ASU Volleyball Looks To Get Back On Track

Oct. 17, 2000

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After dropping three straight matches for the first time this year, the ASU volleyball team is looking for a breakthrough weekend as the Sun Devils host the Washington schools at Wells Fargo Arena. With two tough, nationally ranked opponents last week, the Sun Devils nearly knocked off USC and UCLA. The No. 1/4 Women of Troy struggled in their 3-1 win over the Sun Devils and ASU nearly capitalized with a solid match. ASU recorded more kills (89/74) than the Trojans and nearly took the match to five games. Friday's nationally televised match vs. the No. 10 Bruins was a five-game thriller, with UCLA pulling out a 3-2 win. Amanda Burbridge had a solid weekend of volleyball for the Devils, averaging 5.44 kills between the two matches. The 12-7, 4-5 Sun Devils now sit in sixth place in the Pac-10 as they start their second go-around in the conference. With nine matches remaining, ASU is still very much in contention to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament. ASU swept the Washington Schools up in Seattle and Pullman earlier in the year, marking the first time since 1993 ASU had swept the Huskies and Cougars on their home court in the same year. Senior Michelle Mortensen also had a solid weekend, matching a career high in kills with 22 vs. USC.

With a sweep of the Washington schools earlier this year, it marked the first time since 1993 that ASU had walked away from the Pacific Northwest with a sweep. ASU knocked off Washington in three games (15-1, 15-10, 15-6) on Sept. 22 in a match that saw Amanda Burbridge record 20 kills in 42 opportunities (.357). ASU left Pullman with an exciting 3-2 (8-15, 15-9, 15-12, 12-15, 15-12) win over the Cougars. Burbridge also led that match with 20 kills to hold off the Cougars. The Sun Devils hold a 17-13 all-time series lead over the Cougars and are 6-5 vs. WSU in Tempe under Patti Snyder-Park. The Cougars enter the match vs. ASU with a 12-6 mark, 3-6 in Pac-10 play, and are coming off a series sweep at home of the Oregon schools last weekend. The Washington Huskies lead the all-time series with ASU, but are struggling as of late with a 5-11 record, 1-8 in conference action. Snyder-Park is 6-5 in her career vs. the Huskies at home. The Sun Devils swept the Washington schools at home last year (first time since '94) and the last time ASU swept the season series vs. both schools was in 1992.

Senior outside hitter Amanda Burbridge wasted no time putting her name on the list as a candidate for All-America in 2000. The Scottsdale native recorded 31 kills in the five-game win over Cal Poly earlier in the year, which ranks seventh in school history. She then followed that with 28-kill vs. Southwest Texas that ranks in the top 15 in school history. Her 31-kill effort was the second time in her illustrious career that Burbridge has eclipsed the 30-kill mark. Burbridge is leading the Sun Devils in kills with 304 (5.24 per game) and is second in the Pac-10 behind UCLA standout Kristee Porter. Burbridge is second in the Pac-10 with 3.93 digs per game. For her career, Burbridge continues to climb the ASU record list. With her 49-kill effort last weekend, Burbridge moved 41 kills closer to the 4th spot in the ASU career record books with 1,351 career kills. Burbridge has recorded 15 double-doubles this season and has at least 20 kills in 11 matches. She has yet to have a match with less than double-digit kills (17 of 19) and has recorded 20 or more digs five times in 2000. Burbridge has recorded three consecutive 20-kill matches and seven of her last eight. She has five 20-kill, 20 digs matches in 2000. The senior is also being nominated for an Academic All-American.

The Sun Devils are normally happy to be home, but '00 has been a different story. The Sun Devils have been dealt only one setback on the road vs. Oregon State, and are otherwise unbeaten away from Tempe with a 10-1 record. ASU is 2-6 at home.

Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her 12th year at the helm of the ASU volleyball program. Snyder-Park has led ASU to five NCAA appearances in the last eight years and has posted a winning record in seven of her last 10 seasons. She has posted a career 185-148 record as a Sun Devil. A graduate of Portland State University, Snyder-Park is assisted by fifth-year assistant coach Scott Swanson and first-year assistant Christine Garner. Snyder-Park is married to husband John and has two kids (Sydney, 6) and (Samuel, 4). Another child is on the way and due in late December.

Junior outside hitter Jami Coughlin has been solid for the Sun Devils all season long. She was named the tournament MVP at the UNM Clubhouse Invitational and is currently ranked second in the Pac-10 with 3.99 digs per game. Coughlin had 41 kills and digs in the three matches in New Mexico to earn the tournament MVP honor. The junior has tallied 14 double-doubles this season and has 20 or more kills in three matches. She also have five matches with 20 or more digs and with 969 career digs, is about to become the 10th player in ASU history with 1,000 or more digs. She has been the iron women for ASU this year, playing in all 74 of the Sun Devils' games this season. Coughlin is averaging 3.65 kills per game to rank 10th in the conference, which is well above her 2.94 average from 1999. The Glendale native also has a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She recorded her first 20 kill, 20 dig match of the year vs. UCLA with 20 kills and 24 digs.

With a hotbed of talent surrounding the Valley area of Arizona, Patti Snyder-Park and her staff have not had to go far to recruit top talent. Of the 13 players on the 2000 roster, all but two are from the state of Arizona. Mandy Stephens (Fr., MB) and Becky Sidoti (Sr., S) both hail from California. In addition to staying local, the 2000 recruiting class features four players all from the same high school. Cheryl Anglin, Courtney Blocher, Natalie Harris and Kim Mehlhorn all prepped at Valley Christian High School.

In her first collegiate start, freshman setter Cheryl Anglin wasted no time leaving her name in the ASU record books. The Valley Christian product recorded 77 assists vs. Cal Poly to rank fourth all-time in single-match history at ASU. The 77 assists is a freshman school record, previously set by Tracy Heflin (74) in 1995. The school record for assists in a match is 90 set by Regina Stahl in 1987. Anglin also ranks ninth on that same list with a 71-assist performance at Washington State, and once again added her name to the record books with a 65-assist performance vs. USC (18th). Anglin has six 60+ assists matches in '00, including three consecutive. For the year, Anglin leads ASU with 905 assists (13.12 average), which also ranks fourth in the Pac-10. Since 1986, no ASU player has led the conference in assists.

An important aspect Patti Snyder-Park wanted to return to the program was tradition. What better way to do that than to bring back one of the greatest players to ever don the Maroon and Gold, Christine Garner. Garner, who was an All-American for the Sun Devils from 1992-95, joined the ASU coaching staff in June as an assistant. The former Sun Devil star still maintains the school career lead in kills and ranks third in Pac-10 history in that category. The last time ASU beat both USC and UCLA was in 1995 when Garner and the Sun Devils swept the Southern California schools. That same year ASU went on to the NCAA regionals for the fourth year in a row.

Several members of the ASU Sun Devils are ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-10 Conference. Amanda Burbridge ranks second in kills with 5.27 per game and third in digs (3.97 per game). Jami Coughlin ranks second with 3.99 per game and senior defensive specialist Ashley Hubbard ranks just out of the top 10 with 2.72 per game. As a team ASU is the overall leader in digs with 18.95 per game, which is almost two more per game than Washington State who is ranked second. Cheryl Anglin ranks fourth in assists (13.12 per game) and Julia Leddy ranks 7th with a .331 hitting percentage. The Sun Devils rank fourth in hitting percentage (.238%), fourth in kills (17.28 per game), fifth in assists (15.11 per game), sixth in service aces (1.30 per game), ninth in blocks, and sixth overall in the conference with a 4-5 record.

Before last year's advancement to the NCAA tournament, ASU'S last postseason appearance came in 1995. The Sun Devils hosted UC-Santa Barbara in second-round action, picking up the win 3-2. Arizona State then traveled to Honolulu, playing Hawaii in regional action. The Devils lost, 1-3 in the semifinals. ASU has made 12 previous postseason appearances dating back to 1981. 1999 was the Devils sixth postseason appearance under head coach Patti Snyder-Park. The last time ASU made consecutive trips to the postseason was in 1994-95.

On the Tube VS. THE BRUINS:
The Sun Devils played one of the more exciting matches of the year vs. the Bruins on national television last Friday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Bruins pulled out a thrilling 3-2 win over the Sun Devils in front of 1,047 fans. ASU may be selected to play on TV later in the year at USC or UCLA.

It took seven years and 14 matches, but the monkey is finally off the backs of the ASU volleyball program. The Sun Devils beat #15 Stanford 3-1 on Sept. 30 for the first time since 10/22/93, a span of 13 matches. The win over the Cardinal was only the fourth in school history. With four consecutive loses, the Stanford Cardinal go into this weekend's action with the Washington schools with four-match losing streak for the first time in school history.

Catch all the latest news, statistics, bios, feature stories and match results on the Arizona State volleyball team on the official Sun Devil Athletics website at

Three Sun Devils were named to the 1999 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team: Amanda Burbridge (first team), Jami Coughlin (first team) and Laura Hibsman (second team). Two Arizona State student-athletes were selected to the 1999 GTE Academic District VIII All-Academic Team as well. Burbridge and Coughlin were both second team picks. They were two of only twelve athletes selected to the first and second teams (out of 49 total nominations).

You may need to get your calculators out to figure this one out, but statistically speaking, freshman setter Cheryl Anglin is on pace to finish in the top five in ASU single-season history for assists. Currently ASU is averaging 3.87 games per match, and applying that to ASU's remaining matches, the Sun Devils will play roughly 35 more games in '00. Anglin is currently averaging 13.12 assists per game, meaning she would record roughly 459 more assists in '00 (keeping the above calculations in mind). If you add that with her 905 assists she has going into the Washington State/Washington matches, she will end up with 1,364 assists for her freshman year. That total would be the most in a single season since Noelle Fridrich had 1,444 in 1988 and would be the fourth most in single-season ASU history. She currently needs only 158 more to set the freshman record of 1,062 set by Regina Stahl in 1984.

20/20 VISION:
Two players, Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin have recorded at least one match of 20 kills and 20 digs. Burbridge has been part of the 20/20 club five times in '00, most recently vs. UCLA on 10/13/00. Coughlin joined the club vs. UCLA as well with 20 kills and 24 digs. Burbridge has one 30/20 game this year vs. Cal Poly.

The Arizona State volleyball home matches have averaged 672 fans for the eight home matches, ranking in the top 25 in the country. ASU has two matches (Arizona/UCLA) with a fan total over 1,000.

All media interview requests should be directed through Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations Office. Media guides, game notes, rosters and any other information for matches are usually ready by Wednesday before a weekend series. The Media Relations Office is located on the first floor of the ICA Building at Sun Devil Stadium.

With 969 career digs (3.59 average) Jamie Coughlin needs only 31 more to become the 11th player all-time to record over 1,000 digs... Amanda Burbridge has double-digits in kills in each of her 17 matches played in 2000... Burbridge's six service aces vs. IUPUI is the second best mark in the Pac-10 this season... her five solo blocks vs. UCLA are a high for all Pac-10 players... her 1,351 career kills is second best among active conference players (Kristee Porter, 1,605)... Jami Coughlin is ninth on that list with 845 career kills and third with 968 digs... Burbridge is one of only four players in the Pac-10 to record 30 or more kills this year... ASU's four freshman are all graduated from Valley Christian High School in Chandler... ASU is 7-1 in three-game matches... ASU has won the first game in 15 of their 19 matches, outscoring their opponent 261-183 in game one... ASU has outscored their opponent 986-820 overall... Jodi Smith is a two-sport player, also competing for the Track & Field team in the spring.

The Sun Devils picked up four freshman from Chandler's Valley Christian High School in a recruiting class that ranks as one of the best in school history. Cheryl Anglin (S), Courtney Blocher (OH/DS), Natalie Harris (OH/OP) and Kim Mehlhorn (OP) all hail from the volleyball powerhouse that has won seven consecutive 2A Arizona State volleyball championships. Blocher was the Arizona Gatorade State Player of the Year in 1999 and was honored as a honorable mention All-American.

Gatorade really is thirst aid for Arizona State University recruits coming out of high school. For the past four years Patti Snyder-Park and her crew have brought into the program the Gatorade Arizona State Player of the Year. Laura Hibsman (1998), Amanda Burbridge (1997), Jami Coughlin (1998) and Courtney Blocher (1999) have all won the prestigious award as the state's best prep volleyball player.

The ASU volleyball program is rich in tradition with 12 appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils advanced five years in a row in the mid '80s under head coach Debbie Brown, and have made five appearances under current head coach Patti Snyder-Park. The program has an overall 478-325 (.595%). However, in 14 years of competition in the toughest volleyball conference in the nation (Pac-10) ASU has not garnished a league championship.

Middle blocker Julia Leddy (Mesa, Ariz.) has been playing well for ASU thus far in 2000 and leads the team with a .331 hitting percentage, ranking 7th in the Pac-10. Leddy has tallied 222 kills out of a possible 468 attacks. The 6-2 Leddy has also added 60.0 total blocks, which is already 16 more than her 1999 total from her freshman campaign. Leddy set a career high with 18 kills in the Arizona match and duplicated that against Washington State. She has recorded a hitting percentage of over .300 in 12 matches, over .400 eight times and over .500 four times. Her season and career high is .714, both being 11-14 matches this year vs. UW and IUPUI.

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