Volleyball Puts Up Impressive Numbers In 3-1 Loss To No. 21 Long Beach State

Sept. 17, 2004

LONG BEACH, Calif. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton had a career night with 23 kills and 17 digs, but it wasn't enough as the No. 21 Long Beach State 49ers defeated the Sun Devils, 3-1, Friday night at the Long Beach Arena.

The Beach remained unbeaten at 7-0 with the 30-24, 28-30, 30-23, 30-26 victory. ASU falls to 4-3 with the loss against its first nationally ranked opponent of the season. The Sun Devils are in the midst of a tough stretch with five of its next six matches against ranked opponents.

Morton (Bonsall, Calif.) hit a blistering .452 (23-4-42) while notching a career-high 23 kills. She also tallied one service ace and one block for 24.5 total points. The double-double (kills/digs) was her fourth of the fourth of her career.

Freshman setter Rachel Mittelstaedt (Phoenix, Ariz.) and freshman middle blocker Colette Meek (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) each recorded eight blocks in the loss. The eight blocks are the most by a Sun Devil since the 2002 season. Freshman libero Sydney Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) led the Sun Devils with 18 digs and added four service aces.

Statistically the Sun Devils had one of its best matches of the year against the nationally ranked 49ers. They out-blocked LBSU 15.0 to 9.5 and tallied 11 service aces to only one by The Beach. Donahue led the way with four aces, followed by three each from junior outside hitter Sarah Watkins (Mishawaka, Ind.) and sophomore Nina Reeves (Gilbert, Ariz.)

LBSU had five players record double-digits in kills, led by 17 from sophomore opposite Robin Miramontes. Senior setter Jillian Mazzarella recorded the rare triple-double with 10 kills (.409), 56 assists and 10 digs.

Arizona State (4-3) returns to action tomorrow night against Cal State Fullerton (6-3) at 5 p.m. at The Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus. ASU opens Pac-10 play next weekend on the road at No. 14 California (Sept. 23, 7 p.m.) and No. 13 Stanford (Sept. 24, 7 p.m.).

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