Volleyball Opens Conference Home Schedule

Sept. 26, 2000

After a Tuesday game at home with 20th-ranked Loyola Marymount, San Diego State (6-8, 0-2 MWC) opens the home portion of its 2000 Mountain West Conference schedule with a match against New Mexico on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in Peterson Gym. The next evening (Oct. 1) the Aztecs will be back in action as they host league foe Air Force, again at 7 p.m. in Peterson Gym.

SERIES RECORDS
San Diego State leads the series with New Mexico by a 13-8 margin. The Lobos have won the three most recent meetings between the teams including sweeping last season's home-and-home series. Prior to those three matches, SDSU had won six in a row over the Lobos.

The Aztecs hold a 5-1 advantage in their series with Air Force. The teams split last season's conference game with each side winning on its home floor. The other four meetings in the series came during the 1994 and 1995 seasons when the Aztecs won both home-and-aways each of those years.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
New Mexico (5-6, 1-0 MWC) visits San Diego after defeating Air Force in three games (16-14, 16-14, 15-10) in Albuquerque last weekend. The Lobos have won their last three matches, all by scores of 3-0. UNM is coached by Laurel Brassey-Iverson, who played her collegiate volleyball at San Diego State and is a member of the SDSU Athletic Hall of Fame. The Lobos are led by junior outside hitter Jessie Goffard, who averages 3.87 kills per game. Setter Kelly Griffin (10.72 assists per game) is a San Diego native who attended Poway High School. Three Lobos are in double figures in service aces Kelly (17), Goffard (10), and Erika Sansoni (10).

Air Force (6-6, 0-1 MWC) will play at UNLV Friday evening before facing the Aztecs Saturday night. Air Force saw its four-match winning streak ended last weekend when the Falcons dropped their conference opener at New Mexico. The Falcons' top hitter is middle blocker Shaylor Billings, a senior from Fallbrook, Calif., who attended Fallbrook High. She is hitting .341 on the season and is averaging 3.67 kills per game and almost one block per contest. Senior outside hitter Ana-Marie Ortega is averaging 3.54 kills a game and leads the Falcons with 125 digs.

LAST WEEK
San Diego State opened its Mountain West Conference schedule on the road, and dropped back-to-back matches at 18th-ranked Utah and eighth-ranked Brigham Young. The Aztecs lost to the Utes in four games (2-15, 9-15, 15-8, 10-15) and their offense was kept in check for much of the evening. Three Aztecs (Nicole Akporiaye, Aspen McPartland, Amy Hallquist) had eight kills each, but SDSU managed to hit just .090 for the match. The match at Brigham Young was much the same, as SDSU had a team hitting percentage of .029 with the Cougars recording 15.5 team blocks on the night. Senior Monet Solberg had a team-high eight kills for San Diego State.

SDSU STAT LEADERS
                               Total                      Avg
Kills        Zlatina Anguelova   122   Monet Solberg 2.85 kpg
Assists      Melissa Wright      510   M. Wright    10.85 apg
Digs         Zlatina Anguelova   104   Amy Hallquist 2.42 dpg
Blocks       Erin Grady           69   Erin Grady    1.64 bpg
Service Aces Jessica Allen        22   Jessica Allen 0.46 apg
Hitting Pct. Nicole Akporiaye   .245

AZTEC NOTES
Junior Jessica Allen ranks second in the Mountain West Conference in service aces with an average of 0.46 per game. Allen has appeared in 48 games, and the only player with a better ace average is Vanessa Shields of New Mexico (0.54 aces/g) who has appeared in only 13 contests this fall.

Senior Erin Grady is third in the MWC this week in blocking with an average of 1.60 blocks per game.

San Diego State's top three kill leaders at this point of the season are two freshmen and a sophomore. First-year Aztec Zlatina Anguelova leads the squad with 122 followed by soph Nicole Akporiaye (106) and frosh Aspen McPartland (101).

Sophomore setter Melissa Wright has a hitting percentage at .301, but does not have the minimum number of total attacks (four per game) to qualify for ranking. She is averaging 10.85 assists per game and is second on the team in dig total with 102. The 5-9 transfer from Washington State has also been involved in 18 blocks.

Senior hitter Monet Solberg is averaging 2.85 kills per game although she has played in only 26 of SDSU's 48 games this season. She also averages two digs per contest.

Jessica Allen is the only player to have appeared in all 48 of SDSU's games. Setter Melissa Wright has appeared in 47 contests after starting the season on the bench in the first game of the year vs. San Diego.

Through the first 14 matches of the season, San Diego State has yet to be involved in a five-game affair. Seven of its matches have gone three games while the other seven have been four-game contests. The Aztecs are 2-5 in three-game matches and 5-2 in four-game matches.

UP NEXT
San Diego State hits the road over the next two weeks for a trio of Mountain West Conference matches. On Oct. 7, the Aztecs will be at UNLV for their first meeting of the season. The following weekend, they will travel to Wyoming and Colorado State for back-to-back matches on Oct. 13 and 14.

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