Volleyball Uses Dramatic Comeback To Upset No. 22 Arizona
Sept. 26, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- After losing the first two games, the Arizona State Sun Devils pulled off a thrilling comeback (26-30, 23-30, 30-24, 36-34, 15-10) Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena to defeat No. 22 Arizona in front of a lively crowd of 3,225.
ASU (6-6, 1-2 Pac-10) improves to 35-30 all-time against Arizona and has won at home two years in a row. The Devils also improve to 1-1 against ranked opponents this year. Arizona lost its third straight match to fall to 6-7 and 0-3 in Pac-10 play. Arizona is off to a 0-3 start in conference play for the first time since 1992.
'This is the best comeback I've ever seen in volleyball... and I couldn't be happier to be on the winning side of things,' said first-year Sun Devil head coach Brad Saindon. 'We battled, we never gave up and we were scrappy. The crowd was just unbelievable and really kept us in the match. I told them to play to win after being down two games and they responded to play three of the best games of the year.'
The Devils were led by a balanced offensive attack that saw four players record double-digits in kills. Junior outside hitter Natalie Harris recorded 19 kills (.234) and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Harris also added four service aces and two blocks for 24.5 total points. Senior middle blocker Mandy Stephens tallied a season-high 13 kills on blistering .435 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Juliana Escobar tallied 12 kills and sophomore Sarah Watkins contributed 10 in the winning effort. Watkins recorded a service ace for the decisive match point in the fifth game.
Senior Kim Mehlhorn, while not reaching double-digits in kills, was the key factor for the Sun Devils with nine kills, nine digs and a career-high seven service aces. Mehlhorn recorded three of her seven aces during a 12-1 run during the thrilling game four win.
With 14 digs, Courtney Blocher became the 13th Sun Devil to record 1,000 or more digs in a career. Senior setter Cheryl Anglin led the Devils with 35 assists and freshman middle blocker Tierra Burnley set career highs with seven kills and three blocks.
'To beat Arizona during my senior year on my home court for the last time is amazing,' said Anglin. 'We were down and not playing well and then we just turned it on. We gained confidence and the rest is history. Wow, what an amazing feeling.'
The Wildcats were led by the career-high 31 kills from sophomore All-American Kim Glass. Glass also added 16 digs, three aces and four blocks for 36.5 total points. Libero Kelli Mulvaney led all players with 18 digs and middle blocker Jolene Killough had eight blocks. No other Wildcat recorded more than eight kills in the match.
The Sun Devils return to action next Thursday (Oct. 2) with a 7 p.m. match against No. 4 Stanford at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU will then take on No. 11 California on Friday to complete the three-match homestand.
ARIZ (6-7) 30 30 24 34 10ASU (6-6) 26 23 30 36 15ASU Statistical Leaders:KILLS: Natalie Harris 19, Mandy Stephens 13ASSISTS: Cheryl Anglin 35, Giovana Melo 22Digs: Juliana Escobar 15, Courtney Blocher 14TOTAL BLOCKS: Tierra Burnley 3, Mandy Stephens 3SERVICE ACES: Kim Mehlhorn 7Attendance: 3,225
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