ASU Volleyball Inks Five Players To Letters Of Intent For 2004

Nov. 14, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz.-- Arizona State Volleyball Head Coach Brad Saindon has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent (NLI) to join the Sun Devil Volleyball program for the 2004 season. The class includes players from four different states (Arizona, California, Oregon, Illinois) and includes one setter, one libero, two middle blockers and an outside hitter.

The Sun Devils inked setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep), highly-touted libero Sydney Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa), middle blocker Staci Smith (Gresham, Ore./Gresham), middle blocker Kristin Trayser (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) and outside hitter Danielle Fernandes (Santa Monica, Calif./Taft).

'I am very excited about this class and can't wait to get them on the court next fall,' commented Saindon on his first recruiting class. 'It is unique to have this many scholarships open in one class, so that was a big challenge. Assistant coach Terri Cox, who heads up a lot of our recruiting, did a great job putting this class together.'

The 2003 Sun Devils are a relatively veteran team, featuring six seniors, so Saindon knew he had to pull in players that will be an immediate impact.

'Many members of this recruiting class could be starters next year,' added Saindon. 'We could be a very young team next year, but over the course of the next few years, ASU Volleyball will become very competitive in this unbelievable competitive conference. Every student-athlete we signed is a great kid, great students and great volleyball player. That is how we want to develop this program. It is by far the best recruiting class I've ever had as a coach.'

The Devils may also have an added veteran join the talented recruiting for the 2004 season, as middle blocker Jodi Proctor plans to appeal for a sixth year of eligibility after enduring a knee injury before the start of her senior season.

Cox, who is in her second year as an assistant at ASU and was an All-Pac-10 outside hitter for the Sun Devils in the mid 90's, also believes the recruiting class will make an immediate impact on the program.

'It is the strongest class ASU has had in a long time. I think all five of them are bringing something different to our program and all can be impact players right away,' said Cox. 'We have a nice mix of players and we addressed a lot of our immediate concerns at setter, middle blocker and outside hitter. It is a pretty big and physical group of young ladies.'

Player Pos. Ht. Hometown (School)
Rachel Mittelstaedt Setter 6-1 Phoenix, Ariz. (Xavier Prep)
Staci Smith MB 6-2 Gresham, Ore. (Gresham)
Kristin Trayser MB/RS 6-1 Crystal Lake, Ill. (Crystal Lake South)
Sydney Donahue L 5-7 Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Mira Costa)
Danielle Fernandes OH/MB 6-1 Santa Monica, Calif. (Taft)

Sun Devil Volleyball 2004 Recruits

Rachel Mittelstaedt...Setter...6-1...Phoenix, Ariz. (Xavier Prep)
A dynamic setter... stands 6-1 and can add a block and hitting attack at the net... will be an immediate impact player and contend for a starting spot... comes from a talented high school program at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix... played five years for the Arizona Juniors Volleyball Club... named Desert Valley Region Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003... First-team All-Arizona as a senior... led Xavier to state championship in 2000 and 2002 and runner-up honors in 2003... plans to study business at ASU... chose ASU because she wanted to stay close to home and play in the Pac-10.

Saindon on Mittelstaedt:
'She is a very athletic setter who will really create a lot of opportunities for our volleyball team. We thought she was the best high school player in the state of Arizona and we want to get those players from our own backyard. The setter position was our biggest need and we got the one that we really wanted. She is going to be a great Sun Devil.'

Staci Smith...MB...6-2...Gresham, Ore. (Gresham)
An athletic 6-2 middle blocker... a three-year member of the varsity volleyball squad at Gresham, Ore. (suburb of Portland)... helped lead team to state championship in 2002 and third-place finish in 2003... named first-team All-State and Mt. Hood Conference as a senior... played club volleyball for 18 Nike Air Elite and Nike Northwest Juniors... ranked #73 among John Tawa's top senior players.

Saindon on Smith:
'Staci is a big-time player who will come to the program with good club and high school experience. She is a potential starter for us in the middle and will give us a true middle blocker who plays above the net. She is young for her class, so there is lots of room for her to grow in the program. She will be a terrific Pac-10 middle blocker.'

Kristin Trayser...MB/RS...6-1...Crystal Lake, Ill. (Crystal Lake South)
A very versatile player who can play middle blocker or right side hitter... comes to ASU from Crystal Lake, Ill., near Chicago... plays club volleyball for Fusion... named all-conference and was team captain her senior year... interested in education as her major.

Saindon on Trayser:
'Potentially the gem of this class, she was a little unknown until late in the summer and we are very excited to get her. She is very athletic and has the ability to play middle blocker or on the right side. Very dynamic and flexible.'

Sydney Donahue...L...5-7...Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Mira Costa)
One of the prized recruits in the nation at her position... a very quick defensive player who has the ability to read hitters well... plays outside hitter at prep volleyball power Mira Costa, but will be best suited at libero during her college career... three-time All-CIF selection... MVP of Bay League junior year... captain of team... named 2002 California All-American... named 2002-03 Mira Costa Student-Athlete of the Year... plays club volleyball for Sport Shack... aunt is Stanford Associate Head Coach Denise Corlett.

Saindon on Donahue:
'She will be our best known player nationally. She grew up in a volleyball family and is a gym rat. I really think that she is the No. 1 libero prospect in the nation. I expect big things out of her. She does things you can't really teach. She grew up literally on the volleyball court. She is going to be a real key to the future of our program and will become a crowd favorite.'

Danielle Fernandes...OH/MB...6-1...Santa Monica, Calif. (Taft)
A 6-1 middle blocker and combination outside hitter... played four years of high school volleyball, earning three varsity letters at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Calif.... highly recruited... very raw with great athletic ability... played club volleyball for Santa Monica Beach Club (SMBC)... named all-city and all-league her senior year... plans on majoring in mass communication at ASU.

Saindon on Fernandes:
' A very highly recruited player who can play a versatile role for us. She is the athlete of the group. She is very raw and extremely athletic and will blossom into a great volleyball player.'

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