La Mesa, Calif.
FRITZ ON LAURA:
"Laura is a tremendous all-around volleyball player. She came to us as a left-side attacker and has since spent time at both the setter and defensive specialist positions. She possesses a wealth of technical skill and understands the game of volleyball at a very high level. She has positioned herself as a leading candidate for the libero position because of her ability to receive serve and play defense."
AS A JUNIOR (2001):
Saw action in 14 matches and 42 games as a setter and defensive specialist... Made seven starts during the year... Began the season as the starting setter before the emergence of freshman Gabby Guerre... Started seven of the first eight matches at setter, including four straight to start the season... Second on the team with 339 assists for an 8.07 per game average... Collected double-digit assist totals in seven of her first eight matches, including 50 or more on two occasions... Posted a season-best 64 assists in a four-game win over Arkansas (Sept. 7) at the Wildcat Classic... Led the team in assists in seven of the team's first eight matches... Totaled 18 kills on the season for a 0.43 per game average... Ranked fourth on the team with a 2.55 digs per game average... Led the team in digs in matches against Michigan (Sept. 2) and Washington State (Sept. 8)... Tallied six double-digit dig performances, including a season-best 16 in a three-game sweep of Washington State... Compiled three double-doubles on the season... Saw her first action of the year against No. 5 Hawaii (Aug. 31) at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic... Recorded three kills on .286 hitting in a tight five-game loss to the Rainbow Wahine with 59 assists and eight digs... Turned in her first career double-double two days later in a solid all-around match against Michigan (Sept. 2)... Posted a season-best six kills on .625 hitting in the 3-0 sweep of the Wolverines with 35 assists and 11 digs... Grabbed another double-double in the first round win over Arkansas (Sept. 7) at the Wildcat Classic with a career-best 64 assists and 12 digs... Also registered a career-high four blocks against the Lady Razorbacks... Added 42 assists and six digs in the Wildcats' four-game win over Houston (Sept. 8)... Had her second double-double in as many days and her third of the season to help cap the team's run through the Wildcat Classic with 39 assists and a season-best 16 digs against Washington State (Sept. 8)... Posted four kills with no errors in the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma (Sept. 19) with 41 assists and five digs... Had a near double-double in a 3-1 loss at Texas Tech (Sept. 22) with 49 assists and nine digs... Ended the season with three straight matches with 10 or more digs... Collected 12 digs in the Wildcats' come-from-behind five-game win over Arkansas (Nov. 30) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament... Notched 11 digs in the team's four-game loss to No. 2 Nebraska (Dec. 1) in the second round.
AS A SOPHOMORE (2000):
Opted to be redshirted prior to the start of her sophomore season.
AS A FRESHMAN (1999):
Started 25 of the Wildcats' 30 matches as a defensive specialist... One of five players and the only true freshman to play in all 109 games for the Wildcats... The lone freshman to start a majority of the season for the team... Ranked fourth on the team with 251 digs or a 2.30 digs per game average... Tied for fifth with Julie Thomas on the team with 17 service aces on the season... One of the team's strongest defenders, she totaled double-digit digs in 10 matches, including seven in the team's last 12 matches of the season... Seven of those 10 double-digit dig matches came against nationally-ranked teams, including No. 4 Nebraska, No. 8 Texas, No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 22 Baylor... In fact, she averaged just under three digs (2.97) per game against Kansas State's 11 ranked opponents... After a somewhat quiet preseason, she showed coolness under pressure with 16 digs in the Wildcats' 3-2 come-from-behind win over No. 4 Nebraska before nearly 4,000 fans in the Big 12 Conference opener on Sept. 22... Followed that performance two weeks later with 16 digs in a 3-1 win at No. 21 Colorado on Oct. 2... A month later, she would again tally strong numbers against Colorado with 13 in a five-game loss in Ahearn Field House on Nov. 3... Again posted big defensive numbers against a ranked foe with 12 digs in K-State's 3-1 upset of No. 8 Texas in Austin on Oct. 9... Yielded a team-best and a career-high 21 digs in the 3-1 loss at No. 14 Texas A&M on Nov. 17.
AT HELIX HIGH SCHOOL
Letterwinner in volleyball all four years at Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif. ... Named an All-American at Junior Nationals in Denver, Colo. as a junior... Honored as the team's most valuable player all four years of high school... Team captain three years... Selected as the most valuable player of the Senior All-Star game... Named first team All-Grossmont South League three consecutive years... Named most valuable player after her sophomore, junior and senior seasons... Honored as a second-team all-CIF as a sophomore and first team all-CIF as a junior and senior... Helped lead a remarkable turnaround at Helix, where the team finished 1-21 the year before Downey arrived... With new coach, Al Ursillo, and Downey on the squad, the team improved to 14-11... Her high school coach Al Ursillo related, "I've told everyone that will listen to me that I think Laura is the best player in Southern California. Nobody can do the things she can do. She plays every position on the court and is the best passer I've seen."... Also lettered in soccer and diving all four years at Helix... An all-around accomplished athlete, she helped led Helix to the 1998 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) soccer championship as a senior en route to being named first team All-CIF and the team's most inspirational player... Honored as the team's most valuable player her junior season... She was a second-team all-conference selection for three consecutive years in soccer... Also a talented diver as she captured the league title and placed eighth in the CIF as a junior... Named as president of the Associated Student Body... Elected as junior class president at Helix... Also honored a Tartan Bearer which goes to the top 10 percent of the Helix graduating class... Selected as a scholar-athlete three consecutive years... Coached in volleyball by Alan Ursillo.
Laura Kathryn Downey-Wallace was born May 31, 1980, in San Diego, Calif. ... Was recently married to Donnie Wallace, a former basketball player at Kansas State who now plays at Nebraska-Kearney...The daughter of Earl and Kathryn Downey... Youngest of six children... Has three sisters, Beckki, Karrie and Shannon, and two brothers, Mike and Scott... All six siblings played volleyball at the high school and/or at collegiate level... Father is a pediatric surgeon... Older sister, Karrie Downey Larson is a former Colorado standout, who played for the Buffaloes from 1991-94... Karrie still holds the CU career records for kills (1,790), kills-per-game (4.11), total attacks (4,665) and digs (1,540)... She was a first team All-Big Eight and first team All-Midwest Region selection in 1993 and 1994 and an honorable mention All-Big Eight selection in 1991... She also played for the U.S. National Team from 1997-98... Karrie is currently the top assistant at Colorado State, who the Wildcats open the season against on Aug. 30... Is majoring in life sciences with emphasis on going to nursing school after graduation.