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Volleyball Visits New Mexico, TCU In Conference Action

Setter Leah Lathrop ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference in service aces.
Setter Leah Lathrop ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference in service aces.

Sept. 27, 2006

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AZTECS TRAVEL FOR PAIR OF MWC MATCHES THIS WEEKEND
***San Diego State will be on the road this weekend as it will play a pair of Mountain West Conference matches on back-to-back nights.
***The trip begins with a meeting with New Mexico in Albuquerque on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:00 p.m. (MDT) in the Johnson Center.
***The next evening (Saturday, Sept. 30) the Aztecs will be in Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU in a match schedule to start at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) in the University Recreation Center.

SERIES RECORDS
***The Aztecs are 26-10 in the series against New Mexico, including wins in 13 of the last 14 meetings between the teams. The series goes back to 1976 when the Lobos claimed a 3-1 victory in Peterson Gym. The schools have met annually since 1990 when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference. SDSU has a record of 8-6 against the Lobos in matches played in Albuquerque.
***The Aztecs have won all four of their previous matches against TCU. The first two contests came during the 1997 season when SDSU and the Horned Frogs were members of the Western Athletic Conference. San Diego State won 3-0 in Peterson Gym and 3-1 in Fort Worth. Last season, TCU's first as a member of the MWC, SDSU triumphed over the Horned Frogs both at home (3-1) and away (3-0).

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
***New Mexico ended a four-match losing streak last Saturday by defeating Air Force in three games on the road. The Lobos enter the week with a mark of 5-9 overall and 1-2 in league play. UNM is led by right side hitter Kelly Therkelsen (2.91 kpg, 2.03 dpg, 0.94 bpg) and middle blocker Jeanne Fairchild (2.82 kpg, 1.29 dpg). New Mexico ranks third in the conference in blocking as a team at 2.73 bpg. It has three players averaging over a block per game led by Allison Suiter at 1.15 bpg.
***TCU, which hosts UNLV Friday evening prior to facing SDSU, is 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the MWC. The Horned Frogs have turned it around after finishing 16-18 (3-13 MWC) in 2005. TCU's top players include middle blocker Anna Vaughn (3.75 kpg, 0.89 bpg) and outside hitter Lauren Otto (2.84 kpg, 2.82 dpg). The Horned Frogs lead the conference in service aces with five players averaging better than 0.34 per game.

HEAD COACH Mark Warner
***San Diego State head coach Mark Warner is in his 12th season at the helm of the Aztec women's program. His career record over that span stands at 183-169 (.520).
***Over the past 11 years, Warner has led his teams to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and a Western Athletic Conference championship. His tutelage has produced 15 all-conference players and he was named the Mountain West Conference co-coach of the year in 2002.

MOST RECENTLY
***San Diego State dropped a pair of Mountain West Conference matches at home to the top two teams in the league standings, both of which are nationally-ranked.
***On Friday, the Aztecs fell to 16th-ranked Brigham Young in four games (30-28, 20-30, 30-18, 30-27). Stephanie Darnall led the Aztecs with 17 kills and 14 digs. Seniors Audra Dent and Melanie Greene had 15 and 14 kills respectively while Aime Cordeiro contributed 15 digs.
*** The next afternoon, SDSU dropped a 3-0 (30-25, 30-18, 30-20) decision to 18th-ranked Utah. Melanie Greene was the lone Aztec to reach double figures in kills as she recorded 13 over the three games. Stephanie Darnall had nine kills while freshman Bailee Hellwig led all players with five blocks.

GREENE CONTINUES SOLID PLAY
***Senior Melanie Greene continues to lead the SDSU offense as she averaged a team-best 3.86 kills per game in last weekend's matches against BYU and Utah.
***She has six double-doubles this season and has the most career double-doubles among active Mountain West Conference players with 20.
***Her streak of reaching double figures in kills in ended against Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 16 when she finished with nine. She has been in double figures in 14 of SDSU's 15 matches.
***Greene leads the Aztecs in kills (3.70 kpg) and is third in digs (2.75 dpg).
***Her .538 hitting percentage in the match vs. Lipscomb is a team best in 2006.
***Greene is also averaging of 0.51 blocks a game, well over her career average of 0.23 bpg.

DARNALL DOUBLES UP
***Freshman outside hitter Stephanie Darnall had the Aztecs' lone double-double effort last weekend with a 17-kill, 14-dig performance against Brigham Young.
***She has recorded six double-doubles (kills-digs) this season to tie Melanie Greene for the team lead.
***Darnall is second on the squad in kill average (3.36 kpg) and second in digs (2.89 dpg).
***Her overall kill average ranks ninth in the conference this week. Her mark of 3.75 kpg in MWC matches ranks sixth.
***She is accounting for 3.88 points per game in league matches to rank eighth in that category this week as well.

MAKING A DENT
***Senior Audra Dent had a streak of six straight matches in double figures in kills ended against Utah last Saturday.
***She recorded a personal season-best 18 kills vs. CSU Fullerton on Sept. 16 and followed that with 15 vs. BYU last Friday.
***She is the only Aztec to have recorded at least one block in every match during the 2006 season.
***Her 73 digs this fall surpasses her previous three-year total of 72. She is averaging 1.30 dpg after coming into the season with a 0.35 dpg SDSU career mark.
***Dent is averaging 4.02 points per game, a mark that ranks her ninth in this week's MWC overall statistics.

AROUND THE BLOCK
***Junior Kelley Wahlin and freshman Bailee Hellwig have come on in recent matches with their blocking abilities.
***Hellwig has recorded at least one block in each of the 13 matches in which she has appeared and leads the team with an average of 1.20 bpg.
***Wahlin has also seen action in 13 matches with an average of 1.17 blocks per game. Her 10 blocks at Oregon on Sept. 9 was a career high and is the best for an Aztec in 2006.
***Hellwig and Wahlin rank fifth and sixth respectively in the Mountain West Conference in blocking this week.
***Wahlin had a team-high five blocks vs. BYU last weekend while Hellwig matched that number vs. Utah the followed day.

FERRER AS LIBERO
***All-MWC libero Aime Cordeiro suffered an ankle injury midway through last Friday's match vs. BYU and is expected to miss this weekend's matches.
***In her place, sophomore Michelle Ferrer was inserted as the libero vs. BYU and against Utah the next day.
***It was Ferrer's first duty at the position, and she averaged just under three digs per game over the two matches.
***She is expected to continue in that role this weekend at New Mexico and TCU.

SERVING IT UP
***SDSU had a team-high 11 service aces in the match at Oregon on Sept. 9.
***In that contest, junior Aime Cordeiro recorded a career-best seven aces.
***The team total of 11 aces matched the best effort by the 2005 squad, which it accomplished in four matches.
***Cordeiro's average of 0.45 aces per game overall ranks fourth in the MWC stats this week.
***In league play, setter Leah Lathrop is averaging 0.50 aces per game to rank fourth in the MWC.

CORDEIRO SETS RECORD
***Junior libero Aime Cordeiro, the returning all-MWC libero, set a new Mountain West Conference and SDSU record with 39 digs in the match against College of Charleston on Aug. 30.
***She broke the MWC record of 35 digs that she set last season against UNLV. The previous SDSU mark was 37 by Jackie Mendez against Fresno State in 1988.
***She then had 30 digs at UNLV on Sept. 13 to become the first Aztec player to record five 30-dig matches in her career.
***Cordeiro leads the MWC in digs with a 5.74 dpg average and ranks 19th in the nation in that category.
***With 302 digs this season, her career total of 1,045 moves her into sixth on the SDSU career list. She needs 31 digs to move into the number-five spot held by Aspen McPartland (1,076 digs; 2000-03).

LATHROP ON THE DOUBLE
***Sophomore setter Leah Lathrop recorded the second and third double-doubles of her SDSU career in back-to-back matches during the week of Sept. 11.
***At UNLV (Sept. 13), she had 13 digs along with 28 assists.
***Two days later against Penn at the Fullerton tourney, she had 42 assists and 10 digs.
***Lathrop has seven blocks (1 solo, six assists) this season after totaling just one in 2005.
***She also has 21 kills after recording eight over 105 games during her freshman season.

CASTILLO MOVIN' UP
***With 35 assists last weekend, Kristen Castillo now has a total of 1,836 assists in her two-plus seasons as an Aztec to move into the number-eight spot on the SDSU career list.
***She needs just four more to take over the number-seven spot occupied by Stacy Bollinger (1,839 from 1991-93).

ALL-TOURNEY AZTECS
***Four Aztecs have received all-tournament honors this season led by Aime Cordeiro, who earned the honor at three different events.
***She was all-tourney along with Audra Dent at the Aztec Invitational to open the season.
***Dent was the MVP at the Big Orange Invitational at Syracuse where Cordeiro and Melanie Greene were all-tourney selections.
***Greene was all-tournament at the Oregon State Salbasgeon Suites Invitational.
***Greene and Cordeiro were named to the all-tournament team at the Hawthorne Suites Fullerton Invitational at Cal State Fullerton.

LIVE VIDEO
***This season, a video broadcast of selected Aztec volleyball matches will be available at the San Diego State athletic web site (www.goaztecs.com) free of charge to fans desiring to watch those contests.
***The remaining contests scheduled to be shown include home matches vs. Wyoming (Oct. 5), Colorado State (Nov. 10) and UNLV (Nov. 17).

AZTEC NOTES
***Middle blocker Kelley Wahlin leads the MWC in hitting percentage in conference games with a .484 attack percentage.
***Outside hitter Brianna Bowman, a redshirt freshman from Orange, Calif., made her Aztec debut last weekend, appearing in each of SDSU's two matches.
***San Diego State is one of only three MWC schools (along with BYU and Utah) to have two individuals (Kelley Wahlin and Bailee Hellwig) ranked among the top 10 in blocking this week.
***The Aztecs were swept for the first time in 2006 last Saturday vs. Utah, ending a string of 13 straight matches in which they won at least one game. That was the longest streak since the 2002 season when it went 16 contests without falling in three games.
***SDSU is averaging two digs more per game this year than it did during the 2005 campaign.