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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 9/8

Sept. 8, 2006

Gonzaga - 3
UMBC - 0

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team opened the Husky Classic, hosted by the University of Washington, with a 3-0 (30-27, 30-24, 30-27) victory over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Friday evening. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 3-5 on the season, while the Retrievers fell to 3-3 on the year.

Sophomore Elaina Renius and junior Becky Jones helped pace Gonzaga to victory as they finished with 14 and 10 kills, respectively. Jones also added a match-high 20 digs to collect her fifth double-double of the season. Junior setter Heather Dunn, who had six kills, four digs and three block assists, passed out a match-high 42 assists, as five players closed-out the match with five or more kills. As a team, GU finished the match with 48 total kills and a .240 attacking percentage.

The Bulldogs defense was spectacular in the win, finishing with 76 total digs and eight total blocks. GU held UMBC to only 3.5 total blocks and 54 digs. Besides Jones, both junior Megan Thompson and junior Alecia Douglas ended the match in double-digit digs. Thompson collected a career-high 15 digs, while Douglas also finished with 15 digs; her seventh double-digit performance of the season.

Junior Briawna Mueller controlled the airwaves, finishing with five block assists and one solo block. Mueller also added eight kills and eight digs.

UMBC's offense combined for 47 kills and a .171 hitting percentage. Two players finished in double-digit kills, including Angela Anderson who had a match-high 17 kills. Ashley Oscars added 15 kills for the Retrievers. Kira Giles and Jennifer Wylie led Maryland-Baltimore County in digs, each collecting 11.

GU will be back in action tomorrow as it plays North Dakota State (11 a.m.) and Washington (7 p.m.) to close-out the Husky Classic.

LMU - 3
UC Irvine - 1

Los Angeles, Calif. - Defense wins games. The old sports adage proved true Friday night, as Loyola Marymount used tenacious defense to post a 3-1 (28-30, 30-21, 30-18, 30-23) comeback win against UC Irvine in day one action at the LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic. UC Irvine (0-6) edged the Lions in game one, but LMU (6-2) took three straight frames to win its fourth straight match.

In a match that looked light a defensive highlight reel for both squads, LMU finished out-digging the Anteaters 65 to 56. Heather Hughes, Christianna Reneau, and Lauren Kirk each recorded double-digit digs.

"I think that we played great defense," LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos said. "Our defense got better and better as the match progressed. The girls were just groveling all over the court going after balls, and I think that was really a big part of the win."

Another key to the Lion victory Friday was the play of junior setter Ashley Dutro. Dutro entered the match toward the end of game one and gave the Lions the offensive spark they needed, helping LMU to a match-high .438 team hitting percentage in the second game. The Lions finished the match out-hitting UC Irvine .275 to .188, and Dutro finished with 43 assists.

"Dutro was huge tonight," Stratos said. "She played her best match of the year so far."

The victory marked the second straight weekend the Lions have dropped the first game and came back to win three straight games to take the match. Last weekend, the comeback victory was against defending Atlantic Coast Conference Champion North Carolina.

The Lions hit just .120 in game one, but turned it on in game two, led by Hughes' five kills in the frame.

"Volleyball is a very strange game," Stratos said. "When the game is over, you can just start over. We made a huge adjustment and changed our lineup again. It seems like we have a lot of players who can play, and we made a change and it suddenly clicked. That has been happening a lot this year."

Led by Emily Day's four aces, the Lions totaled 12 services aces on the match. Kirk and Dutro each had three.

Despite Dutro's success at the helm of the LMU offense, it was a strange match for both teams' setters. The setters combined for 19 called setting errors.

UCI was led Lauren Kellerman's 19 kills. Libero Devon Sutherland had a match-high 19 digs.

Hughes (19 kills, 14 digs) and Reneau (11 kills, 12 digs) finished with double-doubles. Hughes (.405) and Sandy Krone (.429) each hit over the .400 mark.

The win marks the Lions' fourth straight victory and improves their home record to 4-1.

Play continues Saturday at the 2006 LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic with four matches in Gersten Pavilion. Nevada and UC Irvine start the day with a 10:00 a.m. match. LMU and SMU will follow at 12:30 p.m. to close out the morning session.

All matches are carried on Gametracker and live video streaming at www.LMULions.com. LMU's match will also have audio on Lions' All-Access free of charge for Lion fans. Visit Tournament Central for all the action of the LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic.

Pepperdine - 3
American - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - Freshman Rachel Lumsden recorded 12 kills and sophomore Julie Rubenstein added 11 as the 18th-ranked Pepperdine women's volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by sweeping American University, 30-25, 30-24, 30-17, Friday night in the opening match of the Golden Bear Invitational at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.

Pepperdine opened the match with a 4-0 run which included a pair of Cassi Chamberlain service aces, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Rubenstein would tack on three more aces for the Waves in the frame to go along with four kills, while senior Sophia Milo tacked on three kills on three swings as the Waves took a 1-0 lead in the match.

Lumsden helped Pepperdine to a 2-0 lead in the match by serving the Waves to a 10-5 lead with a pair of aces as part of a 4-0 run. The freshman would record a team-leading five kills in the stanza as Pepperdine enjoyed a large lead most of the game.

Pepperdine completed the sweep by holding the Eagles to minus .029 hitting in game three, allowing seven kills on 34 swings. Lumsden would contribute five more kills and two more aces, while Rubenstein turned in four kills on 12 swings in the decisive game.

Senior libero Kekai Crabbe led all players with 16 digs.

Pepperdine recorded its third double-digit ace match of the season with 10.

American falls to 4-3 on the season with the loss. Rubena Sukaj led all players with 13 kills but was held to just .062 hitting. The Eagles held an 11.5-5.0 edge in blocks with Chelsa Brooks' six setting the pace.

Pepperdine will return to action Saturday at noon (PDT) when it takes on Colorado State. The Waves are scheduled to close out this weekend's action at 7:30 p.m. when it faces tournament host No. 13 Cal.

Portland - 3
High Point - 0

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Pilot volleyball team swept High Point 30-19, 30-26, 30-23 in the late Friday game at the Nike Invitational, raising their overall record to 4-4. High Point drops to 1-6 on the year. Freshman Maria Clemens had a double-double for Portland, finishing with 10 kills and 12 digs on the night. Sophomore Jennifer Sheedy (pictured) led Portland with 14 kills and a scorching .500 attack percentage.

The Pilots came out on fire in game one, blasting their way to a 30-19 victory behind 17 kills and a white-hot .412 hitting percentage. After taking a 15-11 lead, the Pilots scored six consecutive points to put the game out of reach.

Portland cooled off considerably at the start of game two, spotting the Panthers a 13-9 advantage before tying High Point at 14-14 and then taking a commanding 22-15 lead. The Pilots continued their hot hitting, finishing with 20 kills and a .357 attack percentage in the 30-26 win.

Game three was similar to game two, with the game being tight at the start. High Point kept it close, trailing 17-19 midway through the game, but then Portland scored six of the next seven points to seal the victory.

Junior Nicole Thometz had 13 kills and 9 digs on the night, and senior Murphy McClenahan led the Pilots with 19 digs. For the Panthers, Jamie Kaufman had 9 kills to lead the way, while Audie Gonzalez had 8 kills and 11 digs.

The Nike Invitational concludes Saturday, Sept. 9 with four matches: Montana vs. Cornell at 10 a.m., Texas-Pan American vs. High Point at 12:00 p.m., Cornell vs. High Point at 6:00 p.m., and Portland vs. Texas-Pan American at 8:00 p.m.

Cornell - 3
Portland - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - Playing its second game at the Nike Invitational, the University of Portland volleyball team lost to Cornell 30-24, 27-30, 29-31, 24-30 before a raucous crowd at the Chiles Center. The Pilots fall to 3-4 on the season while defending Ivy League champions Cornell, playing in their season opener, improves to 1-0.

Junior Kelly Whitehouse (pictured, 14 kills, .286 hitting percentage) and sophomore Ashley Grayson (11 kills, .360 hitting percentage) led the Pilots attack, while senior Murphy McClenahan paced Portland with 22 digs. For Cornell, senior Ivy League Player of the year Elizabeth Bishop had 20 kills to lead the Big Red.

Game one was back-and-forth at the beginning and featured seven tie scores and five lead changes. But the Pilots stepped it up midway through the game, building a 23-17 lead that held for a 30-24 victory. Cornell rebounded in game two, never relinquishing the lead after going up 5-4 early in the game and finishing with a 30-27 win.

Game three was packed full of drama as the Pilots rallied from a 25-21 deficit to tie the game at 28, and then served for game point at 29-28 after an attack error by Alex Dyer and a Cornell timeout. The Big Red then scored three straight kills to win the game 31-29.

Deflated after the close loss in game three, the Pilots struggled in game four, falling to an early 13-6 deficit. Portland rallied late in the game to make it 23-26, but Bishop slammed the door on the Pilots on game point for her 20th kill of the game.

For the Pilots, freshman Kaylyn Jones saw lots of action at setter and set career highs with 25 assists and 4 digs, while fellow freshman Maria Clemens finished with 8 kills and 13 digs. Also pitching in for Portland were junior Nicole Thometz with 11 kills and sophomore Jennifer Sheedy with 9 kills.

Saint Mary's - 3
Idaho - 0

Long Beach, CA - The Saint Mary's volleyball team needed just 1 hour and 30 minutes to beat the Idaho Vandals 3-0 on Friday night at the Pyramid in Long Beach. The Gaels beat the Vandals 30-19, 30-26, 30-25 on the neutral court.

Saint Mary's came out with a lot more energy on Friday night and it showed as they jumped out to a quick lead in the first game and controlled the match. With the victory the Gaels improve to 4-4 overall.

Offensively the Gaels were led by Christina Kirk, who had a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Kirk also had four blocks and hit .688 for the match.

Missie Stidham had a match-high 15 kills with a .333 hitting percentage to go along with nine digs and two aces. Megan Burton recorded a career-high 10 kills with a .421 hitting percentage and also added three blocks. Taylor Groess had another solid game with 10 kills with a .304 hitting percentage.

As a team the Gaels hit a season-high .393, while holding the Vandals to a .196 hitting percentage.

The second game went back-and-forth early on until the Gaels rallied in the early 20's to take a 25-23 lead with Bible serving. Saint Mary's went on to win 30-26. Stidham added four kills and Kirk had four kills in the game, while Groess added three. Bible had two kills, 11 assists and two digs in the game. The Gaels had 3.5 blocks in the game.

Saint Mary's took a controlling lead in the first game and never let up. The Gaels went on to beat the Vandals 30-19, as they hit an outstanding .594 for the game, while holding Idaho to .097. Groess and Burton each had six kills in the game and Stidham added five kills.

Saint Mary's returns to action on Friday, September 15 when it faces UC Irvine at 5 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. The Gaels face the Anteaters on Friday, before facing Stanford on Saturday at 5 p.m. Both matches are part of the Stanford Tournament at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, CA.

San Diego - 3
Wyoming - 0

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Senior Christie Dawson's 19 kills and Kristen Carlson's fourth doube-double of the season helped the University of San Diego women's volleyball team (6-3) cruise to a 3-1 win over the University of Wyoming Friday afternoon in the the Toreros' first game of the Hilton Las Cruces Classic.

San Diego improves to 6-2 with the 27-30, 30-14, 30-28, 30-18 win, while the Cowgirls fall to 5-3 and 0-2 in the Tournament as they had lost to New Mexico State University earlier in the day.

Dawson recorded her fourth double-double in the past five matches as she added a match-best 17 digs to go along with her match-best 20 kills. Carlson continues to have a solid start to the 2006 season as she had 19 kills on 32 attempts and only committed one attacking error for a match-high .562 attacking percentage. Laurel Abrahamson chipped in with 11 kills and Erin Wiskar added 10 more kills to help USD dominate the match. Jessica Nyrop had a match-best 59 assists to help lead the Toreros to a season-best .370 team attack percentage.

For the Cowgirls, only one player registered double-digit kills in Annie Meyers who had a team-best 14 kills to go along with 11 digs for a double-double. As a team the Cowgirls posted a team attack percentage of .153.

New Mexico State - 3
San Diego - 2

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State University Aggies (9-0) defeated the University of San Diego women's volleyball team (6-3), 3-2 (30-28, 23-30, 32-30, 27-30, 17-15), Friday evening at the Hilton Las Cruces Classic.

Senior Kristen Carlson had a season-high 29 kills and added 11 digs for her second double-double of the day and Christie Carlson added 19 kills for USD. Erin Wiskar was the third Torero in double digit kills with 12 and had three solo blocks on the evening. Jessica Nyrop helped direct the San Diego offense and racked up a match-best 55 assists. As a team USD had a attack percentage of .224.

New Mexico State had three players record double-digit kills in Kim Oguh with 16, Amber Simpson with 13 and Alice Borden with 14. As a team NMSU had an attack percentage of .292.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they close out play in the Hilton Las Cruces Classic with a 10 a.m. match against Idaho State University.

San Francisco - 3
Syracuse - 0

Sacramento, CA - USF opened the 2006 Sacramento State Hornet Invitational with a convincing sweep of Syracuse, 30-21, 30-26, 30-25 in the first match Friday morning at the Hornet's Nest. The Dons (5-1) hit .310 for the match as six players recorded at least four kills against the Orange (3-7).

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg led the way offensively with a match-high 16 kills on .464 hitting, while junior outside hitter Brynn Muarer recorded her second straight double-double performance with 10 kills on .444 hitting and 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos aadded eight kills for the Dons.

Senior setter Jamie Kartchner and sophomore setter Darcy Carroll each dished out 22 assists in the match. Freshman libero Haley Carroll added 13 blocks. USF held a tremendous 54-35 advantage in kills and won the digs battle 46-37. The Dons defense limited the Orange to a .148 attack percentage, including a .097 in game one.

San Francisco - 3
Sacramento State - 2

Sacramento, CA - USF fought off a furious late rally to dispatch Sacramento State 3-2 (30-24, 21-30, 30-23, 23-24, 16-14 in the third match of the 2006 Hornet Invitational Friday afternoon at Hornet Gym. The Dons (6-1) won their fourth straight overall and captured their eighth consecutive five-game victory with the decision against the Hornets (6-4).

Four USF players reached double-digits in kills and four turned in double-double nights, led by freshman outside hitter Anna Berger, who tallied a career-high 18 kills to go along with 14 digs and a pair of aces. Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg added 18 kills and 10 digs, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded her third straight double-double 14 kills and 23 digs. Senior setter Jamie Kartchner added her first double-double of the season with 25 assists and a season-high 10 digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos had a solid match with a career-high 16 kills and added five blocks (one solo). Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll did a nice job running the offense, dishing out 42 assists as the Dons hit at a .192 clip for the game, including a .400 in the decisive fifth.

USF limited Sacramento State to a .166 attack percentage - including an .020 rate in game three and a .095 in game five. The Dons held a 78-65 kills edge and won the digs battle 102-92, keyed by a strong night from freshman libero Haley Carroll who recorded a career-high 34 - the fourth best single-match tally in program history.

"Overall I am happy with the way we played today," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "I thought our defense was outstanding both in the back row and at the net. Our setters did a nice job running the offense and they both made good decisions out there. This was a good win for us against a tough opponent."

San Francisco roared back from a 3-0 deficit in the opening game to seize a 14-9 lead, courtesy of four kills and a service ace from Maurer and extended it to a 19-11 advantage as Berger served four straight points. The Hornets made a late push but the Dons shrugged it off to take a 1-0 lead. USF hit a remarkable .350 in game one with 20 kills and just six errors on 40 attempts. Hasselberg led the way offensively with seven kills in the first frame.

USF led early in game two, 5-4, but the Hornets used a 4-0 run to build a 8-5 lead it would not surrender. The Dons tied the match at14-14, but Sacramento State pulled seized control with a 7-2 run to push the score to 21-16. Berger tallied five kills for San Francisco, who hit a rugged .083 in the second.

San Francisco blew open an 8-6 advantage with a 7-0 run, fueled by four straight kills from Maurer and cruised from there. The Dons led 23-11 and shrugged off a late Hornet rally to take a 2-1 advantage. Maurer finished with seven kills in the third set, while Gombos added four.

Game four was a barnburner. The Dons built a modest 14-11 lead, but Sacramento State motored back to take a 15-14 lead. From there, neither team could manage more than a two point lead. USF led 28-25, but the Hornets stormed back to tie it at 30-30 and went on a 4-2 run to tie the match at two games apiece.

USF put on a blocking clinic in game five in building a 14-6 lead, but had to fight off a furious Hornet rally to secure a 16-14 victory. Sacramento State tied the match at 14-14, but Gombos rallied USF with back-to-back kills to finish it. The Dons hit .400 in the finale, but the blocking set the tone as San Francisco tallied 10 blocks in the set, four from sophomore middle Carly Babin who matched her career-high in the match with 10 (one solo).

San Francisco returns to action in the 2006 Sacramento State Hornet Classic Saturday morning when it takes on UC Riverside. First serve against the Highlanders is set for 9:30 AM at the Hornets Nest.

Santa Clara - 3
Missouri - 1

AUSTIN, Texas - Despite suffering a disappointing defeat the day before, and dropping the first game of Friday's match, the No. 4 Santa Clara volleyball team dug deep, stemmed its slide, and slugged its way back into the win column with a come-from-behind 3-1 (24-30, 30-18, 30-20, 30-24) victory over the No. 15 Missouri Tigers to earn a split at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.

The victory brought SCU's record to 6-1, and was also marked the 162nd career win for head coach Jon Wallace, tying him with Mary Ellen Murchison (1978-88) atop the career list of victories by a Santa Clara volleyball head coach.

"We did it, it's been a group effort to get to this point," Wallace modestly stated about reaching the top of the career wins list, crediting his assistant coaches and players, before stressing the importance of turning around with a big win after yesterday's defeat. "It is good to get that bad taste out of our mouth, and the way we look at it now, we're 1-0 on our new streak."

Santa Clara will now return to the Bay Area this week to begin a stretch of four matches in five days. The Broncos open the week up with the Rivalry Series battle with San Jose State at Spartan Gym at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, before traveling up the road to Stanford for the Stanford Invitational where they will battle the Cardinal Thursday night at 7 p.m. SCU will close out the tournament Saturday with a 12 p.m. match against UC Irvine before returning that night for a 7 p.m. contest against Georgetown.

Outside hitter Kim McGiven led the Broncos Friday with her second double-double of the season, making a team-high 21 kills to go along with 14 digs. Brittany Lowe added a double-double of her own, with 17 kills and 17 digs, while Annalisa Muratore made 15 kills while hitting at a .429 clip and made three blocks. Setter Crystal Matich guided the Broncos to a .309 hitting percentage on the day as she dished out 58 assists.

Defensively, Santa Clara bounced back from a dismal performance in Thursday's loss to Texas. Besides McGiven and Lowe's double-digit dig totals, Matich added 17 digs of her own and libero Caroline Walters made 15 digs. After not making a block against Texas, SCU returned to dominance at the net as Muratore, Anna Cmaylo, and Lindsy Evans notched three blocks apiece.

"I thought our leadership was great, led by Kim and Caroline driving the team to compete," Wallace said after the win. "Both of them brought it up a notch very nicely with what they do stat-wise and in terms of intensity on the court. Annalisa did a real nice job as well as Brittany in hitting for high percentages and being aggressive on the court."

Jessica Vander Kooi and Nicole Wilson each had 15 kills and Tatum Ailes made 21 digs to pace the Tigers Friday afternoon.

Missouri (6-3) captured the first game after taking control midway through, as the Tigers reeled off a 5-0 run to take an 18-14 lead., forcing Santa Clara to burn a timeout. Trailing 21-16, McGiven made three straight kills to cut the gap to two, but a four-point run by the Tigers extended the lead to 26-20 and the win was academic by that point.

But the Broncos refused to be bowed, jumping out to quick leads of 7-3 and then 12-7 in the second frame. Santa Clara hit .424 in evening the match at a game apiece.

The teams battled to an 8-8 tie to start game three, but an 8-1 Bronco run quickly turned the tide. SCU got the advantage to 10 at 25-15 later on to coast to the 30-20 win and the 2-1 advantage.

Game four was a closely-contested affair most of the way, as the teams exchanged leads up to a 17-17 deadlock. But from there, the Broncos captured the next three points to go ahead 20-17, and used a four-point run to lock things up for their sixth win of the season.

The All-Tournament team was to be released following the conclusion of Friday night's Texas-Penn State match.