Volleyball's Kicks-Off the 'Duel in the Desert' Friday Night Versus Arizona

Oct. 11, 2007

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The Arizona State Sun Devils (10-9 overall, 2-4 Pac-10) will return home again this weekend as they set to face their in-state and Pac-10 rivals, Arizona (12-6, 2-4 Pac-10). Part one of the `Duel In The Desert' will be held this Friday, October 12 at 7 p.m. in ASU's Wells Fargo Arena. The game will be taped by Fox Sports Net and replayed over the weekend.


Follow The Sun Devils Live!:

All of ASU's fans can also follow all of ASU's home matches, and most road matches, via the free statistical GameTracker at www.thesundevils.com. Also available for fans both near and far are video broadcasts of all home matches. For more information please visit: asu.newtier.com .


Recapping Last Weekend:

Against #8 Washington:

The Sun Devils hit the road to Seattle where the fi nal score read 3-0 in favor of the powerful Huskies, but doesn't tell the full story. The Sun Devils held a lead in all three games with game one alone having eight lead changes as they pushed Washington to the brink where the Huskies barely edged them 31-29 in game one. The Huskies surged back in game two, winning 30-27 before ASU came back for another strong game three where UW again barely took the win 30-27. Freshman Sarah Reaves had 16 kills and was followed up with 13 from Margie Giordano. Sydney Donahue, as always, played stellar defensively with 25 digs in the three games.

Against the WashingtonState Cougars:

The Sun Devils came out to shine against the WSU Cougars coming out with a 3-0 sweep after some of the most solid play they've displayed all season. Their team attack percentages in game one and three alone were .436 and .438, a season high. The Sun Devils took the match with a sound 30-21, 30-28 and 30-17 win as Sarah Reaves again led the Devils with 19 kills, which Sydney Donahue matched in digs as well.


Series History vs. the Arizona Wildcats:

The series history against the Wildcats is, as always a long a storied one. And the all-time record between the two shows it. In the 2006 season, both teams went in knotted 35-35 all-time before the Sun Devils took a 3-1 win from the `Cats in Tucson and sweeping them 3-0 at home to push the Devils up 37-35 all-time.


Quick Sets -- Release Highlights:

• Libero Sydney Donahue has recorded 10 or more digs in 88 of her 102 career matches, including a streak of 52 matches with 10 or more digs dating back to October 21, 2005 vs. USC.

• Sydney Donahue also currently holds the Pac-10 lead in digs and digs per game. After three weeks

Donahue has 398 digs for a 6.42 per-game average. She currently holds the Pac-10 single-game match high total as well with 45 against Virginia on August 25th.

• ASU has the current Pac-10 match high for kills with their 88 against UtahValley. They also pulled in 98 digs in the UtahValley face-off, second in Pac-10 match-highs.

• Sophomore, Marina Mercer holds the season Pac-10 match-high for assists with her 73 against UtahValley, she also holds second place in the category with her 72 assists against Oregon on September 27.

• Sophomore Paige Mittelstaedt is tied for lead in the Pac-10 for solo blocks in a match with her four against IowaState on September 1st. She is also tied for fi fth in single-match kill total with her 26 against UtahValley.

• Freshman Sarah Reaves is off to a stellar start to her rookie campaign as she leads the Sun Devils in kills with 294, good for a 4.26 per-game average. She is currently second in Pac-10 match highs for kills after her 28 against Oregon on September 27. Her 28 kills are not only a freshman match record, but an ASU match record, besting Juliana Escobar's 27 against Oregon on October 18, 2002. In the Pac-10, Reaves is currently ranked seventh in kills per game, with 82 more kills than the only other Freshman on the list, #2 Stanford's Alix Klineman.


NCAA-tionally Known:

The Sun Devils are currently racing up the NCAA ranks across the country. Most notably


• Setter, Marina Mercer is ranked 43rd nationally with a 12.33 assists per game average.

• Sydney Donahue is ranked FIFTH in the nation in digs per game with a 6.42 average.

• Freshman, Sarah Reaves is ranked 84th nationally in kills per game with a 4.26.


Brains and Brawn These Girls Have It All:

The Sun Devil Volleyball team has proven year after year that they are some of the best on the court and also in the classroom. ASU holds the proud title of MOST Pac-10 All-Academic selections in history with 40 over every other Pac-10 school. They also have a ten-year streak of at least one honor on the Pac-10 All-Academic team.

Leading the list last year were Colette Meek and Marina Mercer, who both were named to the first-team and Rachel Mittlestaedt who was named to the second team.

Four other Sun Devils received honorable mentions as well.


Digging Her Way To The Top:

Senior libero Sydney Donahue is on pace to place her name all over not only ASU and Pac-10 record books (which she already has), but the NCAA ones as well. The senior currently has the single-season ASU and Pac-10 digs record and this season has already broken the career Pac-10 digs record, while inching up the NCAA records as well. Her current total of 2,143 puts her 11th all-time in NCAA history. Last season alone, Donahue had 742 digs as well as tying an all-time NCAA record of 50 digs in a match, which she did in three games against LMU on August 26, 2006.


A Tough Schedule:

As always, ASU is set to face a tough slate for the 2007 season. Aside from being in the all-powerful Pac-10, ASU jumped from an RPI of 152 to 30 in a successful year which found them later in the NCAA Tournament. The jump itself is one of the highest in the history of NCAA Volleyball alone. This year the Devils look to jump yet again in the RPI rankings, taking on a tougher and tougher schedule every year.


Head Coach Brad Saindon:

Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his fifth season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball

program. Saindon has compiled a 43-70 record at ASU and an all-time 287-210

record in 16 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. 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.