Volleyball Hosts No. 19 UCLA, No. 2 USC

Nov. 6, 2002

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UPCOMING ACTION: The Beavers begin a series of six straight matches against top 25 teams when the Pac-10's L.A. schools head to Corvallis this week. OSU (7-14, 2-11 Pac-10) will host No. 19 UCLA (13-10, 6-7) on Friday, November 8 and No. 2 USC (19-1, 12-1) on Saturday, November 9. Both matches start at 7 p.m., and admission is free.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S CIVIL WAR: OSU lost the second Civil War meeting of the year after Oregon defeated the Beavers, 3-1 (30-24, 27-30, 30-26, 33-31) in Corvallis last week. Allison Lawrence had a match-high 22 kills, but OSU couldn't come up with the victory. Karah Rhoades chipped in 14 kills and hit .303, and Michele Solomon and Megan McMillan added 10 kills apiece. K.C. Frederic led the Beaver defense for the first time this season, finishing with a season-high 16 digs. Nikki Neuburger added 14, and Lawrence (11) and Laura Collins (10) had double-figures as well. Hitting errors cost the Beavers, with OSU hitting just .134 with 40 errors.

On the focus the next few weeks

'Every team is vulnerable in some areas of the game, and our job is to expose our opponent's weaknesses while sustaining a consistent level of play on our side. We definitely have done that better on some weekends than others. We still have several weeks remaining in the season where we can get some quality opportunities to improve and become more technically sound.'

DEFENSIVE DUEL: Friday's match with UCLA will be a battle between the top two teams and individuals in the Pac-10. OSU leads the Pac-10 with 17.03 digs per game, with UCLA a close second with 16.81 digs per game. Individually, UCLA's Chrissie Zartman leads the conference with 4.22 digs per game, with OSU's Nikki Neuburger ranking second with 4.07 per game. The Bruins narrowly outdug OSU, 49-48, in the first meeting between the two teams this year. However, Neuburger won the battle of the liberos. She had a match-high 18 digs, while Zartman had 10 digs to lead UCLA.

SERIES RECORDS: vs. UCLA: OSU is 2-31 all-time against the Bruins, with OSU's last win coming in Corvallis last year. UCLA won this year's first meeting, 3-0 (35-33, 30-22, 30-18), in Los Angeles on Oct. 10. Allison Lawrence led OSU with 12 kills in the loss, and Nikki Neuburger had a match-high 18 digs. UCLA's Brynn Murphy hit .522 with 13 kills to lead the Bruins. vs. USC: Oregon State is 7-26 all-time against the Women of Troy. USC has won 11 straight in the series, with OSU's last win coming in 1996. USC won this year's first match 30-22, 30-21, and 30-19, on Oct. 11. Michele Solomon hit .348 with a team-best nine kills in the loss, and Neuburger led the defense with 14 digs. Keao Burdine hit .542 with a match-high 15 kills for USC.

A LOOK AT UCLA: The Bruins (13-10, 6-7) split a pair of matches with the Bay Area schools last week. They lost to No. 6 Stanford, 3-0, but then swept Cal to end a four-match losing streak. UCLA is led by Lauren Fendrick, who averages 3.56 kills and 2.96 digs per game. Libero Chrissie Zartman leads the Pac-10 with 4.22 digs per game, and Angela Eckmier is seventh in the league with 1.17 blocks per game.

A LOOK AT USC: The Women of Troy (19-1, 12-1) lost their first match of the season when Stanford defeated them in five games last week. USC is averaging a league-best 17.71 kills per game, led by April Ross (3.81, 8th in the Pac-10) and Keao Burdine (3.42). Emily Adams averages 2.98 kills per game and is hitting .407, second best in the Pac-10. Adams also ranks fifth in the league with 1.20 blocks per game, just behind teammate Katie Olsovsky (4th with 1.22 bpg).

HEAD COACH NANCY SOMERA: OSU is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Nancy Somera. Somera, whose career record stands at 48-60, 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 61 of 76 games... Has 87 digs (1.43 dpg)... Had six digs last week against Oregon... 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
Seen action in 49 games... Has had double-figure kills in seven of OSU's last nine matches... Averaging 2.55 kills per game overall and 3.25 kills per game in Pac-10 play... Hit .303 with 14 kills against Oregon last week... Hit .367 with a team-high 16 kills in a win at Cal (10/25)... Had a career-high 18 kills against Arizona State (10/19)... Has 36 digs (0.73 dpg), 14 blocks (0.29 bpg) and three aces (0.06 sapg).

#4 Tami Halleck, Sr., DS
Has played in six games, most recently one game versus Oregon last week... Picked up her first career dig against Arizona State (10/19).

#5 Michele Solomon, Sr., MB
Played in every game but four, missing only the Arizona State match (10/19) because of an injury... Hitting .283 and has 164 kills (2.28 kpg)... Has had double-figures seven times, most recently with 10 against Oregon last week... Had a season-high 15 against Ball State (9/14) and hit a career-best .591 with 13 kills against Cal State Northridge (9/7)... Leads OSU with 47 total blocks (0.65 bpg), including a season-high eight against Oregon last week, good for the highest total by a Beaver this year... Has 381 career total blocks, seventh best all-time at OSU... Ranks eighth for career hitting percentage (.263).

#9 Desma Stovall, Fr., S
Eight games of action as a backup setter... Last played at UCLA (10/10), with career-highs of eight assists, five digs and one kill in that match... Had two service aces against Boise State (9/7).

#13 Joscelyn Hannaford, Sr., Opp.
Had season-ending meniscus surgery on Monday... Played in 41 games... Averaged 2.68 kills per game (110 total) and hit .213... Had double-figures four times, with a career-high 24 against Missouri (8/31)... Averaged 2.93 digs per game... Had 120 digs with six double-figure performances, including a season-high 17 twice... Had three double-doubles... Earned MVP honors at the OSU Challenge and all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase... Finished her career with 684 kills and 532 digs... Her 2.58 career kills per game average ranks 10th in OSU history.

#14 K.C. Frederic, Jr., DS/OH
Has played in 62 games... Has 117 digs (1.74 dpg)... Has four double-figures matches... Had a season-high 16 digs against Oregon last week to lead the team for the first time this year... Had 11 against Arizona State (10/19) and Ball State (9/14) and had 10 against Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has seven assists, five aces, and five kills.

#15 Megan McMillan, Sr., OH
Has played in all 76 games... Ranks second on the team with 254 kills (3.34 kpg)... Has had double-figures 14 times, most recently with 10 against Oregon last week... Had a career-high 20 against North Carolina (9/14) and had 19 at Stanford (10/26)... Hitting .195... Second on the team with 219 digs (2.88 dpg)... Has had double-figures 11 times, most recently with 13 against Arizona State (10/18)... Had a season-high 20 against Cal (9/28)... Led the team in kills nine times and in digs six times... Has eight double-doubles... Leads OSU with 21 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
Walk-on who has become a key factor for the Beavers the last three weeks... Has played in 27 games and has started three of the last four matches... Made her first career start against Arizona State (10/19), filling in for the injured Michele Solomon... Returned to a back-up role at Cal (10/25), where she came off the bench to record eight kills with a 1.000 hitting percentage... That earned her a starting job in the next two matches... Has had a career-high eight kills three times... Had career-highs of six digs, four blocks and two aces against ASU... For the season, is hitting .209 with 35 kills (1.30 kpg), 12 blocks (0.44 bpg) and nine digs (0.33 dpg).

#19 Katrina Nelson, Sr., MB/OPP
Has missed the last nine matches with a fractured thumb... 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 54 games... Hitting .209 with 69 kills (1.28 kpg)... Hit .400 with a season-high eight kills versus Arizona State (10/18)... Had a career-high seven blocks against ASU (10/19) and Cal (9/28)... Has 34 total blocks (0.63 bpg).

#22 Allison Lawrence, So., OH
Has played in 74 of 76 games... Moved into the team lead for kills last week after picking up 22 against Oregon... Now has a team-best 258 kills (3.49 kpg) on .195 hitting... Averaging a team-best 3.83 kills per game in Pac-10 play (7th best in the Pac-10 for conference matches)... Hit .418 with a career-high 26 kills against Cal (9/28)... Had 22 kills three times, against Oregon (11/1), Arizona State (10/19) and Eastern Washington (10/5)... Has 13 double-figure matches and has led the team eight times, most recently against Oregon... Has five double-doubles this year, including the last two matches... Had a career-high 16 digs at Stanford (10/26)... Has a total of 129 digs for the year (1.74 dpg)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase.

#23 Laura Collins, Jr., S
Ranks fourth for career assists at OSU with 2,335... Has 970 this year, good for 12.76 per game (2nd in the Pac-10)... Leads the Pac-10 with 12.45 assists per game in conference matches... Named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 28 for the second time in her career... Was named Pac-10 Player of the Week once as a sophomore as well... Had a season-best 72 assists in a home match 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 173 digs (2.28 dpg), with a season-high 16 against Eastern Washington... Has six double-doubles, most recently against Oregon last week, with 52 assists and 10 digs... Hitting .149 with 58 kills (0.76 kpg)... Second on the team with 18 aces (0.24 sapg)... Earned all-tournament honors at the OSU Showcase (MVP) and OSU Challenge.

#31 Nikki Neuburger, Sr., L
Leads the team and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 4.07 digs per game (309 total)... If she stays on pace, she'd become only the second Beaver to average more than 4.00 dpg in a season (Rachel Hochgesang had a school record 4.10 dpg in 1993)... Ranks 10th in career digs with 959... 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 16 times this year and has led the team 11 times.

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