Volleyball Sets To Host Crowne Plaza/Phoenix Airport Classic This Weekend

Sept. 12, 2007

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The Arizona State Sun Devils (5-5 overall, 0-0 Pac-10) will return home again this weekend as they set to host the 2007 Crowne Plaza/Phoenix Airport Classic. The tournament will also feature Florida A&M, Tulane and VCU. The Sun Devils will kick off play on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. as they set to take on the Florida A&M Rattlers (0-3). The Sun Devils will then set to face Tulane (8-2) and VirginiaCommonwealth (1-5) on Saturday, Sept. 14. Admission to Saturday's games will be free due to the ASU Football home game.


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Recapping Last Weekend:

The Sun Devils traveled up to Orem, Utah last weekend where their fi rst match-up saw ASU drop a tough 3-1 match to the San Jose State Spartans. The Sun Devils rallied back in day two though to sweep Weber State 3-0 and top host school Utah Valley State 3-2 to enter a three-way tie for the tournament crown, which San Jose State barely won the edge in. Sydney Donahue and Marina Mercer were both named to the UVSC All-Tournament Team. Sydney Donahue had 78 digs on the weekend to help her cause to become the holder of the all-time Pac-10 career digs record. She now has 1,992 career digs, 4th all time in Pac-10 history and 26th all-time in NCAA history. Donahue needs only 79 more to tie the all-time Pac-10 career record and inch up in NCAA record books.


Series History vs. Florida A&M:

This is the first time in program history that the Sun Devils have met the Rattlers.


Series History vs. Tulane:

Against the Green Waves the Sun Devils hold a flawless 2-0 record, with their last meeting on September 18, 2005 in College Station with the Sun Devils emerging with a 3-1 win.


Series History vs. VirginiaCommonwealth:

This is the first time in program history that the Sun Devils have met the Rams.


Quick Sets -- Release Highlights:

• Libero Sydney Donahue has recorded 10 or more digs in 81 of her 95 career matches, including a streak of 48 matches with 10 or more digs dating back to October 21, 2005 vs. USC.

• Sydney Donahue also currently holds the Pac-10 lead in digs and digs per game. After three weeks, Donahue has 247 digs for a 6.33 per-game average. She currently holds the Pac-10 single-game match high total as well with 45 against Virginia on August 25th. She needs only 79 digs to tie the all-time Pac-10 career record of 2071.

• The Sun Devils are tied for second for service aces in a match in the Pac-10 with their 10 against Long Island on August 31st.

• ASU has the current Pac-10 match high for kills and assists with their 88 and 80 against UtahValley. They also pulled in a team match-high of 98 digs in the UtahValley face-off.

• Sophomore, Marina Mercer holds the season Pac-10 match-high for assists with her 73 against UtahValley.

• Sophomore Paige Mittelstaedt is tied for lead in the Pac-10 for solo blocks in a match with her four against IowaState on September 1st. She is also tied for second in single-match kill total with her 26 against UtahValley.


Brains and Brawn These Girls Have It All:

The Sun Devil Volleyball team has proven year after year that they are some of the best on the court and also in the classroom. ASU holds the proud title of MOST Pac-10 All-Academic selections in history with 40 over every other Pac-10 school. They also have a ten-year streak of at least one honor on the Pac-10 All-Academic team. Leading the list last year were Colette Meek and Marina Mercer, who both were named to the first-team and Rachel Mittlestaedt who was named to the second team.

Four other Sun Devils received honorable mentions as well.


Digging Her Way To The Top:

Senior libero Sydney Donahue is on pace to place her name all over not only ASU (which she already has) and Pac-10 record books, but the NCAA ones as well. The senior currently has the single-season ASU and Pac-10 digs record and this year is gunning for the career Pac-10 digs record, while inching up the NCAA records as well. Her current total of 1,992 puts her only 79 digs shy of tying the Pac-10 career record. Last season alone, Donahue had 742 digs as well as tying an all-time NCAA record of 50 digs in a match, which she did in three games against LMU on August 26, 2006.


A Tough Schedule:

As always, ASU is set to face a tough slate for the 2007 season. Aside from being in the all-powerful Pac-10, ASU jumped from an RPI of 152 to 30 in a successful year which found them later in the NCAA Tournament. The jump itself is one of the highest in the history of NCAA Volleyball alone. This year the Devils look to jump yet again in the RPI rankings, taking on a tougher and tougher schedule every year.


Head Coach Brad Saindon:

Head Coach Brad Saindon is in his fifth season at the helm of the Sun Devil Volleyball program. Saindon has compiled a 43-70 record at ASU and an all-time 287-210 record in 16 seasons at the collegiate level. He coached the University of Colorado to a 181-112 record from 1986-96, leading the Buffalos to six NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16 appearances. 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.

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