No. 22 Volleyball Takes On No. 4 Stanford And California
Oct. 8, 2002
What's On Tap:
The Sun Devils (7-3, 3-2 Pac-10) return home this weekend for a pair of matches against conference rivals Stanford (Thursday; 7 p.m.) and California (Friday; 7 p.m.). ASU is coming off a split on the road last weekend against Washington (3-2 win) and then No. 19 Washington State (3-0) loss. The Devils will have only four home matches the rest of the year after this weekend. After the home matches vs. Stanford and Cal, ASU will take to the road for a three-game trip that includes two matches in Oregon (Oregon and Oregon State) and a trip to face rival Arizona (Oct. 25) in Tucson. ASU currently owns a 2-1 record at home and a 5-2 mark on the road.
Sun Devils Remain in Top 25:
The Arizona State Volleyball team earned a No. 24 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA national poll last week and remained in the poll with a No. 22 ranking this week. With a 3-2 record against ranked opponents, beating No. 13 Pacific (3-2; 9/7), No. 11 UCLA (3-1; 9/21) and most recently No. 12 Arizona (3-0; 9/27), ASU has earned a national ranking for the first time since Sept. 3, 1996 when they were No. 23. The last time ASU finished a season ranked in the poll was 1995 when they were No. 11 and made an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. ASU Volleyball, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year (1973-2002), has now been ranked 126 times in school history.
Lights, Camera, Action:
Thursday's match against fourth-ranked Stanford will be televised on a tape-delayed basis as the Fox Sports Net/Pac-10 Volleyball Match of the Week. Jim Watson and Angie Simpson will handle the play-by-play call from courtside at Wells Fargo Arena. The game will replay Saturday morning on various Fox Sports Net outlets (check local listings). ASU was 1-0 on TV last year, defeating Oregon 3-0 (10/18/01) at McArthur Court. ASU will appear on TV two more times this year on local AZ TV (Cox Channel 13) against Washington (11/2) and Oregon (11/16). George Allen and Doug Gerlach will handle the play-by-play duties for AZ TV.
Recapping Last Week:
The Sun Devils earned a split on the road last weekend at Washington and Washington State. The Devils improved to 4-0 in five game matches with a 3-2 win over Washington (30-24, 30-28, 27-30, 25-30, 15-13) to open the road trip. Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar led the Devils with 20 kills and a season-high 18 digs. ASU then traveled across the state to face a hot WSU Cougar team at hostile Bohler Gym. The Cougs dominated the match from the beginning, handing ASU its worst loss of the year (17-30, 19-30, 23-30).
Anglin Needs 21 Assists To Move Into Second Place:
Junior setter Cheryl Anglin needs 21 assists to gain sole possession of second place in the ASU career record books. With 2,936 in 66 career matches (11.89 per game average), Anglin will move past former Sun Devil Jennifer Helfrich, who dished out 2,956 assists as a four-year setter from 1989-92. Anglin already holds the single-season school record and freshman record when she had 1,452 in 2000.
Escobar Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Arizona State outside hitter Juliana Escobar was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 23-Sept. 29. Escobar recorded 20 kills (6.67 kpg) and 16 digs (5.33 dpg); both match highs in ASU's 3-0 win over rival Arizona. She also led the Sun Devils with three service aces. On the season, Escobar is averaging 4.45 kills per game, 3.17 digs per game and 0.70 aces per game. She has recorded seven double-doubles (kills/digs) this year (out of ASU's 10 matches), all of which have been 20+ kill matches.
Website | Weekly Release | Season Stats
The defending national champion Stanford Cardinal enter Thursday's match with a 13-2 record and sit in second place in the Pac-10 with a 4-1 league mark. Picked to win the Pac-10 in the preseason poll and the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the country, Stanford's only losses this year have come against No. 1 USC (3-2 loss last Friday) and No. 3 Florida. They are currently ranked No. 4 in the current AVCA/USA Today top 25 poll. The Cardinal are led by senior outside hitter Logan Tom (4.57 kpg, 2.68 dpg, 0.93 bpg). Tom was not with the team for a stretch of two weeks when she was competing for Team USA in the World Volleyball Championships. Sophomore Ogonna Nnamani, he AVCA Freshman of the Year in 2001, is averaging 3.98 kpg (6th in Pac-10) and 0.89 bpg. Stanford leads the all-time series against Arizona State 39-4, including a sweep of ASU last year. The Cardinal have won 14 of the last 15 matches dating back to 1994, with ASU's last victory coming Sept. 30, 2000 in Tempe
Website | Weekly Release | Season Stats
The Golden Bears travel to Tempe with an overall 11-3 record and a 2-3 mark in Pac-10 play. Cal started the season on a tear with nine straight wins, all coming in three-game sweeps. Since, the Bears have gone 2-3 in their last five matches, with all three losses coming against ranked opponents. They are coming off a weekend in which they were swept by UCLA and USC, but, are one of only two teams this year to take No. 1 USC to five games. Sophomore outside hitter Mia Jerkov leads the Golden Bears with a Pac-10 best 5.73 kpg average and ranks seventh with 3.25 dpg. Jerkov had 53 kills in the two matches last week. The Devils swept the Bears last year with a 3-1 win at home (11/17) and a 3-2 win on the road (11/25) to conclude the 2001 season. ASU leads the all-time series with the Bears 26-10, including a 14-2 advantage since 1994.
Snyder-Park Has Ties To California:
Arizona State head coach Patti Snyder-Park has several ties to the Bay Area. Coaching in her 14th and final season at ASU, Snyder-Park got her coaching start at California where she was the head assistant coach from 1984-88. Snyder-Park is a native of Palo Alto, growing up in the shadows of Stanford University with 10 brothers and sisters.
ASU Wins #500:
The three-game sweep of then 12th-ranked Arizona not only ended a five-match losing streak to the Wildcats, but also earned a milestone No. 500 all-time victory for the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Dating back to the perfect 21-0 season in the inaugural 1973 season, ASU is 501-349 (.589).
Aces Are Wild:
Led by the 15 service aces from junior Juliana Escobar, ASU recorded 34 service aces in the season-opening Carolina Classic. ASU has since added to that impressive number with 64 so far this season. The Devils are ranked sixth in the Pac-10 with 1.60 aces per game and junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar is second in the conference and in the top 15 in NCAA with 0.70 aces per game. ASU's 64 service aces in 10 matches this season are 50% of the total number of aces the 2001 when the Sun Devils recorded 128. Escobar's 28 already equals last year's team leader (Jami Coughlin, 28). Her six aces against Creighton (9/6) rank tied for seventh most in ASU single-match history.
The Barton County CC/Brazilian Connection:
With the addition of 2001 AVCA Junior College Player of the Year Juliana Escobar, the Sun Devils now have two players who are native to Brazil. Senior setter Fernanda Habiger and Escobar both came from Barton County CC in Kansas. Escobar, who averaged 6.17 kills per game in her junior college career, is from Sobradinho DF, Brazil, while Habiger is from Cruzeira, Brazil. Escobar is leading the Sun Devils and fourth in the Pac-10 with 4.45 kpg, eighth in the league with 3.17 dpg and second with 0.70 aces per game. Habiger is coming off consecutive solid weekends in which she set a career-high with four blocks vs. UCLA and had seven kills vs. Washington (10/3).
The Arizona Victory:
The Sun Devils swept the rival Arizona Wildcats 3-0 (33-31, 30-26, 42-40) on Sept. 27 for their third win against a ranked opponent this year. The victory snapped an overall five-match losing streak to the Wildcats and was ASU's first win at home against UA since 1996. The last time ASU swept Arizona was Sept. 30, 1994. Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar had 20 kills and 16 digs in the match to earn Pac-10 POW honors.
Snyder-Park's Swan Song:
ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park is in her 14th and final season as the head coach for the Sun Devils. Arriving in Tempe after serving as an assistant coach at Cal in 1989, Snyder-Park has recorded a career 208-172 (.547) record in her 14 seasons at the helm of the program. She has a career 15-12 record against the University of Arizona with one match remaining.
30 Years of Sun Devil Volleyball:
The Sun Devil Volleyball program continues its 30th year of competition this weekend by hosting rival Arizona at Wells Fargo Arena. The program has combined for an all-time 501-348 (.589%) record dating back to the first year in 1973. That 1973 year, also provided the best record in school history, with the Sun Devils going 21-0 under the guidance of head coach Mary Littlewood. Four head coaches have guided the program to 16 appearances in postseason play, including a string of four straight regional appearances from 1985-88 and 1992-95. The program has finished in the AVCA Top 25 rankings nine times and has had five players earn AVCA All-America status. Since beginning play in the Pac-10 in 1986, ASU has had 14 Pac-10 Player of the Week awards.
2002 Sun Devil Player Notes...
#1 Mandy Stephens (6-3, Jr., MB/OP, Napa, Calif.) --
Has seen action in four matches this year, averaging 1.50 kills per game... had six kills in victory over Creighton (9/7), hitting .273 in that match... inserted into lineup for an added block. Career Notes: Averaged 2.51 kills per game while playing in 39 games and 18 matches in 2001... has a career 2.20 kpg average in 32 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#2 Alicia Akporiaye (6-2, Fr., OH, Tucson, Ariz.) --
Has started all 10 matches this year at opposite hitter... averaging 2.00 kills and 2.13 digs per game this year... second on the team with 0.26 service aces per game... recorded career-high 16 kills and added 10 digs for fourth career double-double in win over Washington (10/3)... notched double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs vs. UCLA (9/21)... the 17 digs matched her career high... matched her previous career high in kills with 13 vs. Clemson (9/14)... recorded nine kills in season opener vs. South Carolina (9/6). Career Notes: Named honorable mention freshman All-Pac-10 in 2001... ranked sixth on the team in 2001 by averaging 1.64 kills per game and third with 0.65 blocks per game... averaging 1.76 kpg and 2.03 dpg in her 34 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#3 Juliana Escobar (5-11, Jr., OH, Sobradinhio DF, Brazil) --
Has started all 10 matches at outside hitter... has recorded a double-double (kills/digs) in seven of ASU's 10 matches this year... also has 20 or more kills in those seven matches... leads the team and is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 with 4.45 kpg average... eighth in the league with 3.17 digs per game... leads the team in kills, digs and service aces... second in the Pac-10 with 0.70 service aces per game, already matching the team leader (Jami Coughlin) from last year with 28... had 20 kills and 16 digs to help lead ASU to 3-0 win over Arizona (9/27)... set career high with 18 digs in win over Washington (10/3)... became ASU's 14th player to ever earn Pac-10 Player of the Week (9/30) by recording 20 kills and 16 digs vs. Arizona (9/27)... had 23 kills and 13 digs in win over #11 UCLA (9/21)... had 21 kills and 18 digs in her first match as a Sun Devil (South Carolina; 9/6)... her 25 kills vs. No. 13 Pacific are the most by a Sun Devil since the NCAA adopted the new rally scoring system last year... had 15 service aces in three matches at Carolina Classic, including six vs. Creighton (9/7)... the six aces are tied for the seventh most in ASU single-match history... named to the all-tournament team at the Carolina Classic and Red Raider Classic. Career Notes: Came to ASU from Barton County CC (Great Bend, Kan.) where she was the 2001 AVCA/NJCAA Player of the Year... averaged 6.17 kpg, 1.11 service aces per game and 2.29 dpg over her two years at the junior college level... played with Sun Devil teammate Fernanda Habiger at Barton County CC.
#4 Natalie Harris (5-11, RS-So., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
Has seen action in all 10 matches this year, including starting the last three matches... averaging 1.62 kpg and 1.90 dpg... recorded season-high nine kills in victory over Creighton (9/7) and also had nine in loss to Washington State (10/4)... notched seventh career 10+ dig match vs. Arizona (9/27)... best match this year was a nine-kill, nine-dig effort off the bench vs. UCLA (9/21). Career Notes: Coming off shoulder surgery and a redshirt season in 2001... averaging 1.29 kpg and 1.76 dpg in 38 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#5 Julia Leddy (6-2, Sr., MB, Mesa, Ariz.) --
Has started all 10 matches this year at middle blocker... named tournament MVP at Red Raider Classic after averaging 2.90 kills in the two matches... second on the team with 2.90 kpg this year and leads ASU with 0.80 blocks per game... leads the team and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage at .359... had season-high six blocks vs. UCLA (9/21) and Washington (10/3)... also contributed match-high five blocks vs. Arizona (9/27)... season-high 18 kills in five-game win over Clemson (9/14)... had 14 kills in back-to-back matches vs. South Carolina and #13 Pacific... named to all-tournament team at Carolina Classic. Career Notes: Ranked third on the team in 2001 by averaging 2.84 kills per game and led ASU with a .352 hitting percentage, notching the second-highest single-season hitting percentage in school history... had career-high 23 kills vs. Washington (10/12/01)... named tournament MVP of Loyola Marymount Volleyball Challenge during junior year... recorded double-digits in kills in 14 of ASU's 26 matches last year... has recorded 39 career matches with 10 or more kills and boasts a career .335 hitting percentage in 83 career matches... two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
#7 Kim Mehlhorn (5-11, Jr., OH, Tempe, Ariz.) --
Has started seven of the 10 matches this year and seen action in 31 of ASU's 40 games... averaging 1.87 kills per game and 1.61 dpg this year... notched consecutive double-doubles at the Red Raider Classic vs. Clemson and Texas Tech... named to all-tournament team at Red Raider Classic... had season-high 15 kills vs. Clemson (9/14)... has recorded double-digits in kills in three of ASU's 10 matches this year. Career Notes: Recorded 19 matches with 10 or more kills last year, including a string of 14 of the last 15 matches to end the season... ranked eighth in the Pac-10 as a sophomore with 3.83 kills per game in league matches only... averaged 3.88 kills per game over the final 15 matches of 2001... has 16 career double-doubles (most among active Sun Devil hitters) and is averaging 2.34 kpg and 2.14 dpg in her 65 matches as a Sun Devil.
#8 Courtney Blocher (5-7, Jr, LI/OH, Scottsdale, Ariz.) --
Has started all 10 matches this year at the libero position... second on the team with 3.15 digs per game... recorded her sixth career 20+ dig match with season-high 23 vs. Washington (10/3)... also had 20 digs vs. then No. 11 UCLA (9/21)... had 16 digs in five-game win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7)... also had 16 digs vs. Clemson (9/14)... has recorded 10 or more digs in seven of ASU's 10 matches... saw action as outside hitter in fifth game vs. Washington (10/3). Career Notes: Started all 26 matches in 2001 and recorded four matches with 20+ digs... averaged 3.09 digs per game, second-best on team and ranked fifth in the Pac-10... one of ASU's four sophomores from Chandler's Valley Christian High School... 1999 Arizona Gatorade State Player of the Year... averaging 2.87 digs per game (720 total) and has 39 career matches with 10 or more digs in her 66 career matches as a Sun Devil.
#10 Cheryl Anglin (5-9, Jr., S, Queen Creek, Ariz.) --
ASU's starting setter in all 10 matches this year... will play mainly as a back-row setter with Fernanda Habiger rotating into the lineup as of late... averaging 9.74 assists per game this year, seventh best in the Pac-10... recorded a season-high 67 vs. Clemson (9/14), ranking as the top assist performance in the Pac-10 this year... moved into third place in ASU career record books for assists (2,936) and is now 21 off second place. Career Notes: Has the most career assists among active Pac-10 setters... school single-season record holder for assists when she had 1,452 as a freshman in 2000... Anglin has recorded 37 career matches with 40 or more assists and 23 or matches with 50 or more assists in her career... she is averaging 11.89 assists per game in 66 career matches (247 games) as a Sun Devil.
#11 Jodi Smith (6-1, RS-Jr., MB, St. Johns, Ariz.) --
Has started all 10 matches this year at middle blocker... has 10 or more kills in six of ASU's 10 matches, including a string of four straight prior to the WSU loss last Saturday... averaging 2.42 kpg to rank third on the team and is second in hitting percentage (behind Julia Leddy) at .323 (10th in Pac-10)... had career-high three service aces vs. Pacific (9/7)... had 14 kills and hit .370 in win over No. 13 Pacific (9/7). Career Notes: ASU's only two sport female athlete... also a high jumper on the ASU track & field team... tied for third in last year's Pac-10 meet with a jump of 5 ft, 7.25 inches... led the team with 0.86 blocks per game last year and ranked fifth with a 2.27 kill/game average... is averaging 2.27 kpg and is a career .282 hitter in 40 career matches.
#12 Fernanda Habiger (5-11, Sr., S, Cruzeira, Brazil) --
Has seen action in all 10 matches this year and is contending for more playing time... has been ASU's sparkplug off the bench in recent wins over Texas Tech (9/15), UCLA (9/21) and Arizona (9/27)... averaging .74 blocks per game over her last six matches... had a career-high 4.0 blocks vs. UCLA (9/21) and vs. Washington (10/3)... notched a career-high seven kills vs. Washington... averaging 3.97 assists per game, including a career-high 30 in five-game victory over TTU (9/15). Career Notes: Finished her first year as a Sun Devil (2001) with 0.39 kpg, 2.15 assists/game and 0.39 dpg... transferred from Barton County CC in Great Bend, Kansas... one of two ASU players who are native to Brazil... was the JC teammate of Juliana Escobar... one of three players on this years team that is married (Smith, Arnett).
#13 Brittany Arnett (5-7, Sr., DS, Mesa, Ariz.) --
One of three seniors on this years team... will be used as a defensive specialist and backup libero this year... averaging 1.43 dpg in 14 games (six matches) this year... had season-high 11 digs in victory over Pacific... finished second on the team with 23 service aces last year... one of three players who are married (Smith, Habiger).
#14 Sarah Watkins (5-11, Fr., OH/S, Mishawaka, Ind.) --
One of two true freshmen on this year's squad... played in all three games vs. Creighton (9/7), recording one dig and one service ace... a four-time all-conference selection in high school... named state MVP her senior year.
#15 Nora Pirzynski (5-6, Fr., DS/LI, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) --
One of two true freshmen on this year's squad... has seen action in four of ASU's five matches this year... had one kills and two digs in ASU debut vs. South Carolina (9/6)... season-high six digs vs. Clemson (9/14)... attended Mira Costa High School where she lettered three years in varsity volleyball... first-team all-CIF as a senior and helped lead Mira Costa to back-to-back CIF championships.
Anglin Inches Toward Second In ASU Record Books:
Junior Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek, Ariz.) moved into third place in the ASU career record books during the Red Raider Classic (9/14-15) and continues to inch toward the No. 2 spot. Anglin's 67-assist performance against Clemson moved her all the way from sixth place into third place and is currently ranked as the top assist performance in the Pac-10 this year. She now needs only 21 assists to claim the No. 2 spot in the record books, moving past former Sun Devil Jennifer Helfrich (1989-92). As a freshman she set the school record with 1,452 assists and will finish the season as the No. 2 all-time setter in ASU history (see list at left). As a sophomore in 2001 she recorded nine matches with 50 or more assists and four 60+ assist matches. She ended the season on a high note, recording 40 or more assists in eight of the last 14 matches. Anglin arrived at ASU in 2000 and took the freshmen record book by assault. She broke the freshman record for assists in a season vs. Stanford (10/27/00) midway through the year, and continued on to break the overall school record with 1,452. 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 little 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 earlier in the year. The record was previously set by Tracy Heflin (74) in 1993. For her career, Anglin has recorded 2,936 assists and has 37 career matches with 40 or more assists.
ASU Volleyball has a legacy of academic success in the programs 30-year history. Amanda Burbridge and Jami Coughlin were both named Verizon District VIII Academic All-Americans in 2000 with their outstanding performances in the classroom. Coughlin, who graduated with a perfect 4.0 in Education, was a two-time first-team Academic All-American in the University division. ASU now has 26 Academic All-Conference selections since 1986, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Stanford's 27. Coughlin and Julia Leddy were both named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team in 2001.
More Rule Changes:
The libero (pronounced 'LEE-bah-ro) is a designated backrow player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the backrow without counting as a substitution and there is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The color of the libero's uniform must contrast from the color of her teammates' uniforms, but the libero's shorts must be the same as her teammates'. The libero plays only in the backrow but may not serve, block or attempt to block. The addition of the libero comes one year after the NCAA adapted the new rally scoring system with games now played to 30.
For You Stat Rats:
The 2001 season had many changes, including the change to rally scoring and also the introduction of 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, Juliana Escobar leads the team this year with 213.5 points (178 kills, 28 service aces, 5 block solos and 5 block assists).
Gatorade State Players of the Year Common at ASU:
Gatorade really is thirst aid for Arizona State University recruits coming out of high school. Several Gatorade Arizona State Players of the Year have gone on to attend ASU. 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.
Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park:
Head Coach Patti Snyder-Park begins her 14th and final year at the helm of the ASU volleyball program. Snyder-Park has led ASU to six NCAA appearances in the last 10 years and has posted a winning record in seven of her last 11 seasons. She has posted a career 208-172 (.547) 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 109-130 (.456). A graduate of Portland State University, Snyder-Park is assisted by two of her former players, Christine Garner and Terri Cox. Snyder-Park is married to husband John and has three kids; daughters Sydney and Sophia Rae and son Samuel.