Volleyball Cruises To Three-Game Sweep Of Oregon State

Nov. 15, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Julia Leddy and Juliana Escobar each had 14 kills as the Arizona State Sun Devils team hit a scorching .369 en route to a three-game sweep of the Oregon State Beavers Friday night in Pac-10 Volleyball action at Wells Fargo Arena.

With the win the Sun Devils ended their season-high five-match losing streak to improve to 11-9 overall and 7-8 in Pac-10 play. Playing without a national ranking for the first time since late September (currently No. 26), ASU played its most dominating match since beating rival Arizona in three games on Sept. 27. Oregon State dropped to 7-17 overall and 2-13 in Pac-10 play. ASU head coach, who is in her 14th and final season at the helm of the Sun Devils, finished her career with a 18-10 record against Beavers.

Oregon State put up its second highest Pac-10 hitting percentage of the year, but it was no match for ASU's mark of .369. In addition to 14 kills on a .323 (14-4-31) hitting percentage, Escobar (Brasilia, Brazil) finished with a match-high 10 digs to record her 13th double-double of the year. Playing in her second to last home match as a Sun Devil, Leddy (Mesa) ran the middle of the court with ease notching a .520 (14-1-25) hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Jodi Smith (St. Johns) led the Devils with five total blocks and added 11 kills.

The 11 kills from senior middle blocker Michelle Solomon led the Beavers, with 10 kills from freshman outside hitter Karah Rhodes keeping OSU close through the first two games. ASU did a nice job of keeping the ball away from OSU senior libero Nikki Neuburger, who entered the match second in the Pac-10 with 4.17 digs per game.

Looking to end its streak of seven straight game losses, the Devils got off to a quick start by defeating OSU 30-28 in the first game. Escobar and Leddy each tallied four kills in the opening game to lead ASU as the Sun Devils hit .314 as a team. Battling through nine tie scores and five lead changes, ASU capitalized on a service error by Beaver sophomore outside hitter Allison Lawrence to put the game away.

The Sun Devils battled back from a 28-24 deficit in the second game to earn a 31-29 win to go up two games to none in the match. Hitting a scorching .548 (18-1-31) in the game, the Devils were led by six kills from Escobar, including three of the last four points in the game to cap the comeback. Leddy also had six kills in the second game.

Coming out of the break, ASU was determined to gain its first three-game win since defeating Arizona (Sept. 27) and did not trail late in the game. With an added spark from sophomore outside hitter Natalie Harris (Tempe), the Devils hit .300 in the game to earn the 30-25 win.

The Devils will conclude the home portion of their 2003 schedule tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. match against the Oregon Ducks at Wells Fargo Arena. A ceremony prior to the match will honor ASU's three seniors, Leddy, Brittany Arnett and Fernanda Habiger, for the annual senior night. Snyder-Park will also be honored for her 14 years as a head coach at ASU and a special introduction of the All-30th Anniversary ASU Volleyball team will be held at the break. The game will also be televised locally on AZ-TV (Cox Cable 13).

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