Volleyball Takes To The Road At Loyola Marymount Tournament

Sept. 5, 2001

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    After starting the 2001 season 1-3, the Arizona State Sun Devil volleyball team will be looking to get back on the winning track that has taken the program to consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. ASU will play a trio of matches this weekend at the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic. ASU will take on Indiana, New Mexico and the host LMU Lions on Friday and Saturday at Gersten Pavillion in Los Angeles, Calif. ASU will take on the New Mexico Lobos (2-1) Friday night at 5 p.m., then come back the next day to play the Hoosiers (1-2) at 10 a.m. and Loyola Marymount (2-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

    The Sun Devils didn't get off to the start they had designed, falling to two top-25 teams and dropping another match to Nevada. Desite the slow start, ASU saw great play from middle blocker Julia Leddy, senior outside hitter Jami Coughiln, who were both named to the all-tournament team, and freshman Alicia Akporiaye. The Devils only win of the weekend came against Hofstra in a 3-1 victory. For the Tournament, Coughlin led all players with 75 kills in the four matches and continues to inch up the ASU career record lists in digs and kills. Leddy combined to hit .398 in the four matches, logging 57 kills, including a career-high tying 18 vs. Santa Clara.

    While senior Jami Coughlin and junior Julia Leddy are the extent of the veteran leadership on the 2001 squad, a group of six talented sophomores make up the core of the team. Tabbed as the 'Sensational Sophomores,' setter Cheryl Anglin, middle blockers Jodi Smith and Mandy Stephens, outside hitter Natalie Harris and utility player Kim Mehlhorn all have a valuable year of experience in the Pac-10 and NCAA Tournament under their belt. Anglin set the school record for assists in a season with 1,452 during her rookie campaign, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. Mehlhorn played a valuable utility role and earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. Both, along with outside hitter Natalie Harris and defensive specialist Courtney Blocher, all prepped together at volleyball powerhouse Chandler Valley Christian. In all four of ASU's matches, at least four sophomores and one freshman started each match.

    The Tournament Field:
    The Sun Devils are a combined 18-4 vs. the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic field. ASU is 14-0 vs. New Mexico, 2-4 vs. the LMU Lions and undefeated in two tries vs. Indiana. The Devils fell to Loyola Marymount last year in the Sun Devil Challenge, losing 3-0 to the then #23 ranked Lions. ASU participated in the New Mexico Clubhouse Inn Invitational last year, going 3-0, including a convincing 3-0 defeat of the Lobos. ASU last matched up with Indiana in the NCAA first round in 1988 and won 3-0 by scores of 15-7, 15-11, 16-4.

    The 2001 Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge was a sign of things to come for the ASU volleyball team. The Devils will open the year with ranked teams in four of their first eight matches. Having already played and lost to preseason #22 Santa Clara and preseason #24 South Carolina. ASU will play in the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic this weekend and take on Loyola Marymount who was ranked #24 in the preseason and are currently listed No. 31 by the AVCA. ASU also has two matches each with #5 Arizona, #6 USC, #7 UCLA and #9 Stanford.

    Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her 13th 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 192-156 record as a Sun Devil, which ranks first in ASU history. Last year she became the fifth coach in Pac-10 history to surpass the 100 win mark in league play. Her overall Pac-10 record is 101-112. A graduate of Portland State University, Snyder-Park is assisted by sixth-year assistant coach Scott Swanson and second-year assistant Christine Garner. Snyder-Park is married to husband John and has three kids, daughters Sydney (6) and Sophia Rae (9 months) and son Samuel (4). Snyder-Park is only eight wins short of 200 for her career.

    Senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin has the distinct honor of being only the eighth Sun Devil in the program's illustroius history to record over 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in a career. Her 10 kills in the season finale at Minnesota in 2000 put her over 1,000 in her career. With a stellar opening-weekend performance with 75 kills and 58 digs, Coughlin now has 1,086 kills and 1,196 digs in her career. Her kill mark is ranked ninth in school history, while her 1,196 digs is the most among active Pac-10 players and already the seventh most in ASU history. She needs 401 digs to match the school career record of 1,597 set by Christy Nore (1985-88). Coughlin set a career high with 26 digs in the Duke (12/1/00) match and for the 2000 season recorded 27 matches with at least double-digits in digs. She is off to a fast start again in the dig and kill department in 2001, recording double-doubles in three of her four matches. Her 4.00 digs per game ranked second in the Pac-10 in 2000, just .01 behind the league leader, while her 464 digs were the fifth most in a season in ASU history. Her dig total in 2000 was the most by a Sun Devil since Mindy Gowell's school record of 601 in 1990. Coughlin was solid all year for the Sun Devils and a true 'iron woman' on the court, playing in each of ASU's 116 games. She tallied 17 double-doubles during her junior campaign and had 20 or more kills in three matches. She also had seven matches with 20 or more digs. Coughlin averaged 3.48 kills per game, which was well above her 2.94 average from 1999, and ranked 10th in the Pac-10. The Glendale native also has a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom and was named a All-Pac-10, all-District VIII Academic, and Academic All-American award winner.

    ASU Career Digs		
    1. Christy Nore 1,5972. Mindy Gowell 1,3653. Terri Cox 1,3824. Leanne Schuster 1,2845. Christine Garner 1,2537. Jami Coughlin 1,196

    ASU Career Kills
    1. Christine Garner 1,8712. Tammy Webb 1,6793. Amanda Burbridge 1,5974. Christy Nore 1,5175. Valentina Vega 1,3929. Jami Coughlin 1,086

    Sun Devil Player Notes...

    #1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, So., MB, Napa, Calif.) --
    Has been solid in the middle with a 2.78 kill per game average in ASU's four matches... also averaging 0.56 blocks per game, fourth best on ASU... contributed three service aces... matched her career high in kills with 11 vs. Nevada (8/31)... is competing for starting middle blocker position.

    #2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
    Started three of ASU's four matches last weekend... averaged 2.00 kills per game in her ASU debut... had 12 kills and 12 digs vs. Hofstra (9/1)... season-high four block assists in loss to Santa Clara... leads team with 0.76 blocks per game... also third on team with 0.53 assists per game.

    #4 Natalie Harris (5-11, So., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
    Played in 11 games and is averaging 1.18 kills per game... hampered by shoulder injury that may sideline her for a few weeks... had 10 digs vs. Nevada in first match of 2001.

    #5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Jr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Second on ASU with .398 hitting percentage... recorded double-digits in kills in all four matches... tied career high with 18 kills vs. Santa Clara ... had five total blocks vs. Hofstra... hit .500 with 14 kills vs. Hofstra... named all-tournament at Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge.

    #7 Kim Mehlhorn (5-11, So., OP/OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
    Averaging 2.20 kills per game, sixth best on team... set career high with 14 kills in season opener vs. Nevada... added 14 digs vs. the Wolf Pack... will see time on right and left side as an outside hitter.

    #8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, So., DS/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
    Has started all four matches in 2001... has tallied double-digits in digs in three of ASU's four matches this year... season-high 13 digs vs. Nevada (8/31)... in addition to duties as defensive specialist, may see time at outside hitter with injury to Natalie Harris.

    #9 Crystal Bluth (5-11, Jr., OH, Las Cruces, N.M.) --
    Tranfer from Auburn who has played in three games... averaging 2.33 kills per game and 1.33 digs... also has 0.33 blocks per game to her credit... has added a spark to the ASU lineup when inserted... in addition to providing depth off the bench, may see increased playing time with injury to Harris.

    #10 Cheryl Anglin (5-9, So., S, Queen Creek, Ariz.) --
    School single-season record holder for assists... has averaged 11.56 assists per game this year as ASU's starting setter... improved defense with 2.00 digs per game and is second on the team with 0.28 service aces per game... had 60 assists in season opener vs. Nevada (8/31), her ninth career match logging over 60 assists... had season high three kills vs. South Carolina (9/1).

    #11 Jodi Smith (6-1, So., MB, St. Johns, Ariz.) --
    ASU's only two sport female athlete... also a high jumper on the ASU track & field team... has been battling Mandy Stephens for starting role at middle blocker... has two matches with double-digit kills... career high 12 kills vs. South Carolina... added career high four total blocks vs. SC as well... second on the team with 0.75 blocks per game... averaging 2.58 kpg, fourth best on ASU, and her .421 hitting percentage leads all regular players for ASU.

    #12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Jr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
    Has seen limited action on the court while still learning the offense... has played in three matches and eight games... recorded 12 assists and four kills vs. South Carolina (9/1)... credited with two block assists vs. Hofstra.

    #13 Brittany Ahlstrom (5-7, Jr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Junior defensive specialist who has played in all 18 games for the Sun Devils... fourth on the team with six service aces... averaging 2.28 digs per game, fourth best on the squad... had career high 13 digs vs. Santa Clara.

    #14 Jami Coughlin (6-0, Sr., OH, Glendale, Ariz.) --
    ASU's lone senior and team co-captain... led all players at the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge with 75 kills for a 4.17 per game average... named to the all-tournament team... turned in a 20-20 (kills-digs) vs. Hofstra in leading ASU to its only win of the year thus far... also had 20 kills vs. South Carolina... is currently the active career leader in the Pac-10 with 1,196 career digs... her 1,196 career digs ranks her seventh in ASU history... also has 1,086 career kills which ranks her ninth in ASU history... is only the 8th player in ASU volleyball history with 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills... has recorded double-digits in digs in 65 of her 86 matches played as a Sun Devil, including 13 career matches with 20 or more digs, and owns a career 3.62 dpg average... also has nine career matches with 20 or more kills and three career 20-20 matches... first-team Academic All-American last year with a 4.0 GPA in Education.

    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 http://www.TheSunDevils.com. Historical features, as well as media guides and valuable links are provided on the internet site. For more stats, bio information and to set up interviews, please contact Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations department at 480-965-6594.

    Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin were both named Verizon District VIII Academic All-Americans in 2000 with their outstanding performances in the classroom. Burbridge has a 3.43 GPA in Sociology and graduated last May after four outstanding years in the Maroon and Gold. Coughlin, ASU's lone senior in 2001, continues to maintain 4.0 in Education. Coughlin was named a first-team Academic All-American in the University division, while Burbridge was a third-team pick. Coughlin was selected to the All-Pac-10 Academic first team, while Burbridge and Julia Leddy were second-team picks. Three Sun Devils were named to the 1999 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team: Burbridge (first team), 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). ASU has 24 Academic All-Americans since 1996, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Stanford's 26.

    ASU starting sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin broke the freshman school record for assists in a season vs. Stanford (10/27/00), and continued on to break the overall school record with 1,452 in a season with 39 assists in the season finale in the NCAA Tournament at Minnesota. Anglin passed Regina Stahl who recorded 1,062 in her freshman year of 1984, to set the freshman record. In her first collegiate start, she wasted no time leaving her name in the ASU record books. The Valley Christian product recorded 77 assists vs. Cal Poly (9/1/00) to rank fourth (at the time and now fifth) all-time in single-match history at ASU. Anglin recorded the second-best assist performance in school history with 84 vs. Washington State (10/20/00). The 84 assists broke her own freshman school record which she set vs. Cal Poly with 77. The record was 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 10th 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 (19th). Anglin had nine (9) 60+ assists matches in '00. Her 13.08 assits per game average ranked third in the Pac-10. She was named to the all-Pac-10 freshman team in 2000. So far in 2001, Anglin is averaging 11.56 assists per game.

    ASU Single-Season Assists
    1. Cheryl Anglin (2000) 1,4522. Regina Stahl (1985) 1,4503. Noelle Fridrich (1988) 1,4444. Regina Stahl (1986) 1,4135. Regina Stahl (1987) 1,255

    Junior middle blocker Julia Leddy has picked up right where her sophomore season ended. Finishing last year seventh in the Pac-10 with a .328 hitting percentage, Leddy opened the 2001 campaign with a torrid .398 hitting percentage while earning a spot on the Sun Devil Challenge All-Tournament team. Leddy recorded 57 kills in ASU's four matches, committing only 14 errors. She also added 12 total blocks. For her career, the junior from Mesa has 446 kills and has hit at a combined .325 clip.

    There are several rule changes for women's collegiate volleyball in 2001. Most noticeably will be the scoring format. The old 'side-out' format is no longer in effect with rally scoring to 30 points taking over the first four games. Game five (if need be) is still to 15 points. In all five matches, the winning team must win by two points. Also new is the let serve. If a player serves and the ball hits the net, but still goes over the net, it is still ruled in play.

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