Volleyball Begins Rivalry Week At Northern Arizona On Tuesday

Oct. 18, 2004

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    Northern Arizona (4-13)
    Website | Weekly Release | Season Stats
    Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. - Flagstaff, Ariz.

    The Arizona State Volleyball team (8-8, 3-5 Pac-10) takes back to the road this weekend with matches at Northern Arizona and No. 23 Arizona (11-7, 3-5 Pac-10). The Sun Devils have won three of their last four matches and are tied for sixth in the Pac-10. ASU will play its next four matches on the road, also traveling to No. 12 UCLA (Oct. 29) and No. 6 USC (Oct. 30) before returning home to face the Oregon schools (Nov. 4-5). The Sun Devils will play five of their last seven games at home.

    Rivalry Week:
    The Sun Devils will battle for bragging rights in the state of Arizona this week playing Northern Arizona (Oct. 19) and Arizona (Oct. 22) on the road. NAU enters the week with a 4-13 record and Arizona is ranked No. 23 in the nation with an 11-7 record.

    Scouting Northern Arizona:
    The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks enters Tuesday's match with a 4-13 record after being swept on the road last weekend at Weber State and Idaho State. NAU has lost four of its last five matches. Junior outside hitter Ellie Butterfield leads the Lumberjacks averaging 4.56 kills per game and 3.13 digs per game. Butterfield is the eighth player in NAU history to record 1,000 career kills.

    The All-Time Series:
    Arizona State leads the all-time series against NAU 38-5. The Devils won the last meeting between the two schools in a five-game victory at home in 2001. In the Devils last road trip to Flagstaff in 1999, NAU beat the Sun Devils in five games.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils earned a weekend split against No. 1 Washington (3-0 loss) and Washington State (3-2 win) to even their season record at 8-8. Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton led ASU averaging 5.00 kpg on an impressive .315 hitting percentage in the two matches. Junior OH Sarah Watkins tallied 28 kills (3.50 kpg), including a career-high 24 in the 3-2 win over WSU. Freshman libero Sydney Donahue averaged 4.62 digs per game to lead the Sun Devil defense. The Devils out-blocked the Huskies and Cougars 21.0 to 13.0.

    Aces are Wild:
    The Sun Devils have proven once again to be a force with the serve under second-year head coach Brad Saindon. ASU ranks fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 1.48 aces per game (86 total) after 16 matches. Junior outside hitter Sarah Watkins is tied for third in the league averaging 0.41 aces per game. The Sun Devils finished third in the Pac-10 last year with 1.69 aces per game.

    Baby Devils:
    The 2004 roster consists of seven freshman, three sophomores, one junior and three seniors. With season-ending knee injuries to seniors Natalie Harris (OH) and Giovana Melo (S), the Sun Devils are left with only two active upperclassmen on the roster. During parts of several matches this season, the Sun Devils have featured five freshmen and one sophomore on the court at the same time. Sophomore starting outside hitter Nina Reeves is also currently out after having an emergency appendectomy surgery last week

    Quick Sets:

    - The Sun Devils hold a 8-2 record against non-ranked opponents this season (0-6 vs. top 25).- ASU is 2-0 in five-game matches this season and 11-4 over the last three seasons.- The Pac-10 currently has six teams ranked in the AVCA/CSTV top 25, including #1 Washington.- ASU has lost senior OH Natalie Harris and senior setter Giovana Melo to ACL injuries this season.- The Devils have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last five seasons (1999, 2000, 2002).- The 2004 schedule includes 15 matches against teams that played in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.- Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Morton has double-digits in kills in 13 of 16 matches.- Middle blocker Colette Meek has recorded three or more blocks in 14 of ASU's 16 matches.- Libero Sydney Donahue leads the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with 4.32 dpg.- Outside hitter Sarah Watkins ranks tied for third in the Pac-10 averaging 0.41 service aces per game.

    Coach Saindon:
    Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his second season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has a 17-26 record at ASU and an all-time 261-166 record in 14 seasons at the collegiate level. He compiled a career 181-112 record at the University of Colorado from 1986-96, leading the Buffalos to six NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16 appearances. Prior to being named ASU's fifth head volleyball coach, Saindon spent time as an assistant coach with the USA Volleyball Men's National program. He was also the head coach of the Australian Women's National Team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Saindon graduated from ASU in 1976 with a degree in business administration.

    The Coaching Staff:
    Assistant coaches Terri Cox-Spann and Jami Coughlin join head coach Brad Saindon as graduates of Arizona State. Both Cox-Spann and Coughlin were standout outside hitters for the Sun Devils during their respective collegiate careers. Cox-Spann (1994-97) earned All-Pac-10 honors in 1996 and ranks third in the ASU career record books in digs (1,382) and ninth in kills (1,185). Coughlin (1998-2001) ranks second with 1,528 career digs and sixth with 1,360 kills. They are among the elite to ever wear the Maroon and Gold as they are two of eight players in ASU history to record 1,000 or more kills and digs in a career.

    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 for the 2004 season. The class was tabbed by PrepVolleyball.com as the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation and the fourth best in the Pac-10. The newcomers 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.

    Block Party:
    The Sun Devils are fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 2.78 blocks per game. Freshman middle blocker Colette Meek is fifth in the league averaging 1.36 blocks per game and has recorded three or more blocks in 14 of 16 matches this season. Meek is trying to become the first Sun Devil to average over 1.00 blocks per game since 1998 (Shawna Vanley - 1.42). ASU has recorded seven or more blocks in 14 matches this season. ASU's eight double-digit block matches are already five more than the entire season output from 2003 and the 17.0 blocks against Cal State Fullerton (9/18) are the most by an ASU squad since recording 20.5 against Cal in 2002. Meek's 9.0 total blocks against CSF and Oregon State (10/9) are also the most by a single player since Amanda Burbridge and Michelle Mortensen also had nine in a single match in 2000.

    Donahue Sets Freshman Digs Record:
    Freshman libero Sydney Donahue wasted little time etching her name in the Arizona State record books. Donahue set the single-match freshman record when she recorded 27 digs in the four-game win over New Hampshire (9/4). The 27 digs are not only a freshman record, but also second most by a Sun Devil since the rally scoring era dating back to 2001. Donahue leads the Sun Devils and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 4.32 digs per game this season. She has recorded 10 or more digs in 11 matches and has posted four matches with 20 or more kills.

    On The Tube:
    The Sun Devils are scheduled to appear on national TV twice this season. Matches at Washington State (Nov. 11) and at home against rival Arizona (Nov. 19) will air on FSN on a tape-delayed basis.

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