Volleyball Prepares For No. 4 Stanford, California

Oct. 2, 2001

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THIS WEEK'S ACTION: The Oregon State volleyball team (9-3, 3-1 Pacific-10) looks to extend a three-match winning streak when it heads south to the Bay Area for Pacific-10 matches with No. 4 Stanford (9-1, 3-0) and California (3-5, 0-3) this week. OSU takes on the Cardinal at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 and will play at Cal at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6.

COLLINS NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Laura Collins was named the Pacific-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for September 24-30 after leading the Beavers to their first sweep of the Washington schools since 1993. Collins dished out 100 assists, for an average of 14.29 assists per game, well above her season average of 12.13 per game. She had 60 assists in the win over Washington State, just OSU's second win over the Cougars in the last 16 meetings between the two schools. Her 60 assists in that match marked a new career-high for her in a four-game match and is her second highest assists total for all matches. She had 40 assists in the win over the Huskies. She added eight kills (1.14 kpg) while hitting .273 to go along with 19 digs (2.71 dpg) and three blocks (0.43 bpg) on the week. She had a career-high 12 digs in the win over WSU, picking up her third double-double of the year. This is Collins' first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.

GETTING THE SWEEP: The Beavers defeated Washington, 3-0, and Washington State, 3-1, at home last week for their sweep of the Washington schools in eight years. Laura Collins was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts in the matches (see previous note for more information), while Michele Solomon hit .455 with 23 kills (3.29 kpg) in the two matches. Lori Daedelow led a stellar defensive team with 34 digs (4.86 dpg). In fact, three players averaged four or more digs per game last week, with Nikki Neuburger chipping in 29 (4.14 dpg) and Megan McMillan adding 28 (4.00 dpg).

SOMERA SAYS: 'Anytime you win, it's a boost in confidence. The biggest thing, though, is how we are winning. We've been playing really well in the last 10 points of games and have limited the number of mistakes that we are making on our side of the court. That's giving us more confidence, which is resulting in wins.'

'This past week is behind us, but we're excited to get back in the practice gym to build on the success we've been having. Win or lose, you have to move on to the next match, and that's exactly what we need to do to get ready for two good opponents in Stanford and Cal.'

BEAVERS TAKE OVER AS LEAGUE LEADERS: After averaging a phenomenal 24.57 digs per game last week, the Beavers have taken over the No. 1 ranking for digs among the Pac-10 teams. OSU, which had been ranked second behind Washington State all season, is now averaging a league best 17.90 digs per game, while the Cougars dropped to second place. Two Beavers are ranked among the top 10 individually as well. Gina Schmidt ranks third in the league with 3.35 digs per game (161 total), while Megan McMillan is 10th with 2.88 digs per game (98 total). The Beavers have outdug their opponents in all but one match this year. In fact, the Beavers have four of the top five single-match team totals in the Pac-10 this year, including a season-high 110 against Washington State last week. Eight Beavers have combined for 38 double-figure dig performances in 12 matches this season. Schmidt leads the way with 10, while Nikki Neuburger and Lori Daedelow each have seven double-figure efforts. Three Beavers have had 20+ digs this year, led by McMillan, who has done so twice, with a career-high 25 against Northern Arizona and 24 against WSU last week. K.C. Frederic had 24 against Sacramento State, while Daedelow had a career-high 20 against Arizona State and Schmidt had a season-high 20 against WSU.

A LOOK AT STANFORD: No. 4 Stanford (9-1, 3-0) picked up its only loss of the season last week at the hands of then-No. 2 Long Beach State (now ranked No. 1) in four games but rebounded to beat Bay Area rival California in three games to close out the week. Stanford, which plays at No. 24 Santa Clara on Tuesday, is the top-ranked team in the Pac-10 for blocks. Three players are averaging over one block a game, led by Tara Conrad (43 blocks, 1.43 bpg). Offensively, the duo of 2000 Olympian Logan Tom and freshman Ogonna Nnamani have combined for 293 kills. Tom has 159 (4.86 kpg), while Nnamani has 134 (3.94 kpg).

A LOOK AT CALIFORNIA: The Bears (3-5, 0-3), who will host St. Mary's on Tuesday, are looking to end a four-match losing streak and pick up their first Pac-10 win of the year. Cal is led by Gabrielle Abernathy's 105 kills (3.89 kpg, 9th in the Pac-10), while Camille Leffall ranks eighth in the league with a .359 hitting percentage. Reena Pardiwala leads the team with 13 aces and is fourth in the league with 0.48 aces per game.

SERIES RECORDS: OSU is looking to pick up its first win against the Cardinal, with Stanford winning all 32 meetings between the two schools. The Beavers came close last year, losing a five-game match in Corvallis to end a seven-year spell of not winning a game against Stanford, home or away. The Beavers will now be looking to win their first game at Stanford since 1993. OSU improved its all-time record against Cal to 13-26 after winning both meetings in five games last year.

SCHMIDT AIMING TO CRACK THE TOP FIVE: Gina Schmidt needs just four more kills to move into the top five for career kills at OSU. She enters the week in sixth place with 1166 career kills, three behind Leslie Preiss (1169, 89-92). She could conceivably move into fourth by the week's end, needing 34 kills to overtake Rachel Hochgesang (1199, 93-96). Schmidt is also nearing the 1,000 career digs mark, ranking ninth at OSU with 957 digs. With 43 more digs, she will become the ninth OSU player with 1,000 career digs and the fifth to boast 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills. She leads the Beavers with nine double-doubles in 12 matches this season, although she's had only two in the last five matches after opening the season with seven straight. She got back to her old form against Washington State by hitting .258 with a team-high 19 kills to go along with a season-high 20 digs. For the year, she leads the Beavers with 185 kills and 161 digs, ranking third in the Pac-10 for digs (3.35 dpg). Schmidt has had 10 or more kills in nine matches, including four with 20-plus, 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. She's had 10-plus digs in 10 matches, with a season-high of 20 against WSU last week.

MIDDLES AT THE TOP OF THE PAC: OSU's two middle blockers, Michele Solomon and Katrina Nelson, are ranked among the top five in the Pac-10 for hitting percentage. Solomon leads the Beavers with a .388 percentage (135k-28e-276att) to rank fourth in the Pac-10, while Nelson is hitting .385 (94k-25e-179att) to rank fifth in the league. Solomon, who has upped her career hitting percentage to .265 - which ranks eighth all-time at OSU - is second on the team for kills and has had double-figures in eight matches, while Nelson is fourth on the team for kills and has reached double figures four times. Back-up middle Amanda Eggert has also been having offensive success, hitting .491 with 29 kills. Defensively, Solomon leads the Beavers with 47 blocks (0.98 bpg). Last week, she moved into eighth place for career blocks with 278. Nelson's 27 blocks (0.64 bpg) tie for second on the team.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR DAEDELOW: Lori Daedelow has been impressive in OSU's last three matches, picking up double-doubles in all three of them. She now has six double-doubles on the season, second best on the team. In the last three matches, she had 30 kills (2.50 kpg), but her defense was an even bigger factor in helping the Beavers go 3-0 during that span. She had 54 digs (4.50 dpg) in those matches, with a career-high and team-best 20 against Arizona State. She also led OSU with 16 digs against Washington and added 18 in the win over Washington State. For the season, Daedelow ranks second on the team with 125 digs (2.84 dpg) and is fifth with 91 kills (2.07 kpg).

HANNAFORD'S HEROICS LEAD BEAVERS OVER HUSKIES: Joscelyn Hannaford led the team with 13 kills while hitting .385 in the win over Washington. That marked the third time this season she's led the team in kills, and it was the sixth time she's finished a match with double-figure kills. Hannaford ranks third on the team with 112 kills (2.43 kpg) and she's hitting .270 on the year. She also has 83 digs (1.80 dpg) and 24 blocks (0.52 bpg).

PAPELL SERVES UP SUCCESS: Jessica Papell leads the Beavers with 13 aces (0.30 sapg) after serving two apiece in the wins over Washington and Washington State. She has now had two aces in four matches this season. Papell has also put up solid numbers for digs as well, ranking fourth on the team with 103 (2.34 dpg). She's had 10 or more in three matches.

ROOKIE PROVING IMPRESSIVE OFF THE BENCH: After not playing in the first seven matches of the year, true freshman Allison Lawrence has come in off the bench in four of the last five matches for the Beavers, and she's done some good things during that span. She had her best effort against Washington State last week, turning in collegiate career-highs of five digs and four kills while hitting .571. In her brief collegiate career, she's played in seven games with 11 kills (1.57 kpg), nine digs (1.29 dpg) and a .381 hitting percentage.

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: The Beavers are under the direction of third-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 33-37, 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.

MATCHES RESCHEDULED: After rescheduling OSU's home matches against UCLA and USC for Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20, the Beavers have announced another change in the schedule as a result of the new dates. The Beavers will now play at USC on Thursday, Nov. 15. OSU and USC were originally scheduled to play at USC on Saturday, Nov. 17, and the change now gives the teams two days off instead of one before resuming the series in the state of Oregon. USC will play at Oregon on Monday, Nov. 19.

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