Volleyball Takes To The Road For Three-Match Tournament In Reno
Sept. 2, 2003
The Arizona State (1-2, 0-0 Pac-10) Sun Devil Volleyball team takes to the road for the first time this weekend with the SBC/Sands Regency Tournament in Reno, Nev. ASU will take on Gonzaga, Tennessee and the host Nevada Wolf Pack in the two-day tournament in the 'Biggest Small City in the World.' The Devils are coming off a disappointing 1-2 showing in last weekend's Sun Devil Volleyball Classic. After opening the season with an impressive 3-1 win over Utah, the Devils lost a four-game match to Ohio and was swept in three games by San Diego. ASU will play its next eight matches on the road before returning home to Wells Fargo Arena to play rival Arizona on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.
Saindon Makes Memorable Debut With Win Over Utah:
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. In his first match as ASU's head coach, Saindon coached the Sun Devils to a 3-1 win over Mountain West Conference preseason favorite Utah.
The Tournament Schedule:
The Sun Devils open the SBC/Sands Regency Tournament Friday (Sept. 5) with a 4:30 p.m. match against Gonzaga. ASU will then face a pair of tough matches Saturday (Sept. 6), beginning with a 10 a.m. match against Tennessee and a 7 p.m. match against tournament host Nevada. The Devils will be facing Gonzaga (1-2) for the first time in program history. ASU is 2-1 all-time against Tennessee and 3-1 all-time against Nevada.
Recapping Last Weekend:
ASU ended with a disappointing 1-2 record in its own tournament, the 2003 Sun Devil Volleyball Classic. After opening the tourney with a win over Utah (3-1), the Devils dropped both matches on Saturday to Ohio (3-1) and San Diego (3-0). San Diego went undefeated in its three matches to take top honors. ASU was led by senior outside hitter Juliana Escobar as the Devils' lone representative on the all-tournament team. Escobar averaged 3.91 kills and 2.64 digs per game in the three matches.
Watkins Inks Name In Record Books:
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Watkins etched her name in the ASU record books with a memorable serving performance in the season-opening 3-1 victory over Utah. Watkins, one of ASU's starting outside hitters who played sparingly as a freshman in 2002, recorded seven aces to rank tied for third in the single-match record books. The last Sun Devil to record seven aces in a single match was All-American outside hitter Amanda Burbridge against Minnesota in the 2000 NCAA Tournament (12/2/00). Watkins averaged 2.46 kills and 0.82 service aces per game during the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic.
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 (#11), Washington State (preseason #19) and California (#22). 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 unofficially be listed 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. Through ASU's first three matches Escobar leads the Devils in several statistical categories, including kills (3.91 kpg), digs (2.64 dpg) and total points (48.5).
Anglin Becomes Second Best Setter in ASU History:
Senior setter Cheryl Anglin will spit time with junior Giovana Melo in 2003, but will forever have her named etched in the ASU record books. Anglin gained sole possession of second place in the ASU career record books midway through her junior season, moving past former Sun Devil Jennifer Helfrich. With 3,629 in 86 career matches (11.34 per game average), Anglin has the most assists among active Pac-10 setters. She recorded 76 assists vs. Oregon (10/18/02) to ranks as the sixth most in ASU single-match history and established an ASU and Pac-10 rally-scoring (adopted in 2001) record. Anglin already holds the single-season school record and freshman record when she had 1,452 in 2000 and also has the second (84) and fifth (77) most assist in single-match history.
ASU Career Assists:
1. Regina Stahl (1984-87) 5,1802. Cheryl Anglin (2000-P) 3,6293. Jennifer Helfrich (1989-92) 2,9564. Noelle Fridrich (1986-89) 2,7315. Jolynn Faatulu (1995-98) 2,730
ASU Volleyball has a legacy of academic success in the program's 31-year history and that tradition continued this year with six student-athletes earning Pac-10 All-Academic honors. In 2002, senior middle blocker Julia Leddy (3.75 GPA, Secondary Education) was named to the first team for the second straight year. Senior setter Fernanda Habiger (3.72, Communication), junior outside hitter Kim Mehlhorn (3.80, Recreation Management/Tourism) and junior setter Cheryl Anglin (3.65, Nursing) were all named to the second team. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Natalie Harris and junior Courtney Blocher were both honorable mention selections. With the four first and second-team selections, Arizona State now has the most all-academic selections among the 10 conference members with 30 dating back to 1986.
Approaching Career Milestones:
Player Milestone NeedsCheryl Anglin 4,000 assists 371Courtney Blocher 1,000 digs 86Juliana Escobar 500 kills 37
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