Volleyball Rivalry Heats Up When Fourth-Ranked Arizona Visits Tempe Saturday

Oct. 31, 2001

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    The Arizona State Volleyball team (7-12, 2-9 Pac-10) will host rival Arizona this weekend in a 7 p.m. match on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Devils will be looking to end a streak of nine losses in their last 10 Pac-10 matches. Arizona (15-3, 1-3 Pac-10) comes into Saturday's rivalry with a seven-match winning streak, including an impressive sweep of third-ranked USC and sixth-ranked UCLA last weekend. Following the Arizona match, ASU will have six Pac-10 matches remaining in the 2001 season. The Sun Devils will travel to Washington State (Nov. 9) and Washington (Nov. 10) before returning home to play Stanford and Cal to complete their 2001 home schedule on 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.

    Arizona State has matched up with its rivals to the South 61 prior times in school history. The Sun Devils are 33-28 vs. the Wildcats (.541) with the first recorded match being a 3-0 ASU victory on Oct. 18, 1975. Sun Devil head coach Patti Snyder-Park has combined to post a 14-11 record in her 13 years at the helm of the ASU program. The 13-year head coach is 7-5 in her career in Tempe, with ASU's last win at the Wells Fargo Arena. ASU's last win in Tempe vs. the Wildcats came Oct. 11, 1996. Arizona has dominated the head-to-head series over the last few years, winning eight of the last nine matches dating back to 1997. ASU earned season splits over the Wildcats in recent years in 1999, 1996 and the last season sweep came in 1995 when current assistant coach Christine Garner was an All-American for the Sun Devils.

    The Wildcats enter the match ranked No. 4 in the nation, moving up three spots after sweeping both USC and UCLA last weekend. Moving up from their previous ranking of No. 7, Arizona is one of the hottest teams in the nation, winning seven straight and eight of its last nine overall. Standing at 15-3 overall and in third place in the Pac-10 with a 10-3 conference mark, the Wildcats are led by 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year Dana Burkholder and reigning Pac-10 and AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week Shannon Torregrosa. Torregrosa is averaging 4.05 kills per game on the season and is coming off an incredible weekend in which she hit .418 with 35 kills in two matches. The Wildcats are coached by David Rubio who recently compiled his 300th career victory.

    Sophomore Kim Mehlhorn (Tempe, Ariz.) has been one of ASU's most consistent players as of late. The 5-11 outside hitter has recorded eight consecutive matches with 10 or more kills and over that stretch is averaging 3.79 kills per game. For the season, she is averaging 3.16 kills per game and 2.74 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 nine double-doubles this year and has bettered her career high from 2000 six different times this year.

    Playing a tough Pac-10 schedule and a pair of ranked opponents during its non-conference slate has been rough on Arizona State so far this year. Having already played seven matches vs. ranked opponents this year, ASU will close out its season by facing ranked opponents in three of its last seven matches. ASU is 0-7 so far against ranked teams, but did knock off preseason No. 24 Loyola Marymount in a 3-1 match on Sept. 8.

    The Sun Devils went 0-2 against the third-ranked USC Women of Troy and the sixth-ranked UCLA Bruins. Dropping both matches in three games, ASU fell to 2-9 in Pac-10 play. Senior Jami Coughlin averaged 3.83 kills and 4.17 digs per game over the two matches, and sophomore Kim Mehlhorn picked up a pair of double-digit kill matches. The Bruins opened the Pac-10 weekend with a 30-26, 30-25, 30-24 win over ASU. The third-ranked Trojans, who were coming off their first Pac-10 defeat the night before to Arizona, were tested by the Devils, but left Tempe with a 30-24, 0-24, 32-30 victory. ASU has now lost 12 straight matches to both of the Southern California schools, dating back to a season sweep of both school in 1995.

    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 last Tuesday, Coughlin moved into seventh place with 1,261 career kills and into third place with 1,376 career digs. Playing in her 100th career match vs. UCLA, Coughlin moved into second in ASU history for career digs passing Terri Cox (1994-97). Now 10th in Pac-10 history with 1,401 digs in her career and 40th in kills in the Pac-10 record books with 1,284, Coughlin has her eyes set on cracking the top five in career kills in the ASU record books. She needs only 12 to reach the sixth spot (Lisa Stuck, 1980-83) and with seven matches remaining in her senior campaign, will have to average just over 15 kills a match to reach the fifth spot on ASU's career kills list (Valentina Vega, 1,392).

    ASU senior outside hitter Jami Coughlin (Glendale) leads the Devils with 3.79 kills per game, a category she is ranked ninth in the Pac-10. She also leads the Devils and the Pac-10 with 3.65 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. Her career kill (1,284) mark is ranked seventh in school history, while her career dig total (1,401) is the most among active Pac-10 players and already second 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 13 of her 19 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. Coughlin 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 Digs:1.	Christy Nore	1,5972.	Jami Coughlin	1,4013.	Terri Cox	1,3824.	Mindy Gowell	1,3655.	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 1,3926. Lisa Stuck 1,2967. Jami Coughlin 1,284

    Sun Devil Player Notes...

    #1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, So., MB, Napa, Calif.) --
    Averaging 2.41 kills per game, playing in 14 matches and 29 games... also averaging 0.48 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 19 matches as a freshman... averaging 1.54 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 0.58 blocks per game to rank third on team... season and career high 17 digs vs. Loyola Marymount... fifth on team with 2.08 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 .365 hitting percentage, which is sixth in the Pac-10... has recorded double-digits in kills in 11 of ASU's 19 matches and has 29 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 0.79 blocks per game average is second on the team... averaging 2.83 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 3.16 kpg (second on team) and 2.74 dpg (third on team) this season... set career high with 19 digs vs. Oregon State (9/22)... has started 18 of ASU's 19 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 239.0 points... has recorded nine double-doubles in 2001... 13 matches with 10 or more kills this year, including a string of eight straight... 10 matches with 10+ digs... ranked eighth in Pac-10 with 3.08 digs per game in Pac-10 matches only... nominated for Academic All-America District 8 team with 3.71 GPA (undeclared)... averaging 3.79 kpg over her last eight matches.

    #8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, So., DS/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
    Has started all 19 matches in 2001... has tallied double-digits in digs in 10 matches this year, including five of her last seven... is averaging 4.00 dpg over her last seven 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 67% (34 of 51) of her kills in the last six matches... had six kills vs. New Mexico (9/7) and added five vs. Washington State (10/13)... averaging 2.94 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 24 games this year... averaging 0.58 kills per game and 1.12 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 11.10 assists per game this year as ASU's starting setter to rank seventh in the Pac-10... improved defense with 2.06 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)... coauthors a column on ASU's website titled Coughlin's Corner and Anglin's Angle... currently ranked fifth among active Pac-10 setters with 2,251 in her career, but is the only underclassman on that list... moved into sixth place in career assists in ASU history last week.

    #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 five total blocks vs. Oregon (10/18) and NAU (10/23)... set a career high with 6.0 total blocks (0-6) vs. USC (10/25)... leads the team with 0.90 blocks per game... ranked eighth with 1.06 blocks per game in Pac-10 only matches.

    #12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Jr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
    Has played in 16 matches and 40 games this year, all as a reserve off the bench... 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 0.43 kills per game and 2.40 assists in 2001.

    #13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Jr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
    Junior defensive specialist who has played in all 72 games this year... second on the team with 23 service aces, including career-high four vs. NAU (10/23)... averaging 0.32 service aces per game... all four of her service aces vs. NAU came in the third game... averaging 2.12 dpg, fourth best on the squad... had career high 16 digs vs. Loyola Marymount (9/8)... has recorded eight 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 16 of ASU's 19 matches... also has four 20+ kill matches this year... is currently the active career leader in the Pac-10 with 1,401 career digs, a mark that is already 10th in Pac-10 history and second in ASU history... also has 1,284 career kills which ranks her seventh in school history, 40th 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 77 of her 101 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 3.65 digs per game... has 13 double-doubles (kills-digs) this year and 55 in her career... leads ASU with 0.38 service aces per game (25), including a career-high matching five vs. Northern Arizona (10/23).

    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.

    The Arizona State University Sun Devil volleyball program finished the 2000 season with a 18-12 record and made their 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. At the conclusion of 28 years of ASU volleyball, the program made great strides towards returning to a national power. The team led the Pac-10 defensively with 18.89 digs per game and Amanda Burbridge finished second in the Pac-10 with 5.55 kills per game. ASU won their first NCAA Tournament game since 1995 when they knocked off Duke 3-1 in Minneapolis, Minn. The host Golden Gophers, ranked 9th in the nation, beat ASU 3-1 the following night to end the Sun Devils season. While ASU lost four seniors, the team returns its four fabulous freshmen from Valley Christian High School, two redshirt freshmen middle blockers, middle blocker Julia Leddy and standout outside hitter Jami Coughlin. Coughlin will be the lone senior on the squad. First year setter Cheryl Anglin broke the school record for assists with 1,452 and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 13.08 per game average. Coughlin racked up the fifth most digs in a season in ASU history with 464 and finished second in the Pac-10 with a 4.00 dpg average. Her overall total of 464 led the conference. The 18 wins in 2000 is the most by a Sun Devil squad since 1995 when the team won 19 matches. ASU has now laced fifth in the Pac-10 the last three years.

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