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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Sept. 7, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
Bowling Green - 2

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Facing a three-game sweep, the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team woke up and exploded to win the final three games and defeat Bowling Green State University 3-2 (25-30, 28-30, 30-19, 30-18, 15-9) at the Comcast Lobo Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico Friday morning. It is the first two-game deficit come-from-behind victory for the Bulldogs since Oct. 3 2006 when the Zags defeated the University of Idaho in the same fashion to break a 10-match losing streak to the Vandals.

Gonzaga, who has now won four-straight, currently holds a 6-3 record, while Bowling Green dropped to 4-4 on the season.

Four players finished with double-digit kills for the Bulldogs, including senior Becky Jones who collected her fourth-straight double-double. Jones tallied season-highs of 16 kills and 18 digs in the victory. Sophomore Michelle Boevers also dominated above the net for the Zags with a team-high 18 kills. Boevers also chipped in four digs and three blocks. Rounding out the four was junior Elaina Renius and Layne Brosky who had 14 and 12 kills, respectively.

Senior Heather Dunn passed out a season-high 61 assists as Gonzaga finished the contest with 74 total kills; also a Zag season-high. Dunn finished with her West Coast Conference leading sixth double-double of the year after collecting 11 digs in the win.

The Bulldogs closed out the contest with the 75-67 advantage in digs and the slight 11-9 edge in blocks. Besides Dunn and Jones, senior Alecia Douglas and freshman Allyson Powell both had double-digit digs for GU. Douglas finished with 18, while Powell collected a career-high 10. Renius was the Gonzaga leader in blocks with four block assists and two solo blocks.

Leading the way for the Falcons were Cory Domek and Madeline Means. Domek finished with a match-high 21 kills, along with two blocks, while Means had a double-double of 13 kills and 14 digs. Chelsey Meek led the way defensively for Bowling Green as she collected a match-high 22 digs.

The Bulldogs will continue the Comcast Lobo Invitational later this afternoon. The Bulldogs will face the University of Northern Colorado at 4:15 p.m.

Gonzaga - 3
Northern Colorado - 0

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team continued to roll by winning its fifth-straight match with a 3-0 (30-23, 30-17, 30-23) sweep over the University of Northern Colorado in its second match of the Comcast Lobo Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico. It is only the second time under the guidance of Kip Yoshimura that the Bulldogs have won five in a row and only the third time since the 1994 campaign.

With the win the Bulldogs improved to 7-3 on the season, while the Bears dropped to 2-7 overall. The 7-3 start for the Zags is the best start in nearly 17 seasons. The last time Gonzaga had a better start was 1990 when it came out strong with an 8-1 record.

Junior Elaina Renius had a strong game for the Bulldogs finishing with a match-high 11 kills, along with a .500 attacking clip, three digs and a team-high five blocks. Sophomore Michelle Boevers also chipped in six kills, while senior Becky Jones and sophomore Layne Brosky both added six a piece. Senior setter Heather Dunn kept the offense on pace passing out a match-high 32 assists as Gonzaga tallied 43 total kills and finished with a .177 hitting percentage. Dunn also had six digs and one solo block.

The Bulldogs, who have held the advantage in digs in all 10 matches this year, had the 57-40 edge over Northern Colorado. Gonzaga also held the 12-8 advantage in total blocks.

Leading the way defensively was senior Alecia Douglas who collected a match-high 12 digs. Jones and freshman Allyson Powell chipped in 11 and 10, respectively. Besides Renius, senior Briawna Mueller was strong above the net finishing with three block assists and one solo block.

Gonzaga held the Bears to only 32 total kills and a dismal .000 attacking percentage. Ashley Lichtenberg and Dulcie Stone were the offensive threats for UNC finishing the contest with eight kills apiece. Stone also had a team-high 10 digs, along with two block assists.

The Bulldogs will close out the Comcast Lobo Invitational Saturday, Sept. 8 when it plays host New Mexico. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. The Lobos come into the contest against the Zags with an 8-1 record.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Tulane - 1

LOS ANGELES - A balanced attack helped Loyola Marymount volleyball knock off its second undefeated opponent in as many matches, as the Lions topped Tulane 3-1 (30-17, 31-29, 30-21, 31-29) in opening night action at the LMU Hilton LAX Invitational. Tulane (7-1), like UC Irvine who the Lions (5-3) defeated earlier this week, had entered the match undefeated, equaling the Green Wave's best start ever at 7-0.

Tulane entered the weekend tournament earning votes in the CSTV/AVCA National Top-25 poll, but the Lions proved too much for the Green Wave. LMU received a boost from three statistical double-doubles and four players in double-digit kills, including Emily Day (16), Christianna Reneau (15), Jania Motton (12), and reigning National Player of the Week Heather Hughes (20).

Freshman setter Renee Horton tallied 57 assists while leading the LMU offense to a .309 hitting percentage on the night. Fellow freshman Becky Stehling added seven blocks and eight kills. Libero Whitney Leonard added 16 digs.

LMU opened the match with a 7-1 lead as Tulane took an early timeout to get focused. Though the Green Wave climbed back within five, Day served the Lions back to an eight-point lead at 22-14. LMU held on behind Reneau's five kills on 10 swings to win game one 30-17.

Game two was tighter throughout, as LMU earned game point at 29-28 on a kill by Hughes. But Tulane won three unanswered points to steal the frame 31-29 and send the match into the intermission tied at 1-1.

Both teams hit their best in game three, with the Lions hitting a hot .474 as a team. Back-to-back kills by Reneau and Day gave LMU a five-point lead at 18-13. Two kills by Day extended it to a seven-point difference, but Tulane fought back within four at 23-19. The Lions took care of business after taking a timeout and took a 2-1 lead after a 30-21 game three victory.

LMU rallied behind its fans in game four, taking a 23-15 lead after a block by Reneau and Stehling and kills by Horton and Reneau. Tulane was able to cut the lead the half and force LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos to take a timeout at 23-19. The match was a point-for-point battle the rest of the way until LMU won two straight points to claim the match with a 31-29 game four win.

Day (16 kills, 19 digs), Reneau (15 kills, 20 digs), and Hughes (20 kills, 15 digs) all finished with double-doubles. Reneau (.406) and Motton (.500) each hit better than .400 on the match.

Ksenija Vlaskovic led the Green Wave with 18 kills on .319 hitting percentage Friday night. Jenn Miller added a match-high 27 digs.

Tulane will face 10th-ranked Wisconsin (6-1) in the 10:00 a.m. match Saturday morning to kick-off day two at the LMU Hilton LAX Invitational. Wisconsin topped Columbia 3-0 earlier Friday.

The LMU Lions will then follow with the 12:30 p.m. match against the Columbia Lions (0-1). Both matches will be carried on Gametracker, while the battle of the Lions will also be featured on the Lions' Audio Network at LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 3
Cal State Bakersfield - 0

Texas - 3
Pepperdine - 1

AUSTIN, Texas ­ -- ­The Pepperdine women's volleyball team split its matches at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational on Friday, sweeping Cal State Bakersfield (30-23, 30-28, 30-28) before falling to #7 Texas (24-30, 30-28, 23-30, 29-31) in a four-game match in the nightcap.

In the afternoon match against Cal State Bakersfield, the Waves (5-4) held the Roadrunners to a .000 hitting percentage in game one and broke open a tight game by scoring seven straight points to take a 23-15 lead, and held on for a 30-23 win. Game two saw the Waves take a three point advantage at 14-11, but the Roadrunners rallied to take a 20-18 lead. Pepperdine responded with six straight points to reclaim the lead at 24-20, and escaped with a narrow 30-28 victory. In game three, the Waves scored three of the final four points of the match to complete the sweep and earn a 30-28 victory.

Junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 11 digs to go along with two block assists, and sophomore Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) notched 29 assists, seven kills and eight digs.

Pepperdine hit .301, while Cal State Bakersfield (3-7) hit .183 overall.

"I thought we used the morning match to get used to the new environment and adjust," Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said. "It was a long road trip, and we didn't play that well, but we got it done."

In the nightcap against Texas, the Waves dropped game one, 30-24, after allowing the Longhorns to hit .412 as a team. In game two, the Waves trailed 23-20, but scored five consecutive points to claim the lead and ­­posted the 30-28 victory on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS). Pepperdine managed only a .128 hitting percentage in game three and was unable to overcome an early six-point deficit as Texas claimed the 30-23 victory. Game four was a tightly contested affair, as Texas broke a 29-29 tie by scoring the last two points of the match to earn the four-game victory.

Rubenstein posted her team-leading seventh double-double of the season with 14 kills and 14 assists, Lumsden led the team with 18 kills while chipping in with three service aces and three block assists, and Fiers set a season high for assists in a four-game match with 52.

The Waves hit .221 as a team compared to .346 for Texas (4-2).

"I thought we played really well, we just made too many mistakes," Matthies said. "We fought hard, and it was a tough atmosphere against a really good team, but we played really well. We were in every game and a point here or a point there could've made a difference."

Up next, the Waves will compete in the Blue/Green Classic held at Huntington and Charleston, W. Va., on September 14-15. The Waves will face Akron on Friday at 1:30 p.m. PT, and Marshall and West Virginia on Saturday. The Marshall match is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. PT, while the West Virginia match is set for 2:30 p.m. PT.

Portland - 3
Portland State - 2

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The Portland Pilots won their first home match of the season in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win over the Portland State Vikings at the Nike Invitational on Friday night at the Chiles Center. The Pilots improve to 3-0 this season in matches that go five games and to 5-2 overall.

Portland State won the first game 30-20 before Portland claimed the next two 30-25 and 30-28. PSU won the fourth game 30-28 to force the fifth and deciding game. The Pilots were finally able to put away the Viks with a 15-13 win.

Junior Jennifer Sheedy recorded a match-high 19 kills, the highest single match total for the Pilots this season. Junior Ashley Grayson nearly matched Sheedy with 18 kills.

The Clemens sisters, Maria and Jessica, both recorded double-doubles. Maria, a sophomore, posted 15 kills with 11 digs, while Jessica, a freshman, totaled 15 kills and 15 digs.

Senior setter Kara Pein led the way with 59 assists and 12 digs, while freshman Danielle Dupar totaled a match-high 26 digs.

Portland State (4-3) totaled 40 blocks for the match, led by Michelle Segun with five solo blocks and 10 block assists. Jennifer Oney had a team-high 12 kills.

The first game was all Portland State as the Vikings cruised to the win. The Vikings continued the momentum into the second game and claimed a 13-7 lead. The Pilots then took 12 of the next 14 points to take a four-point advantage at 19-15. The lead grew to 20-15 on a kill by Jessica Clemens. Portland State then managed to score a few points before Grayson put the game away with a kill.

The Pilots continued their impressive play in the third game and built a 12-6 lead after a kill by Pein. The lead grew to 10 at 18-8 after back-to-back kills by Jessica and Maria Clemens. Portland State again clawed its way back finally tying the game at 28-28. Portland responded with a kill from Jessica Clemens and a game-winner from Sheedy.

The fourth game was also tightly contested as neither team was able to build a lead of more three points. After UP forced a tie at 28-28, the Vikings scored two straight to send the match to a fifth game.

Portland led the fifth game early before PSU came back again to tie it at 10-10. UP then outscored Portland State 5-3 down the stretch for the win.

The Nike Invitational continues with four matches at the Chiles Center on Saturday. Portland State and Pacific play at 10:00 a.m. before Portland and UTEP square off at 12:30 p.m.

The Vikings then face UTEP at 5:30 p.m. Portland follows with the tournament's final match against Pacific at 8:00 p.m.

Pacific opened play with a 3-0 win over UTEP on Friday afternoon.

San Diego - 3
UC Santa Barbara - 1

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Five different Toreros recorded double-digit kills, paced by sophomore Amy DeGroot's career-high 20, to help lead the 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (26-30, 33-31, 30-23, 30-19) win over visiting UC Santa Barbara Friday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 3-3 overall, win the opening game of the USD Invitational and have snapped a three-game losing streak. With the loss, the Gauchos fall to 2-4 overall.

DeGroot led all players with her career-high 20 kills and also added in 12 digs to post her third double-double of the season. Laurel Abrahamson poured in 17 kills on 32 attempts, while only committing three errors to post a team-best .438 attack percentage. Jaimarie Sutherland recorded 14 kills, marking it her third consecutive double-digit kill performance. Torey Ellick added in a career-high 11 kills and freshman Ali Troost also had a career-high in kills with 10. Junior setter Jessica Nyrop recorded a match-best 49 assists to help direct the USD offense to a .254 attack percentage and Andrea Csaszi posted a match-best 23 digs in the win.

For the Gauchos, Brett Quirarte had a team-best 19 kills and Lauren McLaughlin was the second UCSB player with double-digit kills as she had 11. Dana Vargas had 43 assists in helping direct the Gauchos offense to a .209 team attack percentage.

The Gauchos stunned the Toreros in taking game one. UCSB jumped out to a quick 11-5 lead thanks to back-to-back kills by Lauren Smith and McLaughlin. But the Toreros would respond with a 5-0 run sparked by a attack error on UCSB and capped with a DeGroot kill off a set from Jessica Andersen. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth for a bit, but the Gauchos would not surrender the lead as they went on to claim game one by a final of 30-26.

In game two, the Toreros responded with a furry as they opened the frame with a 6-1 run. USD began the run on an Erin Wiskar kill and capped the run on a attack error by UCSB. The Gauchos would claw their way back into the game and eventually tie things up at 11-11 on a McLaughin Kill. USD and UCSB would then battle back and forth for a bit with each team taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 29-27, USD would have game point four times before finally putting things away on a Sutherland Kill to even the match at 1-1.

In game three, it was the Gauchos who came out and grabbed the early momentum as they ran off four straight points to open the frame. But The Toreros would respond as they went on a 6-2 run sparked by a Wiskar kill and capped by a UCSB attack error to knot the score at 6-6. USD would eventually grab the lead and take a four-point advantage at 13-9 thanks to an Ellick kill off a set from Nyrop. But Santa Barbara would close the gap back to one at 15-14 on a USD attack error, however the Toreros would not allow them to get any closer as they went on to claim the game by a final of 30-23.

In the final game, the Toreros jumped out to an early 4-1 lead on a Abrahamson kill off a set from Nyrop, but the Gauchos would keep things close not allowing USD to get too far ahead. Then with the score knotted at 12-12, USD put together a 7-2 run to gain control of the game. The run was started on a Abrahamson kill and capped with a attack error by UCSB. The Toreros never looked back as they went on to win the game by a final of 30-19.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they continue play in the USD invitational. USD will first take on Virginia at 10 a.m. and will conclude play in the Tournament against Oklahoma in a 7 p.m. match.

Santa Clara - 3
Eastern Washington - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore Nina Sevastopoulos recorded a match-high 11 kills to lead the No. 19 Santa Clara volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-27, 30-16, 30-24) victory over Eastern Washington Friday in its second match of the 2007 Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge in Honolulu, Hawai'i. With the sweep, the Broncos improved to 6-2 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 1-7 overall.

Sophomore Lindsy Evans also had another fantastic night on the court as she tallied 10 kills and four total blocks. She has registered double-digit kills in all but once match this season. Also producing standout performances for the Broncos Friday night were senior setter Crystal Matich, senior libero Caroline Walters and freshman Alex Scoffone. Matich dished out match-highs in assists and service aces with 29 and four, respectively, while Walters recorded a match-best 17 digs. Scoffone was also a force at the net for Santa Clara, posting a match-high five total blocks.

Santa Clara opened the first game with a 7-2 run on kills from Lauryn Dowd, Evans and Brittany Lowe. The Eagles' Alysha Cook put a brief halt in the Broncos' run, 7-3, but SCU bounced right back and jumped to a six-point lead, 10-4, on a service ace from Evans. Eastern Washington fought back and brought the score within one, 15-14 on a kill from Hayley Hills. However, SCU surged on taking a seven-point lead on a kill from Sevastopoulos, 24-17. Once again, the Eagles rallied on service from Mandy Daniels to knot the score, 25-25. Sevastopoulos stopped the Eagles 8-0 run and EWU service error gave the Broncos game one, 30-27.

Eastern Washington put up a tough fight in the beginning of game two as both teams struggled to take control. A block from Dowd and Matich gave Santa Clara a two-point advantage, 8-6, and a kill from Evans put the Broncos up by five, 15-10. Following the media timeout, SCU rode a 12-3 wave on solid serving efforts from Matich and Walters, along with kills from Dowd, Evans and Lowe to win the second game, 30-16.

Leading 2-0, Santa Clara jumped to a 5-1 start in the third game. Although Eagles tried to keep the score close, they were unable to catch the Broncos. Pushing ahead on points from Matich, Sevastopoulos, Nichole Clark and Evans, SCU gained a seven-point advantage, 25-18. A kill from Evans brought the Broncos to match point and Sevastopoulos tallied her 11th kill of the match to close game three, 30-24.

For Eastern Washington, Hills tied the match-high 11 kills, while Daniels recorded 10 digs and two service aces.

The Broncos returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 8 in the final match of the 2007 Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge. Santa Clara will battle No. 16 Hawai'i at 10 p.m. PT.

BYU - 3
Saint Mary's - 0

Palo Alto, Ca - Saint Mary's faced No. 9 BYU in the second match of the Stanford Invitational Friday night at Maples Pavilion. The Gaels fell in three close games to the Cougars, 30-32, 22-30, 29-31. Megan York led the way for the Gaels, posting her third double-double for the season, with 13 kill and 14 digs. Sophomore Alita Fisher recorded 20 digs on the match, while also tallying three service aces. The Cougars were led by junior Bryn Porter, tallying 17 kills with a .359 hitting percentage.

The Gaels battled back and forth with the Cougars throughout game one. A block by York and Burton put the Gaels on the board, and a Fisher ace would give Saint Mary's the lead at 4-3. Lowell would chip in a kill and Payne would add an ace to give the Gaels a 6-4 advantage over the Cougars. The Cougars would then go on an 11-4 run to give BYU a five point advantage over the Gaels, 10-15.

Saint Mary's would continue to trade sideouts with the Cougars, decreasing the defecit one point at a time. Brittany Barker pounded a slide attack down the line late in game one, putting the Gaels down four, and a Payne ace would put Saint Mary's within two. The Gaels would continue to steal the momentum, scoring on a triple block by Barker, Lowell, and Groess, a Cougar attack error, and a York ace. The run would put the Gaels ahead, 29-28, but would not be enough to tackle the Cougars, losing the game, 30-32. The Cougars recorded a .319 hitting percentage in the game to the Gaels .159. Sophomore Lauren Jaeckel continued to display consistency, posting a .600 hitting percentage. The Cougars were led by outside hitter Bryn Porter with seven kills on fourteen swings, with no errors.

The second game of the match would continue in the same way, with five ties before either team reached ten. BYU went on a four point run to give the Cougars the lead at 11-8. Saint Mary's would not catch rhythm, as the Cougars went on a 10-3 run late in game two to put BYU up nine. The Gaels would not let up, recording a three point run of their own. Two Jaeckel kills and a Groess ace pulled Saint Mary's to 24-18, but the run would not be enough as BYU would win the game, 30-22. York posted a team-high seven kills in the game, while also adding five digs. Middle blocker Megan Burton recorded four kills in the game, tallying a .231 hitting percentage.

Service aces would keep the Gaels close in game three, recording aces by both Fisher and Jaeckel at the start. A big block by Kamana'o pulled the Gaels within one, and a Jaeckel kill tied the game at 12 apiece. A Saint Mary's service error would give the Cougars the lead, but York would take advantage of an overpass to put away her tenth kill of the night, tying the game at 14-14. BYU would go on a late 6-2 run, putting the Cougars up 20-15. The Gaels defense forced the Cougars into three hitting errors late in game three, and a Groess kill tied the game at 22 apiece. Saint Mary's would sting together three consecutive points, recording a Groess kill and two back row attacks by York, capturing the lead at 25-23. The battled continued as middles for both teams recorded successful attacks, but the Gaels maintained the lead, 27-25, on a York kill. The Cougars tied the game at 27-27, and a kill by Lowell took back the lead, at 28-27. A well placed tip by Barker gave the Gaels 29, but the cougars answered back with a quick attack in the middle. Consecutive Porter kills gave the Cougars the lead, 30-29, forcing the Gaels to use their final timeout. BYU would put away the Gaels on a swing by opposite Erica Lott, defeating Saint Mary's 31-29.

Saint Mary's finishes play in the Stanford Invitational on September 8 at 4:30 P.M. against No. 17 Cal Poly.

Idaho - 3
San Francisco - 1

Davis, CA - USF won game one, but Idaho stormed back to take a 3-1 victory (27-30, 30-25, 30-27, 30-24) Friday in the opening match of the 2007 Hallmark Inn Aggie Invitational at the Pavilion. The Dons (5-3) drop consecutive non-conference matches for the first time since 2005, while the Vandals (2-6) notch just their second win of the season.

Junior middle blocker Carly Babin posted 17 kills and registered a .484 hitting average. Freshman opposite Sarah Mandala led the Dons with a carer-high 18 kills to go with her three aces, while libero Haley Carroll led all players with 20 digs on floor defense.

San Francisco takes on Boise State at 3:00 PM, before taking on the host Aggies at 7:00 PM. All matches are set for the Pavilion on the Davis campus.