Sept. 21, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar recorded 23 kills and 13 digs as the Arizona State Sun Devils upset the 11th-ranked UCLA Bruins 3-1 Saturday night in Pac-10 volleyball action at Wells Fargo Arena. Game scores were 30-26, 28-30, 30-23, 30-26.
Arizona State improved to 5-2 on the season and is off to a 1-1 start in Pac-10 play. UCLA dropped to 0-2 in conference action and 7-5 overall in 2002. The victory improved ASU to 2-1 vs. ranked opponents this year and snapped a 12-match losing streak to the Bruins. ASU last recorded a victory over UCLA on Nov. 11, 1995 (3-0). ASU assistant coaches Christine Garner and Terri Cox were both members of that team. The victory also puts ASU one win away from No. 500 in the 30 years of Sun Devil volleyball.
"This was a great win that I really expected us to walk away with," said ASU head coach Patti Snyder-Park. "We really worked on the block all week and took advantage of the mismatches. We had some great performances from (Natalie) Harris and (Fernanda) Habiger that really sparked out team."
The Devils had four players reach double-digits kills behind a stellar .315 team hitting percentage. Escobar (Sobradinho DF, Brazil), who was the AVCA/NJCAA Player of the Year in 2001 at Barton County CC, led ASU by recording her fifth match of 20 or more kills this year and added her fifth double-double. She added two service aces in the win for a total of 25.0 points.
In a twist of events that has seen the Devils use two setters, senior Habiger (Cruzeira, Brazil) was a big key to ASU's victory. Habiger registered 25 assists, while adding a career-high four total blocks and four kills. Junior Cheryl Anglin (Queen Creek) led ASU with 30 assists, moving to within 115 of second place in the ASU career record books.
"Habiger was the difference in tonight's match," added Snyder-Park. "She played great off the bench and really adds an excitement level to this team when she is on the court. The competition between Cheryl and Fernanda will be a huge advantage to this team."
Junior middle blocker Jodi Smith (St. Johns) registered 12 kills (12-3-23) for the second night in a row while hitting at a .391 clip. Senior Julia Leddy (Mesa) had another strong night, contributing 11 kills and hitting .409 for the match. Sophomore opposite hitter Alicia Akporiaye (Tucson) notched her third career double-double with 11 kills and a career-high-tying 17 digs. Junior libero Courtney Blocher (Scottsdale) anchored the ASU defense with a season-high 20 digs.
The Bruins, who fell 3-1 to Arizona Friday night in Tucson, were led by the 19 kills from outside hitter Lauren Fendrick. Brittany Ringel, Cira Wright, Brynn Murphy and Heather Cullen all recorded 10 kills in the loss.