OSU Opens Second Half Of Pac-10 Play In Bay Area

Oct. 22, 2002

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UPCOMING ACTION: The second half of Pacific-10 play starts this weekend, with Oregon State (6-12, 1-8 Pac-10) heading to the Bay Area. The Beavers will get a brief break from ranked opponents when they play California (13-5, 4-5) at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 to end a string of five consecutive matches against top 25 teams, although Cal is on the verge of being ranked (the Goldens Bear checked in at 26th in this week's voting). That break won't last long, though, as OSU will play at No. 6 Stanford (16-3, 7-2) at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: OSU lost to No. 19 Arizona (30-21, 30-27, 30-19) and No. 21 Arizona State (31-29, 30-28, 21-30, 30-28) last week. The team performed much better offensively than in previous weeks, averaging 16.29 kills per game (compared with 14.80 kpg in all Pac-10 matches). Allison Lawrence led OSU with 30 kills (4.29 kpg), Karah Rhoades had 28 (4.00 kpg), and Megan McMillan had 27 (3.86 kpg), as all three topped their season averages. Nikki Neuburger led the team with 24 digs (3.43 dpg), with K.C. Frederic and McMillan adding 18 (2.57 dpg) apiece.

On starting the second half of Pac-10 play

'The second half of Pac-10 play starts this week, and hopefully some things will go better for us. I really liked the offense that Laura (Collins) got going this past weekend, and we'll keep building on that and continue working on being solid in our serving and passing.'

On the team's performance despite injuries to three starters
'I don't think there's been a night we've ever felt like we didn't have a chance, regardless of the injuries. I said at the beginning of the year that this was the most depth we've had. All that's happened is some roles have changed and bench players are now starters. You can look at some of these close games and know we're right there with these teams even under these circumstances. That gives us some confidence, but nothing gives you confidence like a win.'

BEAVERS FACED WITH YET ANOTHER SIDELINED STARTER: OSU has already been without starters Joscelyn Hannaford and Katrina Nelson for several weeks, and the team was handed another setback when Michele Solomon sustained a concussion in game three against Arizona last week. She missed the ASU match the following night and could miss this week's matches as well. The ASU match was the first of her career that she's missed. Hannaford has missed the last six matches after having surgery to remove a cyst in her knee, but she's expected back in the lineup this week. Nelson has missed the last six matches because of a broken thumb, but could possibly return this week.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: With OSU's regular starting middle blockers (Michele Solomon and Katrina Nelson) out with injuries, two younger players have had the chance to gain playing time. They showed no sign of youth in the middle against Arizona State (the first match the Beavers were without both Nelson and Solomon), as OSU finished with 12 blocks -- the second highest total this season and the most in a four-game match (the Beavers had 13 in a five-game match against Cal). Amanda Eggert had a hand in seven blocks against ASU to tie her career-high (set in that match with Cal in her third start), and Katelyn Healy had four blocks against ASU in her first career start.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Nikki Neuburger enters the week with 919 digs, which ranks 11th in OSU history. She needs six more to take over the No. 10 spot and 81 to become the 10th Beaver with 1,000. Neuburger averages a Pac-10 best (24th nationally) 4.20 digs per game this season, and she has had double figures 14 times - including four with 20 or more digs. She's on pace to break OSU's single-season record for digs per game, held by Rachel Hochgesang (4.10 dpg in 1993).

SERIES RECORDS: vs. California: The Beavers are 15-27 all-time against Calfiornia, with Cal winning the first match this season. The Golden Bears came out on top, 21-30, 30-28, 30-25, 28-30 and 24-22 in Corvallis on Sept. 28 to snap a four-match Beaver winning streak in the all-time series. Allison Lawrence hit .418 with a career-high 26 kills and Nikki Neuburger had 29 digs for OSU, while Mia Jerkov led Cal with 25 kills and 26 digs. vs. Stanford: OSU has never beaten Stanford in 35 previous meetings. Stanford added to its perfect record with a 30-23, 30-20, 30-19 win at OSU on Sept. 27. Ogonna Nnamani had a team-high 14 kills for the Cardinal, and Katrina Nelson led OSU with 10.

A LOOK AT CALIFORNIA: Cal (13-5, 4-5) split a pair of five-game matches last week, losing to Washington and beating then-No. 17 Washington State. Mia Jerkov was named Pac-10 and AVCA National Player of the Week for her efforts in those matches. She had a school record 39 kills against UW and had 38 against WSU to average 7.70 kills per game for the week. For the year, Jerkov leads the team with 406 kills (6.15 kpg, 1st in the Pac-10) and 226 digs (3.42 dpg, 4th in the Pac-10).

A LOOK AT STANFORD: The No. 6 Cardinal (16-3, 7-2) swept the Washington schools last week. Logan Tom led the way with 33 kills (5.50 kpg). She leads the team with 4.74 kills per game for the year, and Ogonna Nnamani averages 3.91 kills per game. Stanford leads the Pac-10 with 3.72 blocks per game, with Jennifer Harvey (1.55) and Sara McGee (1.45) topping the league individually.

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: OSU is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 47-58, arrived at OSU in February 1999 after spending time as an assistant coach at USC since 1991. Last season, Somera guided the Beavers to a 17-12 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. While at USC, Somera helped the team earn eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and helped develop eight USC All-Americans. Somera also played collegiately at USC, and she was a two-time All-Pacific-10 Team selection. She still holds the USC record for career and single-season aces.

#1 Lianne Dela Cruz, Jr., DS

Has played in 54 of 64 games... Has 81 digs (1.50 dpg)... Had a career-high 11 digs at Oregon (10/3) and had 10 against Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has two aces and two kills.

#3 Karah Rhoades, RS-Fr., OH
Has seen action in 41 games... Was in a backup role until injuries put her in the regular rotation the last six matches... Has had double-figure kills in five of those six outings... Averaged 4.00 kills per game in the two matches last week... Hit .306 with a career-high 18 kills against Arizona State (10/19) and added 10 kills against Arizona (10/18)... For the season, is hitting .137 with 92 kills (2.24 kpg)... Also has 25 digs (0.61 dpg) and 11 blocks (0.27 bpg).

#4 Tami Halleck, Sr., DS
Played three games against Arizona State last week, coming in to serve several plays... Picked up her first career dig in that match... Played in two other games, both in non-conference matches.

#5 Michele Solomon, Sr., MB
Had played in all 60 games until a concussion suffered in game three against Arizona (10/18) forced her to sit out the Arizona State (10/19) match... It was the first match she's missed in her four-year career... Could miss this week's matches as well... Hitting a team-best .297 and has 138 kills (2.30 kpg)... Has had double-figures five times, including a season-high 15 against Ball State (9/14)... Hit a career-best .591 with 13 kills against Cal State Northridge (9/7)... Leads the team with 35 total blocks (0.58 bpg), including a season-high five against Ball State... Has 369 career total blocks, seventh best all-time at OSU... Ranks eighth for career hitting percentage (.269).

#9 Desma Stovall, Fr., S
Has played eight games in limited action as a backup setter, most recently playing two games against UCLA (10/10)... Had a career-high eight assists, five digs and one kill in that match... Had two service aces against Boise State (9/7).

#13 Joscelyn Hannaford, Sr., Opp.
Expected back in the lineup this week... Missed the last six matches after surgery to remove a cyst in her knee... Has played in 35 games... Averaging 3.34 digs per game, second on the team... Ranked among the top five in the Pac-10 for digs until last week when she dropped out because she had no longer played in two-thirds of OSU's games... Has 117 digs with double-figures six times, with a season-high 17 twice... Has 96 kills (2.74 kpg), with double-figures three times... Had a career-high 24 kills against Missouri (8/31)... Has three double-doubles... Earned MVP honors at the OSU Challenge and all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase.

#14 K.C. Frederic, Jr., DS/OH
Has played in 50 games... Has 87 digs (1.74 dpg)... Had 18 digs (2.57 dpg) in two matches last week... Has had double-figures three times... Had a season-high 11 against Arizona State (10/19) and Ball State (9/14) and had 10 against Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has five aces, five assists and four kills.

#15 Megan McMillan, Sr., OH
One of three players to see action in all 64 games... Leads OSU with 216 kills (3.38 kpg)... Has had double-figures 12 times, including two matches last week... Led OSU with 14 kills against Arizona (10/18) and had 13 against Arizona State (10/19)... Had a career-high 20 against North Carolina (9/14)... Hitting .209... Ranks second on the team with 198 total digs and third with 3.09 digs per game (eighth in the Pac-10)... Has had double-figures 11 times, most recently with 13 against ASU... Had a season-high 20 against Cal (9/28)... Has led the team in kills eight times and in digs six times... Has had eight double-doubles... Leads the team with 18 aces (0.28 sapg), with a career-high five against Cal... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Challenge.

#16 Katelyn Healy, RS-Fr., MB
Has played in 15 games, mostly in a backup role... Made her first career start against Arizona State in OSU's last match, filling in for Michele Solomon... Registered career-highs of eight kills, six digs, four blocks and two aces in that match... For the season, is hitting .140 with 13 kills (0.87 kpg), eight digs (0.53 dpg), and seven blocks (0.47 bpg).

#19 Katrina Nelson, Sr., MB/OPP
Has missed the last six matches with a fractured thumb... Had started every match prior to the injury, playing in 40 of 43 games... Hitting .296 with 102 kills (2.55 kpg)... Had double-figures five times, including her last three matches... Had a season-high 17 kills while hitting .382 against Cal (9/28)... Had a team-high 10 kills against Stanford (9/27) and Washington State (9/20)... Hitting a team-best .368 with 3.14 kills per game in Pac-10 games... Leads the team with 0.80 blocks per game (32 total).

#21 Amanda Eggert, So., MB
Has played in 50 of 64 games and has started the last nine matches as a result of injuries... Hitting .196 with 66 kills (1.32 kpg)... Hit .400 with a season-best eight kills against Arizona State last week... Had seven against Oregon (10/3) and Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has had a career-high seven blocks twice, against ASU (10/19) and Cal (9/28), good for the most by a Beaver this year... Has 34 total blocks (0.68 bpg).

#22 Allison Lawrence, So., OH
Has played in 62 of 64 games... Averaging 3.37 kills per game (209 total) while hitting .212... Hit .284 with 4.29 kpg against the Arizona schools last week... Averaging a team-best 3.72 kills per game in Pac-10 play and hitting .236 against league opponents... Hit .418 with a career-high 26 kills against Cal (9/28)... Had 22 kills against Arizona State (10/19) and Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has 10 double-figure matches and has led the team seven times, most recently against ASU... Has three double-doubles this year, most recently in the ASU match (22k/10d)... Her others came on the same day (9/14), against North Carolina (13k/14d) and Ball State (16k/career-high 15d)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase.

#23 Laura Collins, Jr., S
Ranks fourth for career assists at OSU with 2,177... Has 812 this year, good for 12.69 per game (3rd in the Pac-10 and 24th nationally)... Had a season-best 72 assists against Cal (9/28), good for the second highest total of her career and eighth best in OSU history... Is the third OSU setter with two 70-plus assist matches in her career... Her 72 assists versus Cal is the third best total in the Pac-10 this year... Has 146 digs (2.28 dpg), with a season-high 16 against Eastern Washington... Has four double-doubles, most recently against EWU... Hitting .154 with 47 kills (0.73 kpg)... Second on the team with 15 aces (0.23 sapg)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase (MVP) and OSU Challenge.

#31 Nikki Neuburger, Sr., L
Leads the team and ranks first in the Pac-10 with 4.20 digs per game (269 total)... Ranks 24th nationally... Is on pace to set the school single-season record for digs per game... Needs six digs to move into the top 10 for career total digs at OSU... Currently ranks 11th with 919... Had a career-high 33 digs against Eastern Washington (10/5), good for the fourth-best total in OSU history and the first 30-plus total since 1995... Just missed another 30-dig effort with a then-career-high 29 against Cal (9/28), now the eighth-best total at OSU... The 33 and 29 digs rank first and third in the Pac-10 this year... Had 24 against Ball State (9/14) and 23 against Cal State Northridge (9/7)... Has had double figures 14 times this year and has led the team 10 times.

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