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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Sept. 1, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
Morgan State - 0

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team bounced back from two tough losses to Pacific-10 Conference teams to defeat Morgan State University 3-0 (30-23, 30-23, 30-19) in its second match of the Gonzaga Volleyball Tournament Saturday at the Martin Centre. The Bulldogs improved to 3-3 on the season with the victory, while the Bears, members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, fell to 0-2. It's the first time since the 2000 season that the Zags started the season with three victories that were sweeps.

All 15 Gonzaga players saw action and contributed to the victory over Morgan State. Senior Becky Jones led the way for the Bulldogs with match-highs of 12 kills and 11 digs; also her second double-double of the season. Classmate Briawna Mueller followed with eight kills and a stellar .412 hitting clip, along with a match-high six blocks; five of which were solo blocks. Senior Heather Dunn passed out 41 assists as the Zags finished with 47 team blocks and a .204 attacking percentage.

The Bulldogs closed out the match with the 48-37 advantage in digs, the 11-3 edge in blocks and the 6-0 lead in service aces.

Jeniqua Moran led the way for the Bears finishing the contest with 11 kills, six digs, and two assists. Also having a strong match for Morgan State was Esther Johnson. Johnson contributed nine kills and nine digs, along with two assists. Jentri Fullove passed out 26 assists as MSU finished the match with 32 total kills and a .075 attacking percentage.

The Bulldogs will close out the Gonzaga Volleyball Tournament with a match against Boise State University at 7 p.m. tonight. The Broncos are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the tournament, having defeated Morgan State (3-0) and lost to the University of Washington (3-0).

Gonzaga - 3
Boise State - 0

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team defeated Boise State University 3-0 (30-26, 30-22, 30-26) to earn second place in the Bulldog Volleyball Tournament Saturday at the Martin Centre. The Zags, who rebounded from a first-match loss in the tournament to win their next two, placed two players on the All-Tournament team; seniors Heather Dunn and Becky Jones. With its win Gonzaga improved its record to 4-3 overall while Boise State dropped to 3-3.

Jones continued to shine for the Bulldogs as she collected her second-straight double-double. She closed out the match with 11 kills and 14 digs. Jones also added two service aces and four blocks. Also finishing in double-digit kills was junior Elaina Renius who tallied 11, along with six blocks.

Heather Dunn, who garnered her second-straight All-Tournament honor, passed out 36 assists as Gonzaga had 44 total team kills and a .214 hitting percentage in the victory. Dunn also collected 14 digs, six kills, five blocks assists and two service aces.

The Bulldogs held the 56-46 edge in digs and had a 14.5-11.5 advantage in blocks.

The Broncos were led by All-Tournament honoree Arlee Tamietti who finished with a team-high 10 kills, in addition to three digs and two blocks. Mandy Klein dished out 36 assists as Boise State finished with 40 team kills and a .064 attacking clip.

Gonzaga does not have much rest as it hosts the University of Montana on Monday, Sept. 3. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the Martin Centre.

Loyola Marymount - 3
UCSB - 0

LOS ANGELES - For the first time since 2001, the volleyball match-up between Loyola Marymount University and UC Santa Barbara (2-3) lasted just three games. The Lions (3-2) swept the Gauchos 3-0 (30-28, 30-22, 32-30) in their second match at the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic Saturday afternoon.

Over the years, the Lions and Gauchos have enjoyed a storied volleyball rivalry, splitting the annual series 3-3 over the last six seasons. All of those matches have gone at least four games and last year the Gauchos took the 3-2 decision.

But Saturday was a different story, as senior Heather Hughes was once again the catalyst for LMU. She hit .380 on the match, tallying 23 kills and 11 digs in the three games to lead the Lions to their second straight 3-0 win.

Freshman setter Renee Horton had her offense hitting .324 as a team, including a match-high .528 in game two. She finished with 52 assists and six kills.

UC Santa Barbara led just four times the entire match, twice in game one and twice in game three. The Lions trailed by as many as four at 17-13 in game one, before rallying behind the play of Hughes and the tough serving of Horton. LMU tied things at 19-19 and went on to win the first frame 30-28.

LMU was unstoppable behind the .528 team hitting percentage in the second game. The Lions opened with a 5-0 run and never trailed en route to the 30-22 win.

The Gauchos fought back in game three, even getting to game point at 29-27. But Horton once again served the Lions back into the game, and Hughes tied things at 29 with her 22nd kill of the afternoon. LMU closed it out at 32-30 for the first sweep of UCSB since 2001.

Freshman libero Whitney Leonard added 20 kills.

UNLV - 3
Loyola Marymount - 1

LOS ANGELES - Both undefeated in LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic action heading into Saturday night's title match, UNLV held on for a 3-1 (32-30, 34-32, 16-30, 30-28) championship win over Loyola Marymount (3-3). The Lions topped the Rebels in nearly every statistical category, but UNLV (5-1) was the team that took home the tournament title in front of more than 900 fans in Gersten Pavilion.

LMU's Heather Hughes and Renee Horton were named to the All-Tournament Team following the title tilt. Hughes' numbers on the weekend really turned heads as she averaged 7.80 kills and 4.60 digs per game while hitting .462 over the course of the tournament. She tallied a career-high 31 kills en route to a statistical triple-double with 10 assists and 15 digs in the four-game match Saturday night.

Horton also had an impressive weekend with 148 assists, 20 kills, 20 digs, and a team-high four aces. She was just two digs shy of her own triple-double against UNLV.

Looking at just the statistics, it was hard to believe UNLV topped the Lions. LMU led in almost every statistical category, including team hitting percentage (.327-.190), blocks (9-5), kills (81-66), and digs (88-85).

The difference came down to winning the final back-to-back points at the end of games one and two. Both frames went extra points, and UNLV earned both games by winning back-to-back points to head to the intermission with a 2-0 lead.

The Lions also struggled with their serve, recording 13 service errors on the night.

But LMU came out of the break with a special spark, and hit .390 as a team in game three to cruise to a 30-16 victory.

The fourth game featured a tie score eight times before the Rebels won match point at 30-28.

UNLV setter Melody Nua was named Classic MVP after posting 48 assists and 15 digs in the title match. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Lauren Miramontes and Jessica Walters.

UC Santa Barbara's Lauren McLaughlin and Northwestern's Courtnie Paulus rounded out the All-Tournament selections.

In addition to Hughes' and Horton's impressive numbers tonight, Emily Day (20 kills, 17 digs) and Christianna Reneau (12 kills, 27 digs) were also bright spots on the box score.

Freshman libero Whitney Leonard added 15 digs for the Lions' cause.

LMU will play its fourth match in five days Tuesday when the Lions head across town to face UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m. The match will be carried on both Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network at LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 3
Lipscomb - 0

Pepperdine - 3
Arizona - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team swept three-game matches from Lipscomb and Arizona on Saturday to claim first place at the 2007 Asics Classic, hosted by the Waves at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves (4-2 overall) began the day with a 30-28, 30-13, 30-16 victory over Lipscomb and ended it with a 30-18, 30-27, 30-25 win over Arizona. In the non-Pepperdine matches on Saturday, Arizona defeated Nevada in three games (34-32, 30-21, 30-25) and Nevada swept Lipscomb (30-18, 30-20, 30-14).

Pepperdine, Arizona and Nevada each finished with a 2-1 record, but the Waves won the three-way tiebreaker (head-to-head game record involving the three tied teams). Pepperdine was 5-3, Arizona was 3-3 and Nevada was 3-5.

"We've put some good games together, and we've put some good points together," Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said. "But against Arizona, that was really the first time we played an entire match. We played up to our potential. I was really pleased with our effort level. We worked really hard to make good things happen and we really wanted to win tonight."

The final match of the event, the Pepperdine and Arizona battle, turned out to be the de facto championship match. Game one saw the Waves take a 7-1 lead and later go on a big 11-3 run midway through the game, putting them up 24-13. Junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) had eight kills and the Waves held Arizona to a negative .-026 hitting percentage in the first game.

Game two was tied 25-25 but the Waves scored five of the final seven points, including a game-ending kill by senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury HS). Roberts was named Tournament MVP and had seven kills with a .429 hitting percentage against the Wildcats.

Game three was more of the same, as the Waves took leads of 5-0 and 10-2. The Wildcats made a couple of runs and got to within 21-19 at one point, but Pepperdine scored the next four points and went on for the sweep.

Rubenstein had a match-high 16 kills as the Waves hit .242 for the match. Arizona, which hit just .108, was led by Randy Goodenough's 10 kills.

In the morning's Pepperdine-Lipscomb match, a closely fought first game was tied 28-28, but ended in the Waves' favor after a Lady Bison service error and a block by sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS). Pepperdine easily won the next two games by hitting .487 in game two and .394 in game three. The Waves hit .387 for the match compared to Lipscomb's .067. Rubenstein led the Waves with 13 kills, while Lipscomb's Alex Kelly notched 10. Pepperdine junior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS), a member of the All-Tournament Team, had eight kills on eight swings and added five blocks, while Roberts added 11 kills and seven blocks.

In the Arizona-Nevada match, also played in the early session, the Wolfpack actually had a 29-24 lead in game one until the Wildcats came storming back with six straight points to take a 30-29 lead. The squads traded points until the Wildcats got three in a row (on a Dominique Lamb kill and two Nevada attack errors) to capture game one. Games two and three were a little more comfortable for the Wildcats as they won in a sweep. The Wildcats hit .295 to the Wolfpack's .123. Arizona's Goodenough and Nevada's Teal Ericson each had a match-high 12 kills.

Later in the day, Nevada bounced back with a thorough win over Lipscomb. The Wolfpack blocked and dug their way to an impressive defensive performance, holding the Lady Bisons to a negative-.106 hitting percentage (21 kills and 34 errors). The Wolfpack had 13 blocks, led by eight by Lindsay Baldwin and seven by Ericson. Ericson had a match-high 15 kills, while Kelly led Lipscomb with seven.

This was the second consecutive tournament title that the Waves have won, as they claimed last week's Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational, also via a three-way tiebreaker.

The Waves next play at #4-ranked USC on Wednesday (Sept. 5) at 7 p.m.

Portland - 3
Toledo - 1

IRVINE, Calif. - The Portland Pilots volleyball team improved its overall record to 4-2 Friday after beating Toledo 3-1in its final match of the UC Irvine Nike Invitational. The Pilots won 30-22, 30-27, 26-30, 30-17.Freshman Jessica Clemens led the way with 15 kills, 16 digs, and two aces for the match.

It was a great team performance, three Pilots reached double figures in kills and four Pilots topped the double digit mark in digs.

UP begins the season with strong road performances as they have come away with a 2-1 record in both the UC Irvine Nike Invitational and the Baden Cougar Challenge.

Game one was close early on, but after going up 3-2 on a kill by UP junior Jennifer Sheedy there was no looking back. Toledo would not tie or take the lead at any other point in the game. Up 12-9, UP went on a 5-0 run to make the score 17-9. That 5-0 run was marked by two kills by sophomore Maria Clemens and an ace by freshman Danielle Dupar. The Pilots would cap off game one with a kill by Sheedy to win 30-22.

Portland trailed game two early as it went down 5-2 on a kill by Toledo's Stephanie Kirsting. UP would tie the game at 6-6 on a kill by junior Ashley Grayson. Portland then built a 14-11 lead on a kill by Sheedy. Toledo fought back to tie the game at 15-15 on a kill by Katie Westerfield. The two teams battled as neither team could build up a big lead. Portland would finally go on edge Toledo 30-27 and take game two.

Toledo edged out Portland 30-27 in game three. The game was tied six different times, with UP trailing 23-22. Dupar served up an ace to tie it once more at 23-23. Toledo would go up by four 27-23 on an ace by Kirsting. The Rockets would hold on for the 30-27 win.

The Pilots jumped all over the Rockets in game four as they took a 6-1 lead. UP would extend the lead as it went up 12-4 on a Maria Clemens ace. UP was in complete control of the game as three separate times they would go on 4-0 runs. The Pilots were up 24-17 and finished the game on a 6-0 run. Jessica Clemens had back-to-back kills to close out the game.

Sheedy led Portland with 18 kills for the match. Grayson had a strong match as she ended the night with 16 kills and seven digs.

The Pilots return home for the first time this season as they get set to host the Nike Invitational. The Nike Invitational also includes Pacific, Portland State, and UTEP and runs from Sept. 7- Sept. 8.

Saint Mary's - 3
Cal State Bakersfield - 2

Bakersfield, Ca - The Gaels played in their second five game match of the season, defeating the Roadrunners 30-24, 30-22, 23-30, 22-30, and 15-13. Sophomore middle blocker Megan Burton guided the Gales in the five game win, hitting 13-of-24, posting an impressive .458 hitting percentage.

The Gaels started the first game with two hitting errors, but quickly found their rhythm with a six point serving run by Alita Fisher. Fisher compiled two aces in the run, forcing the Roadrunners to take their first timeout. CSU Bakersfield would take another quick timeout at 13-6, after a run of kills by the Gaels. Burton would tally back-to-back blocks, giving Saint Mary's a 16-7 lead that Bakersfield would never relinquish. The Gaels would go on to win game one, 30-24, on a Barker-Burton stuff block. Burton would end the game tallying three kills on six swings, while also adding four block assists. Junior Brittany Barker would give the Gaels a boost at the opposite position, recording three big blocks.

Game two began with a quick lead by CSU Bakersfield, but the Gaels would not let it effect them. Saint Mary's captured the lead at 21-20, and kept the pressure on the Roadrunners throughout the remainder of the game. Freshman setter Kapua Kamana'o led the Gaels to a .560 hitting percentage in game two, while also tallying 13 assists. York was the greatest kill contributor in game two, recording eight kills on 11 swings with no errors. The Gaels would on to win game two, 30-22.

A Roadrunner ace to start game three would prove to be a foreshadowing of what was to come. CSU Bakersfield would lead throughout game three, led by outside hitter Sarah Norman with eight kills. The Gaels would not find a rhythm due to consistent serving pressure by the Roadrunners. Saint Mary's would make a late push, but it would come too late, losing the game 23-30.

In game four the barn-burner continued with no lead stretching greater than two points. Bakersfield's defense continued to frustrate the Gaels, recording five stuff blocks and forcing 11 errors. Once again the Roadrunners were led by Sarah Norman, with five kills. Shannon Lowell exploded in the middle for the Gaels, tallying four crucial kills to keep Saint Mary's in the game, however the Gaels could not maintain the momentum, falling to the Roadrunners 22-30.

The battle did not cease in game five, as both teams continued to exchange points. A pancake dig by York would lead to a Groess kill to tie the game at five apiece. The Gaels would extend their lead to 9-7 with a kill by both Burton and Groess. A well placed tip by Burton gave the Gaels an 11-9 advantage, but the Roadrunners would answer back with a Norman kill. CSU Bakersfield would keep it close up to the end, but Saint Mary's would prove to be too much for the Roadrunners, winning game five 15-13.

The Gaels continue their road trip in Fresno, Ca where they will face Fresno State on September 1 at 2:00 P.M.

San Francisco - 3
Colgate - 0

San Francisco - 3
Eastern Washington - 0

San Francisco - USF volleyball swept through the field and won the 2007 USF Asics/PowerAde Classic with 3-0 victories against Colgate and Eastern Washington Saturday at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (5-1) have won 18 consecutive games dating back to their 0-2 comeback against Cal State Northridge in the 2007 Husky Invitational.

Junior middle blocker Carly Babin captured tournament MVP honors for the first time in her career with a dominating performance. The Las Vegas native averaged 4.0 kills on .429 hitting to go along with 2.50 blocks per game. Senior libero Brynn Maurer also collected all-tournament hardware for the Dons, averaging a team-high 5.00 digs and 0.89 service aces per game. Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala earned all-tournament recognition for the first time, averaging 3.75 kills on .340 hitting with 0.50 aces and 0.75 blocks.

San Francisco dispatched Colgate 30-17, 30-19, 30-14 in the morning match Saturday and took a 33-31, 30-20, 30-21 victory against Eastern Washington in the tournament finale.

USF hit .321 against the Raiders as Babin, Mandala and sophomore outside hitter Anna Berger recorded seven kills apiece to pace the Dons. Maurer added a team-high 13 digs and recorded a career-high five aces. Eight USF players recorded at least five kills in the contest.

San Francisco struggled offensively against the Eagles, hitting .178 for the match, but the Dons defense shut down the Eagles, who hit a miserable .008, including a 1.135 in game two. Babin hammered a match-high 13 kills on .524 hitting with eight blocks, while Mandala had 11 kills, four blocks and a pair of aces. Maurer recorded a match-high 20 digs as the Dons rolled.

Maurer moved past Loyola Marymount's Deanna Doolittle (1,440) for sole possession of fifth place on the West Coast Conference career digs list, finishing the tournament with 1,445. Next up is former Dons assistant coach Jackie Bernardin, who tallied 1,464 during her standout playing career at San Diego.

USF returns to action Tuesday, September 4 when it hosts rising Pac-10 power Oregon in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym. First serve against the Ducks is set for 7:00 PM.

Ohio - 3
San Diego - 2

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The 12th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (2-2) was upset by No. 23 Oho University 3-2 (28-30, 30-25, 30-22, 26-30, 12-15) Saturday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Tournament.

Amy DeGroot posted a career-high 18 kills to lead the Toreros' offense and added a career-high 20 digs to post her second double-double of the season. Jaimarie Sutherland added in a career-high 16 kills on 36 attempts to post a .361 attack percentage. Laurel Abrahamson was the third Torero in double-digit kills as she had 15. Jessica Nyrop recorded 34 assists in the match and freshman setter Kelsi Myers added in 33 assists in the loss.

For the Bobcats (4-0), Ellen Herman recorded a match-best 24 kills on 54 attacks to post a .333 attack percentage. Melissa Griffin (14) and Sue Jacobi (10) were the other two Bobcats with double-digit kills. Jill DeArmond recorded a match-best 38 assists for Ohio.

In game one, Ohio jumped out to an early 4-1 lead on a Myers ball handling error, and would eventually build their lead up to as many as 10 at 14-4 on a DeArmond kill. But USD answered back with a 6-0 run, sparked by a Sutherland kill off a set from Nyrop and the run was capped on a Abrahamson kill to move the score to 14-10 in favor of the Bobcats. Ohio was able to hold on to their lead until USD put on a late push. With the score at 27-21 in favor of Ohio, USD went on a 5-1 run to pull within two at 28-26, but Ohio was able to hang on for the win.

In game two, it was almost an exact opposite of game one as the Toreros jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. USD quickly built a seven-point lead at 10-3 thanks to an attack error by Ohio. The Bobcats did fight back to within two at 17-15, but USD proved to be too strong in the end as the Toreros would not led them an closer and out scored them 15-8 down the stretch to even the match at 1-1.

In game three, the Bobcats jumped out to the early lead at 12-6, but the Toreros went on a 11-4 run sparked by a Abrahamson kill off a set from Nyrop and capped by a DeGroot kill to take a one-point lead at 17-16. Then with the score knotted at 18-18, USD took over and closed the game on a 12-4 run to take a 2-1 advantage.

Game four was close in the early going as each team took their turn with the lead, but Ohio used a 13-5 run to pull ahead and claim the victory to force a fifth and deciding game.

In game five, the Bobcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead to grab the early momentum, but the Toreros responded with a 6-2 run sparked by a DeGroot kill and capped by a Ohio ball handling error to even things up. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth for a bit with each team taking a turn with the lead, but in the end Ohio was able to claim the victory with a 15-12 win.

The Toreros will conclude play in this tournament on Sunday with a 11:30 a.m. match against the host and ninth-ranked University of Minnesota on Sunday.

Florida - 3
Santa Clara - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 19 Santa Clara volleyball team lost a hard-fought battle against seventh-ranked Florida, 3-0 (30-18, 30-16, 30-24), in their final match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The Broncos are now 5-1 on the season, while the Gators improved to 5-0 overall.

Senior Crystal Matich led the offense for Santa Clara, posting a .400 hitting percentage with no errors on two kills in five attempts. Matich also handed out 31 assists and recorded six digs. Junior Nichole Clark chipped in with a .333 hitting percentage, registering three kills with only one error in six attempts. Libero Caroline Walters and outside hitter Brittany Lowe shared back row duties, posting 16 and 12 digs, respectively.

Santa Clara faced a strong opponent in its last match of the weekend and Florida came out on the court ready to take control, building a 6-1 lead on points from Marcie Hampton. Freshman Krista Kelley slammed the ball down to put the Broncos on the board, while back-to-back Florida attacking errors brought Santa Clara to 10 points. However, by that point, the Gators had amassed 18 points on successful attacks from Hampton, Kristina Johnson and Amber McCray. Florida continued to push forward, winning the first game, 30-18.

In the second game, the Broncos tried to keep the score as tight as possible, rallying from a 5-1 deficit to tie the score, 5-5, on a service ace from Lowe. A kill from Lowe knotted the score again at 7-7, and a successful attack from Nina Sevastopoulos gave Santa Clara their first lead of the match. Yet, the Gators picked up their momentum on service efforts from Janine Williams to produce a 5-0 run and increase their lead to seven-points, 17-10. Alex Scoffone, Lauryn Dowd and Lowe continued to put points on the board for the Broncos, but a SCU error gave Florida a 30-16 win.

Once again, Santa Clara opened the third game ready to fight and take control of the scoreboard. The Broncos went head-to-head with the Gators in the beginning of the game, keeping within two-points on attacking efforts from Lowe, Sevastopoulos and Lindsy Evans. Another kill from Evans brought the Broncos within two-points for the last time, 21-19. Yet, SCU continued to fight on attacks from Lowe, Matich and Sevastopoulos, but the rally was too late as Florida took game three, 30-24.

For the Gators, Hampton registered a double-double with a match-high 12 kills and 11 digs, while libero Elyse Cusack posted a match-high 18 digs.

The Broncos are on the road once again next week for their farthest trip of the season. Santa Clara travels to Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2007 Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge hosted by the University of Hawaii. USC will open the tournament against Wichita State on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. PT. On Friday, Santa Clara battles Eastern Washington at 8 p.m. PT, and then faces host Hawaii on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. PT.