Volleyball Comes From Behind To Deliver Clutch 3-2 Win Over Northern Arizona
Oct. 23, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sophomore Courtney Blocher had a career-high 13 kills and added a match-high 20 digs to lead the Arizona State Sun Devil volleyball team to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Northern Arizona Tuesday night in non-conference action at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Devils, who trailed early 2-0, came out of the intermission on a mission, coming from behind to win the next three matches to improve to 7-10 on the year and have now won two of their last three matches. The 28-30, 25-30, 30-21, 30-19, 15-9 win was ASU's first this year in five games. The Lumberjacks dropped to 12-5 on the season and now trail in the all-time series 38-5. ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park improved to 10-1 in her career vs. NAU.
Blocher, who at only 5-7 has become ASU's most dynamic player by playing on the front row, notched her first career double-double. The product of Chandler's Valley Christian High School added two service aces and a career-high three total blocks to her incredible night.
'We really got fired up at the break and knew we had something to prove,' said Blocher. 'We were not ready to play and were sloppy out there in the first two game. We rallied behind a couple of players and played the way we are capable of in the last three games. We played well at the end, and if you can walk out of here with a win, knowing you didn't play your best, well, then we'll take that.'
In addition to Blocher's solid match, senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin (Glendale) added her 12th double-double of the year with a match-high 20 kills and added 13 digs. Coughlin also tied a career-high with five service aces. With the 13 digs, Coughlin moved into third place in the ASU career record books, passing former Sun Devil Mindy Rich. Coughlin, who is the Pac-10 active leader with 1,376 career digs, is now just six off the No. 2 spot in the ASU annals. Her 20 kills elevated her to seventh place in the ASU record books, also moving past Rich, with 1,261 in her illustrious career at ASU.
Also tallying double-digits in kills for the Devils were junior Julia Leddy (13), sophomore Kim Mehlhorn (14) and sophomore Jodi Smith (12). For Mehlhorn, it was her sixth consecutive match with more than 10 kills and with 14 digs added her eighth double-double of the year. Junior Brittany Arnett added four service aces as the Sun Devils tallied a team total of 13 for a season high. Junior Crystal Bluth saw extended action and provided a spark with a career-high eight digs.
The Lumberjacks were led by the 19 kills of outside hitter Chelsea Robb. Maggie Barrera and middle blocker Xylena Sanders both pitched in 12 kills. Sanders also had a match-best 10.0 total blocks.
After the Lumberjacks took the opening frame 30-28, the Devils faced a must-win second game. Falling behind early 11-5, the Devils forged back into the match to tie the game at 12-12. Behind three service aces from junior defensive specialist Brittany Arnett (Mesa), the Devils were right back in it. Coughlin played an inspirational game, notching five kills and two digs to lead the Devils. NAU proved to be too tough at the net though, gaining four blocks to earn the 30-25 win and move ahead 2-0 in the match. Arnett finished the game with four service aces to tie her career high for an entire match.
Facing defeat, the Devils stormed out of the locker room to play three of their best games of the year. Jumping out to a 7-1 lead, the Devils never turned back en route to the 30-21 win. Mehlhorn led the Devils with five kills and Blocher made five of her 20 digs. Game four saw ASU hit at a scorching .364 clip and played solid defense to gain the 30-19 win to push the match to the decisive game five. Coughlin had seven kills and Blocher sparked ASU with five.
ASU completed the come-from-behind win with a 15-9 domination of game five. Leddy and Mehlhorn both tallied three kills and Coughlin had two of her five service aces to lead the Devils to victory. Blocher put the match away with her 13th kill of the match to record ASU's 15th and deciding point.
The Sun Devils finished their non-conference slate with a 5-3 record and return to Pac-10 action this weekend. ASU will host sixth-ranked UCLA on Thursday at 7 p.m. and third-ranked USC on Friday at 7 p.m. Both matches will be played at Wells Fargo Arena, home of Sun Devil Volleyball.