Volleyball Closes Out 2000 Home Season

Nov. 8, 2000

San Diego State (16-11, 8-4 MWC) finishes up its 2000 Mountain West Conference season with matches against league-leading Colorado State (25-2, 11-1 MWC) and Wyoming (10-19, 2-10 MWC) at home this weekend.

The Aztecs will face Colorado State on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Peterson Gym. SDSU will conclude its home season with a match against Wyoming the following evening (Nov. 11) at 7:00 p.m.

The 2000 Mountain West Conference Tournament will take place in Fort Collins, Colo., Nov. 16-18.

If the season were to end today, San Diego State would be seeded fourth and face fifth-seeded New Mexico in the first round. The other parings would have Colorado State (#1) vs. Air Force (#8), Brigham Young (#2) vs. Wyoming (#7), and Utah (#3)vs. UNLV(#6). The seedings could change slightly after this weekend's final slate of league matches.

The Aztecs hold a 17-2 edge in their series with the Wyoming Cowgirls, including a five-game win in Laramie last month. The teams split their two games last season, with UW winning the encounter last November in Laramie. Prior to that, SDSU had won five in a row dating back to 1994 when the Cowgirls registered their only other win over San Diego State.

SDSU leads the series with Colorado State 13-6. However, the Rams won last month's match in Fort Collins as well as both meetings in 1999, the first time the teams had squared off since the 1996 campaign. Prior to losing those matches to the Rams last season, the Aztecs had won the previous seven meetings with Colorado State.

Colorado State begins the week ranked sixth in the nation after having climbed as high as second two weeks ago. The Rams are hitting .312 as a team, led by Angela Knopf (.447) and Soraya Santos (.389). Knopf and Summer Jennings each average well over a block a game. Courtney Cox leads CSU in kills total (369) and kill average (4.19 kpg). CSU's loss at BYU on Oct. 28 broke a 19-match win streak.

Wyoming will play at UNLV on Friday (Nov. 10), prior to facing San Diego State on Saturday. The Cowgirls' top offensive players include Jamie Burke (3.10 kpg) and Melody Friehauf (2.72 kpg). Friehauf is also among the league's top blockers, averaging 1.47 bpg to rank fifth in the MWC this week. UW took the Aztecs to five games before succumbing when the teams met in Laramie in mid-October.

In their lone match last week, the Aztecs defeated UNLV in three games by scores of 15-10, 15-12, 15-9. Amy Hallquist led SDSU with 13 kills while Aspen McPartland and Nicole Akporiaye contributed 12 and 10 kills respectively. Katie Magnuson was again solid on the back line with 12 digs while MWC blocking leader Erin Grady had four blocks on the night.

With the Aztecs' next win, San Diego State head coach Mark Warner will record his 100th career victory.

Warner is currently in his sixth season at the helm of the SDSU women's volleyball program and enters the week with a career mark of 99-70 (.586).

San Diego State ranks third in the conference with a team hitting percentage of .223 and an average of 2.86 blocks/game.

Senior Erin Grady ranks first in the Mountain West Conference stats in blocks with an average of 1.78 bpg in all games and 1.81 bpg in league games only.

Hitter Nicole Akporiaye is seventh in the MWC with an overall hitting percentage of .300 and a league-game mark of .304.

Setter Melissa Wright is third in assists average at 11.92 apg (12.45 apg in conference matches).

Jessica Allen ranks fourth in service aces in all games with a 0.36 assist/game average. In MWC contests, freshman Aspen McPartland is eighth at 0.36 sa/g.

Last weekend's win over UNLV coupled with Utah's loss at BYU has moved the Aztecs into a tie for third place with the Utes. It is SDSU's highest standing in the second half of the league season since 1997.

The Aztecs have assured themselves of at least a fourth seed at the Mountain West Conference Tournament, which will take place in Fort Collins, Colo. Nov. 16-18.

San Diego State has now won four matches in a row for the third time this season and has been victorious in 10 of its last 12 outings. The team's longest losing streak this year reached four matches and came in its first four contests of the season.

Over the last seven matches, the Aztecs have hit .260 as a team to raise their season hitting percentage from .208 to .223.

With 1109 assists, soph Melissa Wright has cracked the top San Diego State 10 single-season list, moving into the No. 8 spot with four matches left. She should move up a few more notches before the season ends, and could realistically finish with the fourth-best season assist total in SDSU history.

Senior Erin Grady's total of 142 block assists this season ranks fourth on the San Diego State single-season list. The school record is 165 in a season set by Kris Morton during the 1985 campaign. The Aztecs have a minimum of four matches left this season (pending their success at the conference tournament), and Grady would need to average six blocks a match in those four contests to tie Morton's mark.

Grady's career block assist total of 290 ranks 10th on the SDSU career list. She need just six more to move up to the No. 9 spot and 10 more to take over the eighth position.

Sophomore Nicole Akporiaye has finished in double figures in kills in each of SDSU's last six matches. During that span, she is averaging 3.00 kills a game and has compiled a .347 hitting percentage.

Over San Diego State's last six matches, senior Amy Hallquist is averaging 3.65 kills per game. She also had 2.57 digs a game in those six matches.

Freshman Aspen McPartland had hit double figures in kills if five of her last six matches (3.26 kpg). She has recorded three double doubles during the stretch, reaching double figures in digs three times, including a team season high 22 vs. Utah on Oct. 21.

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