Civil War Volleyball At Gill Coliseum Wednesday

Oct. 8, 2001

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THIS WEEK'S ACTION: The Oregon State volleyball team (10-4, 4-2 Pacific-10) returns home to Gill Coliseum for the Civil War, presented by Northwest Dodge Dealers. The Beavers host Oregon (8-7, 0-6) at 7 p.m, Wednesday, October 10 in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. After that, the Beavers take a break from conference play and will head to Pocatello, Idaho, for a match against Idaho State (6-9, 2-4 Big Sky) at 6 p.m. PDT on Saturday, October 13.

WEAR ORANGE ON WEDNESDAY: Anyone wearing orange to Wednesday's match against Oregon will be admitted free. Otherwise, tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and youth (HS and under). OSU students are free with a valid ID.

MATCH TO BE TELEVISED: The Civil War match will be televised on FOX Sports Net (Northwest only) on a tape-delayed basis. Todd McKim (play-by-play) and Ann Schatz (color) will call the action, with the match being aired at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 12.

BEAVERS OFF TO BEST START PAC-10 START SINCE 1993: OSU is in fourth place in the Pac-10 standings after going 4-2 in league play so far. The last time the Beavers opened Pac-10 play with a 4-2 record was in 1993, when OSU finished seventh in the league with a 7-11 record.Oregon State's 10-4 overall record matches the same overall record the Beavers had at this point last season, when the team finished 16-16 for the first non-losing season since 1996. OSU finished with a 19-12 record in 1996.

LAST WEEK IN THE BAY AREA: The Beavers split their matches in the Bay Area last week, losing to No. 4 Stanford in three games and defeating California in four games. Katrina Nelson had 22 kills (3.14 kpg) and hit a team-best .405 to go along with seven blocks (1.00 bpg), while Gina Schmidt led the Beavers with 27 kills (3.86 kpg) on the weekend. Nikki Neuburger led the team with 23 digs (3.29 dpg), while Michele Solomon had a strong weekend at the net with a team-high 10 blocks (1.43 bpg).


'It's always fun as a player to go up against your rival. There's always additional adrenaline and it's always fun. We are anticipating that it will be a competitive match, but we're not treating it any different than any other match. Oregon just happens to be the next team on our schedule. We're playing well and doing the things we need to do, and as always, we're going to focus on taking care of things on our side of the court.'

'Idaho State gives us a chance to take a break from conference play. I don't know a lot about them yet, but I know they have a new coach who's in his second year. They're trying to rebuild the program and have been improving and are doing some good things.'

BEAVERS REMAIN ATOP RANKINGS FOR DIGS: Oregon State ranks as the No. 1 team in the Pac-10 for digs for the second week in a row. The Beavers are averaging 17.73 digs per game. They ranked 23rd nationally last week, with the newest national rankings available on Wednesday. Two Beavers are ranked among the top 10 individually as well. Gina Schmidt remains third in the league with 3.33 digs per game (183 total), while Lori Daedelow makes her first appearance in the top 10 this week. She's ranked 10th in the league with 2.80 digs per game (140 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 two weeks ago. Eight Beavers have combined for 42 double-figure dig performances in 14 matches this season. Schmidt leads the way with 11, while Nikki Neuburger has had nine double-figure efforts. Three Beavers have had matches with 20+ digs this year, led by Megan McMillan, who has done so twice, with a career-high 25 against Northern Arizona and 24 against WSU. 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.

REGIONAL RANKINGS: The Beavers were ranked eighth in the Oct. 3 NCAA Regional Poll, OSU's first appearance in the poll this year. OSU was ranked in two regional polls last year, checking in at 10th on Oct. 4 and ninth on Oct. 18 before dropping out for the remainder of the season. Polls are released every other Wednesday.

A LOOK AT OREGON: Oregon (8-7, 0-6) looks to end a six-match losing streak when the Ducks head to Corvallis this week. Stephanie Martin is hitting .375 (10th in the Pac-10), leads the Ducks with 61 blocks (1.20 bpg, seventh in the Pac-10) and ranks second on the squad with 159 kills (3.12 kpg). Monique Tobaggi has a team-best 191 kills (3.75 kpg) to go along with 113 digs (2.22 dpg, second on the team).

A LOOK AT IDAHO STATE: The Bengals (6-9) had a two-match winning streak snapped in a four-game loss to Eastern Washington last week. Idaho State has been led by Melanie Tucker and Joy Deatherage thus far. Tucker leads the team with 218 kills (4.11 kpg) and 150 digs (2.83 dpg), while Deatherage has tacked on 189 kills (3.49 kpg) and a team-high 59 blocks (1.11 bpg).

SERIES RECORDS: Oregon holds the edge in the edge in the Civil War series, with OSU going 31-43 all-time against the Ducks. The teams split the series last year, with each winning on the road. The Beavers came from behind in Eugene, losing the first two games before winning in five, while the Ducks swept the Beavers in Corvallis. Gina Schmidt combined for 35 kills in the two matches, while Jessica Papell had a career-high 23 digs in the win at Oregon. The Beavers have won all five of the previous meetings with Idaho State, although the teams haven't played since 1996 in a tournament at Boise State.

SCHMIDT LOOKS TO JOIN ELITE GROUP THIS WEEK: Already one of nine Beavers with 1,000 career kills, Gina Schmidt could become one of just five OSU players with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. She needs 21 digs to reach the 1,000 dig milestone, a mark only eight other Beavers have accomplished (most recently Miya Malauulu in 1997). Only four have reached the 1,000 mark for both kills and digs, and no one has done that since Rachel Hochgesang in 1996. Schmidt cracked the top five for career kills last week after picking up 27 kills in the Bay Area to up her career total to 1,193 -- seven away from taking over the fourth spot from Hochgesang (1,199 - 93-96). Schmidt's 979 career digs rank ninth all-time. She leads the Beavers with 10 double-doubles in 14 matches this season. For the year, she leads the Beavers with 212 kills and 183 digs, ranking third in the Pac-10 for digs (3.33 dpg) and eighth for kills (3.85 kpg). Schmidt has had 10 or more kills in 11 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 also had 10-plus digs in 11 matches, with a season-high of 20 against WSU two weeks ago.

SOLOMON BACK IN THE TOP 10: After ranking among the Pac-10's top 10 blockers as a freshman and sophomore, Michele Solomon has made it back into the league rankings for the first time as a junior after a strong blocking performance in the Bay Area last week. She had 10 blocks (1.43 bpg) in the two matches, lifting her season totals to a team-best 57 blocks. Her 1.04 blocks per game average ranks 10th in the Pac-10 for her first appearance in the league's blocking list this year. This isn't her first appearance on the Pac-10's statistical leaders list this season though, as the junior has been listed as one of the league leaders for hitting percentage for several weeks this year. Solomon's .360 hitting percentage is second best on the team and also ranks ninth in the Pac-10. She's been ranked as high as fourth in the conference this year. Her numbers have improved her career hitting percentage to .262, good for ninth all-time at OSU. Solomon has 147 kills (2.67 kpg) to rank second on the team. She has had 10 or more kills in eight matches this year.

NELSON'S NUMBERS CONTINUE TO RISE: Katrina Nelson had another solid week for the Beavers last week. She had 11 kills against both California and Stanford and has had double figures for kills in six matches this year - including five of the last six matches. She hit .588 in the match against No. 4 Stanford, good not only for a new career high but also for OSU's best individual hitting percentage in a match this year (minimum 15 attempts). After her efforts last week, she upped her season hitting percentage to .389, best on the team and fifth in the Pac-10 for the second week in a row. She ranks fourth on the team for kills with 116 (2.37 kpg). In Pac-10 matches only, she ranks second on the team with 66 kills (3.00 kpg) while hitting .371. Defensively, Nelson has 34 blocks (0.69 bpg) after adding a career-high seven blocks at Cal last week.

SETTING THE STANDARD FOR SUCCESS: Laura Collins has been a key reason for OSU's early success. The setter was named to the all-tournament Teams at both of OSU's preseason tournaments, and she was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts in leading OSU to a sweep over the Washington schools two weeks ago. Collins has 656 assists on the year and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with 12.15 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. She recently jumped into the top 10 for all-time assists at Oregon State, now ranking eighth with 724 career assists. Collins also has 104 digs (1.93 dpg), including a career-high 13 against Cal last week. She has had four double-doubles this year.

THE NEWS ON NEUBURGER: Nikki Neuburger has played stellar defense in OSU last five matches as the only player to register double-figure digs in all five of those matches. During that span, she's had 64 digs, good for an average of 3.37 digs per game - well above her season average of 2.60 digs per game. For the year, she has 143 digs, second on the team. She has had double-figures nine times, with a season-high of 17 against Washington State to tie her career-high. She's also been serving tough lately, with a season-high three aces against Cal last week. She's tied for the team lead with 13 aces on the year (0.24 sapg).

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 six of the last seven matches for the Beavers, and she's made a big impact during that span. She had her best effort against California last week, turning in a career-high eight kills while hitting .400 in the win. She also had three blocks against the Bears for her first collegiate blocks. In her brief collegiate career, she's played in 12 games with 20 kills (1.67 kpg), 11 digs (0.92 dpg) and a .333 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 34-38, 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: OSU's home matches against UCLA and USC have been rescheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20, with both matches set for 7 p.m. In addition, 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.

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