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Volleyball's Road Trip Ends With Five-Game Loss

Sept. 3, 2006

Lincoln, NE - For the second consecutive day, the Saint Mary's volleyball team dropped a five-game match at the Nebraska Invitational. On Sunday afternoon, the Gaels lost 3-2 to Middle Tennessee State at the Nebraska Coliseum on the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln, NE.

Saint Mary's once again fell behind 2-1, similar to Saturday's loss against Long Beach State, but rallied in the fourth game to force a deciding fifth game.

In the fifth game, the Gaels took a controlling 8-3 lead, before the Blue Raiders ran off five straight points to eventually tie the game. Saint Mary's would end the game on a service error, as Middle Tennessee State won 15-13.

Christina Kirk led the offensive attack for the Gaels, recording 15 kills with a .370 hitting percentage and added six blocks. Missie Stidham had 19 kills, seven digs and two aces and Lauren Jaeckel and Taylor Groess each added 11 kills. Jaeckel recorded a career-high 11 kills with a .450 hitting percentage.

Brittany Barker added seven kills and six blocks for the Gaels, while Nikki Gonzalez had 11 digs and Mandy Bible had 58 assists, eight digs and five blocks.

The Gaels took control of Game 4 early and never let go. Saint Mary's went on to win 30-23. At one point the Gaels took a commanding 26-16 lead.

Saint Mary's battled hard in the third game, but ended up dropping a thriller 36-34. The Gaels trailed 27-21, but rallied off six straight points to tie the game, forcing the action back-and-forth until the end. Stidham had six kills in the game, Groess had three kills and Kirk added two. The Gaels hit .222 and recorded five blocks in the game.

In the second game, the Gaels bounced back from early struggles in Game 1 to win 30-23. Kirk recorded six kills in the game, while Stidham had five kills and Barker and Groess added three kills. As a team the Gaels hit an outstanding .457, while recording two blocks.

In the opening game, the Gaels were led by Kirk and Stidham, who each had three kills. The Gaels hit -.034 for the game, while Middle Tennessee hit .200. As a team the Gaels recorded three blocks as both teams went on a stretch of runs for the majority of the scoring. After being tied 20-20, the Blue Raiders went on a 10-4 run to win 30-24.

Saint Mary's returns to action on Thursday, September 7 when it faces Long Beach State at 7:30 p.m. at the Pyramid in Long Beach, CA.