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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps 9-2

Sept. 2, 2006

Gonzaga - 3
Gardner-Webb - 2

Spokane, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team earned a 3-0 (31-29, 30-28, 30-24) decision over Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational. The GU Bulldogs improved to 2-4 on the season and are now 1-1 in the tournament, while the GWU Bulldogs dropped to 0-5 on the year and are 0-2 in the tournament. Gonzaga will close out the tournament with a match against Portland State at 7 p.m. tonight.

Tied at 4-4 early in game one, Gonzaga rattled off three-straight points to take the lead. Back-to-back blocks by the GU Bulldogs and a kill by juniorBecky Jones helped propel Gonzaga into the lead. Gardner-Webb bounced back and took a 16-15 advantage after an attacking error by GU's Elaina Renius and a kill by GWU. With Gardner-Webb holding the 24-27 edge, Gonzaga tallied three-straight points, including a kill by Renius and a service ace by junior Alecia Douglas to tie the contest at 27-27. A service error by Gardner-Webb's Katie Matkowski and a kill by Jones closed out the game and gave the GU Bulldogs the 31-29 game one victory.

Game two was a close played contest, with neither getting ahead by more than one point until Gardner-Webb used a 4-0 run to capture a 19-15 advantage. GWU kept GU at bay until a kill by Bulldog sophomore Tianna Tuatagaloa, a ball handling error by Gardner-Webb, and a service ace by Douglas tied the game at 26-26. Gonzaga earned the two-point come-from-behind victory when Jones notched her ninth kill of the match.

Gonzaga used a strong effort in game three to earn the match victory. The Bulldogs tallied 19 kills and had an impressive .317 hitting percentage in the final game. Mueller had eight of her match-high 16 kills in the third game, while Jones finished with six of her 15 digs.

Jones had her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 12 kills to go along with her 15 digs. Junior Heather Dunndished out 38 assists as the Bulldogs tallied 49 total kills and had a .256 attacking percentage. Douglas picked up a match-high 16 digs for GU, while Dunn had 12 digs.

Gardner-Webb had three players finish in double-digit kills. Ashley Pridgeon had 13 kills, while Audra Harrison and Bethany Martin finished with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Leading the way defensively for the GWU Bulldogs was Matykowski who collected 14 digs. Gardner-Webb finished with 48 total kills and a .193 attacking percentage.

Portland State - 3
Gonzaga - 1

Spokane, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team fell to visiting Portland State 3-1 (30-24, 30-19, 30-23) in the final match of the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational Friday night at the Martin Centre. The Bulldogs dropped to 2-5 on the season and finished the tournament with a 1-2 record, while the Vikings improved to 3-2 and were 2-1 at the tournament. GU will be back in action next weekend, Sept. 8-9 when it partakes in the Washington Tournament hosted by the University of Washington Huskies.

Gonzaga earned the 30-24 first game victory on the strength of juniorBecky Jones and junior Briawna Mueller. Jones tallied five kills, including kills on the last two points, while Mueller added three kills, two service aces and two block assists.

With the second game tied at 9-9, the visiting Vikings went on a 7-1 run to jump ahead 16-10. After a kill by Jessica Brodie gave PSU the 11-10 lead, the Vikings blocked three-straight GU attack attempts and had two-straight kills of their own to open up the game. Portland State extended its lead to 21-12 on a kill by Lindsey Steele, her eighth of the match. Gonzaga could not overcome the deficit as the Vikings earned the 11-point victory. PSU was a force above the net finishing with 14 block assists and one solo block.

After winning the second game, Portland State kept the momentum to take games three and four to earn the 3-1 victory.

Jones and Mueller were GU's top offensive players finishing with 16 and 13 kills each. Mueller also added nine block assists and one solo block. Bulldog junior Heather Dunn passed out 42 assists, while junior Alecia Douglas had 17 digs. Gonzaga closed out the match with 51 total kills, a .100 attack percentage and 12.5 total team blocks.

Portland State's offense combined for 66 kills and a .200 attack percentage. Jessica Brodie led all players with 17 kills and 18 digs. Jessica Frederick, Steele and Michelle Robertson all finished in double-digit kills for the Vikings. PSU closed out the match with 18 total team blocks, including 10 block assists and one solo block from Erica Jepsen. Dunn and Mueller both earned all-tournament honors for the Bulldogs, while Brodie and Frederick also were honored for the Vikings.

Loyola Marymount - 3
North Carolina - 1

Los Angeles, Calif. - After dropping a close game one, Loyola Marymount volleyball came back to win three straight frames for the 3-1 (26-30, 30-24, 30-27, 30-28) win over North Carolina in the final match of the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational. The Lions improve to 4-2, while the defending Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Champions fall to 1-5 on the young season.

Upperclassmen led the Lions to Saturday night's victory, with junior Christianna Reneau posting her first double-double of the season with a match-high 22 kills and 21 digs. Three Lions joined her in the double-double category, as Emily Day (12 kills, 15 digs), Heather Hughes (17 kills, 15 digs), and Ashley Dutro (31 assists, 15 digs) each posted big numbers as well.

Senior Cat Svorinich earned her first career start as a setter Saturday night, and rose to the occasion, tallying 29 assists and seven digs. She and Dutro helped the Lion offense hit a match-high .380 in the final frame.

In a match full of long rallies, the Lions out-dug North Carolina 91 to 78, while holding the Tar Heels to just a .197 hitting percentage.

Game one was even early, until the Tar Heels pulled away to take a 17-11 lead. Then trailing 27-22, the Lions rallied out of a timeout, winning three straight points on kills by Reneau and Sandy Krone. North Carolina hung on for the 30-26 win in the first frame, thanks to one of Noelle Dyk's six game one kills.

The Lions turned the tide in game two, going up by as many as five points early on a kill by Reneau that made the score 10-5. She later served the Lions to five straight points to help LMU pull away with the 24-17 advantage. Hughes and Motton notched back-to-back kills on a pair of hard-slugging plays that kept the Lions up 27-21. Day used one of her three service aces on the night to earn game point for the Lions, and LMU finished the second game off at 30-24.

Hughes had eight digs and six kills in the third game, and her serve led the Lions to an early 9-1 advantage. The Tar Heels came back within two at 23-21, but a pair of NC service errors and kills by Reneau, Megan Nash, and Day kept the Lions up at 26-24. The next point was all but over when the Lions were able to save a ball from the bench area and capitalize on another Day kill. That effort helped spark LMU to the 30-27 game three victory.

Game four was all Reneau, as two quick kills put the Lions up 13-8. Motton kept the lead at five with a pair of kills of her own. But North Carolina had its best hitting frame of the match as well, climbing back to tie the game as late as 25-25. Kills from Hughes and Reneau, who had seven in game four alone, gave LMU the 30-28 win it needed to secure the match.

Dyk finished with 17 kills for the Tar Heels. Stephanie Jansma and Brianna Eskola combined for 41 digs for North Carolina. Amy Beaver had a match-high seven blocks. LMU's Jania Motton finished with 12 kills and six blocks.

The Lions wrapped up their weekend tournament play 2-1, falling only to the 11th-ranked Lady Volunteers of Tennessee.

LMU remains at home to host Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, before welcoming UC Irvine, Nevada, and SMU for tournament play again next weekend.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Fresno State - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - Loyola Marymount volleyball made quick work of Fresno State in the morning match of the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational, sweeping the Bulldogs 3-0 (30-15, 30-25, 30-26). With the victory, the Lions improve to 3-2, while the Bulldogs fall to 1-4.

Senior Cat Svorinich, normally a defensive specialist for the Lions, stepped up for LMU at the setter position Saturday morning. Svorinich shared the duties with Ashley Dutro, with the senior tallying 19 and Dutro finishing with 22 assists. Svorinich also added one of the Lions' 10 service aces, a shot that ended game one. The pair of setters led the Lion offense to a .358 team hitting percentage.

Junior Jania Motton had 10 kills in just 15 swings to hit .667. Fellow juniorHeather Hughes tallied a match-high 13 kills and nine digs. Posting five service aces against 11th-ranked Tennessee Friday night, Hughes added another four against the Bulldogs.

A kill by Hughes tied the first game at 9-9. One of Hughes' four service aces soon then forced Fresno State to take a timeout at 13-9. The Lions never trailed again, taking five straight points behind the serving of Dutro. LMU led 27-15 before winning three straight points to seal the 30-15 game one win.

The second frame was more of the same, as a 1-1 tie was the only tie of the game. Senior Sandy Krone served the Lions to four straight points to help LMU pull away 12-5, forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout. Krone put together another timeout-forcing run later in the game at 23-14. But Megan Nash, Hughes, Motton, and Emily Day did not let Fresno State off easy, recording late-game kills to give LMU the 2-0 lead in the match.

The Bulldogs kept up the fight in the third frame, though. LMU led early, but Fresno State tied things at six and hung on to force a total of eight ties in the game.Christianna Reneauserved the Lions to six straight points, and LMU pulled away with the 20-14 lead. That lead proved to be enough, as the Lions sealed the match with the 30-26 game three win.

Alisha McKee had 10 kills to lead Fresno State.

The Lions held Fresno State to just a .149 team hitting percentage, and out-dug the Bulldogs 50 to 35.

LMU will wrap-up play at the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational with a 7:00 p.m. match against North Carolina. The match will be carried on Gametracker and live video on www.LMULions.com. Lions' All-Access will also have an audio broadcast at www.LMULions.com. All features are free of charge.

Pepperdine - 3
Cal Poly - 2

Pepperdine - 3Long Island - 0

Malibu, Calif. - The Waves held Long Island to .036 hitting Saturday morning in the third match of the Asics Classic, picking up their first victory of the 2006 season. Sophomore Julie Rubenstein racked up 12 kills in the 30-17, 30-17, 30-26 victory at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.

Behind four kills from senior Sophia Milo and a .522 team hitting percentage, Pepperdine (1-3) got off to a fast start in the match. The Waves recorded 4.5 blocks and limited the Black Birds (2-3) to minus .152 hitting in the opening frame.

Leading 14-13 in the second game, Pepperdine used a 14-3 run to break the set open. During the run, the Waves received kills from four different players, including two from Lecca Roberts, Rachel Lumsden and Milo. Pepperdine hit .448 for the game compared to .030 for Long Island.

Game three was the closest of the three games. A kill from senior Kristin McClune with Pepperdine leading by one, 21-20, started a 6-3 run for the home team. The Black Birds cut the gap to two at 27-25 before a 3-1 Waves' run was capped by a Milo kill, sealing the match.

Freshman setter Kiah Fiers recorded her third double-double of the year with 24 assists and 10 digs. Milo added 10 kills and six blocks, while Lumsden notched nine kills, two aces and four blocks in the winning effort.

Long Island received 13 kills and two aces from Marina Wagner in the loss.

Pepperdine will close out this weekend's tournament at 7:30 p.m. (PDT) when it hosts Cal Poly.

Portland - 3
Morehead State - 2

Davidson, N.C. - The Pilot volleyball team won a thriller against Morehead State, topping the Eagles in five games 23-30, 30-18, 28-30, 30-26, 15-12. The Pilots improve to 2-2 on the season, while Morehead Statefalls to 4-2.

Junior setter Kara Pein (pictured) had a career day for Portland, notching 60 assists and 6 kills, besting her previous career highs of 44 assists and 5 kills. Pein's 13 digs on the day also fell just one shy of her career high 14 digs.

Five Pilots had double-digit kills, lead by junior Nicole Thometz who set a team season high with 18 kills. Thometz (18 kills, 17 digs) and freshman Maria Clemens (10 kills, 15 digs) also had double-doubles for the Pilots. Senior Murphy McClenahan lead Portland with 22 digs and sophomore Ashley Grayson paced Portland with an efficient .444 attack percentage on 10 kills .

The Pilots were shaky in the first game, committing 11 errors and losing 23-30. Portland rebounded with a strong performance in game two, finishing with 23 kills and a .438 attacking percentage while cruising to a 30-18 win. Sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Sheedy had 7 kills in the game to lead the Pilots. Portland had a chance to win the tight third game but was unable to overcome its 12 errors, 4 of which came after taking a late 24-23 lead.

With the match on the line in game four, Portland regrouped for a 30-26 win behind the strength of a total team effort. With the game tied at 16, Portland took control and never looked back after rattling off three straight points on a kill by Sheedy and back-to-back service aces by junior Kelly Whitehouse.

In game five, Portland jumped to an early 4-0 lead, but the Eagles bounced back to tie it at 7-7. Morehead State then committed five errors and Portland got three kills to finish off the match.

Portland plays its second match of the day later tonight, facing Mizuno Wildcat Classic tournament host Davidson at 5:00 p.m. Portland then travels home and will host the Nike Invitational Sept. 7-9 at the Chiles Center.

Davidson College - 3
Portland - 2

Davidson, N.C. - Just hours after a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Morehead State, the University of Portland volleyball team played another five game match, this time falling to Mizuno Wildcat Classic tournament host Davidson 25-30, 27-30, 34-32, 30-19, 10-15. Portland falls to 2-3 on the season while Davidson improves to 5-3.

After two games, the match seemed to be a repeat of Friday's match against No. 15 Ohio, in which the Pilots played well but were unable to build a solid lead and lost close games. However, the Pilots rebounded in game three, eking out a 34-32 nail biter. Junior Nicole Thometz came up big in the clutch for the Pilots, recording 10 kills and forcing a fourth game.

With momentum on their side after the tense third game, the Pilots coasted to victory in game four, posting a 30-19 victory with 21 kills and a .327 attack percentage.

With Portland trailing 10-8 in the deciding fifth game, Davidson scored four straight points to put the game out of reach. Scoring 8 kills with an efficient .350 attack percentage in the last game, the Wildcat attack proved too much for the weary Pilots.

Junior Nicole Thometz (pictured) recorded her second double-double of the day, tallying 20 kills and 22 digs. After five matches, Thometz leads the Pilots with 3.63 kills per game and is second on the team with 3.37 digs per game. Thometz was named to the Mizuno Wildcat Classic all-tournament team for her effort over the weekend, notching 61 kills and 47 digs in four matches.

Freshman Maria Clemens also posted her second double-double of the day, adding 12 kills and 20 digs. The freshman from Burns, Ore., has been a revelation for the Pilots thus far and is third on the team in both kills and digs. Senior libero Murphy McClenahan led the Pilots with 28 digs while junior outside hitter Kelly Whitehouse pitched in 10 kills.

For the Wildcats, senior Liz Williamson had 21 kills on 81 total attacks to go along with 12 digs and junior Katie Pierucci had 20 kills and 29 digs.

Portland returns home and hosts the Nike Invitational Sept. 7-9 at the Chiles Center. The Pilots will faceMontana, Cornell, High Point and University of Texas-Pan American during the tournament.

San Diego - 3
Iowa State - 2

Irvine, Calif. - Senior Kristen Carlson's 23 kills and Christie Dawson's 18 kills helped lead the 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (5-2) to a 3-2 (28-30, 30-28, 27-30, 15-13) non-conference win over the Iowa State University Cyclones (5-2) in the final game of the UCI Nike Invitational at Crawford Court.

Carlson had a double-double as she added 11 digs to go along with her 23 kills and attack percentage of .228. Dawson had a match-best attack percentage of .577 andLaurel Abrahamson was the third Torero in double-digit kills with 16. Jessica Nyrop had a team-best 61 assists and freshman libero Kayleen Webster had a match-high 20 digs. As a team the Toreros had a hitting percentage of .285.

For Iowa State, Katie Jessen had a team-best 20 kills to go along with 12 digs for a double-double and Kayleen Manns had a match-high 63 assists. As a team the Cyclones had an attack percentage of .241.

In the first game, the Cyclones took a five point lead at 15-10 and were able to maintain that lead until the end of the game when the Toreros put on a late rally. With USD facing match point at 29-24, the Toreros scored the next four points to pull within one, but could come no closer as the Cyclones scored the final point of the match to grab a 1-0 advantage.

In the second game, the Toreros took the lead at 11-10, but the lead was short lived as ISU regained the lead two points later. The teams would then battle back and forth with neither team taking a lead larger then two. The Toreros regained momentum when they grabbed the lead for good at 23-22, and never looked back to even the score at one game apiece.

Game three was a battle back and fourth between both teams as again the lead for either team was no larger then two points, until the end when ISU claimed the third game 30-27 to force the Toreros into a must win situation.

With their backs against the wall the Toreros didn't panic as they simply dominated the Cyclones. USD jumped out to a big lead early at 15-7 and never looked back as they cruised their way to a 30-20 win forcing a fifth and deciding game five.

USD and ISU then battled closely in the fifth game, but in the end the Toreros proved to be too much for the Cyclones as they captured the fifth game 15-13.

The Toreros will return to the court on Aug. 8 as they travel to Las Cruces, N.M. to open play in the New Mexico State Tournament against the University of Wyoming n a 12 p.m. match.

Long Beach State - 3
Saint Mary's - 2

Lincoln, NE - Just when it looked like the Saint Mary's volleyball team was out of the match, the Gaels rallied late in the fourth game to extend the match to five games, but Long Beach State held off the surging Gaels for a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. The loss is the second consecutive loss for the Gaels at the Nebraska Invitational.

Saint Mary's started Friday night's match against No. 1 Nebraska strong as well, but was unable to keep the momentum the rest of the match. It looked like the same against the 49ers, but the Gaels showed a lot of heart to battle back and force a fifth game.

Against Long Beach State, the Gaels won the first game 30-22, before falling 30-25, 30-22. Saint Mary's won Game 4 30-28, but the 49ers won the fifth game 15-7. With the loss the Gaels fall to 3-2, while Long Beach State improved to 5-1.

The Gaels will wrap up the Nebraska Invitational on Sunday when they face Middle Tennessee State at noon (CST) at the Nebraska Coliseum.

Lauren Holland had a career night for the Gaels, as she posted a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. Taylor Groess also had a career-night in a Gael uniform, recording 19 kills.

Mandy Bible also recorded a double-double for the Gaels with 57 assists and 18 digs. Missie Stidham added 15 kills and eight blocks and Christina Kirk had 13 kills and seven blocks.

In Game 5, the 49ers took an early 7-2 lead and never looked back. The fourth game began very similar to games two and three, but this time the Gaels rallied late in the game, coming from behind to win 30-28. In the game, Groess had four kills, adding on to her already set career-high. Saint Mary's hit .172 in the game, but held Long Beach to .136.

In the third game, the 49ers once again took an early lead, jumping in front 17-10, before the Gaels made a late comeback, but fell 30-22. Kirk had five kills and Groess had four kills in the game for the Gaels. Saint Mary's hitting once again dropped to .213 for the game, while Long Beach State hit .395.

To start the second game, Long Beach State jumped on top 18-11, before the Gaels fought back to cut the lead to four down the stretch. The 49ers went on to take the second game 30-25. Holland andTaylor Groess each had four kills in the game for Saint Mary's, while Brittany Barker and Kirk added three kills each. Bible had another 15 assists and added four digs. The Gaels' hitting percentage dropped off in the second game to .130.

In the opening game against the 49ers, the Gaels got off to a hot start, getting ahead 20-15, before putting Long Beach State away 30-22. Stidham had seven kills in the game, Holland had five kills and two digs and Bible led the offense with 15 assists and three digs. As a team the Gaels recorded four blocks in the game and hit .333.