San Diego State Women's Volleyball Returns To Postseason Action.

Nov. 24, 1999

Diggin? It-Aztecs Return To Postseason: The San Diego State women's volleyball team returns to postseason action after a one-year hiatus, to compete in the first-ever Mountain West Conference Championship tournament in Provo, Utah. The Aztec finished tied for sixth in the conference and face No. 3 seed Utah (20-8, 10-4 Mountain West Conference) on Wednesday in the opening round. SDSU earned the sixth seed after splitting last weekend's contest to New Mexico (L 2-3) and Air Force (W 3-0), and sweeping the season series against UNLV. SDSU and Utah are meeting for the third time this season. Utah won both matches with 3-1 decisions. In the team's first meeting at Salt Lake City, SDSU took game one from Utah, but proceeded to drop the next three games, falling 3-1. The Aztecs were led by freshman Nicole Akporiaye, who recorded 12 kills before leaving the contest with a twisted left ankle. Three other Aztecs finished with double figures in kills including senior Jamie Evans (11) and juniors Amy Hallquist (11) and Erin Grady (10). In the series finale at Peterson Gym, SDSU once again took game one from Utah before the Utes put together a hitting onslaught and pulled out a 3-1 road win. Amy Hallquist led SDSU with 13 kills and eight digs. Middle blocker Erin Grady collected nine kills and finished with a .421 hitting percentage. In the all-time series, SDSU leads 13-6, but has dropped its last four to the Utes. This is the first time these two schools are meeting in postseason play.

Head Coach Mark Warner: Warner is in his fifth season as head coach of the SDSU women?s volleyball program. He has compiled an 83-68 (.550) overall record and posted a 43-29 mark in conference play (WAC & MWC) during his tenure at SDSU. In postseason play, he's accumulated a 4-4 record. Warner was appointed head coach in 1995 and proceeded to guide the Aztecs to a 27-5 record and their first-ever Western Athletic Conference championship. That year, Warner also took SDSU to its first ?Sweet 16? appearance since 1983. For his efforts he was named WAC Coach-of-the-Year.

# 3 University of Utah (20-8, 10-4 MWC): Utah enters the Mountain West Conference Championship as the No. 3 seed in the tournament field. Utah missed out on earning a second-seed slot after suffering a 3-1 loss to 11th-ranked Colorado State last week. Utah posted its fourth consecutive 20-win season. The Utes finished the regular season among the top-three in conference team leaders, including first in digs, averaging 15.65. Sophomore McKelle Stilson finished the regular season ranked fifth in the league in blocks, totaling 132 for an average of 1.28 a game. She also lists sixth in the conference in hitting percentage with a .309 attack percentage (377-125-816). Senior setter Graciela Torres-Lopez is averaging 12.27 assists a game, and set Utah's all-time assist record with 4,933 during her career.

Aztec Volleyball Media Notes

Amy Hallquist #1 5-10, Junior, Outside Hitter Phoenix, AZ/ Central High School (JUNIOR SEASON): Played in 28 matches, including 91 games...Finished third on the team in kills (218) and third in digs (203)...Notched eight double-doubles in kills and digs this season...Tallied 17 kills in the home opener against top-25 ranked oppponent Long Beach State...Registered a career-high 22 kills against Creighton on Sept. 12...Also finished with a season-high .463 hitting percentage (22-3-41), adding 13 digs, five total blocks and four service aces versus Creighton...Tied a career-high 16 digs against South Florida in SDSU's first win of the season...Recorded 11 kills and 12 digs in the Aztecs' Mountain West Conference opener at UNLV on Oct. 2...Collected a career-high five total blocks against Creighton on Sept. 12...Notched double-digit kills in 12 matches.

Lisa Bostian #2 5-9, Senior, Outside Hitter-Setter Vista, CA/Ohio State (SENIOR SEASON): Started every match during her last two seasons at SDSU...Competed in all 29 matches, including 105 games...Split time as an outside hitter and setter this season...Ranks eighth on the Aztecs' all-time assists chart with 1,579...Ranks second on the team in assists with 414...Finished the regular season ranked second in digs with 225 and fifth on the team in kills (181)...Nailed a career-high 14 kills versus Wyoming on Oct. 16, and finished with a season-best .455 attack percentage (14-4-22)...Also notched 12 digs against Wyoming to complete the double-double...Had a season-high 34 assists against Syracuse at the Buffalo Invitational...Recorded nine double-digit dig matches, including a season-best 17 in the Aztecs' win versus UNLV on Oct. 29.

Nadia Privara #3 6-0, Sophomore, Middle Blocker Colfax, CA/Colfax High School (SOPHOMORE SEASON): Recoverd from a left ankle sprain at San Diego on Sept. 22...Returned to compete in 20 matches, including 47 games this season...Best match of the season was against Central Connecticut at the Buffalo Invitational (Sept. 17-18), tallying a career-best 10 kills on 17 attempts for .353 hitting percentage...Added 10 digs and two block assists in that match...Finished the Buffalo Invitational with nine kills and a career-high 13 digs in the win against Syracuse...Registered more than five kills on 10 occasions...Tied a career-best two blocks assisted five different times...Finished the regular season with 86 kills, 71 digs and 16 total blocks.

Katie Magnuson #5 6-1, Sophomore, Outside Hitter San Diego, CA/Horizon High School (SOPHOMORE SEASON): Finished the regular season with 64 kills and 137 digs...Best match of the season came against Colorado State on Nov. 13, when she registered a career-high 20 digs and 10 kills...Notched nine kills on 17 total attacks, finishing with a season-high .353 hitting percentage and eight digs against rival USD on Sept. 22...Recorded six kills, 15 digs at New Mexico.

Melissa Cansdale #6 5-11, Freshman, Outside Hitter Boulder City, NV/Boulder City High School (FRESHMAN SEASON): Sees action as a top reserve...Played in 10 matches and 23 games this season...Had best performance of the year on Oct. 25, providing a huge spark off the bench in SDSU's five-game come-from-behind win against NAU...Against the Lumberjacks she recorded 15 kills on 35 attempts with two errors for a .371 hitting percentage, along with seven digs and one service ace...Finished the regular season with 21 kills and 23 digs.

Melissa Dickson #7 5-9, Sophomore, Setter Long Beach CA/Woodrow Wilson High School (SOPHOMORE SEASON): Played in 28 matches, including 104 games for SDSU...Became the Aztecs? full-time setter midway through the regular season...Finished the season with a team-leading 759 assists (7.30 avg)...Set a career-high 61 assists in the Aztecs' five-game win against Northern Arizona on Oct. 25...Also registered six kills and ended the contest with a .600 hitting percentage in that match...Tallied a career-high eight kills and nine digs at Utah on Oct. 8...Ended the regular season third on the team in service aces with 23...Served a career-best three aces three times this season...Recorded 150 digs (1.44 dpg) in the regular season...Has 962 assists during her two years at SDSU.

Nicole Curtis #8 6-1, Senior, Middle Blocker San Diego, CA/University of San Diego High School (SENIOR SEASON): Saw action in only seven matches this season because of arthralgia in the left knee...Registered a season-high 12 kills in the home opener against Long Beach State...Returned to the lineup in the season finale against Air Force...Recorded nine kills on 16 attacks with only three errors for a season best .375 hitting percentage...Also collected five total blocks in the Aztecs win against Air Force on Nov. 20...Finished the year with 32 kills and 10 total blocks.

Christy Pfrenzinger #9 6-0, Freshman, Middle Blocker Monarch Beach, CA/Santa Margarita High School (FRESHMAN SEASON): One of six freshmen on the Aztec squad...Competed in 13 matches and 18 games...Recorded a career-best eight kills on 13 attempts with only one error for a .538 hitting percentage at Canisus on Sept. 19...Registered six kills on 12 attempts with only one error for a team-high .417 at Brigham Young on Oct. 9...Talled four kills on six attempts with no errors for a .667 hitting percentage versus Central Conn. in the Buffalo Invitational...Collected four total blocks and three block assists against South Florida...Finished the regular season with 25 kills and 11 blocks in limited action this season.

Jessica Allen #12 5-8, Sophomore, Outside Hitter Tahoe, CA/North Tahoe High School (SOPHOMORE SEASON): A walk-on in 1999, played in 27 matches along with 101 games...Became a fixture in the Aztec starting lineup by the fifth match of the season...Finished the regular season as the team leader in service aces with 30...In her last four matches, she has served nine aces, including three in the season finale win against Air Force...Had a career-high five service aces and eight digs at Creighton...Registered a season-high 12 digs at Air Force on Oct. 22...A defensive standout who ended the regular season with 195 digs, which ranks her fifth on the squad.

Erin Grady #14 6-1, Junior, Middle Blocker Corona, CA/Norco High School (SENIOR SEASON): Competed in 28 matches, including 101 games during the regular season...Finished the season with 184 total kills, her best output in the three years at SDSU...Collected a career-high four block solos in a four-game win against Wyoming on Oct. 16...Had a career-best seven blocks assisted on Nov. 5 versus Brigham Young...Ended the regular season with a team best 116 total blocks, including 13 solos and 103 assisted...Notched double-digit kills six times in the regular season...Tallied a career-high 14 kills in SDSU's come-from-behind win against Northern Arizona on Oct. 25...Recorded 14 digs against New Mexico on Nov. 19, which is a career-best...Best performance of the season came against UNLV in the conference opener on Oct. 2, when she collected nine kills, a .300 hitting percentage and seven total blocks

Jamie Evans #15 5-8, Senior, Outside Hitter San Diego, CA/Cal State Los Angeles (SENIOR SEASON): A walk-on and top reserve in 1998, became SDSU's floor leader in `99...Played in all 29 matches, including 108 games...Finished the regular season as the team leader in kills (315) and digs (267) and ranks second in service aces with 28...Registered 10 double-doubles in kills and digs this season...Recorded 12 or more kills in 13 of the 29 matches played...Best perfromance of the season came at New Mexico on Oct. 23, tallying 19 kills and digs...Set a career-high 20 digs at Creighton on Sept. 12...Her 19 kills at New Mexico and against Northern Arizona are a career-high...Notched 12 kills and 18 digs and two service aces in SDSU's first win of the season against South Florida...Served a career-high four service aces at Colorado State on Nov. 13...Averaging 2.92 kills a game along with 2.47 digs per game...Finished with a .444 attack percentage, a personal best against Creighton in Buffalo Inviational (Sept. 17-18).

Nicole Akporiaye 6-2, Freshman, Middle Blocker Tucson, AZ/Canyon Del Oro High School (FRESHMAN SEASON): Finished the regular season ranked second in blocks with 98 and kills with 226...Competed 28 matches along with 99 games...Registered her first-ever double-digit kill outing against South Florida with 11 and finished with a .333 hitting percentage...Earned Mountain West Conference Player-of-the-Week honors (Oct. 25-29) for her efforts in SDSU's come-from-behind wins against Northern Arizona and UNLV...In the match versus NAU on Oct. 25, Akporiaye nailed 12 kills on 25 attacks with just four errors for a .320 hitting percentage...Three days later against UNLV, she registered a career-high 18 kills and finished with a .343 attack percentage...Only freshman in the league to earn player-of-the-week honors.

Brooke DiNardo 5-10, Freshman.R, Outside Hitter Newport Beach, CA/Centennial High School 1999 (FRESHMAN SEASON): Saw extensive action late in the year...After redshirting last season, she saw her first action as an Aztec at Buffalo Invitational(Sept 17-18)...Competed in nine matches, including 21 games this season...Recorded a career high four kills at Canisius on Sept. 19...Known for her defensive ability, tallying a career-best 11 digs at New Mexico...Finished with 32 digs for the regular season.

Monet Solberg 6-0, Junior, Outside Hitter Sebastopol, CA/ William & Mary College 1999 (JUNIOR SEASON): Adds veteran experience to a young Aztec squad...Competed in 21 of 29 matches and 47 games this season...Regarded as a vocal leader on the squad...Had season-high six kills on two occasions this season at Nebraska and at Air Force...Best peformance of the year came against South Florida when she recorded five kills on six attacks with no errors for a season high .833 hitting percentage...Finished with a season best .417 attack percentage (6-1-12) at Nebraska...Notched a season-high five digs at Utah on Oct. 8.

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