Beavers Host Washington Schools In Pac-10 Volleyball Action

Sept. 25, 2001

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THIS WEEK'S ACTION: The Oregon State volleyball team (7-3, 1-1 Pacific-10) returns home after a trip to Arizona last week. The Beavers will host their Pac-10 neighbors to the north as the Washington schools head into Corvallis. OSU will host Washington (7-3, 1-1) at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27 before taking on Washington State (6-3, 1-1) at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28.

TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS: Admission to volleyball matches is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and youth (HS and under). OSU students are free with a valid ID. Fans who bring their business card to Thursday's match against the Huskies will receive free admission to that match. Members of service organizations (such as Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.) will also receive free admission to the Washington match. Friday's match against WSU is team night, with free admission to teams registering in advance. The Beavers will sign autographs after the match with the Cougars.

SCHMIDT TO BE HONORED: Gina Schmidt will be honored prior to Friday's match against Washington State for her achievements in the classroom and on the court. She was named a first team Verizon Academic All-American, selected by CoSIDA, last season, becoming the first Beaver volleyball player to achieve that honor.

SOMERA SAYS: 'Now that school's started, it's going to be a fun college week, with the football game and our two matches at home. It would be great to have a rowdy crowd out here with the students and community supporting us. After the stillness and quietness in the aftermath of the national events, it'll be nice to have something to celebrate and enjoy.'

'As always, I am anticipating two hard-fought matches. Washington has a new coach, and it looks like they're playing better. They're doing some things differently, and they've been having success early on. Washington State is an old, experienced team, which results in good team chemistry, and that translates into having a crisp offensive system. We'll just keep working to improve on what we do well, serving, passing and digging.'

LAST TIME OUT: The Beavers went 2-1 in their matches last week, opening the week with a 3-0 non-conference win over Portland before heading to Arizona for Pac-10 play. OSU split the matches with the Arizona schools, losing 3-0 to No. 3 Arizona and defeating Arizona State, 3-2. OSU's win at ASU was its first in Tempe since 1997. Katrina Nelson had an outstanding week, leading the Beavers with 36 kills (3.27 kpg), a .508 hitting percentage and 11 blocks (1.00 bpg), all team-bests. Michele Solomon hit .313 wth 30 kills in three matches, while Lori Daedelow led the Beavers with 36 digs (3.27 dpg).

A LOOK AT WASHINGTON: Under the direction of first-year head coach Jim McLaughlin, the Huskies have won six of their last seven matches, with the only loss during that span coming against No. 4 Stanford in four games last week. Washington has been led by Allison Richardson and Lisa Underhill, and last week was no exception. The duo combined for 31 kills in a three-game win over California and 40 kills in the Stanford loss. Underhill hit .842 with 16 kills and no errors in 19 attempts to go along with seven blocks against Cal. She's hitting .411 on the year and leads the Huskies with 52 blocks (1.63 bpg). Ricardson leads the team with 128 kills (4.41 kpg) and 88 digs (3.03 dpg).

A LOOK AT WASHINGTON STATE: Like Washington, Washington State split its matches with the Bay Area schools last week, beating Cal in three games but falling to Stanford in three games. Three-game matches have been commonplace for the Cougars this year, as all but one of their 10 matches have been decided (win or lose) in three games. LaToya Harris and Adrian Hankoff have led the Cougars thus far. Harris has 88 kills (3.03 kpg) and 90 digs (3.10), while Hankoff has 87 kills (3.00 kpg) and 75 digs (2.59 dpg).

SERIES RECORDS: OSU is 20-33 all-time against Washington, with the teams splitting last year's series (the visiting team won both times). Gina Schmidt set an OSU record for kills in a four-game match when she slammed down a career-high 32 at Washington last year, and she chipped in 28 against the Huskies in the loss in Corvallis. The Beavers are 28-34 against Washington State, with the Cougars winning both matches in four games last year. In fact, the Cougars have won 14 of the last 15 meetings with the Beavers. Schmidt led the Beavers with a combined 42 kills in the two matches last year.

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE: The Beavers have outdug their opponents in all but one match this year, including the two of the three matches they lost (Arizona is the only team to outdig OSU in 2001). OSU is averaging 16.76 digs per game, while opposing teams are averaging 14.51 digs per game. OSU's 16.76 dpg average is second best in the Pac-10, by a narrow .14 dpg margin - with WSU leading the league with 16.90 dpg. Gina Schmidt leads the Beavers with 134 digs and is second in the Pac-10 with 3.27 dpg. Eight Beavers have combined for 31 double-figure dig performances in 10 matches this season. Schmidt leads the way with nine, while Nikki Neuburger and Lori Daedelow each have five double-figure efforts. Three Beavers have had 20+ digs this year, led by Megan McMillan, who had a career-high 25 against Northern Arizona. K.C. Frederic had 24 against Sacramento State, while Daedelow had a career-high 20 against Arizona State last week. McMillan's 25-dig performance against NAU ranks first among all players in the Pac-10 this year, while Frederic's 24-dig effort is second in the league. The Beavers also boast the top three team totals in the Pac-10, with 98 against Sac State, 93 against NAU and 83 against ASU.

'KAT'APULTING INTO THE TOP 10: Katrina Nelson had three outstanding performances last week to lift her into the top 10 for hitting percentage among Pac-10 players. In three matches last week, Nelson hit a team-best .508 while leading the Beavers with 36 kills (3.27 kpg). The .508 hitting percentage last week lifted her season hitting percentage up to .434 (78k-19e-136att.), which ranks first on the Beaver squad and fourth in the Pac-10. Nelson tied her career-high with 18 kills against Arizona State last week, hitting .419 in that match. She also led the Beavers with 10 kills (.563 percentage) in the loss at Arizona, and she was errorless in the win over Portland, hitting .667 with eight kills. She also led the Beavers with 11 blocks last week.

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: Gina Schmidt leads the Beavers with eight double-doubles in 10 matches this season. She had seven straight double-doubles to open the season before her streak was snapped against Portland last week with nine kills and 11 digs against the Pilots. She was also held under double-figures in both categories at Arizona last week, but she got back on track with 11 kills and 17 digs at Arizona State to close out the week. She leads the Beavers with 159 kills and 134 digs, ranking second in the Pac-10 for digs (3.27 dpg) and ninth for kills (3.88 kpg). Schmidt has had 20 or more kills in four matches this year, with a season-high 26 against UC Irvine (also the highest single-match total by a Pac-10 player this year). She also had 25 in a match against Northern Arizona, making her the only Pac-10 player to have 25+ kills in two matches this year. Her season high for digs is 19, against San Jose State in the season opener. Schmidt, who earned all-tournament honors at both of OSU's preseason tournaments, has made her way into the top 10 for both career kills and digs in OSU's record books with her strong start this season. She is the ninth OSU player to record 1,000 career kills and now has 1,140 to tie for sixth in the Beaver record books. She needs 30 to pass Leslie Preiss for fifth place. Schmidt also moved up one spot to ninth place for career digs this past weekend and now has 930. With 70 more, she will become the ninth Beaver with 1,000 career digs and the fifth with 1,000 career kills and digs. She needs 174 more digs to move into eighth place.

SETTING A NEW STANDARD: Laura Collins has wasted no time taking over the Beaver offense in her first year as OSU's starting setter. She was named to the all-tournament team at both of OSU's preseason tournaments. Collins has 470 assists on the year and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with 11.75 assists per game. She had a career-high 67 assists in OSU's win over Sacramento State, with that total equalling OSU's 10th best single-match assists total for an individual. That also ties for the highest single-match total by a Pac-10 player this year. Collins also has 71 digs (1.77 dpg), including 11 in two matches for two double-doubles on the year. She has 36 kills (0.90 kpg) and 22 blocks (0.55 bpg) as well. True freshman Monica Meihack has also seen action as a back-up setter this year. In seven games, she has 39 assists (5.57 apg), with a career-high 24 against UC Irvine.

LAWRENCE BREAKS INTO LINEUP: True freshman Allison Lawrence made her collegiate debut last week, playing in all three matches after not seeing action in the first seven matches of the year. She played in five games and finished the week with seven kills, including three against both Arizona and Arizona State. She hit .286 and had four digs as well.

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL: Of the 10 matches OSU has played this season, four have gone the distance. Of those four five-game matches, the Beavers have come out on top in three of them, including last week's win over Arizona State. Each time, it's been a different path. Against ASU, the Beavers and Sun Devils alternated wins, with ASU games one and three and OSU winning game two and four to send the match to a fifth game, which OSU won. Against Sacramento State, OSU won the first two games before the Hornets came back, but the Beavers won in five. Against UC Irvine, the Anteaters won the first two and OSU came from behind to win the next three. In the Northern Arizona match, OSU won the first two games and had a nine-point lead in game three before the Lumberjacks came back and eventually won the match.

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: The Beavers are under the direction of third-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 31-37, arrived at OSU in February 1999 after spending time as an assistant coach at USC since 1991. While at USC, Somera helped the team earn eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. She also helped develop eight USC All-Americans. Somera also played collegiately at USC, and she was a two-time All-Pacific-10 Team selection. She still holds the USC record for career and single-season aces.

NO MAKEUP DATES SET AS OF YET: OSU's matches against UCLA (Sept. 13) and USC (Sept. 14) were postponed because of the events of Sept. 11. It is not yet known when they will be rescheduled.

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