Volleyball To Compete At MWC Tournament

Nov. 16, 2000

By virtue of its fourth-place finish in the final Mountain West Conference standings, San Diego State will be the number-four seed at the 2000 McLeodUSA Mountain West Conference Championship and face fifth-seeded New Mexico on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7:00 p.m. (MST) in Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.

The Aztecs enter the tournament with an overall record of 17-12. They finished with a Mountain West Conference mark of 9-5. Both records are bests for an SDSU volleyball squad since the 1997 season.

Other first-round tournament parings will have top-seeded Colorado State meeting #8 Air Force, #2 Brigham Young playing #7 Wyoming, and #3 Utah taking on #6 UNLV.

The winner of the SDSU-UNM match will move on to face the winner of the Air Force-Colorado State contest on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (MST).

The 2000 McLeodUSA Mountain West Conference Championship will be broadcast by SportsWest to various outlets in conference cities.

In San Diego, Channel 4 will carry the tourney semifinals on a tape-delayed basis on Friday, Nov. 17. The first semifinal will be aired at 8:30 p.m. in San Diego with the other broadcast at 10:30 p.m. Should the Aztecs win their opening match on Thursday and advance to the semifinals, their match would be the second televised Friday night.

The tournament final will also be carried by Channel 4, tape delayed on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 9:00 p.m. in San Diego.

None of the tournament's first-round matches will be carried in San Diego.

San Diego State defeated New Mexico both times that the teams met during the 2000 season.

In the first meeting this fall, SDSU was victorious 3-0 (15-8, 15-5, 15-10) in a match played in Peterson Gym on Sept. 29. Three Aztecs hit double figures in kills, led by senior Monet Solberg with 16. Senior Amy Hallquist had 14 kills while freshman Aspen McPartland chipped in 11.

In the rematch in Albuquerque, the Aztecs prevailed by a score of 3-1 (15-8, 15-4, 15-17, 15-9) on Oct. 28. In that match, sophomore Nicole Akporiaye was one of four SDSU players in double figures in kills with 14 while Hallquist had a double double with 14 kills and 15 blocks.

In the two matches with the Lobos this season, San Diego State hit .321 as a team.

Here's how SDSU's series with each of the MWC teams stands entering the tournament, including the last five meetings, last 10 meetings, and this year's record against each foe:

     Team            Series   Last 10   Last 5   2000
     Air Force.........7-1......7-1.......4-1.....2-0
     Brigham Young....13-23.....1-9.......0-5.....0-2
     Colorado State...13-7......5-5.......1-4.....0-2
     New Mexico.......15-8......7-3.......2-3.....2-0

Mark Warner is in his sixth season as the head coach of the San Diego State volleyball team. His record entering the MWC Tournament stands at 100-81 (.552).

Warner picked up his 100th career coaching victory this past Saturday as his Aztecs defeated Wyoming, 3-1, in Peterson Gym.

In his previous five seasons at SDSU, Warner has led his charges to one conference title (Western Athletic Conference), two second-place finishes, and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament with his 1995 squad advancing to the Sweet 16.

San Diego State's five-game loss to Colorado State last Friday ended the team's four-game winning streak.

The four-game streak was the longest for the Aztecs this fall, and was accomplished on three separate occasions during the season.

The team's longest losing streak has been four games. That streak came at the beginning of the season when SDSU opened its 2000 campaign with losses to four ranked teams.

San Diego State has used the same staring lineup and basic sub rotation over its last 14 matches.

Beginning with the match against New Mexico on Sept. 29, the starting six has consisted of setter Melissa Wright, hitters Nicole Akporiaye, Amy Hallquist and Monet Solberg, along with middle blocks Erin Grady and Aspen McPartland.

Junior Jessica Allen and sophomore Katie Magnuson have come off the bench to play the back row for Grady and Akporiaye over the course of each match.

With this lineup and substitution pattern, the Aztecs have complied a record of 11-3.

San Diego State went through its first 18 matches this season without being extended to five games. Then came a stretch in which it played three five-game matches over six contests in mid-October.

Over that span, the Aztecs won its three five-game matches over UC Riverside, Wyoming and Utah. M SDSU's other lone five-game match this season came last Friday when it fell to Colorado State in five games at home.

San Diego State enters the conference tournament with an overall record of 17-12 after finishing in fourth place in the standings at 9-5.

The 17 wins are the most for the Aztecs since they had 18 during the 1997 campaign. Their win total this fall exceed their win total of the past two seasons combined.

In addition, SDSU's nine conference wins also exceed their total league victories of the past two seasons. The fourth-place finish is also the team's highest since 1997.

Senior Amy Hallquist was the lone Aztec to earn Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors this season, capturing the honor for her play during the week of Oct. 16-22.

The outside hitter from Phoenix helped the Aztecs to a 3-1 record during that span, highlighted by the five-game win over 18th-ranked Utah. SDSU also recorded wins over William & Mary and UC Riverside that week.

Against Utah, she had a career-high 25 kills along with 19 digs, and assisted with the blocks for the winning points in games four and five. She began the week with six kills and four digs. vs. William & Mary, then had 14 kills and nine digs against UC Riverside. In the loss to 16th-ranked Brigham Young that week, she hit .320 with 11 kills.

Three members of the Aztec squad earned all-tournament honors during the 2000 season.

Soph outside hitter Nicole Akporiaye earned all-tourney honors at the Nike Conference Challenge in Portland Ore. At that event, she hit .383 over four matches and led SDSU with 40 kills.

At the Cornell Invitational, freshman Aspen McPartland was named the tournament MVP after hitting .350 with 33 kills, 31 digs, seven blocks and four services aces over three matches.

Akporiaye and freshman Zlatina Anguelova also earned all-tournament accolades at the Cornell Invitational.

Fourth-year Aztec Erin Grady has developed into one of the premier blockers in the nation in her senior season.

Her average of 1.77 blocks a game ranks first in the conference and second in the nation this week. She finished as the league leader in conference matches with an average of 1.78 bpg.

Grady's season total of 156 block assists is nine blocks shy of tying the San Diego State record of 165 set by Kris Morton during the 1985 season. She has at least two matches left in which to set a new school mark, pending the Aztecs' results at the conference tournament (SDSU has one match after the tournament: at University of San Diego on Nov. 20). She needs 20 more block assists to move up another notch to the No. 6 spot.

Earlier this season, Grady set an Aztec single-game block assist record when she had 15 in SDSU's match against Idaho at the Portland Nike Challenge. The previous SDSU block assist record was 13 in a match, and had stood since 1979.

Senior hitter Monet Solberg has become one of the Aztecs' primary offensive threats in her final season at San Diego State.

Solberg began her career at William & Mary, but was injured in an auto accident and played just a little over one season there. She came to SDSU and played sparingly in her first season as a junior.

This fall, Solberg leads the squad in kill average at 3.03 kpg. Also an excellent defensive player, her average of 2.14 digs per game ranks second among the Aztecs.

Setter Melissa Wright, a sophomore transfer from Washington State, has 1208 assists this season, a figure that ranks seventh on the SDSU single-season list. She need three more to move up one place, and 102 to climb into the number-five position.

Her total of 1208 assists also ranks eighth on the San Diego State career assist list even though she is in only her first season at SDSU.

Wright has compiled a hitting percentage of .368 this fall with only 26 errors in 209 total attacks.

Freshman middle blocker Aspen McPartland has started 27 of San Diego State's 29 matches this season.

Entering the Mountain West Conference Tournament, she is second on the team in total kills with 258, one behind Nicole Akporiaye's total of 259. McPartland's average of 2.58 kpg is fourth-best among the Aztecs.

Her blocking average of 0.99 bpg ranks second only to senior Erin Grady, and her 33 service aces is also second-best on the squad.

She was named the MVP of the Cornell Invitational, a tournament in which the Aztecs participated early in the season (Sept. 15-16).

Defensive specialist Jessica Allen had her best weekend of the season in last week's matches vs. Colorado State and Wyoming.

In those contests, she totaled seven service aces and 10 kills. Her 40 service aces leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference this week.

Although strictly a back row player, Allen has also accumulated 44 kills this season.

San Diego State ranks third in the conference with a team hitting percentage of .220 and an average of 2.90 blocks/game.

Senior Erin Grady ranks first in the Mountain West Conference stats in blocks with an average of 1.77 bpg in all games and 1.78 bpg in league games only.

Hitter Nicole Akporiaye is seventh in the MWC with an overall hitting percentage of .281 and finished ninth in the MWC stats with a mark of .265.

Setter Melissa Wright is fourth in assist average at 11.84 apg (third in MWC league stats at 12.20 apg in conference matches).

Jessica Allen ranks fourth in service aces in all games with a 0.40 assist/game average while Aspen McPartland is seventh at 0.33 sapg. In MWC contests, McPartland finished third at 0.33 sa/g.

San Diego State compiled a home record of 7-7 during the 2000 season. All seven of the team's losses on its home court came at the hands of teams ranked among the top 20 when they faced the Aztecs.

The team average of 2.90 blocks a game is just outside the top 20 in this week's NCAA team statistics. Loyola Marymount ranks 20th this week with an average of 2.98 blocks per contest.

In its final 14 matches this season, SDSU compiled a record of 11-3 after standing 6-9 at the midpoint of its 2000 campaign.

In its first 15 matches, San Diego State hit .187 as a team. In its 14 contests, the team has hit .252.

SDSU's victory over 18th-ranked Utah on Oct. 21 was its first win over a ranked team since Oct. 7, 1995, when it defeated 16th-ranked Brigham Young, 3-1 (15-12, 9-15, 16-14, 15-10) in San Diego.


Nicole Akporiaye
Outside Hitter, 6-2, Sophomore
Tucson, Ariz. (Canyon Del Oro HS)

Starting outside hitter who leads the hitters and blockers with a .281 hitting percentage...Played only on the front line for San Diego State this season...Finished in double figures in kills in seven of SDSU's final eight matches...Hit .302 over that span...Leads the team in total kills with 259...Average of 2.64 kpg ranks third on the squad...Named to the all-tournament teams at both the Portland Nike Conference Challenge and Cornell Invitational....Hit .762 with 16 kills and no errors vs. Brigham Young on Oct. 20.

Akporiaye's Season Highs
Kills.....17 vs. Oregon State, 9/29
Assists....3, last time at New Mexico, 10/28
Aces.......None (did not serve)
Digs.......5 at New Mexico, 10/28
Blocks.....7 at UNLV, 10/7

Jessica Allen
Defensive Specialist, 5-8, Junior
Tahoe, Calif. (North Tahoe HS)

Back row player who appeared in 100 of SDSU's 103 games this season...Her jump serve produced 40 aces this season...Had five games in double figures in digs this fall...Her season high of 18 came in a three-game match at UNLV...Averaged just under two digs a game... Hit .778 with seven kills and no errors from the back row against UNLV at home on Nov. 11.

Allen's Season Highs
Kills.......7 vs. Wyoming, 11/11
Assists.....3 vs. Utah, 10/21
Aces........7 vs. UC Riverside 9/19
Digs.......18 at UNLV, 10/7
Blocks......1 vs. Northeastern, 9/15

Zlatina Anguelova
Outside Hitter, 6-0, Freshman
Sofia, Bulgaria (Vassil Leuski 166)

Freshman member of the Bulgarian Junior National Team who was a starting hitter for the Aztecs during the early portion of the 2000 season...Started 13 of SDSU's first 15 matches...Named to the all-tournament team at the Cornell Invitational when she hit .300 and had 30 kills in three matches...Recorded a pair of double doubles this fall (kills/digs)...Began her first collegiate season with a .421 hitting percentage and 11 kills in the match against San Diego...Has averaged 2.17 kills and 2.00 digs a game.

Anguelova's Season Highs
Kills......15 vs. UC Riverside, 9/19
Assists.....5 vs. Kent State, 9/16
Aces........2, last time vs. Loyola Marymount, 9/26
Digs.......10, last time vs. UC Riverside, 9/19
Blocks......8 vs. Idaho, 9/9

Erin Grady
Middle Blocker, 6-1, Senior
Corona, Calif. (Norco HS)

Four-year letterwinner at San Diego State who has developed into one of the program's premier blockers during her Aztec career...Currently averaging 1.78 blocks a game, a figure that ranks second in the nation...Her blocking average also leads the Mountain West Conference...In league matches, she finished as the conference leader at 1.77 bpg... Set a new SDSU block assist record earlier this season when she had 15 in the match vs. Idaho, breaking a mark that had stood since 1979...Her season total of 156 block assists ranks second on the Aztec record list...She needs just 10 more to set a new school single-season record...Her career total of 304 block assists is the seventh-most for an Aztec.

Grady's Season Highs
Kills......12, last time vs. Colorado State, 11/10
Assists.....2, last time at UC Riverside, 10/17
Aces........None (did not serve)
Digs........3, last time vs. Utah, 10/21
Blocks.....15 vs. Idaho, 9/9

Robyn Gregg
Setter, 5-10, Freshman
Santee, Calif. (West Hills HS)

Served as the team's back-up setter this fall...Appeared in three games in three different matches as a true freshman this season...Had a kill in SDSU's match at New Mexico...Recorded four assists in her first match as an Aztec when SDSU faced Portland State during the Nike Conference Challenge in early September.

Gregg's Season Highs
Kills.......1 at New Mexico, 10/28
Assists.....4 at Portland State, 9/8
Aces........1 at Portland State, 9/8

Amy Hallquist
Outside Hitter, 5-10, Senior
Phoenix, Ariz. (Central HS)

Has played the past four seasons at SDSU and has become one of the Aztecs' primary offensive weapons as a senior this fall...The team's number-two kill leader, averaging 2.78 kpg...In conference matches, led the squad with an average of 3.43 kpg...An excellent defensive player, she leads the Aztecs in digs, averaging 2.44 dpg overall and 2.55 digs a game in league matches...Second on the team in total attacks...Earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors for her performance in SDSU's four matches during the week of Oct. 16-22 when the Aztecs went 3-1, including a win over 18th-ranked Utah...In the win over Utah, had a career-high 25 kills along with 19 digs...Has had six matches this season in which she recorded double figures in both kills and digs, including three of the Aztecs' last four outings.

Hallquist's Season Highs
Kills......25 vs. Utah, 10/21
Assists.....5, last time vs. Colorado State, 11/10
Aces........4 at UC Riverside, 10/17
Digs.......19 vs. Utah, 10/21
Blocks......5 vs. St. Mary's, 9/8

Katie Magnuson
Outside Hitter, 6-1, Junior
San Diego, Calif. (Horizon HS)

Versatile athlete who has seen most of her playing time in the back row this fall...Has appeared in all 29 of SDSU's matches, starting twice (vs. San Diego and Oregon State)...Has played in all but two of the Aztecs' games this season...Had six matches in double figures in digs, including three of the Aztecs' last five contests...Averaged over two digs a game in conference play.

Magnuson's Season Highs
Kills.......8 vs. Oregon State, 9/9
Assists.....3 vs. Wyoming, 11/11
Aces........2, last time at New Mexico, 10/28
Digs........3 vs. Wyoming, 11/11
Blocks......2 vs. Oregon State, 9/9

Aspen McPartland
Middle Blocker, 6-1, Freshman
San Diego, Calif. (Grossmont HS)

First-year blocker who has been a regular among the Aztec starters in her first season at SDSU...Earned all-tournament and MVP honors at the Cornell Invitational in mid-September...Recorded six double doubles (kills/digs) this season...Hit double figures in kills in 14 matches, including seven of SDSU's final eight contests...Recorded at least one block in 28 of SDSU's 29 matches...Third on the squad in both kill average (2.58 kpg) and dig average (2.03 dpg)...She is second on the team in total kills with 258, one behind leader Nicole Akporiaye...Her 33 service aces also ranks second among the Aztecs, second only to Jessica Allen's 40 aces.

McPartland's Season Highs
Kills......17 at UC Riverside, 10/17
Assists.....4 at UNLV, 10/7
Aces........5 vs. New Mexico, 9/29
Digs.......22 vs. Utah, 10/21
Blocks......9 vs. Colorado State, 11/10

Christine Pfrenzinger
Middle Blocker, 6-0, Sophomore
Monarch Beach, Calif. (Santa Margarita HS)

Appeared in three matches (four games) for SDSU this fall...Season-best .500 hitting percentage in the Aztecs' match at Portland State in which she played in two games...Had block assists in two of the matches in which she appeared.

Pfrenzinger's Season Highs
Kills.......3 at Portland State 9/8
Digs........1 at Portland State, 9/8
Blocks......1, last time at Portland State, 9/8

Nadia Privara
Outside Hitter, 6-0, Junior
Colfax, Calif. (Colfax HS)

Reserve outside hitter who played in 11 matches (18 games) this season...Also saw playing time as a middle blocker...Made starts against Portland State and Idaho...Totaled 17 kills and 14 digs in those two matches.

Privara's Season Highs
Kills.......9 vs. Idaho, 9/9
Assists.....1, last time vs. Idaho, 9/9
Aces........3 at Portland State, 9/8
Digs........8 at Portland State, 9/8
Blocks......1, last time vs. William & Mary, 10/16

Megan Schauermann
Middle Blocker, 6-0, Freshman
Vancouver, Wash. (Hudson's Bay HS)

Played in 16 of San Diego State matches this fall as a true freshman with one start...Her lone start came in the match against Idaho at the Nike Conference Challenge at Portland State...Had seven kills, five digs and three block assists in that outing...Hit .375 with four kills against nationally-ranked Arizona early in the year...Season-best .444 hitting percentage vs. Portland State...Season hitting percentage of .281 (in limited action) ranks among the leaders for SDSU this season.

Schauermann's Season Highs
Kills.......7 vs. Idaho, 9/9
Assists.....1, last time at Cornell, 9/16
Aces........1 vs. Arizona, 9/2
Digs........5 vs. Idaho, 9/9
Blocks......3 vs. Idaho, 9/9

Monet Solberg
Outside Hitter, 6-0, Senior
Sebastopol, Calif. (William &Mary/El Molino HS)

A two-year letterwinner for the Aztecs who began her collegiate career at William and Mary...Has developed into an exciting offensive leader at San Diego State...Had a career-best 20 kills in SDSU's five-game win over 18th-ranked Utah this season...Finished in double digits in kills in 12 matches this season...Hit over .400 in three matches (vs. Arizona, Air Force and New Mexico)... Recorded five double doubles (kills/digs) this fall...Leads San Diego State in kill average in all matches with a mark of 3.03 kpg...In conference play, she averaged 3.00 kpg...Leads the team in total attacks this fall...Also excellent on defense, ranking third on the squad in digs with an average of 2.14 dpg...Had career high 16 digs in the win at Cornell.

Solberg's Season Highs
Kills......20 vs. Utah, 10/21
Assists.....3 vs. New Mexico, 10/29
Aces........3, last time vs. Air Force, 9/30
Digs.......16 at Cornell, 9/16
Blocks......4 vs. Brigham Young, 10/20

Melissa Wright
Setter, 5-9, Sophomore
Muncie, Ind. (Washington State/Muncie Burris HS)

Transfer from Washington State who has been San Diego State's setter since the second game of the year...Has made 28 consecutive starts and has played in all games but the first of the season against San Diego...Her 1208 assists this year is the seventh-most ever in a season for an Aztec...Needs three assists to improve to the number-six spot and 102 to move up to the number five position...Her assist total also ranks eighth on the San Diego State career list...Hitting .368 on the season, averaging just over a kill a game from her setter position...Also averages over two digs a game.

Wright's Season Highs
Kills.......7, last time vs. Colorado State, 11/11
Assists....76 vs. Utah, 10/21
Aces........2, last time vs. Utah, 10/21
Digs.......14 vs. Utah, 10/21
Blocks......6 at UNLV, 10/7

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