streak and a brutal stretch of matches that will see them face a ranked opponent in eight of the next nine matches. Following this week's action against the Women of Troy and the Bruins, ASU returns home to face Washington State (Oct. 27) and No. 2 Washington (Oct. 28) at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU will end the season with five of its last seven matches on the road.

    Lights, Camera, Action:
    All of ASU's home matches will be available through a fee-based webcast at www.sundevilsportsnetwork.com. Fans can also follow all of ASU's home matches, and most road matches, via the free statistical GameTracker at www.thesundevils.com.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils dropped their season-high fifth and sixth straight matches with a pair of three-game losses to No. 13 California (21-30, 20-30, 27-30) and No. 3 Stanford (22-30, 23-30, 19-30). Junior outside hitter Nina Reeves led the Sun Devils averaging 3.33 kpg over the two matches and also recorded 16 digs (2.67 dpg). Junior Nicole Morton also averaged 2.80 kpg and sophomore Alison Lund led the team averaging 3.33 digs per game. Lund recorded a career-high 13 digs against Stanford.

    Series History vs. USC:
    USC leads the all-time series against the Sun Devils 45-10, including a current 18-match winning streak dating back to Nov. 11, 1995. Last season, the Women of Troy handed the Sun Devils a pair of three-game defeats en route to finishing the season 23-6 and advancing to the Final Four. Middle blocker Bibiana Candelas leads USC averaging 4.38 kills per game and 0.89 blocks per game. Libero Debora Seilhamer leads the Pac-10 averaging 6.13 digs per game.

    Series History vs. UCLA:
    UCLA leads the all-time series against the Sun Devils 52-6 and have lost five straight matches to the Bruins dating back to Sept. 21, 2002. ASU has not won at historic Pauley Pavilion since 1995. The Bruins are currently 10-6 overall and in sixth place in the Pac-10 with a 3-4 record. Kaitlin Sather (3.82 kpg) and Nana Meriwether (3.32 kpg) pace the UCLA offense, while Meriwether leads the Pac-10 with 1.70 blocks per game.

    Donahue Digs and Serves Her Name Into The Record Books:
    Sophomore libero Sydney Donahue has recorded the second, fourth, sixth and 10th-best dig performances in ASU history and three of the top five individual performances in the Pac-10 this season through the first 17 matches this season. She recorded 43 digs in ASU's five-game loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 4, nearly eclipsing the 17-year-old school record of 44 digs set by Christy Nore in 1988. 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 fourth-most by any player in the country this season. Donahue also recorded 34 digs against Texas State (9/10) to tie for the fourth most digs in school history and 33 digs against Washington State (10/1) to tie for sixth. Donahue also etched her name in the record books when she recorded seven aces against Oregon State (9/24), tying the ASU rally-scoring record and ranking third in the ASU single-match record book. In 17 matches this season, Donahue has recorded double-digits in digs in all but three matches and has eight matches with 20 or more digs. She is second in the Pac-10 averaging 5.89 digs per game and has recorded 734 digs in her ASU career (4.99 per game average).

    Quick Sets -- Release Highlights:

    ... The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-10 behind USC averaging 16.84 digs per game.... Eight of ASU's 11 losses this season have come against ranked in the top 25 at some point this season.... The Devils will play eight of their next nine matches against top 25 teams.... 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 33 of her 43 career matches.... OH Nicole Morton leads the Sun Devils averaging 2.80 kpg and has recorded three double-doubles.... MB Staci Smith has recorded an ace in eight straight matches and ranks 7th in the Pac-10 with 0.41.... OH Danielle Fernandes made her first career start and had nine kills vs. California last weekend.

    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 eight of their 17 matches against teams that have appeared in the AVCA/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, including No. 2 Washington, No. 3 Stanford, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 12 Arizona, No. 13 California, No. 18 Texas and No. 25 Saint Mary's. The Devils will also play six Pac-10 teams that are currently listed top 25, including UW (#2), Stanford (#5), Arizona (#8), California (#14), USC (#19) and UCLA (#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 25-46 record at ASU and an all-time 269-186 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 the three tournament matches, Giordano recorded a pair of double-doubles and averaged 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 2.75 kills per game and has 15 service aces. She has recorded eight matches with 10 or more kills and six double-doubles.

    2005 Sun Devil Player Notes...
    #1 Alison Lund (5-6, So., L/DS, Bowie, Md.) --
    Has appeared in 14 matches this season and has started the last three matches as ASU's libero... has led ASU in digs in two matches this year... recorded career-high 13 digs against Stanford (10/14)... also had a then career-high 12 digs against Tulane (9/18)... made her first career start vs. Notre Dame (9/4) and responded with 11 digs... averaging 2.04 digs per game to rank fourth on the team... missed ASU's first tournament while attending her sister's wedding in Portland, Ore... Career -- Has appeared in 38 matches and 101 games... averaging 1.58 digs per game and has recorded four career matches with 10 or more digs... 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 eight matches this season and is sixth on the team averaging 1.82 kills per game... leads ASU's regular hitters with a .305 hitting percentage and is second with 0.74 blocks per game... led ASU with nine kills vs. Arizona (10/7)... 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) 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 56 matches and 150 games... averaging 1.64 kills per game and 0.73 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 17 matches this season... leads the team in both blocks per game (0.95) and aces (0.41)... ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in aces, is second on the team with a .297 hitting percentage and is third with 2.29 kills per game... has recorded five or more blocks six times and 10 or more kills four times... career-high six aces vs. Arizona (10/7)... notched a career-high 21 kills on a .370 hitting percentage against Oregon State (9/24)... had a career-high 9.0 blocks at Washington State (10/1)... also had 8.0 blocks vs. Oregon (9/23)... recorded 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 43 matches and 120 games in her career... averaging 0.79 blocks and 1.97 kills per game.

    #5 Rachel Mittelstaedt (6-1, So., S, Phoenix, Ariz.) --
    Has started four matches this season and has led the team in assists seven times... averaging 5.32 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 starts all three matches... Career -- Has played in 43 career matches and made 29 starts... averaging 8.68 assists per game and 1.42 digs per game... has recorded eight career matches of 40 or more assists... has shown a solid block averaging 0.71 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 14 matches this season... averaging 1.54 kills per game and 1.82 points per game... recorded a season-high 12 kills against Notre Dame (9/4)... had 10 kills and three blocks against Tulane (9/18)... Career -- Seen action in 37 career matches and 81 games... averaging 1.54 kills per game and has scored 143.0 points.

    #8 Giovana Melo (5-9, RS-Sr., S, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) --
    Senior captain who has started 13 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 8.68 assists per game, including eight matches with 30 or more assists... recorded a career-high 56 assists in five-game loss to Oregon State (9/24).... had 54 assists at Notre Dame (9/4)... recorded career-high four blocks against Tulane (9/18)... Career -- Has appeared in 46 matches and 153 games during her three seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 6.97 assists per game... has recorded six 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 17 matches this season and made nine starts... averaging 1.92 kills and 0.69 blocks per game... ranks third among regular players with a .271 hitting percentage... had a solid weekend vs. UW and WSU in which she averaged 3.00 kpg and 0.86 bpg... matched career high with 15 kills against Oregon State (9/24)... 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 44 matches and 132 games in her career... averaging 2.14 kpg and 1.00 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 17 matches this season and has made 12 starts... ranks fourth on the team averaging 2.18 kills and is third with 2.32 digs per game... also fourth with 12 service aces... has recorded 10 or more kills four times... notched first double-double of the season with 12 kills and 15 digs against Tulane (9/18)... matched her career high with 7.0 blocks at Washington State (10/1)... 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 2.03 kpg and 2.21 dpg in 39 matches (122 games)... has recorded 23 career matches with 10 or more kills and 15 double-doubles... averaged 3.29 kpg and 3.00 dpg at UTEP (2003).

    #12 Nicole Morton (5-10, Jr., OH, Fallbrook, Calif.) --
    Junior outside hitter who has started 11 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 with 2.80 kpg... has recorded 10 or more kills in seven matches and has three double-doubles (kills/digs)... 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 56 matches and 164 games... averaging 2.96 kills per game (486 total kills) and 1.83 digs per game (300 total digs)... has recorded 27 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 10 matches and made seven starts... has not played in the last eight matches due to a back injury... 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 14 matches this season... has recorded four of the top-10 all-time single-match dig performances in school history... also has three of the top five defensive performances in the Pac-10 this season... named to the all-tournament team at the Shamrock Invitational and Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic... second in the Pac-10 with 5.89 digs per game... has recorded double-digits in digs in 14 of 17 matches, including eight 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 second 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... also had 33 digs at Washington State (10/1) to tie for sixth and 31 digs in four-game win over Tulane (9/18) that is tied for 10th in the ASU record books... tallied 24 digs in five-game win over Cal State Northridge (8/26)... recorded a career-high seven service aces vs. Oregon State (9/24) to rank tied for third in ASU history... Career -- Has seen action in 43 matches and 147 games during her two seasons in the Maroon and Gold... averaging 4.99 digs per game (7234total) and has recorded double-digits in digs in 33 of 43 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 16 of ASU's 17 matches... named MVP of the Wyndham Buttes Sun Devil Classic after averaging 3.70 kills per game... second on the team averaging 2.75 kills per game and 2.52 digs per game... third on the team with 15 service aces... has recorded eight matches with 10 or more kills and six double-doubles... has 10 or more kills in seven of the last 12 matches... 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)... career-high 17 digs, to go with 16 kills vs. Oregon State (9/24)... 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 11 matches and 18 games... averaging 1.44 kills per game and 0.22 blocks per game... had a career-high nine kills vs. California (10/13)... recorded four kills and two blocks against Cal State Northridge (8/26)... came off the bench against Oregon (9/23) to contribute three kills and one block... Career -- Has seen action in 25 career matches and 42 games... averaging 0.95 kills and 0.29 blocks per game.

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