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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Aug. 25, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
Montana - 0

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team closed out the Ruby's Montana Invitational with a 3-0 (30-21, 30-26, 30-24) victory over host University of Montana Saturday evening. With the win the Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 2-1 mark while the Grizzlies closed out the invitational with a 1-2 record. Senior Heather Dunn and junior Elaina Renius both earned All-Tournament honors for the Zags.

Renius and Dunn helped pace Gonzaga to the victory as they finished with 14 and nine kills, respectively. Renius, who added one block, one dig and one assist, finished with 42 kills, a .507 attack percentage and 17 blocks over the three-match invitational.

Dunn also passed out a match-high 34 assists as five Zags closed out the match with five or more kills. As a team, GU finished the match with 50 total kills and a .294 hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs defense was spectacular in the win, finishing with 41 digs and six total blocks. Senior libero Alecia Douglas and Dunn both finished with nine digs a piece, while senior Becky Jones collected six digs.

Senior Briawna Mueller controlled the airwaves, finishing with two block assists and one solo block. Mueller also added six kills, one dig and one assist for the Bulldogs.

The Grizzlies offense combined for 33 kills and a .135 hitting percentage. Jade Roskam ended the match with a team-high 12 kills, along with two block assists. Jamie Thibeault also added six kills and a match-high six block assists.

Gonzaga will return to action Wednesday, Aug. 29 when it welcomes Washington State University to the Martin Centre for its first home match of the 2007 campaign. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Michigan State - 1

LOS ANGELES - Loyola Marymount volleyball topped a tough Michigan State team 3-1 (30-27, 25-30, 33-31, 30-26) in the Saturday morning match at the Trojan Invitational. With the win, LMU improved to 1-1, while the Spartans fell to 0-2.

The morning match-up featured two programs who had dropped tough battles the night before, as LMU fell 3-0 to St. John's and Michigan State had lost 3-0 to sixth-ranked USC.

"Our team bounced back very well against a quality team from the Big Ten, which will no doubt be in the 2007 NCAA Tournament," Head Coach Steve Stratos said. "These are the wins that the Lions need to get."

Led by Emily Day's five kills in the first frame, LMU pulled out a tight game one 30-27 after 13 ties and eight lead changes with the Spartans.

Michigan State tied the match at 1-1 after a late five-point run in game two broke a 24-24 tie. The Spartans hit a match-high .410 in the second frame.

The Lions trailed by as many as five points in game three until battling back, thanks to an 8-0 run. But things looked ominous once again for the Lions when Michigan State went up 31-30. A Heather Hughes kill made it 31-31, and the Lions held on to win game three 33-31.

With game four tied 11-11, LMU went up 12-11 and held onto the lead the rest of the way to win the match 3-1. Freshman setter Renee Horton had the Lions hitting .306 in the final frame.

Hughes, who hit .311 on the match, finished with 23 kills and 18 digs for a statistical double-double. Day (13 kills, 13 digs) and Horton (56 assists, 10 digs) also had double-doubles for the Lions. Horton has posted double-doubles in each of her two matches in a Lion uniform.

Redshirt freshman Becky Stehling added 10 kills, while junior Lindsay Banas tallied four kills and four blocks.

Michigan State, like other Trojan Invitational opponents St. John's and USC, is among the nation's top teams, as listed in the AVCA Preseason Poll.

The Lions wrap-up play at the Trojan Invitational Saturday night, facing the sixth-ranked Trojans at 7:00 p.m. at the Galen Center. The match is available on both Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network, both at LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 3
Georgia Tech - 1

Arkansas - 3
Pepperdine - 2

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team came close to sweeping its way through the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational on Saturday, first beating Georgia Tech (23-30, 30-16, 30-16, 30-26) in the early afternoon, but finishing off host Arkansas in the nightcap proved to be too much in a five-game loss (30-27, 34-36, 22-30, 30-25, 15-17).

Senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury HS) and junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) were named to the event's all-tournament team, which was held at Arkansas' Barnhill Arena.

In the day's first match, the Waves (2-1) may have lost game one to Georgia Tech, but showed no mercy the rest of the way in winning in four games. The rough start saw Pepperdine hit .000 in game one, but the Waves immediately took control after that, hitting .600 in game two and .545 in game three en route to a .326 overall hitting percentage.

Rubenstein led the Waves with 19 kills and 11 digs, while Roberts had 13 kills and freshman outside hitter Kristen Seaton (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo HS) added 10.

The Waves did well to get their match against the Lady Razorbacks to a game five, as they trailed 20-17 in game four before rallying for a victory. The Waves also trailed 9-6 in game five, but went up 15-14 and had a match point. The next three points, and the match, went to Arkansas however, via a service error, attack error and a Lady Razorback kill.

"I felt like we had the match at two different times, but we made too many errors," Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said. "You can go up and down pretty darn quick. Arkansas played fabulous, you have to hand it to them. To play two really good teams back to back, that was a tough day today. We played really well against Georgia Tech, but we weren't as sharp tonight, which you sometimes have to expect playing twice in one day. But we had our chances."

Two Wave players posted 20-20 numbers against Arkansas, as Rubenstein had 25 kills and 22 digs and sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) had 20 kills and 22 digs.

Matthies praised the play of sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS), who had 47 assists against Georgia Tech and 70 against Arkansas. The Waves outhit Arkansas .302 to .283 in the loss.

"Kiah was incredible all weekend," she said. "She was running down passes all day long and was my MVP by far. She was absolutely amazing, getting the ball to our players at the right time."

Pepperdine began the tournament with a 30-26, 30-24, 30-20 win over Pittsburgh on Friday.

The Waves begin their home schedule next weekend when they host their annual Asics Classic at Firestone Fieldhouse. Arizona, Lipscomb and Nevada are the other participants.

Portland - 3
South Dakota State - 0

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Portland Pilots Volleyball team improved to 2-1 overall after beating South Dakota State 3-0 on Saturday in the final match of the Baden Cougar Challenge. Portland won 30-21, 30-26, and 30-26 to sweep the Jackrabbits. The Pilots hit .238 for the match as a team, while South Dakota State only hit .131.

Three Pilots reached the double digit mark for kills in the match led by junior K.C. Fox, who had 12. Senior Kara Pein finished the game with a team high 39 assists and sophomore Maria Clemens led UP with 12 digs.

South Dakota State was led by Mackenzie Angner who finished the match with 13 kills and nine digs.

Portland won the first game 30-21 and the Pilots looked sharp early as they hit .343 for the game. The game was tied early 2-2, when UP went on a 7-1run to make the score 9-3. Jessica Clemens got off to a quick start as she served back-to-back aces to put Portland up 4-2. SDSU fought to cut into the lead and at one point trailed 10-7 but the Pilots responded with an 8-0 run to make it 18-7. At no point in the rest of the game did the Jackrabbits cut the lead any closer than five points. A kill by junior Ashley Grayson put Portland back up by eight points 27-19 and UP would go on to closed out the first game 30-21.

South Dakota State had early control of the second game. A kill by Amy Anderson put SDSU up 9-3. The jackrabbits held on to the lead for most of the game. Portland finally tied the game up a 20-20 on a block by Jessica Clemens. UP opened up its biggest lead of five points on a kill by Fox, which made the score 28-23. UP would hang on for the 30-26 win.

The Pilots were up early in game three 10-6 thanks in part to three straight errors by the Jackrabbits. A kill by Grayson put UP in front 20-15, but SDSU would score the next four points to make it a 20-19 game. A kill by Anderson put South Dakota State up late 24-22. Junior Jennifer Sheedy responded late with a big kill to tie the game at 25-25. UP would score the last four points of the game to win game 30-26 and take the match 3-0.

Grayson and Jessica Clemens finished the game with 10 kills each.

The Pilots stay on the road and head south to play in the UC Irvine Tournament Aug. 31- Sept. 1.

Saint Mary's - 3
Arizona - 2

Story coming soon.

San Francisco - 3
Cal State Northridge - 2

Seattle - USF volleyball went 2-0 in day two of the 2007 Husky Invitational, coming from a 0-2 deficit to beat Cal State Northridge 3-2 and swept Fresno State 30-25, 30-20, 30-28 in the finale Saturday at the Bank of America Arena. The Dons (2-1) fell in the opener to No. 8 Washington and posted a runner-up showing in the event.

Junior middle blocker Carly Babin enjoyed a strong tournament for the Dons, averaging a team-high 3.64 kills on .325 hitting to go along with 1.09 blocks per game. Freshman opposite Sarah Mandala added 2.91 kills, while junior outside hitter Addie Webster came on for the Dons, averaging 2.70 kills and 3.30 digs with back-to-back double-double matches. Junior middle blocker Alix Gombos averaged 2.87 kills on a team-high .327 hitting with 0.74 blocks.

San Francisco setters did a capable job running the offense as the Dons employed a 6-2 and a 6-1 system. Junior Darcy Carroll averaged 9.29 assists per game, while freshman Alaina Sully added 9.22 per game. Sophomore libero Haley Carroll led the Dons with 4.80 digs per game.

San Francisco returns to action when it hosts the 2007 USF Asics/PowerAde Challenge, beginning Friday August 31 at War Memorial Gym. The Dons host Oral Roberts at 7:00 PM in their home opener. USF welcomes the Golden Eagles, Colgate and Eastenr Washington to the Hilltop for the fifth annual event.

San Francisco - 3Fresno State - 0

San Francisco won its second straight match with a 30-25, 30-20, 30-28 sweep against Fresno State. The Dons (2-1) dispatch the Bulldogs (0-3) for the second straight time.

Junior middle blocker Carly Babin recorded a match-high 15 kills with five blocks, while junior outside hitter Addie Webster posted her second straight double-double with 13 kills on .306 hitting to go along with 16 digs. Freshman opposite Sarah Mandala chipped in 12 kills and four blocks. Senior libero Brynn Maurer posted a match-high 18 digs and added a pair of aces.

San Francisco pounded 23 kills in game one, led by eight from Webster on .471 hitting, while Babin chipped in six to go along with a block. USF zoomed out to a 14-4 lead, then increased it to 20-7 in game two and rolled from there, taking a 2-0 lead into the intermission. The Dons hit .326 with 18 kills and just four errors. Mandala tallied seven kills to lead USF, while Gombos chipped in three.

San Francisco built an 11-3 lead and thwarted a late Bulldog rally to secure game three and the match. The Dons hit .256 in the final set with 19 kills.

Santa Clara - 3
Texas-San Antonio - 0

BOISE, Idaho - The No. 24 Santa Clara volleyball team won its second straight match at the Boise State Invitational with a 3-0 sweep of Texas-San Antonio on Saturday morning. Senior Crystal Matich and sophomore Lindsy Evans led the way for SCU, as Matich handed out 48 assists and Evans set a career high in kills for the second straight match with 20. SCU won in dominating fashion by scores of 30-18, 30-18 and 30-15. The Broncos hit .393 in the match with Matich again masterfully setting the tone as SCU improved its record to 2-0 on the year.

After a slow start to game one, the Broncos used a 12-4 run to turn an 11-10 lead into a nine-point advantage. From there, SCU cruised home to the 30-18 win with redshirt freshman Kim Courtney finishing things off with a kill.

With the Broncos big three, Matich, senior Caroline Walters and junior Brittany Lowe, playing at a high level, SCU would dominate the next two games to put the match away. Matich kept the offensive rhythm going, while Walters defensive play and passing at libero were again essential to the team's victory. Lowe ended up with 10 kills, good for second on the team behind Evans' 20. The Broncos won game two 30-18 with kills by Lowe, Nichole Clark and Evans closing out the game.

In the match-clinching game, SCU got out to a 10-5 lead and never looked back. Evans and Lowe continued to be a potent one-two punch, as the Broncos finished off Texas-San Antonio 30-15.

Santa Clara takes on Boise State in the final match of the tournament at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday night.

Santa Clara - 3
Boise State - 0

BOISE, Idaho - With an impressive performance Saturday night, the No. 24 Santa Clara Broncos captured the Boise State Invitational title, defeating host, Boise State, 30-27, 30-26, 30-24 to earn the 3-0 sweep. SCU finished the tournament 3-0 with victories over Cal State Fullerton, Texas-San Antonio and the Broncos of Boise State. Sophomore Lindsy Evans walked away with tournament Most Valuable Player honors after racking up 47 kills in three matches, while senior Crystal Matich was named to the all-tournament team. Matich finished the tournament with 126 assists.

While not hitting as efficiently as the first two matches, the Broncos played a steady third match against Boise State to take home the tournament championship. A balanced attack led SCU in the finale, as three players reached double-digits in kills and two players had more than 10 digs. Freshman Krista Kelley had a double-double to lead the way, connecting on 17 kills and recording 13 digs. Junior Brittany Lowe and Evans followed up with 14 and 11 kills respectively and senior Caroline Walter once again had a big night with 17 digs.

In the opening game, SCU was down in the early going by a 7-4 margin, but some strong serving by sophomore Lauryn Dowd got the Broncos back on track. Dowd started off a stretch of three straight points with an ace, followed by kills by Kelley and Matich. However, the home team would not go away and the match went back and forth into the late stages. Boise State took a 23-22 lead, but Jon Wallace's squad dug down deep to get the lead back and eventually pull out the 30-27 win. A kill from Lowe broke a 27-all deadlock as SCU won the final three points of the game.

Game two would prove to be another nail biter in Boise with SCU eventually earning the 30-26 win. Neither team could gain more than a three-point advantage through most of game. Eventually the two teams found themselves tied at 25 points apiece. However, some good serving from Dowd and some solid defense put SCU in the driver's seat at 29-26. Lowe then put away Boise State with a kill on an assist from Matich.

Trailing 2-0 in games, the home side would not back down in the final game. Boise State stormed out to a 10-7 lead to put the pressure on SCU. Just as they did in the first two games, the Broncos responded and tied the score at 10. They then pulled out to a 20-16 lead. Evans, Lowe and Kelley took the Broncos home with eight kills in the Broncos final 10 points. Kelley had two straight to end the match and win the tournament for the Broncos.

Santa Clara heads to Florida next weekend to take on North Carolina State, Georgia Southern and Florida at the Florida Invitational in Gainesville.

UC Irvine - 3
Gonzaga - 1

MISSOULA, Mont. - Junior Elaina Renius led all players with a career-tying 19 kills and a .533 attack percentage but it wasn't enough as the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to UC Irvine at the Ruby's Montana Invitational hosted by the University of Montana on Saturday. The Anteaters combined for 69 total kills during the 31-29, 30-25, 25-30, 30-28 win.

The Bulldogs fell to 1-1 on the season, while the Anteaters stayed undefeated with a 2-0 record.

Besides Renius, Gonzaga had five other players finish with five or more kills in the four-game match. Becky Jones collected her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and a match-high 16 digs, while Briawna Mueller added 15 kills and a .636 hitting clip. Rounding out the group was Michelle Boevers who chipped in nine kills, Layne Brosky who tallied seven kills and Heather Dunn who had six kills. Dunn also passed out a match-high 53 assists as the Zags finished with 70 kills and a .245 hitting percentage.

On the defensive end, Gonzaga held the 67-54 advantage in digs and the 16-10 edge in blocks. Along with Jones, Alecia Douglas and Dunn both finished the match with double-digit digs; 12 digs a piece. Mueller dominated above the net for the Bulldogs finishing with nine block assists and one solo block.

UC Irvine, who defeated Montana 3-1 in its first match of the invitational, closed out the contest with a .230 attack percentage and was led by Kristin Kelley who had a team-high 17 kills. Lauren Kellerman and Kari Pestolesi also reached double-figure kills finishing with 13 and 10, respectively. Pestolesi also had 11 digs. Defensively, the Anteaters were led by Devon Sutherland and Taryn Robertson. Sutherland collected 16 digs and Robertson had five block assists.

Gonzaga will close out the Ruby's Montana Invitational later today with a contest against host Montana. Match time is set for 6 p.m.

USC - 3
Loyola Marymount - 0

Story coming soon.