Maroon And Gold Battle To 2-2 Tie In Annual Volleyball Match

Aug. 18, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- After two weeks of two-a-day practices and grueling workouts, the 2001 Arizona State University volleyball team finally got a chance to test its skills, with the squad facing off in the annual Maroon and Gold Match. The match ended in a 2-2 tie with the Maroon bouncing back from a 0-2 deficit to tie the match in front of 237 fans at the Student Recreation Center on the ASU campus.

Lone senior Jami Coughlin (Glendale, Ariz.) paced all hitters with 18 kills and appears to be stepping up in the absence of departed senior All-American outside hitter Amanda Burbridge. Newcomer outside hitter Crystal Bluth (Las Cruces, N.M.), who played the last two years in the SEC at Auburn University, showed her athleticism and contributed 16 kills for the Maroon squad. Sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek, Ariz.), who set the school record for assists in 2000 with 1,452, looked strong at setting the Sun Devil offense and led all players with 39 assists.

With the new rally scoring system in effect, with all games played to 30 with no side-outs (with the exception to game five which is rally scoring to 15), the Sun Devils showed great defense and outstanding defense in its first true test of the year.

'I was real happy with the performance of our team tonight,' said ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park. 'In our first game-type situation, we did a lot of positive things and really played outstanding defense.'

Added ASU's 13-year head coach, 'rally scoring is definitely in this team's favor. We are quick to the ball, serve very well and are very aggressive off the dig. With two weeks until our season opener, we now have an idea on what we need to really focus on and it gives us an idea of where we are at with our team. There is no doubt in my mind we are going to shock some people with our defense and our tenacity. I just love this team.'

Also adding strong performances was freshman Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson, Ariz.), who had eight kills and sophomore middle blocker Mandy Stephens (Napa, Calif.) who had 16 kills. Junior middle blocker Julia Leddy (Mesa, Ariz.) had 13 kills, while sophomores Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe, Ariz.) and Courtney Blocher (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added nine and eight kills respectively.

The Devils, who are picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 and picked up 16 votes in the preseason USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll, open their season August 31 with the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge. ASU will meet Nevada (1 p.m.) and Santa Clara (5 p.m.) at Wells Fargo Arena on the opening day of the tournament.

Maroon   21  24  30  15Gold     30  30  28  10Kill Leaders: Jami Coughlin (18), Crystal Bluth (16), Mandy Stephens (16).

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