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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Aug. 31, 2007

LMU - 3
Northwestern - 0

LOS ANGELES - Loyola Marymount volleyball opened its 2007 home season with a bang, sweeping Northwestern (2-1) 3-0 (30-26, 30-22, 30-25) Friday night at the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic. The Lions (2-2) return to Gersten Pavilion Saturday for a full slate of tournament matches that will see them take on UC Santa Barbara (2-2) at 12:30 p.m. and UNLV (3-1) at 7:00 p.m.

LMU was led tonight by senior Heather Hughes, who tallied 24 kills while hitting .489 (24-2-45). She added 20 digs for a statistical double-double.

Also posting double-double stats was junior Emily Day, who finished with 11 kills and 13 digs.

The home opener for the Lions was the first road match of 2007 for the previously undefeated Wildcats. The Lions held Northwestern to just a .129 team hitting percentage, including a match-low .021 percentage in game two.

Hughes had the Lions going strong out of the gate, tallying 12 kills on no errors in the first frame alone. Her 12th kill of the night earned the Lions game point at 29-26 and Christianna Reneau put an exclamation point on it with a kill that put the Lions up a game.

LMU led by as many as eight points in game two. Though Northwestern pulled back within four as late as 21-17, the Lions held on to win 30-22 on Hughes' 17th kill of the night on game point.

Game three was more of the same for the Lions, who forced a Northwestern timeout after winning three straight points on kills by Hughes and Day to make it 22-17. LMU sealed the sweep with a 30-25 game three win.

Freshman Whitney Leonard and senior Christianna Reneau combined for another 27 digs, while senior Jania Motton posted four solo blocks. Freshman setter Renee Horton handed out 37 assists.

Northwestern used two setters Friday night and Stephanie Jurivich and Elyse Glab each finished with 16 assists. Lindsay Anderson led the Wildcats with 18 kills and 11 digs. Northwestern had four players with 10 or more digs, including Kate Nobilio's 17. Brittney Aldridge had six blocks.

Tournament play continues at 10:00 a.m. in Gersten Pavilion Saturday, with a match between Northwestern and UNLV. The Lions and Gauchos will follow at 12:30 p.m.

Portland - 3
Wyoming - 2

IRVINE, Calif. - The University of Portland women's volleyball team posted yet another early season comeback victory, withstanding a bizarre 90 minute delay to defeat the Wyoming Cowgirls by a 3-2 margin in the opening match of the UC Irvine Nike Invitational. The Pilots (3-1) won 25-30, 18-30, 30-27, 30-24, 15-13, dealing the Cowgirls (2-1) their first loss of the 2007 season.

After spotting the Cowgirls an early 2-0 lead, the Pilots seemed to take control of the match with a game three win and leading 18-12 midway through the fourth game. But sudden darkness came out of nowhere at Crawford Court as the entire UC Irvine campus dealt with a severe power outage and extreme heat. The teams nearly packed up and headed for an alternate site when order was restored and the Pilots held on for a 30-24 win in game four.

Portland made it anything but easy in game five as Wyoming jumped to a 9-6 lead, but the resilient Pilots again came back to secure the win.

It is the second time in the first four matches that the Pilots have overcome a 2-0 deficit, as Portland did the same to Northern Colorado in the season opener.

Freshman Jessica Clemens led the Pilots with 16 kills and added three service aces. Sophomore Maria Clemens posted her second double-double of the year with 13 kills and 15 digs. Ashley Grayson and K.C. Fox added 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

Portland hit .267 for the match compared to Wyoming's .214. The Pilots gained a 13-4 edge in blocks, led by Grayson's two solo and seven block assists.

Wyoming's Angie Hellbaum led all players with 19 kills for the match.

The Pilots continue the UC Irvine Nike Invitational tonight when they play the host Anteaters at 7 p.m. Portland concludes the tournament on Saturday against Toledo at 5 p.m.

UC Irvine - 3
Portland - 0

IRVINE, Calif. - The Portland volleyball team fell to the University of California Irvine Friday night, dropping a straight-set 3-0 (30-12, 30-21, 30-25) match the Anteaters. The Pilots drop to 3-2 on the year while UC Irvine improves to a perfect 5-0.

Just hours after winning a thrilling 3-2 match over Wyoming, the Pilots couldn't keep up with the Anteaters in game one, unable to recover after quickly falling behind 7-0.

Portland hung tough in game two, charging back from a 17-10 deficit to cut the lead to 22-19 on back-to-back kills by junior Jennifer Sheedy and freshman Jessica Clemens. But the Anteaters pulled away as Larissa Nordyke recorded three kills over the final eight points.

The Pilots put up 25 in the third set, but the Anteaters proved to be too much as Kristin Kelley logged four kills and three block assists to help UCI prevail.

UC Irvine's Kari Pestolesi led all players with 13 kills for the match. Clemens led Portland with eight kills.

The Anteaters hit a blistering .387 for the match, while the Pilots struggled and hit just .071.

Portland concludes the UC Irvine Nike Invitational on Saturday against Toledo at 5 p.m.

San Francisco - 3
Oral Roberts - 0

San Francisco - USF volleyball swept Oral Roberts 30-23, 30-25, 30-26 in match two of the 2007 Asics/PowerAde Challenge Friday night at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (3-1) hit a season-high .330 for the match and got strong productions from everyone against the Golden Eagles (2-3).

Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala dazzled in her home debut, recording a team-high 12 kills on .625 hitting. Junior middle blocker Carly Babin also tallied 12 kills on .500 hitting to go along with a remarkable nine kills (two solo). Senior opposite hitter Linzy Kearney helped key a strong Dons block, while junior middle blocker Alix Gombos tallied nine kills on .400 hitting with two blocks, with six blocks to go along with five kills and a pair of assists.

San Francisco enjoyed a dominating 11-4 blocking advantage. Oral Roberts hit .378 in game one with 18 kills and just four errors. USF's defense rose to the challenge and the Golden Eagles managed a dismal .093 in game two, .095 in the final set.

Senior libero Brynn Maurer recorded a match-high 12 digs, upping her career tally to 1,412 and in the process moved into sixth place on the West Coast Conference career digs chart, passing former Pepperdine standout Christine Hinds (1,404).

Junior setter Darcy Carroll dished out a team-high 20 assists, while freshman setter Alaina Sully added 17 in the Dons' 6-2 offense.

"Oral Roberts challenged us in a different way than the teams we faced last week did," USF head coach Gilad Doron said. "They never got frustrated and kept working. It was good to see us execute well the last six or seven points in all three games. This is something we need to do over the course of the entire match. I think Sarah continued to play well and Carly was strong."

In the opening match of the 2007 USF Asics/PowerAde Challenge, Eastern Washington came back from a 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 against Colgate. The Dons take on Colgate at 11:00 AM Saturday in match three of the tournament and wrap up action with a 7:00 PM match against the Eagles.

Santa Clara - 3
North Carolina State - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team notched its fourth-straight win Friday morning against North Carolina State in its first match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. The No. 19 Broncos swept the Wolfpack, 3-0 (30-22, 30-25, 30-23), for the victory.

"The match was fairly early for us, playing at 7 a.m. our time," said head coach Jon Wallace. "But we were able to steady out towards the end of the games and that is what enabled us to win in three. [Kim] Courtney and [Nina] Sevastopoulos both stepped up for us this morning and attacked the ball real well."

Leading the way for SCU was sophomore Lindsy Evans, recording a match-high 14 kills. Also registering double-digit kills were outside hitters Brittany Lowe and Kim Courtney. Lowe tallied 13 kills and recorded eight digs, while Courtney posted 11 kills on 20 attempts with only two errors for a .450 hitting percentage. Leading the Broncos' in the back row was senior libero Caroline Walters, who grabbed 11 digs, while senior setter Crystal Matich dished out a match-high 42 assists.

Santa Clara went 20-for-30 on attack with only seven errors in the first match for an impressive .433 hitting percentage. The Broncos opened the match with a 5-2 lead on kills from Evans, Lowe and Matich, and continued to hold onto control of the scoreboard. SCU only allowed NC State to come within two points during the first game. Wolfpack errors and a kill from Evans pushed the Broncos to a seven point lead, 15-8, the largest gap of the game. Two service aces from Evans and a kill by Courtney brought the final score of game one to 30-22 in Santa Clara's favor.

The Broncos once again took early control of game two, but a little fire from the Wolfpack saw them rally back to tie the score, 8-8, on a kill from Janay Yancey. NC State took the one point lead on a point from Keri DeMar, but Nichole Clark knotted the score, 9-9, and the Broncos began to pull away with a small lead. However, the Wolfpack was not ready to give up quite yet and tied the score at 15-15. The teams battled point-for-point until Santa Clara was able to grab the advantage behind strong serving efforts from Lowe. Tied again at 25-25, Lowe, Evans and Dowd put the ball down with force for the Broncos, winning the second game, 30-25.

Santa Clara struggled to take the lead in the beginning of the third game as NC State jumped to a 4-1 start. The Wolfpack was able to fend off the Broncos for a while until two kills from Nina Sevastopoulos and Wolfpack errors tied the score, 11-11. With NC State still in control of the scoreboard, Sevastopoulos stepped up once again for SCU with back-to back kills off of Matich sets that gave the Broncos a two-point lead, 20-18, and forced NC State to a timeout. With the edge, the Broncos held onto the advantage and rallied behind serves from Taylor O'Brien to cruise to a 27-23 lead. With game-point in reach, Lowe slammed the ball down to give the Broncos a 30-23 win and the 3-0 match sweep.

For the Wolfpack, Lauren Zaniboni registered a team-best 10 kills, while Nikki Sweet tied the match-high 11 digs.

Santa Clara - 3
Georgia Southern - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomores Nina Sevastopoulos and Lindsy Evans, along with freshman Alex Scoffone led the offense for Santa Clara Friday afternoon as the Broncos blanked the Eagles of Georgia Southern, 3-0 (30-14, 30-14, 30-13) in their second match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational. All three players registered 11 kills for the match-high. The Broncos improved to 5-0 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 2-3 overall.

"We passed very well tonight and our serving was extremely focused," said head coach Jon Wallace. "A lot of the credit has to go to Crystal [Matich] and our overall setting and passing. The environment here is great for volleyball. We expect a large crowd tomorrow when we play the home team, Florida."

Sevastopoulos and Scoffone only faulted once each to produce .667 and .476 hitting percentages, respectively. Scoffone also posted a match-high four total blocks, while Taylor O'Brien chipped in with three total blocks. Senior setter Crystal Matich once again dished out match-highs in assists with 47 and service aces with five. Senior libero Caroline Walters notched 18 digs, also a match best. After today's two matches, Walters is 337 digs away from setting a new career record.

The Broncos opened their second match of the two-day tournament with a 4-1 lead on kills from Brittany Lowe, Evans and Lauryn Dowd. Santa Clara produced a 9-2 run to widen the gap to nine points on impressive attacks from Dowd and Courtney. The Broncos held the advantage in game one and never looked back as they continued to cruise past the Eagles. A kill from Alex Scoffone and an ace from Dowd gave SCU a 10-point lead, 16-6. Continuing to push ahead, Lowe added two kills, while Matich dished out an ace to make the score, 19-9. Gorana Bacic and Christy Dowd helped the Eagles put five more points on the board, but that was not enough as the Broncos dominated the first game, 30-14.

Santa Clara took to the court ready to do business in game two and rallied behind serving from Matich to open with a 6-0 lead, forcing Georgia Southern to a take an early timeout. Upon returning from the break, the Broncos continued their run with back-to-back kills from Nichole Clark to make the score, 12-4. Clark continued to demonstrate her attacking talent as she tallied two more kills to give SCU an 11-point advantage, 16-5. Freshman Scoffone stepped up to place the Broncos at 20 points with a kill off a Matich set, and then again to close the second game, 30-14.

Game three saw a similar fate for both the Broncos and Eagles. Although a tired SCU squad battled point-for-point in the beginning of the game, the Broncos found their energy boost in Nina Sevastopoulos to gain the two-point advantage, 7-5. Sevastopoulos quickly stuck again pushing the score to 10-7. Georgia Southern tried to rally back on points from Sarah Gildersleeve and Bacic, but the Broncos fought off the Eagles and jumped to a 10-point lead on a three straight Sevastopoulos kills, 21-11. Solid serving efforts from Matich helped the Broncos continue their control of the game, and yet another kill from Sevastopoulos ended the game, 30-13, and the match 3-0 for the Broncos.

For Georgia Southern, Bacic and Bianca Julio registered a team-best seven kills, while Mae Chabra recorded 19 assists and Marissa Odom had eight digs.

The Broncos close out the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational against the seventh-ranked Gators of Florida on Saturday, Sept. 1. First serve in this top-25 match is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.

Washington - 3
Gonzaga - 0

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (30-23, 30-13, 30-21) decision to the University of Washington, who are currently ranked #8 in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division I Top-25, in the second match of the Gonzaga Volleyball Tournament Friday evening. The Bulldogs fell to 2-3 on the season, while the Huskies are now 4-0 overall.

Becky Jones, Briawna Mueller and junior Elaina Renius were the Bulldogs top offensive players combining for 18 of the team's 34 kills as the Gonzaga offense combine for a dismal .125 hitting percentage. Senior setter Heather Dunn passed out 30 assists as only four players finished with five or more kills.

Washington's offensive was quite the opposite as the Huskies combined for 54 team kills and an impressive .409 attacking clip. The well rounded offense was led by Becky Perry, Christal Morrison, and Jessica Swarbrick. Perry tallied a match-high 13 kills, while Morrison and Swarbrick both added 12 a piece.

UW also controlled the play at the net with 11.5 team blocks compared to only four for GU. Alesha Dessing paced the way above the net for the Huskies with six blocks.

GU was able to edge out UW in the digs category 41-38. Alecia Douglas and Jones were the Zags leaders with 10 a piece. Tamari Miyashiro, of UW, led all players though will 16 digs.

Gonzaga will player both Morgan State University (11 a.m.) and Boise State University (7 p.m.) to close out the tournament.

Nevada - 3
Pepperdine - 2

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team was unable to finish off Nevada on Friday night, while Arizona bested Lipscomb in four games in the first night of matches at the 2007 Asics Classic, hosted by Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves held match points in games three, four and five, but the Wolfpack shook off defeat each time to post an 11-30, 26-30, 31-29, 31-29, 17-15 victory.

In the second match of the night, Arizona defeated Lipscomb, 30-27, 30-20, 23-30, 30-24.

Play continues with four matches on Saturday (Pepperdine vs. Lipscomb at 10 a.m., Arizona vs. Nevada at 12 p.m., Lipscomb vs. Nevada at 5 p.m. and Pepperdine vs. Arizona at 7:30 p.m.).

Pepperdine hit .750 in its game one rout, with 15 kills and no errors on 20 attempts. The Waves also prevailed in a more closely contested second game. The Waves looked like they might make it a sweep when they took a 29-27 lead in game three, but Nevada scored the game's final four points. Pepperdine then had a 29-25 lead in game four, but Nevada scored the game's final six points, including the final two on Sonnei Sei service aces. Nevada had the first match point at 14-13 in game five, but the Waves scored the next two points to go ahead 15-14. The Wolfpack collected the next three points, however, to win the match.

Four Waves reached double-figures in kills, led by junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) with 24 and senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury HS) with 21. Sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) had 70 assists. Five Waves were in double-figures in digs, led by senior defensive specialist Nina Baltimore (Seal Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS), who had 17.

The Wolfpack got 20 kills from senior outside hitter Teal Ericson and 18 kills from senior outside hitter Karly Sipherd.

Nevada hit .146 as a team compared to Pepperdine's .288, and only posted a better hitting percentage than the Waves in game five.

Arizona hit just .128 and Lipscomb was at .102 in their match. Arizona got 15 kills from junior opposite Randy Goodenough and 13 from freshman outside hitter Tiffany Owens. Lipscomb was led by a match-high 19 kills from junior outside hitter Sarah Snider and 11 kills from sophomore opposite Sara Pierce.

Stanford - 3
San Diego - 0

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The second-ranked Stanford University volleyball team defeated the 12th-ranked University of San Diego 3-0 (30-24, 30-24, 30-20) Friday evening in a non-conference match.

The Toreros were led offensively by Amy DeGroot, who poured in a team-best 13 kills and Laurel Abrahamson added in eight kills of her own. Junior setter Jessica Nyrop recorded a team-best 17 assists and Andrea Csaszi recorded a team-best 14 digs in the loss.

For the Cardinal, Alix Klineman led all players with 16 kills on 19 attempts to post a .414 attack percentage. Bryn Kehoe posted a match-best 42 assists in the win for Stanford. As a team, Stanford posted a .371 attack percentage.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday with a 11 a.m. match against Ohio at the University of Minnesota Tournament.