Volleyball Wins Third Straight With Five-Game Win At Washington

Oct. 3, 2002

SEATTLE, Wash. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar recorded 20 kills and 18 digs as the 24th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils held off the Washington Huskies in a 3-2 victory Thursday night in Pac-10 Volleyball action at Bank of America Arena. Game scores were 30-24, 30-28, 27-30, 25-30, 15-13 in favor of the Sun Devils.

The Sun Devils, ranked in the AVCA/USA Today national poll for the first time since Sept. 3, 1996, improved to 7-2 on the season and 3-1 in Pac-10 play with the five-game victory over the No. 33 Huskies. ASU has now won three straight matches and improved to 4-0 in five-game matches this year. Washington fell to 10-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

ASU jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but much like its 3-2 win over Clemson (9/14), the Devils dropped the next two games before prevailing with a slim 15-13 win in the decisive game five. Washington led ASU in several statistical categories, including hitting percentage (.260-.228), digs (82-81) and total blocks (15.0-12.5). ASU led in kills (82-76) and assists (69-63).

Escobar (Sobradinho DF, Brazil) notched her third straight match with 20 or more kills and her seventh double-double of the season. The junior college transfer and 2001 AVCA/NJCAA Player of the Year is averaging 4.57 kpg and 3.19 dpg in her debut with the Devils.

Sophomore Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson, Ariz.) recorded her second straight double-double of the year and fourth of her career with a career-high 16 kills (.448) and 10 digs.

Junior middle blocker Julia Leddy (Mesa, Ariz.) turned in a solid effort with 14 kills, hitting .324 (14-3-34). For the fourth straight match, junior middle blocker Jodi Smith (St. Johns, Ariz.) recorded 12 kills, hitting .232 for the match. Smith also added five block assists to her solid match. Junior libero Courtney Blocher (Scottsdale, Ariz.) anchored the ASU defense with a season-high 23 digs.

The Sun Devils will take to the court Friday night against the 19th-ranked Washington State Cougars at 7 p.m. in Bohler Gym (Pullman, Wash.). The Cougars (12-2, 3-2 Pac-10) defeated No. 17 Arizona 3-2 Thursday night (28-30, 30-22, 24-30, 30-26, 15-11). ASU is 3-1 against ranked opponents this year.

Statistical Leaders:
Arizona State (7-2, 3-1 Pac-10)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Escobar, Juliana 20-0-1; Akporiaye, Alicia 16-0-2; Leddy, Julia 14-2-6; Smith, Jodi 12-0-5; Harris, Natalie 7-1-1; Habiger, Fernanda 7-0-4; Mehlhorn, Kim 4-0-0; Anglin, Cheryl 1-1-1; Blocher, Courtney 1-0-0; Totals82-4-12.5. (Assists) - Anglin, Cheryl 38; Habiger, Fernanda 20. (Dig leaders) - Blocher, Courtney 23; Escobar, Juliana 18; Harris, Natalie 14; Akporiaye, Alicia 10

Washington (10-4, 2-3 Pac-10)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Tomasevic, Sanja 19-2-1; Benjamin, Paige 17-1-3; McDonald, Alexis 15-0-10; Myhre, Darla 11-0-3; Leck, Kaitlin 8-0-3; Maurer, Gretchen 6-2-8; Ross, Elissa 0-1-0; Totals 76-6-15.0. (Assists) - Maurer, Gretchen 56. (Dig leaders) - Tomasevic, Sanja 25; Lee, Candace 13; Maurer, Gretchen 11; Lawrence, Libba 9; Benjamin, Paige 9 (Attend: 423 Time: 2:20)

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