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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps 9-3

Sept. 3, 2006

San Francisco - 3
UCSB - 1


San Francisco, Calif. - USF Volleyball played its best match of the young season when it dispatched visiting UC Santa Barbara 3-1 (30-28, 23-20, 30-26, 30-26) in the final game of the 2006 Powerade/Asics Classic Sunday afternoon at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (4-1) collect their first ever win against the Gauchos (2-2) en route to their second straight USF Powerade/Asics Classic title.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg enjoyed another strong night with a match-high 22 kills on .325 hitting to go along with 10 digs and a pair of blocks on the way to winning tournament MVP honors for the second straight season. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos added 11 kills and four blocks, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer tallied a career-high 16 kills on .243 hitting to go along with 11 digs for her first career double-double. Gombos and Maurer joined Hasselberg on the all-tournament team.

"I was extremely proud of the way our team played today," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "Everyone was tough and on it. Every time we gave up a few points, we came right back and got it done. Our setters did a great job. It's the first time we've had the lineup out there we've wanted based on having everyone healthy and ready to go. I really liked the way it came together."

San Francisco's offense hit at a .221 clip for the match including a .359 percentage in game one and .308 in game three. Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll dished out a team-high 31 assists, while senior setter Jamie Kartchner added 25 for the Dons.

USF held a 15-10.5 block advantage, keyed by sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin's career-high 11 to go along with six kills, while junior opposite hitter Linzy Kearney added seven. Freshman libero Haley Carroll turned in another strong day with a team-high 24 digs to go along with a career-high four aces.

In game one, the Dons dug an early hole, trailing 17-11 before making a memorable 9-5 run to close to within two and 22-20. The Gauchos responded by seizing a 27-24 lead and looked to be in control before a kills by freshman outside hitter Anna Berger and a pair of UCSB errors tied the score at 28-28. USF took its first lead and then won game on consecutive attack errors.

Santa Barbara broke out of a 10-10 tie in game two and pushed to a 20-14 advantage. The Dons rallied late closing to four points at 27-23, but would get no closer as the Gauchos reeled off three unanswered points.

USF responded after the intermission with a strong showing in game three to take a 2-1 advantage. The Dons broke out of a 7-7 tie with a 10-4 run to take a 17-11 lead. UCSB closed to within three at 24-21, but three kills from Hasselberg and one from Maurer sealed the game for the Dons.

Game four featured 16 ties and four lead changes. USF broke out a 16-16 tie to take a 17-16 lead on a Hasselberg kill and never trailed, although the Gauchos fought back to tie it five times the rest of the way, the last coming at a 24 deadlock. It was all Hasselberg from there as the Carlsbad native tallied four kills to seal the Dons second straight victory.

Lauren McLaughlin, Rebecca Sarceno and Brett Quirarte each tallied 15 kills for UCSB, while Olivia Waldowski added 11 kills and four blocks. Waldowski and libero Emily Hendrickson, who recorded a team-high 20 digs earned all-tournament honors.

USF returns to action when it travels to Sacramento to compete in thee 2006 Hornet Invitational. The Dons take on Syracuse in opening round action Friday September 8. First serve against the Orangewomen is set for 9:30 AM.

2006 USF Powerade/Asics Classic All-Tournament Team USF: Kristin Hasselberg (MVP), Alix Gombos & Brynn Maurer UCSB: Olivia Waldowski & Emily Hendrickson SJSU: Jessie Shull

Santa Clara - 3
Notre Dame - 0


South Bend, Ind. - They might as well be called "The Road Warriors" because all they do is win, and dominantly at that, on the road thus far in 2006. Sunday, the No. 6 Santa Clara University volleyball team bulldozed their way to their fifth straight 3-0 victory in enemy territory, this time recording a 30-18, 30-23, 30-23 decision over No. 21 Notre Dame.

The sixth-ranked Broncos (5-0) will hit the road once more next Thursday and Friday, Sept. 7-8, as they return to the Lone Star State for the first time since the 2005 Final Four to participate in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational in Austin. Thursday SCU will face its stiffest challenges of the young season as they battle host No. 8 Texas at 4:30 p.m. PT before closing out play the next day with a 2 p.m. PT tilt against No. 13 Missouri.

Sunday's victory was the 161st of eighth-year head coach Jon Wallace's career at Santa Clara, leaving him only one win shy of Mary Ellen Murchison's program record of 162 career victories, achieved from 1978-88.

Against the Fighting Irish (3-2), the Broncos were sparked by three separate 14-kill performances from Brittany Lowe, Kim McGiven, and Annalisa Muratore. McGiven notched her first double-double of the season as she also added 11 digs. Anna Cmaylo hit .500 with nine kills while freshman Lindsy Evans, making her first collegiate start, added four kills and eight blocks in the triumphant effort.

Setter Crystal Matich again turned in a solid outing, dishing 48 assists in guiding the team to a .391 hitting percentage on the day. The Santa Rosa native also chipped in three aces and three kills. Libero Caroline Walters also added 19 digs as part of a fine team defensive effort which limited the Irish to a team hitting percentage of just .115.

Things got off to a quick start for Santa Clara Sunday, as a kill by Cmaylo followed by a pair of McGiven kills and a Notre Dame attack error staked the team to a 4-1 lead. After the Irish knotted up the score at six-apiece, the Broncos ran off five points in a row to start an 11-1 run, highlighted by two combined blocks by Muratore and Evans, from which point SCU never trailed the rest of the game. The Broncos capped off the first frame with a 6-0 run, in which Evans teamed this time with Cmaylo on a pair of blocks to continue to stifle the Irish attack.

While things stayed generally closer on the scoreboard for the second game, it still followed the same formula as SCU took an early lead which they refused to relinquish the rest of the way. After kills by Cmaylo and Lowe put SCU in front 2-1, the team held off Notre Dame to capture the second game as Muratore notched six kills while Lowe and McGiven each tallied five.

In the third game, the Broncos took the early 3-0 lead and made it hold up on the way to victory. Blocks by Cmaylo and Evans on the first point and then Cmaylo and Matich on the third quickly set the tone, Solid setting and attacking kept the Broncos in front the entire way, although their biggest lead at any one point was only five points. Muratore's five kills and four each from Cmaylo and Lowe carried Santa Clara offensively, and Evans capped off the finest performance of her young debut season with a kill for the match-clinching point.

Setter Crystal Matich again turned in a solid outing, dishing 48 assists in guiding the team to a .391 hitting percentage on the day. The Santa Rosa native also chipped in three aces and three kills. Libero Caroline Walters also added 19 digs as part of a fine team defensive effort which limited the Irish to a team hitting percentage of just .115.

Things got off to a quick start for Santa Clara Sunday, as a kill by Cmaylo followed by a pair of McGiven kills and a Notre Dame attack error staked the team to a 4-1 lead. After the Irish knotted up the score at six-apiece, the Broncos ran off five points in a row to start an 11-1 run, highlighted by two combined blocks by Muratore and Evans, from which point SCU never trailed the rest of the game. The Broncos capped off the first frame with a 6-0 run, in which Evans teamed this time with Cmaylo on a pair of blocks to continue to stifle the Irish attack.

While things stayed generally closer on the scoreboard for the second game, it still followed the same formula as SCU took an early lead which they refused to relinquish the rest of the way. After kills by Cmaylo and Lowe put SCU in front 2-1, the team held off Notre Dame to capture the second game as Muratore notched six kills while Lowe and McGiven each tallied five.

In the third game, the Broncos took the early 3-0 lead and made it hold up on the way to victory. Blocks by Cmaylo and Evans on the first point and then Cmaylo and Matich on the third quickly set the tone, Solid setting and attacking kept the Broncos in front the entire way, although their biggest lead at any one point was only five points. Muratore's five kills and four each from Cmaylo and Lowe carried Santa Clara offensively, and Evans capped off the finest performance of her young debut season with a kill for the match-clinching point.

Middle Tennessee - 3
Saint Mary's - 2


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.