Aug. 23, 2000
JUST DIGGIN' IT
The San Diego State women's volleyball team opens its new season by hosting Diggin' It 2000 on Friday and Saturday, Sept.1-2, in Cox Arena. The event features the Aztecs along with three teams that finished the 1999 season ranked among the top-25 in the nation: UC Santa Barbara (6). Arizona (14), and San Diego (24). In the 2000 preseason poll, Arizona is 10th and UCSB is 14th while USD was not among the top-25, but did receive votes.
Friday, September 1
UC Santa Barbara vs. Arizona 4:00 p.m.
San Diego vs. San Diego State 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 2
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego 10:00 a.m.
San Diego State vs. Arizona 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Diego State 5:00 p.m.
San Diego vs. Arizona 7:30 p.m.
Prices for daily passes for the two-day event are $7 for adults and $4 for seniors, high school students and youths. Tournament passes are available at a cost of $13 for adults and $7for seniors, high school students and youths.
The Aztecs have a winning record against each of the other three teams in the Diggin' It 2000 tournament. SDSU is 19-6 against Arizona, but the Wildcats have won the last five meetings, including matches in each of the past four seasons. SDSU's record against UCSB stands at 21-17 with the teams having met only once since 1991 (a Gaucho win in San Diego in 1996). The Aztecs lead the series with USD, 23-10, with the teams meeting both home and away annually since 1993. The Toreros have won the most recent six matches over the past three seasons with the Aztecs winning five in a row prior to that.
ON THE RETURN
San Diego State returns four of six starters from its 1999 team that compiled a mark of 11-19 (4-10 Mountain West Conference - tied sixth). Leading the way are a pair of fourth-year seniors in outside hitter Amy Hallquist and middle blocker Erin Grady. Other returning starters include setter Melissa Dickson and outside hitter Nicole Akporiaye. Other returnees expected to see significant playing time include defensive specialist Jessica Allen, along with outside hitters Katie Magnuson and Nadia Privara.
The top newcomers this season include setter Melissa Wright, outside hitter Zlatina Anguelova, and middle blocker Aspen McPartland. Wright, a sophomore and high school All-American who played at Washington State last season. Anguelova is a freshman member of the Bulgaria Junior National Team who competed with that squad at the European Championships. McPartland is a freshman standout from nearby Grossmont High School.
QUOTING HEAD COACH MARK WARNER:
"This year's recruiting class is one of the strongest we've had here in the last six years and I expect significant contributions from each of our new players. We will be significantly better this year because of the depth of the squad. Our goal is to challenge for a top-three spot in the league, a difficult assignment considering the Mountain West is rated as the third-strongest conference in the country. Our opening tournament will give us a good indication of exactly where we're at in terms of competing with some of the top collegiate teams in the country."