Volleyball Travels To No. 9 Stanford And No. 6 California

Oct. 28, 2003

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    The Arizona State Sun Devils (8-11, 3-7 Pac-10) head to the Bay Area this weekend to take on the nationally ranked Stanford Cardinal (15-5, 8-3 Pac-10) and California Golden Bears. The Devils have won two of their last three matches, but are coming off a three-game sweep by rival Arizona last Saturday in Tucson. ASU's trip to the Bay Area will mark the start of a stretch of four consecutive matches against teams ranked in the top 10 in the recent AVCA/USA Today top 25.

    Media Exposure:
    ASU's match against Stanford (Friday, 7 p.m.) will be televised nationally on a tape-delayed basis on Fox Sports Net. Roxy Bernstein and Lisa Sharpley will call all the action from courtside at Maples Pavilion. Please check your local cable listings for times and dates of the broadcast.

    A Look At The Last Match:
    The Arizona Wildcats took little time to even the season series with the Sun Devils, winning in three games (17-30, 26-30, 25-30) last Saturday in Tucson. The Devils and Wildcats split the season series for the second straight year, with both schools winning on their home courts each year. ASU couldn't get much started against the Wildcats, with only senior Juliana Escobar recording double-digits in kills with 12. Arizona out-hit ASU .326 to .121 in the match and was led by sophomore All-American Kim Glass (18 kills). Sun Devil freshman middle blocker Katie Wilson recorded a career high with six blocks.

    Scouting Stanford:
    Website | Weekly Release | Season Stats
    The Stanford Cardinal enter the weekend with an overall 15-5 record and 8-3 mark in Pac-10 play. Ranked ninth nationally, the Cardinal are coming off an unusually rough weekend on the road, taking five games to beat Washington State and falling in four games to No. 10 Washington. The 2001 NCAA National Champions and 2001 NCAA runner-ups are led by junior outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani (5.35 kpg, 2.31 dpg) and freshman outside hitter Kristin Richards (3.11 kpg, 2.46 dpg). ASU is 4-42 all-time against the Cardinal and have never won at Maples Pavilion. Stanford beat ASU earlier this year (10/2) in three games (30-24, 30-22, 30-22).

    Scouting California:
    Website | Weekly Release | Season Stats
    The California Golden Bears are experiencing one of the best years in program history, building up an 18-2 record and are second in the Pac-10 with an 8-2 record. Ranked sixth nationally, California is coming off a tough sweep on the road at Washington State (3-1) and Washington (3-2), marking the first season sweep of the Washington schools since 1989. Junior outside hitter Mia Jerkov leads the Golden Bears and the Pac-10 averaging 5.92 kills per game and named Pac-10 Player of the Week four times this year and six times in her career. ASU leads the all-time series against the Golden Bears 27-12 and has won nine of the last 10 matches at Haas Pavilion.

    The Comeback vs. Arizona:
    The Sun Devils recorded a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win over No. 22 Arizona (9/26) for their lone Pac-10 victory this season. The Devils trailed 2-0 heading into the intermission, but stormed back to take the last three games and earn back-to-back wins over Arizona at home for the first time since 1995-96. The Devils were led by a balanced offensive attack that saw four players record double-digits in kills. Natalie Harris recorded 19 kills (.234) and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. The Wildcats posted a little revenge with a three-game sweep of the Sun Devils (10/25) in Tucson.

    Aces Are Wild:
    Twice so far during the 2003 season a pair of Sun Devils have recorded seven service aces in a single match. The seven aces served up by Sarah Watkins (8/29 vs. Utah) and Kim Mehlhorn (9/26 vs. Arizona) are tied for the third most in ASU single-match history. The school record for service aces in a match is nine set by Regina Stahl vs. New Mexico in 1984. The performances by Mehlhorn and Watkins both established records under the rally scoring format. For the season, ASU leads the Pac-10 averaging 1.94 aces per game (126 total). The Devils have already surpassed their 2002 total of 122 (27 matches).

    Harris Becoming Big-Time Player:
    Redshirt junior Natalie Harris has quickly become ASU's go-to player on the court. For the season, Harris leads ASU and is fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.16 kills per game. She also leads the Devils with 0.42 service aces per game (87 total) and is fourth on the team with 2.55 digs per game. She has 15 matches with 10 or more kills (79% of ASU's matches) and has recorded eight double-doubles. Harris made the all-tournament team at the SBC/Sand Regency Volleyball Classic in Reno, Nev. Harris tied her previous career high with 17 digs against Tennessee (9/6) and set a new high with 24 kills. She also had 27.5 points and four total blocks vs. the Lady Vols. She has recorded 10 or more kills in 10 of her last 12 matches. She recorded her 500th career kills Saturday against Arizona.

    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 (8/29). 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. Senior OH Kim Mehlhorn also matched her performance against Arizona (9/26). Watkins has been one of ASU's most consistent players through 19 matches, averaging 2.24 kills per game to rank fifth on the team and has recorded 10 or more kills in nine matches. She set career highs against Washington State (9/19) with 15 kills (.375), 20.0 points and 4.0 blocks.

    Stephens Fourth in Pac-10 and Ninth in NCAA In Hitting Percentage:
    Senior middle blocker Mandy Stephens (Napa, Calif.) ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and ninth in the NCAA with a .417 hitting percentage. She was named the tournament MVP of the SMU Radisson Volleyball classic held Sept. 12-13 in Dallas, Texas. Stephens averaged 3.00 kills per game and did not make a hitting error on 46 attacks (.587%) during tourney play. She recorded one of the best matches of her career in the three-game win over SMU (9/13) when she tallied 10 kills (.625 attack percentage) and a career-high six blocks. She had a solid weekend against the Oregon schools after averaging 3.25 kpg on a .478 hitting percentage. She also set a season high with 15 kills in a five-game win over Oregon State (10/18). For the season, Stephens is averaging 2.25 kills per game and leads ASU with 0.75 blocks per game. She has recorded 10 or more kills in eight matches this year. The Napa, Calif., native makes her last homecoming to the Bay Area this weekend

    Escobar Earns All-Tournament Trifecta:
    Senior outside hitter Juliana Escobar (Brasilia, Brazil) was named to the all-tournament team in each of ASU's three non-conference tournaments. Through ASU's first 19 matches, Escobar is averaging 3.51 kpg and 3.04 digs per game (both second on the team). She has recorded 10 or more kills in 14 matches and has eight double-doubles to her credit. She also ranks second in total points (276.5) and aces per game (0.37). For her career, Escobar has recorded 655 kills (3.97 kpg) and 533 digs (3.23 dpg) while tallying 24 double-doubles.

    Quick Sets:
    * Senior OH Kim Mehlhorn has 748 career kills, ninth most among active Pac-10 players.
    * The Sun Devils feature a roster of six seniors, three juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen.
    * Senior setter Cheryl Anglin is second in the ASU career record books with 4,072 assists.
    * Juliana Escobar has recorded a double-double in 24 of her 45 (53%) career matches as a Sun Devil.
    * Head Coach Brad Saindon and assistants Terri Cox and Jami Coughlin are all ASU graduates.
    * Senior libero Courtney Blocher became only the 13th Sun Devil to record 1,000 digs in a career (1,067).
    * ASU leads the Pac-10 with 1.91 service aces per game (130 total after recording only 122 in 2002.)
    * Saindon became only the second coach in ASU Volleyball history to defeat Arizona in his debut.
    * ASU's nine academic All-Americans are fourth most among Division I volleyball programs.

    Packing the House:
    The official attendance of 3,225 for the Arizona (9/26) match marked only the fourth time since 1990 that an ASU Volleyball match had a crowd of over 3,000. The crowd is the fourth best dating back to 1990 and is second most dating back to the 1994 season. The school record for attendance at a home match was in 1986 against Stanford when 8,516 fans attempted to break the NCAA record. In the weekly NCAA Volleyball Attendance Rankings, ASU ranks 27th with an average crowd of 982 and the 3,225 vs. Arizona is the 50th highest attended match this year.

    Down 0-2... No Problem:
    After being down 0-2 to Arizona, the Devils stormed back to capture the thrilling 3-2 win over the Wildcats. The come-from-behind win marked the third straight year under the rally scoring format that ASU has rallied for victory after being down a pair of games. The Devils defeated California (Oct. 11) last year at home by scores of 27-30, 21-30, 30-27, 30-26, 15-10. In 2001, the Devils defeated in-state rival Northern Arizona (Oct. 23, 2001) also after being down 2-0. The Devils came back to defeat the Lumberjacks 28-30, 25-30, 30-21, 30-19, 15-9. ASU is 2-1 this year in five-game matches.

    Anglin Becomes Second Best Setter in ASU History:
    Senior setter Cheryl Anglin became only the second Sun Devil to record 4,000 assists in a career. 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 4,072 in 102 career matches (10.80 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 also 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. Anglin leads the Devils with 7.53 assists per game and has recorded seven matches with 30 or more assists.

    ASU Career Assists:1.	Regina Stahl (1984-87)	5,1802.	Cheryl Anglin (2000-P)	4,0723.	Jennifer Helfrich (1989-92)	2,9564.	Noelle Fridrich (1986-89)	2,7315.	Jolynn Faatulu (1995-98)	2,730

    Blocher Reaches 1,000 Career Digs:
    Senior libero Courtney Blocher made history during the Arizona match when she recorded her 1,000th career dig. Blocher, a three-year starter for the Sun Devils, notched 14 digs to pass the milestone, becoming only the 13th player in Sun Devil Volleyball history to reach 1,000 digs in a career. Current assistant coaches Jami Coughlin (1,528) and Terri Cox (1,382) are second and third respectively in ASU's career record books. To crack the career top 10, Blocher needs 35 more digs. Blocher ranks fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 3.45 digs per game this year.

    ASU Career Digs:1.	Christy Nore (1985-88)	1,5972.	Jami Coughlin (1998-01)	1,5283.	Terri Cox (1994-97)	1,3824.	Mindy Gowell (1987-91)	1,3655.	Leanne Schuster (1991-94)	1,2846.	Christine Garner (1992-95)	1,2537.	Nancy Christian (1990-93)	1,2218.	Kelly Plaisted (1987-90)	1,1949.	Tammy Webb (1983-86)	1,17810.	Tracey Barberie (1984-87)	1,10411.	Courtney Blocher (2000-P)	1,06912.	Amanda Burbridge (1997-00)	1,06013.	Noelle Fridrich (1986-89)	1,050
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