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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps 9-1

Sept. 1, 2006

San Francisco - 3
San Jose State - 2

San Francisco, Calif. - USF got off to a strong start, but needed late rallies to push past San Jose State 3-2 (30-27, 29-31, 24-30, 30-22, 15-11) in the first match of the 2006 USF Powerade/Asics Classic Friday night at War Memorial Gym. Four players reached double-figure kills for the Dons (3-1), who downed the Spartans (3-1) for the second straight season with the victory and have now won seven consecutive five-game matches.

San Francisco got a monster night from sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos, who tallied the first double-double with a career-high 15 kills on .419 hitting to go along with 10 blocks, also a career best. Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg recorded a match-high 26 kills to go along with 16 digs and three blocks, while sophomore middle blocker added a season-high 12 kills on .321 hitting to go along with a pair of blocks (one solo).

Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll did a nice job running the Dons offense, dishing out a career-high 70 assists as USF hit at a .234 clip, including .378 in game four. Junior libero/outside hitter Brynn Maurerstarted the match in the back row and tallied 24 digs, but entered the lineup as an attacker in game four, responding with eight kills on .312 hitting. Freshman defensive specialist Haley Carroll recorded a match-high 26 digs, while outside hitter Anna Berger tallied 11 kills.

Santa Clara - 3
Valparaiso - 0

South Bend, Ind. - The No. 6 Santa Clara women's volleyball team continued its season-opening winning streak Friday morning as they swept their way to another 3-0 win, this time a 30-20, 30-13, 30-21 triumph over the Valparaiso Crusaders. Kim McGiven and Anna Cmaylo paced the Broncos with 10 kills apiece while Crystal Matich dished out 37 assists as the Broncos hit .423 as a team.

Santa Clara (4-0) closes out weekend action Sunday afternoon for a 12 p.m. PT battle with host No. 21 Notre Dame.

"I don't think that we played very well today, we weren't very smooth and we developed some bad habits," said head coach Jon Wallace. "We were moving slowly and were not focused on what we were trying to do, and we are going to have to improve on this before Sunday's game against Notre Dame."

Despite the effort, the Broncos did receive strong performances from Cmaylo, who continued her dominant hitting with a 10-kill, .769 performance, making zero attack errors for the second straight match. She also paced the squad with four blocks, while fellow middle blocker Megan Pura and Lindsy Evansadded three of their own.

Wallace was also pleased with the play of freshman Nina Sevastopoulos, who notched nine kills and hit .615 for the match. The Saratoga native also made a dig and a block to complete her solid outing.

"Nina played really well. She came in, was very aggressive and swung very smart and hard for us," said Wallace.

The Broncos were never seriously threatened during the match, as the Crusaders (3-1) made 25 errors and hit a feeble .040 on the day. In the opening game, SCU benefited from three Valparaiso errors in building a 9-3 advantage. The Crusaders never got within less than five the rest of the way, and a kill and ace by McGiven followed by two more Crusader errors extended a 23-17 lead to 27-17, and from there the Broncos closed things out with a Matich ace.

Game two started off as a close affair, with the teams trading paint as the Broncos held on to a slim 10-8 lead. But from that point, an attack sequence highlighted by a pair of kills from Annalisa Muratore helped SCU reel off seven consecutive points to take a commanding 17-8 advantage. Later on, with a 19-11 lead, the Broncos ripped off another seven-point run, featuring three kills by Sevastopoulos and a pair by Evans that helped carry SCU to an easy game two victory.

Santa Clara never trailed in the third and final frame, getting a pair of blocks right out of the gate as Pura assisted both times. Sevastopoulos had six kills in this third game while Pura, Evans, and Cmaylo each notched a pair of blocks as the Broncos cruised to the victory and improved their mark to 4-0.

Connecticut - 3
Gonzaga - 0

Spokane, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (30-17, 30-25, 30-27) decision to Big East Conference member Connecticut Friday evening in the second match of the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational. It was the first meeting between the two schools and only the sixth match against a Big East member. The Bulldogs fell to 1-4 on the season, while the Huskies improved to 2-0.

In game one of the match, Connecticut was paced to the 30-17 victory by Kate Seabaugh and Megan Silver, who had seven and five kills, respectively. Bridget Denson-Doman passed out 17 assists as the Huskies tallied 20 team kills and finished with an impressive .400 attack percentage. Connecticut held GU to a .050 attacking percentage and allowed the Bulldogs only 10 kills.

Gonzaga came alive in game two. With Connecticut leading 4-1, the Bulldogs charged back, tying the game at 5-5 after a kill by junior setterHeather Dunn. Gonzaga pushed ahead and took the 13-8 advantage after a kill by junior middle blocker Briawna Mueller, her third of the game. Five-straight points by the Huskies after a Connecticut time-out quickly tied the game at 13-13.

The game continued to see-saw back and forth until the Huskies broke away to take a 27-22 lead. Seabaugh helped propel UConn to the five-point lead with three kills. Gonzaga cut Connecticut's advantage to 28-25, but two-straight points by the Huskies, including a service ace by Julie Pickard, gave Connecticut the victory.

In game three, Gonzaga jumped out to the 5-2 advantage after a monster kill by sophomore Elaina Renius and a service ace by Dunn. After a Husky time-out, Connecticut fought back and tied the game at 12-12. Connecticut was able to take a slight 18-16 advantage, but back-to-back kills by GU's Mueller and Emily Johnson tied the game at 18-18. The game stayed close, as neither team lead by more than one point down the stretch. With the score 26-26, the Huskies scored three-straight points to take a 29-26 lead. A kill by GU's Jones sliced the lead to 29-27, but a kill by Gina Heiderman gave the Huskies the victory.

Gonzaga was led by Jones and Mueller who each tallied nine kills in the loss. Jones also added nine digs and one block, while Mueller chipped in two digs and two blocks. The Bulldogs finished the match with 40 team kills, a .176 attack percentage and five total team blocks.

Connecticut had two players finish in double-digit kills. Seabaugh closed-out the match with a match-high 16 kills, while Silver added 10. Jessica Issac tallied a match-high 16 digs for the Huskies. Connecticut finished the game with 52 team kills, a .313 attack percentage and seven total team blocks.

Gonzaga will play both Gardner-Webb (11 a.m.) and Portland State (7 p.m.) tomorrow to close out the tournament.

Texas - 3
Loyola Marymount - 1

Los Angeles, Calif. - In a match that looked like it could go all night, Loyola Marymount volleyball fell in its season opener 3-1 (14-30, 31-29, 30-27, 30-25) to 11th-ranked Tennessee in the first match of the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational. The Lions (2-2) surged to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to a 30-14 first frame, but could not hang on against the Lady Vols (4-0), who advanced to the NCAA's Final Four in 2005.

The Lions never let up in the four-game battle, keeping the score tied late in each of the final three frames. LMU ended up outscoring the Lady Vols 111-105, thanks to the hot 30-14 start in game one.

Sophomore Emily Day notched a match-high 17 kills. When paired with her 12 digs, it gave the Lions' outside hitter her fourth statistical double-double in LMU's four matches.

Junior Heather Hughes was one dig shy of joining Day in the double-double category, recording 16 kills and nine digs. Hughes added five service aces.

LMU hit .438 as a team in the first game and posted two five-point rallies to hold off Tennessee. The Lions' lead only grew as the game progressed, with LMU taking the frame 30-14.

Hughes posted six of her 16 kills in game two alone, but UT's Chelsea Noble and Joselyn Johnson gave the Lady Vols the 31-29 win with a game-ending block.

The Lady Vols hit .371 in game three, but the Lions hung with them, tying the game at 24 on a service ace by Krone. UT's Sarah Blum put down one of her team-high 16 kills to secure the 30-27 game three win.

Both teams were hitting an even .212 after the third frame, but the Lions tapered off to hit just .018 in game four. Despite the low average, LMU was able to hang until the end, as the game saw 12 lead changes. FreshmanMegan Nash came on strong in game four, recording one of her five kills to keep LMU within one at 25-24. Behind her serve, the Lions would tie the score again at 25-25, before the Lady Vols rallied off five straight points to secure the match.

In addition to her 16 kills, UT's Blum had nine blocks.

Ashley Dutro and K.C. Walsh shared the setting duties for the Lions, with Dutro tallying 24 and Walsh 17.

Libero Lauren Kirk added 11 digs, while Jania Motton had four blocks.

The LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational continues Saturday in Gersten Pavilion, with LMU and Fresno State starting the day with an 11:00 a.m. match-up. The 11th-ranked Lady Vols and North Carolina will follow with a match at 1:00 p.m. The Lions will then battle the Tar Heels in the 7:00 p.m. set. All matches will have Gametracker and video streaming available at www.LMULions.com. Audio broadcasts will also be carried on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com for the two LMU matches.

Ohio - 3
Portland - 0

Davidson, N.C. - The Portland Pilots volleyball team couldn't keep up with the No. 15 Ohio Bobcats, losing 30-22, 30-25, 30-23.

The Pilots played well but were never able to establish a lead against Ohio, a 2005 Sweet 16 team. Ohio managed to keep Portland at bay the whole match, answering every Pilot challenge. With Portland trailing only 18-17 midway through the first game, Ohio outscored the Pilots 12-5 to capture the win. The Pilots kept it close in game two but were never able to catch up after spotting the Bobcats and early 17-11 lead. It was a similar story in game three as the Pilots stayed with Ohio but were unable to overcome an early 13-6 deficit.

The Pilots also had no answer for Ohio's Melissa Griffin. The junior middle blocker finished with 17 kills on 22 attacks for a scorching .773 attack percentage. Ohio also got 16 kills from outside hitter Ellen Herman and a double-double (11 kills and 15 digs) from Stephanie Blackburn.

Leading the way for Portland were sophomore Ashley Grayson and junior Nicole Thometz with 8 kills apiece. Freshman Maria Clemens continued her impressive start to her Pilot career by pitching in 7 kills and leading the team with 9 digs. Senior Murphy McClenahan added 8 digs to the Portland effort.

For the match, the Pilots had 40 kills and a .255 attack percentage, falling short of the Bobcats' 60 kills and .474 percentage. Portland also had 5 total blocks.

Next up for the Pilots is a double-header on September 2. First up is a match against Morehead State at 12:00 p.m, and the Pilots then play their last match at the Mizuno Wildcat Classic facing tournament host Davidson in a 5:00 p.m. nightcap.

Texas - 3
Pepperdine - 1

Malibu, Calif. - A very experienced Texas team handed a very young Pepperdine team a 3-1 (33-35, 30-20, 30-27, 30-16) defeat Friday night in Firestone Fieldhouse at the Asics Classic. With the victory, the Longhorns improve to 3-0 on the season, while the Waves fall to 0-3.

Pepperdine got into trouble from the get-go in each of the four games, including game one which saw the Waves spot the Longhorns a 7-3 lead. Behind a balanced attack, Pepperdine was able to pull within one at 8-7, only to see the `Horns build a 17-12 advantage. The lead would reach seven, 20-13, before Pepperdine's offense kicked into high gear. The Waves managed to even the game at 27-all when a Kiah Fiers kill was followed by a pair of Julie Rubensteinkills and a Rachel Lumsden and Cassi Chamberlain block. Texas would burn three game-point tries before a Leticia Armstrong attack error turned the momentum to the home team's favor. The `Horns staved off a pair of the Waves' game-point tries until Kayla Walker and Lumsden recorded consecutive kills to seal the game.

Senior Sophia Milo was unstoppable most of the night, recording 18 kills with two blocks. Of her performance UT head coach Jerritt Elliott said, "[Milo] was wonderful. She is one of the best middle blockers in the game. We tried to do some things with our serving to get them out of rhythm, but when they were in system it was hard to contain her."

Rubenstein checked in with 12 kills.

Texas' greatest asset of the night was its serving. The Longhorns kept the Waves out of system for most of game two and raced away from Pepperdine, leading by as many as 13, 20-7. But Nina Matthies' team had no quit and looked to capture some momentum heading into game three, closing the game to 10 with a 5-2 run.

Game three looked like a repeat of game one. Texas jumped out to a 17-10 lead on Pepperdine but a 9-3 run fueled by a pair of Milo, pulled the Waves within one, 18-17. A Rubenstein block of Ashley Engle completed the comeback, and knotted the score at 20-20. Texas would answer and regain the lead at 27-24 before a 3-1 Pepperdine run made things interesting, 28-27. Dariam Acevedo and Destinee Hooker logged consecutive kills to seal the game and control of the match.

Despite going down 11-4 in game four, Pepperdine strung together a 5-1 run to force Texas into a timeout at 12-9. It would be as close of the Waves would get as the `Horns broke the game open with a 12-3 run out of the stoppage.

Acevado lead all players with 23 kills on .353 hitting, while Armstrong accounted for 22 of the `Horn's 77 total kills on .429 hitting. After being held to just .176 hitting as a team in game one, Texas ended the night hitting at a .321 clip.

The Asics Classic will continue tomorrow morning in Malibu, Calif., when No. 19 Pepperdine takes on Long Island as the first game of the morning session at 10 a.m., Texas will face Cal Poly in the second match. The `Horns will battle the Black Birds at 5 p.m. to open the night session, with Pepperdine and Cal Poly bringing the tournament to a close in the nightcap.

Nebraska - 3
Saint Mary's - 0

Lincoln, NE - The Saint Mary's volleyball team fought hard in front of a 73rd consecutive sellout crowd at Nebraska Coliseum in the first match of the Nebraska Invitational Friday night, but ended up falling to the No. 1 Huskers on their home court 3-0.

The Gaels came out strong in the first game in front of a loud and red-wearing 4,030 fans jammed into the old volleyball only arena, but the Huskers showed why they are ranked No. 1 in the AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll.

Saint Mary's fell in Game 1 30-23, after taking an early 13-11 lead and later an 18-17 lead. The Gaels went on to fall 30-19 and 30-14.

Saint Mary's plays in its second match of the Nebraska Invitational on Saturday, September 2 at 5 p.m. against Long Beach State. The 49ers beat Middle Tennessee State in their first match of the invitational 30-25, 26-30, 30-24, 30-26.

Offensively, junior Missie Stidham led the way nine kills and 14 digs.Christina Kirk had a solid game for Saint Mary's, as she recorded six kills with a .417 hitting percentage. Mandy Bible had 24 assists, four kills and four digs and Lauren Jaeckel added four kills.

To start game two, the Huskers jumped in front 6-3, before Stidham had a kill to stall the quick run. Nebraska went ahead 10-5, before Rob Browning called timeout early in the game. The Huskers increased their lead to 25-16 before the Gaels took their final timeout. The Huskers went on to take the second game 30-19. Christina Kirk had three kills in the game for the Gaels and Stidham had five kills and four digs.

Michigan - 3
San Diego - 0

Irvine, Calif. - The 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (4-2) was upset by the University of Michigan (5-0), 3-0 (30-25, 30-25, 30-21), Friday afternoon at the UCI Nike Invitational.

Senior Kristen Carlson led the team in kills with 12 and both Moira McCarthy and Jessica Andersen each chipped in with eight kills. Jessica Nyrop had a team-best 24 assists. USD as a team had an attack percentage of .200.

Michigan's Katie Bruzdzinski led all players with a match-high 18 kills, followed by Lyndsay Miller with 15 and Erin Penn had 12 kills. Stesha Selsky had a match-best 45 assists and had 16 digs. Michigan as a team had an attack percentage of .323.

The Toreros will conclude play in the UCI Nike Invitational on Saturday as they play Iowa State University in a 4:30 p.m. match at Crawford Court.