Volleyball Claims Courtyard By Marriott Classic Championship

Sept. 17, 2006

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devil volleyball team needed a sweep of the Fighting Irish to claim the title at the Tempe Courtyard by Marriott Classic on Sunday afternoon, and they did just that, sweeping Notre Dame to claim their second tournament title of the season. ASU improves to 8-3 on the year, and have now equaled last season's win total in only eleven matches.

The Devils came out on a mission in game one, never trailing on their way to a 30-20 win. Game two was more of the same, as Arizona State held the lead for most of the game. Notre Dame was able to take a lead at the midpoint, but Arizona State stormed back to claim the game 30-20.

The Irish came out firing early in game three, eager to win at least one game and claim the tournament title. Neither team could gain a big advantage, as the largest cushion was three either way in the early going. The game featured five ties and two lead changes, most occurring after both teams had passed the 20 point mark. ASU was finally able to gain the upper hand and take game three and the match 30-28.

Nicole Morton and Staci Smith led the Devils with 15 kills apiece, with Smith hitting at a .682 percentage. Sydney Donahue again led the Devils with 25 digs. Arizona State hit .321 on the match, far outhitting the Irish, who turned in a .194 hitting percentage.

The Devils, who also won the Hilton Phoenix/East Mesa Sun Devil Volleyball Classic in August, took home the title with a 2-1 record in the tournament. ASU, Notre Dame and Duke all finished with identical 2-1 records. Duke was eliminated from championship contention by virtue of their five games lost. Both ASU and Notre Dame lost four games, so with the head-to-head victory, the Devils took home the trophy.

Nina Reeves was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, while Sydney Donahue shared Best Defensive Player honors and Margie Giordano shared Best Attacker honors.

Arizona State now heads south to Tucson for the Pac-10 opener against in-state rival Arizona on Friday night. That game will begin at 7 PM at the McKale Center.

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