2007 Pac-10 Volleyball: Arizona State
Aug. 2, 2007
The Sun Devils are coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, and their most wins (16) since posting 18 victories during the 2000 season. The outlook appears to be even better in 2007 as the Sun Devils return four starters, plus senior Sydney Donahue - their record-breaking libero. Coach Brad Saindon will look to take a veteran squad that includes six seniors to consecutive postseason trips for the first time since the 1999-2000 seasons.
Donahue set an NCAA three-game match record last season with 50 digs in ASU's win over LMU, holds the Pac-10 single-season record with 742 digs, and holds the Sun Devil career mark with 1,745 digs. She needs 328 digs to break the all-time Pac-10 mark.
While ASU will look to its six seniors for sound leadership (no Pac-10 squad has more seniors on their roster than the Sun Devils), it will be sophomore setter Marina Mercer that will run the Sun Devil attack. She earned Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors last year, posting 1,183 assists (10.56 apg).
Senior middle blockers Staci Smith (.279/211 kills/2.01 kpg/0.93 bpg) and Colette Meek (1.25 kpg/0.91 bpg) will provide the Sun Devils with solid play at the net.
Junior outside hitter Margie Giordano is the top returning kills leader for the Sun Devils. She tallied 328 kills (2.90 kpg) last season. In addition, she added 393 digs (3.48 dpg) and 28 aces (0.25 sapg).
Depth at outside hitter. While Giordano collected 328 kills, the other returning outside hitters picked up a combined 152 kills. Considering the Sun Devils led the league in digs (18.62 dpg), their attack numbers will need to improve from their 14.97 kills per game that ranked eighth in the league last season. Freshman Sarah Reaves could get the opportunity for immediate playing time at outside hitter.
With only two experienced middle blockers are the roster, the Sun Devils will need to stay healthy at that position. Freshman Sara Todorovich could see some extensive playing time in the middle.