Sun Devil Volleyball Takes On Northern Arizona Tonight At 7 P.M.
Oct. 23, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP:
The Arizona State Sun Devil volleyball team (6-10, 2-7 Pac-10) close out its 2001 non-conference schedule Tuesday night vs. Northern Arizona University (12-4, 6-3 Big Sky). The Sun Devils are 4-3 in non-conference matches and will be looking to erase a streak of seven losses in their last eight matches. The Devils return to Pac-10 action this Thursday and Friday by hosting nationally ranked USC and UCLA. Having already lost earlier this year to both the No. 3 Women of Troy and the No. 6 Bruins, ASU will be looking to crawl out of eighth place in the Pac-10. The Bruins are currently without their best player, All-American outside hitter Kristee Porter, who has been suspended by the NCAA. UCLA (10-4, 5-3 Pac-10) swept the Sun Devils in Los Angeles (9/29) and carry a 11-match win streak into Thursday's match. The USC Women of Troy are 13-1 overall and sitting atop the Pac-10 standings at 8-0. USC has also won 11 straight over ASU after sweeping the Devils in three games on Sept. 28. After the three matches this week, ASU will host three more home matches, with rival Arizona (Nov. 3), Stanford (Nov. 16) and California (Nov. 17). Five of the Sun Devils last nine matches are against top 10 ranked teams.
MEHLHORN PUTTING UP SOLID NUMBERS:
Sophomore Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe, Ariz.) has been one of ASU's most consistent players thus far in 2001. Logging 10 matches with 10 or more kills, the outside hitter has come on exceptionally strong as of late with five consecutive matches with double-digits in kills. Entering the season with a career high of 11 kills, Mehlhorn has since topped her career high six times this year. She has contributed seven double-doubles, and is ranked ninth in the Pac-10 with a 3.00 dig per game average in conference matches only. Mehlhorn is averaging 4.05 kpg and 3.00 dpg over her last five matches.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA:
The Sun Devils have dominated their rivals to the North, posting an all-time 37-5 record vs. the Lumberjacks. ASU is 24-3 dating back to 1980 and has only one loss in 17 matches in Tempe since 1980. Carrying an eight-match home win streak against the Lumberjacks into Tuesday's match, the Devils will be finishing off their non-conference schedule for the 2001 season. Northern Arizona beat ASU in the last head-to-head match-up, winning 3-2 on Nov. 23, 1999 in Flagstaff. ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park has a career 9-1 record vs. Northern Arizona, while NAU head coach Kelley Silva is 1-3 in her career vs. the Sun Devils.
BLOCHER A SPARKPLUG FOR THE SUN DEVILS:
Since inserting sophomore Courtney Blocher into the front row, the Arizona State volleyball team has come to life and a new energy is present on the floor. Only 5-7, Blocher has proven she can hang with the biggest of hitters at the Pac-10 level. Seeing her first consistent all-around play on the court, Blocher has averaged 4.50 digs per game over her last four matches. Blocher also set a career high with eight kills vs. Oregon State (10/19). In Pac-10 play, Blocher is averaging 3.16 digs a game to rank fourth in the conference. For the season, Blocher is averaging 2.87 digs per game and has contributed 1.0 blocks in each of her last three matches.
RECAPPING THE LAST TIME OUT:
The Sun Devils ended their six-match losing streak with a 3-0 win over the University of Oregon last Thursday at McArthur Court. The match, which was televised on a tape-delay basis, was dominated by ASU in gaining the 30-15, 30-24, 30-16 sweep of the Ducks. It secured a season sweep of Oregon, the 11th time ASU has swept the Ducks in head coach Patti Snyder-Park's 13 years. Arizona State could not continue its winning ways, falling the next night to Oregon State in three straight games. The Beavers continued their solid season with a convincing 30-22, 30-21, 30-27 defeat of the Devils. Oregon State earned its first season sweep of Arizona State since 1996. Junior middle blocker Julia Leddy had a career night vs. Oregon, hitting .789 with 15 kills. Sophomore Kim Mehlhorn continued her solid play, contributing 4.33 kills per game and 2.67 digs per game combined over the two matches. Senior Jami Coughlin averaged 3.33 kills and 3.33 digs per game vs. the Ducks and Beavers, adding her 11th double-double of the season vs. Oregon. Sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin ran the ASU offense with 12.50 assists per game.