Volleyball Opens 2003 Season Friday With Sun Devil Volleyball Classic

Aug. 25, 2003

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    2003 Sun Devil Volleyball Classic

    Friday, August 29
    Ohio vs. San Diego 5 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score
    Utah vs. ASU 7 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score
    Saturday, August 30
    Utah vs. San Diego 10 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score
    ASU vs. Ohio 12 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score
    Utah vs. Ohio 5 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score
    ASU vs. San Diego 7 p.m. Live Stats | Recap | Box Score

    The Arizona State (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) Sun Devil Volleyball team opens the 2003 season this weekend with the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic. The Devils will host Utah, San Diego and Ohio in the tournament held Aug. 29-30 at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU is coming off a 15-12 season in 2002 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. Friday's 7 p.m. match against Utah will also mark the beginning of the Brad Saindon era as the fifth head coach in the 31 years of varsity volleyball at Arizona State. After opening with Utah on Friday, ASU will play Ohio (12 p.m.) and San Diego (7 p.m.) on Saturday to conclude the opening weekend of the 2003 season.

    The Beginning of a New Era:
    For the first time in 14 years, the Arizona State Volleyball program will usher in a new era when Brad Saindon takes the court as the fifth head coach in 31 years of program history. Saindon replaced Patti Snyder-Park who retired after leading the program to seven NCAA appearances in her 14 years at the helm of the Sun Devils. Saindon has experience at nearly every level of volleyball coaching, having spent 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Colorado and the past six at various international levels. He previously spent the last two years with USA Volleyball and coached the Australian National Women's Team to a ninth place finish in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Saindon is a 1976 graduate of Arizona State with a degree in business administration.

    Sun Devils Start With Tournament Frenzy:
    Arizona State will nine non-conference matches before embarking on a tough Pac-10 slate. The Devils will host the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic (Aug. 29-30), before hitting the road for consecutive tournaments at Nevada-Reno (Sept. 5-6) and SMU (Sept. 12-13). ASU will complete its nine-match non-conference schedule before opening Pac-10 play with road matches at Washington (Sept. 18) and at Washington State (Sept. 19).

    Devils To Face Tough Schedule in 2003:
    The Sun Devils will have to fight through a tough schedule in 2003 in order to repeat as a participant in the NCAA Tournament. ASU is scheduled to play 12 matches against preseason (AVCA) top 25 opponents and 10 programs that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. ASU will play two matches each against USC (# 1), Stanford (#4), Arizona (#10), UCLA (#13), Washington State (#19) and California (#24). The Sun Devils were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-10 and picked up 13 votes in the preseason AVCA/USA Today national poll to rank 41st.

    Escobar Looks To Build Off All-Pac-10 Season in 2002:
    Senior outside hitter Juliana Escobar joined elite company last year when she earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors. Escobar led the Sun Devils averaging 4.29 kills, 3.36 digs and 5.05 points per game in 2002. She also recorded 50 service aces to rank tied for third in the ASU single-season record books and with became the 14th Sun Devil to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.

    Quick Sets:

  • ASU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the past four years.
  • The Sun Devils feature a roster of six seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen.
  • The Pac-10 Conference sent a record eight teams to the NCAA Tournament in 2002.
  • Arizona State finished 2002 ranked 22nd nationally in attendance with a 1,226 home average.
  • Juliana Escobar recorded a double-double in 16 of her 26 matches played in 2002.
  • Head Coach Brad Saindon and assistants Terri Cox and Jami Coughlin are all ASU graduates.
  • Senior setter Cheryl Anglin ranks second in the ASU record books with 3,560 career assists.
  • The Sun Devils return six players with starting experience and eight total letterwinners from 2002.
  • RS-Junior outside hitter Natalie Harris led all player with 18 kills in the maroon and Gold Scrimmage.
  • ASU is 22-8 all-time in season openers including having lost four in a row.
  • Saindon compiled a 181-112 (.618) record at Colorado (1986-96) and led CU to six NCAA Tournaments.
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