Sun Devil Volleyball Opens 2004 Season Friday In New Hampshire

Sept. 1, 2004

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    The Arizona State Volleyball team opens the 2004 season this weekend with three matches at the New Hampshire Volleyball Classic. ASU opens tournament action against Florida International at 4:30 p.m. EST (1:30 PST) Friday at Lundholm Gymnasium. The Sun Devils will also face Toledo and tournament host New Hampshire to conclude the tournament on Saturday. ASU is facing each tournament team for the first time in school history. Arizona State is coming off a 9-18 season in 2003 and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last five seasons.A Top Recruiting Class:
    Arizona State Volleyball Head Coach Brad Saindon's first recruiting class will go down as one of the best in school history. The Sun Devils brought in eight new players, including seven freshman. The class was tabbed by as the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation and the fourth best in the conference. The newcomer class includes players from five different states (Arizona, California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland) and Canada. The class consists of one setter, two liberos, three middle blockers and two outside hitters. The Sun Devil rookies are setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep), 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), outside hitter Danielle Fernandes (Santa Monica, Calif./Taft), libero Alison Lund (Bowie, Md./St. Mary's Annapolis) and middle blocker Colette Meek (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Salisbury Composite). Outside hitter Nina Reeves (Gilbert, Ariz.) also transferred in last semester from UTEP.ASU in Season Openers:
    ASU is 23-8 all-time in season openers heading into the program's 32nd season. Second-year head coach Brad Saindon is 1-0 in season openers after the Sun Devils upset eventual NCAA Tournament participant Utah in four games in the opening match of the Sun Devil Volleyball Classic at Wells Fargo Arena.Natalie Harris Possibly Out For Season:
    Redshirt senior outside hitter Natalie Harris (Tempe, Ariz.) is likely out for the entire 2004 season after suffering an ACL knee injury during the first practice during the spring. Harris earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors last year after finishing fifth in the league with 3.95 kills per game and was ASU's best returning player before going down with the injury. Head Coach Brad Saindon does not expect Harris to return this season, but said that ASU will petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. She also sat out her sophomore season with a shoulder injury that required surgery.Quick Sets:
  • ASU was picked to finish seventh in the Pac-10. The six teams ranked ahead of the Sun Devils are all ranked in the AVCA/CSTV national top 20.
  • The Sun Devil roster consists of seven freshman, three sophomores, one junior and three seniors.
  • ASU finished 9-18 overall and placed ninth in the Pac-10 last year with a 4-14 record.
  • The Devils have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 14 times in school history, including three of the last five seasons (1999, 2000, 2002).
  • The 2004 schedule includes 15 matches against teams that played in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
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