ASU Volleyball Hosts Sixth-Ranked UCLA And Third-Ranked USC Thursday And Friday

Oct. 25, 2001

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    The Arizona State Volleyball team (7-10, 2-7) will be looking for the upset this weekend, as nationally ranked opponents UCLA (10-4, 5-3) and USC (14-1, 8-0) invade Wells Fargo Arena for a pair of matches. The Sun Devils will host sixth-ranked UCLA Thursday night at 7 p.m., then turn around Friday and play one of the premier programs in collegiate volleyball, hosting third-ranked USC at 7 p.m. In taking on a pair of nationally ranked programs this week, ASU is in familiar territory. The Devils are 0-5 this year vs. ranked opponents and before the season end, ASU will have played 10 matches vs. ranked foes, including five of their last nine to end the season. After the pair of matches vs. the Southern California schools, ASU will have only three home matches remaining in 2001, taking on rival Arizona (Nov. 3, 7 p.m.) and Stanford and Cal (Nov. 16-17). The Nov. 17 match vs. Cal (7:30 p.m.) will be part of a rare Arizona State Athletics triple-header, with the ASU men's basketball team taking on Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m. and the Sun Devil women's hoops team hosting St. Peter's at 2:30 p.m.

    Sophomore Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe, Ariz.) has been one of ASU's most consistent players as of late. The 5-11 outside hitter has recorded six consecutive matches with 10 or more kills and over that stretch is averaging 3.78 kills per game. For the season, she is averaging 3.10 kills per game and 2.67 digs per game. She is second on the squad in kills per game and third with her dig average. One of the six sensational sophomores, the product of Chandler's Valley Christian High School has logged eight double-doubles this year and has bettered her career high from 2000 six different times this year.

    The Sun Devils have had their share of problems with the elite UCLA Bruin volleyball program, winning only five of the combined 51 matches in the all-time series. ASU has dropped the last 11 matches to the Bruins dating back to a season sweep in 1995 when current assistant coach Christine Garner helped lead the Devils to its last appearance in the Sweet 16. ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park is 2-23 in her career vs. the ladies from Westwood, going 1-11 at home and 1-12 on the road. UCLA is one of the premier, if not premier, programs in NCAA history, making 21 appearances in the NCAA Final Four and taking home six NCAA titles.

    The USC Women of Troy come into Tempe carrying a 13-match winning streak and have only lost eight games all season long. USC has won 11 consecutive over the Sun Devils, also dating back to the Garner-engineered season sweep back in 1995. USC defeated ASU earlier this year 3-0 (30-14, 30-16, 31-29) on Sept. 28. Ranked No. 3 in the nation and the preseason pick to win the Pac-10, USC is a perfect 8-0 in the conference this year. USC is led by first-year head coach Mick Haley, who coached the USA National Team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The Trojans have two local connections on their roster, including freshman middle blocker Emily Adams (Xavier Prep) and outside hitter Alicia Robinson (Central). Adams is the daughter of former Phoenix Sun Alvan Adams.

    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 become ASU's most dynamic player by playing in the front row. Seeing her first consistent all-around play on the court, Blocher has averaged 4.37 digs per game over her last five matches. Blocher is averaging 0.70 kills per game on the season, with 29 of her entire season total of 46 (63%) coming in the last four matches. Blocher is averaging 2.95 digs per game (2nd on team) and fourth in the Pac-10 with 3.16 digs per game in Pac-10 play. Blocher, who is one of the four who came from Chandler's Valley Christian High School and was the 1999 Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona, is coming off a career night vs. Northern Arizona. Blocher tallied a career-high 13 kills and picked up her third 20+ dig match of the year.

    Dropping the first two games and down 0-2 to Northern Arizona was the last thing ASU wanted to do in their Tuesday match with the Lumberjacks. But, after a heated and inspirational talk from head coach Patti Snyder-Park at the intermission was just what ASU needed. Facing defeat with one loss, ASU stormed back to capture the next three games and earn the 28-30, 25-30, 30-21, 30-19, 15-9 victory. Sophomore Courtney Blocher had an outstanding matching, logging her first career double-double with a career-high 13 kills and 20 digs. Senior Jami Coughlin had 20 kills and 13 digs to help lead the Devils to victory. ASU is now 38-5 all-time vs. NAU.

    Senior Jami Coughlin is on the move again, as her name continues to jump up the charts in the ASU career record book. With 20 kills and 13 digs vs. Northern Arizona on Tuesday, Coughlin moved into seventh place with 1,261 career kills and into third place with 1,376 career digs. She now needs only seven more digs to move into second place in the ASU record books, passing Terri Cox (1994-97). Coughlin will be playing in her 100th career match Thursday night vs. UCLA.

    Senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin is ASU's leader in kills this season, totaling 240 in ASU's 17 matches for a 3.79 kpg average. She also leads the Devils and the Pac-10 with 3.61 digs per game. 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 strong start to the 2001 season, Coughlin now has 1,261 kills and 1,376 digs in 99 career matches. Her kill mark is ranked seventh in school history, while her dig total is the most among active Pac-10 players and already the third most in ASU history. In 2000, Coughlin set a career high with 26 digs in the Duke (12/1/00) match and for the season recorded 27 matches with at least double-digits in digs. She is quickly matching her dig and kill totals in 2001, recording double-doubles in 12 of her 17 matches, tallying four matches this year and 11 in her career with 20 or more kills and 14 matches with 10 or more digs. She finished second in the Pac-10 last year with 4.00 digs per game, just .01 behind the league leader, and leads the conference this year with 3.64 digs per game. Her 464 digs last year were the fifth most in single-season ASU history and 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. The Glendale native also has a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom (Special Education) and was named an All-Pac-10, all-District VIII Academic, and Academic All-American award winner.

    ASU Career Digs1.	Christy Nore	1,5972.	Terri Cox	1,3823.	Jami Coughlin	1,3764.	Mindy Gowell	1,3655.	Leanne Schuster	1,2846.	Christine Garner	1,253

    ASU Career Kills1. Christine Garner 1,8712. Tammy Webb 1,6793. Amanda Burbridge 1,5974. Christy Nore 1,5175. Valentina Vega 1,3926. Lisa Stuck 1,2967. Jami Coughlin 1,261

    Sun Devil Player Notes...

    #1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, So., MB, Napa, Calif.) --
    Averaging 2.46 kills per game, playing in 13 matches and 28 games... also averaging 0.50 blocks per game, fourth 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)... has four career 10+ kill matches.

    #2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
    Has started 12 of ASU's 17 matches as a freshman... averaging 1.57 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 0.63 blocks per game to rank third on team... season and career high 17 digs vs. Loyola Marymount... fourth on team with 2.28 digs per game.

    #4 Natalie Harris (5-11, So., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
    Played in 11 games and is averaging 1.18 kills per game... had 10 digs vs. Nevada in first match of 2001... currently sidelined with shoulder injury... tba when expected back... considering redshirt season.

    #5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Jr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Had career-high 23 kills vs. Washington (10/12) ... added career-high seven digs vs. Washington State (10/13)... career-high .789 attack percentage with 15 kills vs. Oregon (10/18)... named tournament MVP of Loyola Marymount Volleyball Challenge... leads ASU hitters with .372 hitting percentage, fourth in the Pac-10... has recorded double-digits in kills in 10 of ASU's 17 matches and has 28 in her career... 18 kills vs. Santa Clara (8/31) ... 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 0.80 blocks per game average is second on the team... averaging 2.85 kills per game, third 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... has broken her career high in kills five times this season... most recently with 19 kills vs. Washington State (10/13)... averaging 3.10 kpg (second on team) and 2.67 dpg (third on team) this season... set career high with 19 digs vs. Oregon State (9/22)... has started 16 of ASU's 17 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)... ranked third on team with 215. points... has recorded eight double-doubles in 2001... 11 matches with 10 or more kills this year, including a string of six straight... nine matches with 10+ digs... nominated for Academic All-America District 8 team with 3.17 GPA (undeclared)... averaging 3.78 kpg over her last six matches.

    #8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, So., DS/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
    Has started all 17 matches in 2001... has tallied double-digits in digs in 10 matches this year, five consecutive matches... is averaging 4.37 dpg over her last five matches, including three 20+ dig matches... moved into a full-time role and will play the front row as an outside hitter... set career high with 21 digs vs. Washington (10/12).... set a career-high with 13 kills vs. Northern Arizona (10/23)... has accumulated 63% (29 of 46) of her kills in the last four matches... had six kills vs. New Mexico (9/7) and added five vs. Washington State (10/13)... averaging 2.95 digs per game, second-best on team.... has 19 service aces to rank third on the team... one of ASU's four sophomores from Chandler's Valley Christian High School... 1999 Arizona Gatorade State Player of the Year.

    #9 Crystal Bluth (5-11, Jr., OH, Las Cruces, N.M.) --
    Transfer from Auburn who has played in 19 games this year... averaging 0.74 kills per game and 1.32 digs... tallied an ASU career-high eight digs vs. Northern Arizona (10/23)... three kills vs. Arizona (10/5)... has added a spark to the ASU lineup when inserted... has a 3.30 GPA in Communications.

    #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 11.08 assists per game this year as ASU's starting setter to rank seventh in the Pac-10... improved defense with 1.97 dpg, including four matches with 10+ digs... picked up third double-double of the year with 48 assists and 18 digs vs. NAU (10/23)... season-high 61 assists vs. Washington, her 11th career match with 60+ assists... had 60 assists in season opener vs. Nevada (8/31)... has six matches this year with 50+ assists... had season and career-high six kills vs. Oregon (9/21)... 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 2,183 in her career, but is the only underclassman on that list.

    #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 four matches with double-digits in kills, including career-high 13 vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... also had 12 kills vs. South Carolina (9/1) and Northern Arizona (10/23)... added career high five total blocks vs. Oregon (10/18) and NAU (10/23)... leads the team with 0.84 blocks per game... averaging 2.11 kpg, fifth best on ASU... has 47.0 total blocks on the season.

    #12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Jr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
    Has played in 14 matches and 35 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 0.46 kills per game and 2.49 assists in 2001.

    #13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Jr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Junior defensive specialist who has played in all 66 games this year... second on the team with 22 service aces, including career-high four vs. NAU (10/23)... averaging 0.33 service aces per game... all four of her service aces vs. NAU came in the third game... averaging 2.09 dpg, fifth best on the squad... had career high 16 digs vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... has recorded seven matches with 10+ digs... 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 recorded double-digits in kills in 14 of ASU's 17 matches... also has four 20+ kill matches this year... is currently the active career leader in the Pac-10 with 1,376 career digs, a mark that is already 11th in Pac-10 history... her 1,376 career digs ranks third in ASU history... also has 1,261 career kills which ranks her seventh in school history, 44th 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 76 of her 99 matches played as a Sun Devil, including 15 career matches with 20 or more digs... also has 11 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 8th in the Pac-10 with 3.79 kills per game... leads the Pac-10 with 3.61 digs per game... has 12 double-doubles (kills-digs) this year and 54 in her career... leads ASU with 0.38 service aces per game (25), including a career-high matching five vs. Northern Arizona (10/23).

    Catch all the latest news, statistics, bios, feature stories and match results on the Arizona State volleyball team on the official Sun Devil Athletics website at Historical features, as well as media guides and valuable links are provided on the internet site. For more stats, bio information and to set up interviews, please contact Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations department at 480-965-6594.

    Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin were both named Verizon District VIII Academic All-Americans in 2000 with their outstanding performances in the classroom. Burbridge has a 3.43 GPA in Sociology and graduated last May after four outstanding years in the Maroon and Gold. Coughlin, ASU's lone senior in 2001, continues to maintain 4.0 in Education. Coughlin was named a first-team Academic All-American in the University division, while Burbridge was a third-team pick. Coughlin was selected to the All-Pac-10 Academic first team, while Burbridge and Julia Leddy were second-team picks. Three Sun Devils were named to the 1999 Pacific-10 All-Academic Team: Burbridge (first team), Coughlin (first team) and Laura Hibsman second team). Two Arizona State student-athletes were selected to the 1999 GTE Academic District VIII All-Academic Team as well. Burbridge and Coughlin were both second team picks. They were two of only twelve athletes selected to the first and second teams (out of 49 total nominations). ASU has 24 Academic All-Americans since 1996, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Stanford's 26. Coughlin, Leddy, Kim Mehlhorn and Cheryl Anglin have all been nominated for the District VIII Academic All-America team.

    Starting sophomore setter Cheryl Anglin is averaging 11.08 assists per game in 2001.She has recorded six matches with more than 50 assists and two 60-assist matches. She has been solid as of late running the Sun Devil offense with ease, posting four of her last five matches with 40 or more assists. Anglin broke the freshman school record for assists in a season vs. Stanford (10/27/00), and continued on to break the overall school record with 1,452 in a season with 39 assists in the season finale in the NCAA Tournament at Minnesota. Anglin passed Regina Stahl who recorded 1,062 in her freshman year of 1984, to set the freshman record. In her first collegiate start, she wasted no time leaving her name in the ASU record books. The Valley Christian product recorded 77 assists vs. Cal Poly (9/1/00) to rank fourth (at the time and now fifth) all-time in single-match history at ASU. Anglin recorded the second-best assist performance in school history with 84 vs. Washington State (10/20/00). The 84 assists broke her own freshman school record which she set vs. Cal Poly with 77. The record was previously set by Tracy Heflin (74) in 1995. The school record for assists in a match is 90 set by Regina Stahl in 1987. She was named to the all-Pac-10 freshman team in 2000. Anglin is currently ranked fifth among active Pac-10 setters with 2,183 career assists, but is the highest ranked player that is not a senior.

    This season's change to rally scoring has also introduced a new category of stats. Now every kill, block and ace will not only earn a team a point, but the responsible player gets a point as well (just as a basketball player contributes 20 points in a game). The formula is as follows: points = kills + service aces + solo blocks + 1/2 block assists. For example, Jami Coughlin leads the team with 292.0 points this season (she has accumulated 250 kills, 25 aces, seven (7) block solos and 20 block assists). She also leads the team with 4.42 points per game.

    The NCAA and NAGWS have adopted the rally scoring format for the 2001 season. Matches will be played with rally scoring in a best three-out of-five games. The winner will be the first team to 30 points in games one through four and 15 points in game five. All games must still be won by at least two points. Other rules changes that will affect the match include: the let serve (serves that hit the net and fall in bounds are in play), one toss per serve in eight seconds with no reserves, no team serving between games and colored balls may be used but at least one-third of it must be white or light in color. Unlike the men, the women's game will not adopt the inclusion of the libero position. Women's college teams will continue to have 18 substitutions each per game.

    Gatorade really is thirst aid for Arizona State University recruits coming out of high school. For the past four out of five years Snyder-Park and her crew have brought into the program the Gatorade Arizona State Player of the Year. Laura Hibsman (1995), Amanda Burbridge (1997), Jami Coughlin (1998) and Courtney Blocher (1999) have all won the prestigious award as the state's best prep volleyball player.

    The ASU volleyball program is rich in tradition with 12 appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils advanced five years in a row in the mid '80s under head coach Debbie Brown, and have made five appearances under current head coach Patti Snyder-Park. The program has an overall 491-340 (.591%). However, in 14 years of competition in the toughest volleyball conference in the nation (Pac-10) ASU has not garnished a league championship.

    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 198-163 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 103-119. 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 now just two wins short of 200 for her career. Snyder-Park is 2-23 vs. UCLA (one win each at home and on the road in 1995) and 6-19 vs. USC in her 13-year head coaching career.

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