Volleyball Looking To End Four-Match Skid By Hosting Washington Schools

Oct. 10, 2001

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    After playing only one match in the last 13 days, the Arizona State (5-7, 1-4 Pac-10) volleyball team will look to turn things around with seven matches in the next 14 days. The Devils carry a four-match losing streak into this weekend's action against Washington (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Washington State (Saturday, 7 p.m.). ASU will then travel to Oregon and Oregon State (Oct. 18-19) before returning home for its last non-conference match of the year vs. Northern Arizona (Oct. 23). The Devils have 14 matches remaining in the regular season, including the make-up matches vs. Stanford and Cal at the end of the season.

    The Huskies have cooled off as of late with a three-match losing streak coming into Friday's match. Standing at 8-7 overall and 2-5 in Pac-10 play, the Devils will be looking to inch back up the Pac-10 standings with the Friday match. ASU trails in the all-time series 16-18, but have won four straight matches and seven of the last eight dating back to 1997. ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park is 12-12 in her career vs. Washington. The Devils handled the Huskies quiet easily last year, earning a 3-0 win in Seattle and a 3-1 win in Tempe. The Huskies have a new head coach for 2001 in former Kansas State coach Jim McLaughlin. They are led by outside hitter Allison Richardson who is averaging 4.27 kills per game to rank third in the Pac-10.

    Despite dropping three of its last five matches, Washington State has had a solid season, ranking in the top 30 all season long. The Cougars are 8-6 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play heading into weekend play with Arizona and Arizona State. Washington State and Arizona State have had a heated rivalry in the all-time series, with the schools splitting the season series from 1997-99. The Sun Devils swept the Cougs last year (both 3-2 wins) for the first time last year since 1994. ASU leads the all-time series 18-13, while head coach Patti Snyder-Park is 13-12 all-time vs. WSU. WSU's last win in Tempe came in 1997 (3-1). ASU is 9-6 vs. Washington State all-time in Tempe.

    The Sun Devils dropped their fourth straight match with a 3-1 loss to rival Arizona. Winning the first game for the third consecutive match with the Wildcats, ASU fizzled to drop the last three games to fall 31-29, 16-30, 25-30, 22-30 to the No. 7 Wildcats. ASU has now dropped eight of the last nine matches to their rivals from the south, including four straight. Freshman outside hitter Alicia Akporiaye, a native of Tucson, returned home to have her best performance of the year. Logging her second double-double of the year, Akporiaye had 10 kills, 15 digs and six total blocks. Senior Jami Coughlin had 11 kills and 15 digs to lead ASU in both categories.

    The Sun Devils will be looking to avoid their first five-game losing streak since midway through the 1997 season when they dropped six straight Pac-10 matches. ASU lost consecutive matches to Oregon State, Arizona, Washington, Washington State, Stanford and California. The Devils went on to lose nine of its last 10 matches that year and finished with a 13-16 record, 4-14 in Pac-10 play. ASU also endured a pair of four-match losing streaks in 1998.

    With 34 combined digs in the matches vs. USC and UCLA, Arizona State senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin moved into fourth place on the all-time career digs list in ASU history. With 15 more vs. Arizona, Coughlin has recorded 1,303 digs in her 94-match career for a 3.63 dig-per-game average. Coughlin is the current active leader in the Pac-10 and is currently 16th in Pac-10 history. The Glendale, Ariz., native recently moved past former Sun Devils Christine Garner (1,253, 1992-95) and Leanne Schuster (1,284, 1991-94) to crack into the top four. The school record for digs is 1,597 held by Christy Nore (1985-88). With 11 kills vs. Arizona, Coughlin moved into eighth place in career kills in ASU history with 1,190. Coughlin is only the eighth player in school history to log over 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.

    Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her 13th year at the helm of the ASU volleyball program. Snyder-Park has led ASU to six NCAA appearances in the last nine years and has posted a winning record in seven of her last 10 seasons. She has posted a career 196-160 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 102-116. 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 four wins short of 200 for her career.

    Senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin is ASU's leader in kills this season, totaling 179 in ASU's 12 matches for a 3.81 kpg average. She also leads the Devils with 3.51 digs per game and has amassed seven double-doubles so far this year. Her 3.51 dpg average is first in the Pac-10, while she is ranked 10th in kills. Coughlin has the distinct honor of being only the eighth Sun Devil in the program's illustrious history to record over 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in a career. With a stellar start to the 2001 season, Coughlin now has 1,190 kills and 1,303 digs in her career. Her kill mark is ranked eight in school history, while her dig total is the most among active Pac-10 players and already the fourth most in ASU history. She needs 294 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 six of her 11 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 has not missed a game or match so far this year. 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 an 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.	Jami Coughlin	1,3034.	Leanne Schuster	1,2846.	Christine Garner	1,253

    ASU Career Kills:1. Christine Garner 1,8712. Tammy Webb 1,6793. Amanda Burbridge 1,5974. Christy Nore 1,5175. Valentina Vega 1,3928. Jami Coughlin 1,190

    Sun Devil Player Notes...
    #1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, So., MB, Napa, Calif.) --
    Has been solid in the middle with a 2.90 kill per game average in ASU's 11 matches... also averaging 0.55 blocks per game, third best on ASU... contributed three service aces as well... matched her career high in kills with 11 vs. Nevada (8/31)... had 10 kills vs. New Mexico... had five kills and two blocks vs. Oregon (9.21)... eight kills vs. UCLA (9/29)... is competing for starting middle blocker position.

    #2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
    Has started 10 of ASU's 12 matches as a freshman... averaging 1.79 kills per game... had 12 kills and 12 digs vs. Hofstra (9/1)... contributed second double-double of 2001 with 10-kill, 15-dig effort vs. Arizona (10/5)... season-best 6.0 total blocks vs. Arizona as well... season-high four block assists in loss to Santa Clara... averaging 0.60 blocks per game to rank third on team... season and career high 17 digs vs. Loyola Marymount... second on team with 2.51 digs per game.

    #4 Natalie Harris (5-11, So., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
    Has 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... currently sidelined with shoulder injury... tba when expected back.

    #5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Jr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Named tournament MVP of Loyola Marymount Volleyball Challenge... leads ASU hitters with .349 hitting percentage... has recorded double-digits in kills in six of ASU's 12 matches... tied career high with 18 kills vs. Santa Clara ... had 8.0 total blocks vs. Loyola Marymount for season high... hit .500 with 14 kills vs. Hofstra... named all-tournament at Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge... her 0.72 blocks per game average for blocks is second on the team... averaging 2.54 kills per game, fourth best on ASU.

    #7 Kim Mehlhorn (5-11, So., OP/OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
    Has been one of ASU's most potent weapons on the court as of late... averaging 2.68 kills per game and 2.43 digs per game this season... had career-high match with 17 kills and 19 digs vs. Oregon State (9/22)... has started 11 of ASU's 12 matches... moved into starting role at opposite hitter at LMU Volleyball Classic... recorded 15 kills vs. New Mexico (9/7) and 16 vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8), which were then career highs... also had 14 kills in season opener vs. Nevada (8/31)... her dig average (2.43) ranks third on the team... also ranked third with 129.5 points.

    #8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, So., DS/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
    Has started all 12 matches in 2001... has tallied double-digits in digs in five matches this year... season-high 13 digs vs. Nevada (8/31)... in addition to duties as defensive specialist, has seen increased time as a back-row hitter hitter with injury to Natalie Harris... averaging 2.38 digs per game, fourth-best on team.... has 14 service aces to rank second on the team.

    #9 Crystal Bluth (5-11, Jr., OH, Las Cruces, N.M.) --
    Transfer from Auburn who has played in 11 games this year... averaging 1.27 kills per game and 1.18 digs... also has 0.09 blocks per game to her credit... career-high six digs vs. Oregon State (9/22)... three kills vs. Arizona (10/5)... 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 when she had 1,452 in 2000... averaging 10.53 assists per game this year as ASU's starting setter... improved defense with 1.66 digs per game and is fourth on the team with 0.15 service aces per game... had 60 assists in season opener vs. Nevada (8/31), her ninth career match logging over 60 assists... has four matches this year with 50+ assists... had season and career-high six kills vs. Oregon (9/21)... she co-authors a column on ASU's website titled Coughlin's Corner and Anglin's Angle... currently ranked fifth among active Pac-10 setters with 1,947 in her career, but is the only underclassman on that list... will move into an elite class when she surpasses 2,000 career assists this weekend.

    #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... named to all-tournament team at LMU Volleyball Classic... has three matches with double-digit kills, including career-high 13 kills vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... also had 12 kills vs. South Carolina (9/1)... added career high four total blocks vs. South Carolina... leads the team with 0.77 blocks per game... averaging 2.15 kpg, fifth best on ASU, and her .286 hitting percentage is third best behind Julia Leddy and Mandy Stephens... has started eight matches... had 4.0 total blocks vs. both Oregon (9/21) and Oregon State (9/22).

    #12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Jr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
    Has played in ten matches and 27 games... recorded 12 assists and four kills vs. South Carolina (9/1)... credited with two block assists vs. Hofstra... credited with season high 15 assists vs. Indiana... career-high six digs vs. USC (9/28)... averaging 0.56 kills per game and 2.85 assists in 2001.

    #13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Jr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Junior defensive specialist who has played in all 47 games for the Sun Devils... tied for second on the team with 14 service aces, including team high four vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... averaging 1.94 digs per game, fifth best on the squad... had career high 16 digs vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... has recorded 11 of her 14 service aces in the last seven matches... formerly Brittany Ahlstrom.

    #14 Jami Coughlin (6-0, Sr., OH, Glendale, Ariz.) --
    ASU's lone senior and team co-captain... named to the all-tournament team at Sun Devil Challenge... has three 20+ kill matches this year... is currently the active career leader in the Pac-10 with 1,303 career digs... her 1,303 career digs ranks fourth in ASU history, recently moving past current ASU assistant coach Christine Garner and Leanne Schuster to crack the top four... also has 1,190 career kills which ranks her eighth in school history, 54th in Pac-10 history and is third among active Pac-10 players... 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 70 of her 94 matches played as a Sun Devil, including 13 career matches with 20 or more digs, and owns a career 3.63 dpg average... also has 10 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... leads ASU and is 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.81 kills per game... leads the Pac-10 with 3.51 digs per game... has reached double-digits in kills in 10 matches and has seven double-doubles (kills-digs) this year... leads ASU and is eighth in the Pac-10 with a 4.47 points per game average.

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