Akporiaye Sparks Sun Devils To Come-From-Behind Win Over Cal
Oct. 11, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Down 2-0 to the California Golden Bears and having lost 10 of its last 11 games, the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils used several key blocks and a motivational speech from head coach Patti Snyder-Park to earn a come-from-behind 3-2 win Friday night in Pac-10 Volleyball action at Wells Fargo Arena. Game scores were 27-30, 21-30, 30-27, 30-26, 15-10 in favor of ASU.
The win improved the Sun Devils to 8-4 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play. With the victory, the Devils continue to dominate in five-game matches, improving to 5-0. This is second time ASU has been down 2-0 this year and has come from behind to record a victory. California fell to 11-4 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
'This was a very inspirational victory for us and really lifted some spirits on this team,' said Snyder-Park, who is coaching in her 14th and final season. 'We really got some big plays from some players off the bench and that is something I am very proud of. We are a team, and everyone has a role that they play. When we play together and are accountable for our actions... good things happen. Down the road, we will look back and realize how important it was to come back and win tonight.'
The ASU victory was sparked by a season-high 20.5 total blocks, including career highs from junior middle blocker Jodi Smith (St. Johns) and sophomore opposite hitter Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson). Both had eight blocks for the Devils. Senior middle blocker Julia Leddy (Mesa) also contributed eight blocks (one off career high and a 2002 high).
Leddy led the Devils with 15 kills on a .342 hitting percentage. Junior Juliana Escobar (Brasilia, Brazil) and Akporiaye each had 14 kills. Escobar added 17 digs to record her eighth double-double of the year. Akporiaye anchored the ASU defense with a career-high 18 digs. Freshman outside hitter Sarah Watkins (Mishawaka, Ind.), having played in only one match this year, came off the bench to spark the Devils offense with six kills on a .308 hitting percentage. Junior setter Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek) dished out 36 assists to lead the Devils.
The Golden Bears received solid performance from its outside hitters, Leah Young and Mia Jerkov. Jerkov had 28 kills and 21 digs, while Young had 24 kills and 10 digs. Alicia Powers added 21 digs in the loss.
The Sun Devils return to action next weekend with matches at Oregon (Oct. 18) and at Oregon State (Oct. 19). ASU will next play a home match Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 (Friday and Saturday) against Washington State and Washington.