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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 9/9

Sept. 9, 2006

LMU - 3
SMU - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - Loyola Marymount volleyball won its fifth straight match Saturday in day two action at the LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic. The Lions (7-2) topped SMU (7-2) in a 3-0 sweep (30-18, 30-20, 30-26) to remain perfect in tournament play this weekend.

Heather Hughes led the Lions in the afternoon match-up, finishing with 16 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .343. The junior also had six service aces, five of which came in the first game.

"Heather was so dominant," LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos said. She was just a huge force serving. She was just amazing."

As a team, the Lions totaled 13 aces.

LMU held SMU to just a .087 hitting percentage.

The Lions themselves hit their best in game two, posting a .533 clip, thanks in part to the leadership of setter Ashley Dutro. Dutro finished with 46 assists, five kills, and six digs.

"Dutro once again has really found her step," Stratos said. "She is playing at the level where we feel she is capable of playing."

The Lions also got a boost from junior Christianna Reneau, who finished with 12 kills and 14 digs.

"Christianna really was great all-around for us today," Stratos said.

Sophomore Lauren Kirk played the libero position for the Lions, finishing with 11 digs and a service ace.

"The last two matches, our unsung hero has been our libero, Lauren," Stratos said. "She has really done a great job, and what doesn't show up in the stats is her passing percentage in serve-receive, and it's tremendous right now."

Saturday afternoon's victory is the fifth-straight for the Lions, who's last loss came at the hands of 11th-ranked Tennessee.

"I thought today was really a team effort and everyone played well," LMU Head Coach Stratos said.

LMU - 3
Nevada - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - Loyola Marymount University put an exclamation mark at the end of the 2006 LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic, sweeping Nevada 3-0 (30-25, 30-18, 30-16) to win the tournament title. For the Lions, the sweep marked their sixth straight victory, and improved their record to 8-2.

LMU junior Heather Hughes was named the tournament's MVP, after tallying 47 kills, 37 digs, and 10 service aces in the Lions three tournament matches (10 games).

Fellow juniors Christianna Reneau (35 kills, 33 digs) and Ashley Dutro (115 assists, 17 digs) joined Hughes on the all-tournament team.

Karly Sipherd (UNR), Caitlin Rainbird (SMU), Devon Sutherland (UCI), and Kristin Kelley (UCI) represented the other three programs on the all-tournament team as well.

LMU used a balanced offense and tough serving to take down the Wolf Pack Saturday night. The Lions, who served tough all weekend, tallied 11 services aces Saturday night, led by Hughes' four. Dutro and senior Cat Svorinich combined for five of the other aces.

The Lions also got a boost from senior Sandy Krone, who tallied six kills and three blocks, while hitting a reliable .455 on the match.

LMU held Nevada to a .056 team hitting percentage, including a -.032 in the final frame. The Lions allowed the Wolf Pack just a combined 32 points in games two and three.

The Lions finished the tournament 3-0, with wins over UC Irvine (tournament runners-up), SMU, and Nevada.

LMU will now hit the road for their final tournament of the season, the Miami Hurricane Invitational. There, the Lions will battle Jacksonville, Florida A&M, and the host Hurricanes.

Pepperdine - 3
Colorado State - 1

MALIBU, Calif. - The 18th-ranked Pepperdine women's volleyball team picked up its fourth consecutive victory with a 3-1 (30-27, 23-30, 30-20, 30-17) decision over Colorado State Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The victory sets up a true championship match for the Golden Bear Invitational tonight at 7:30 p.m. (PDT) between the Waves and No. 13 Cal.

Senior Sophia Milo became the school's all-time blocks leader with two in the match, passing Lisa Bevington's (1985-88) career mark of 423. The Portland, Ore. native added a team-leading 14 kills on .583 hitting. Freshman Rachel Lumsden picked up her third double-double of the season with an 11-kill, 13-dig effort. Sophomore Julie Rubenstein added 12 kills, while senior libero Kekai Crabbe logged a match-best 21 digs for the Waves (4-3).

Colorado State (4-4) was paced by Jaime Strauss' 15 kills. Mekana Barnes added 13 kills and Katherine Whitney finished the night with 10 kills but the Rams were limited to just .131 hitting as Pepperdine recorded 12.0 blocks in the match.

The Rams used a 5-1 run to take a 16-12 lead in game one. Behind a pair of kills by Milo and Rubenstein, and a kill from Cassi Chamberlain, Pepperdine took an 18-17 lead. CSU regained the lead at 20-18 only to record three consecutive hitting errors as the Waves took a 22-20 lead. Colorado State tied the game at 24-all but Pepperdine outscored its opponent by a 6-3 margin to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Waves let game two slip away. After trailing 12-4, CSU used a 13-3 run to take a 17-15 lead. The Waves would score the next three points but the Rams would hold on for 30-23 victory.

Pepperdine cruised in games three and four. In game three, the Waves led by as many as 11, 15-6, and never looked back. For the game, Pepperdine hit at a .517 clip with 17 kills and just two errors. The final game was more of the same. The Waves opened a double-digit lead early in the final frame and won the match going away.

California - 3
Pepperdine - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team took second at the Golden Bear Invitational after falling 3-0 (30-17, 30-18, 30-19) to tournament host No. 13 Cal Saturday night in Haas Pavilion. The loss drops the Waves to 4-4 on the season, while the Golden Bears improve to 9-0.

All-tournament selection Sophia Milo was joined by Rachel Lumsden and Julie Rubenstein with a team-leading seven kills. Senior Kekai Crabbe tallied a team-best seven digs and was named Defensive Standout.

After Cal took a 1-0 lead in game three, Pepperdine scored nine unanswered points. Lumsden burned Cal for three aces during the run. Trailing, 12-5, the Golden Bears used a 13-1 run to take an 18-13 lead. During the run, the Waves committed seven hitting errors, a service error and a ball handling error. Pepperdine would score just six more points in the match.

Pepperdine spotted Cal a 7-0 lead in the first game of the night and never recovered. The Waves hit minus .059 in the game, recording just eight kills with 10 errors.

Game two saw the Bears open with a 7-2 lead off four Waves' miscues. Pepperdine fought back to lock the score at 7-7 with a 5-0 run only to see Cal regain command of the set with an 8-1 run. The run was aided by six errors, five hitting errors. For the game, Pepperdine hit just .051 with 11 kills to nine errors. Cal, in contrast, logged 16 kills with just two errors and hit at a .500 clip.

The Waves will return home for a pair of matches against nationally-ranked teams next week. Thursday's match against No. 10 USC will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament second round when Pepperdine swept the Trojans in Los Angeles. The match will air on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the Waves will host No. 14 Purdue at 7:00 p.m. following an Alumni match at 3:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling 866 WAVE-TIX.

Portland - 3
Texas-Pan American - 1

PORTLAND, OR - The Pilot volleyball team has now has a winning record after beating Texas-Pan American 30-21, 27-30, 30-12, 30-21. Ashley Grayson had 10 blocks and Murphy McClenahan had 21 digs to lead the Pilots. Both were named to the Nike Invitational All-Tournament team. Portland finishes the Nike Invitational with a 3-1 tournament record and a 5-4 overall record.

The Pilots got things started on the right foot in game one, charging to a 10-3 early lead behind six kills and a service ace. Portland never looked back from the strong start and won the game 30-21, scoring 12 kills overall and benefiting from 9 Texas-Pan American errors.

The Broncs rebounded strongly in game two, keeping the match close before establishing a late 24-20 lead. The Pilots rallied to tie the score at 27-27, but Texas-Pan American slammed the door with two kills and a service ace for a 30-27 victory.

Portland came out of the locker room after the break determined to play well in game three, and they didn't disappoint - bringing out their A-game and exploding for a 30-12 win. Portland scored nine straight points midway through the game to put it out of reach, and finished with 12 kills, a .393 hitting percentage and 5 service aces. Head coach Doug Sparks was pleased to see the inspired effort in game three.

"An Achilles Heel of the team so far this season has been playing tentatively after losing game two," Sparks said. "I'm hoping tonight that we exorcized those demons."

It was more of the same in game four, as Portland hit for a scorching .419 percentage en route to a 30-21 win. The Pilots had 17 kills in the game, their highest total in the match. Portland jumped out to an early 13-6 lead, and junior Nicole Thometz brought the Chiles Center faithful to their feet with a thunderous kill to give the Pilots a 23-14 lead, capping a long Portland rally.

Individually, Thometz and sophomore Jennifer Sheedy paced the Pilots with 15 kills each, while Sheedy had 15 kills on 32 attempts for a .375 attack percentage, tops on the team. Thometz leads Portland with a 3.68 attack per game average, while Sheedy is second with a 2.91 average. Sheedy leads the Pilots with an overall .273 hitting percentage.

For the Broncs, Heather Bravo scored a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs, while Kellie Phillips had 12 kills and Karen Lyons had 18 digs. Texas-Pan American drops to 2-8 on the year.

Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Grayson had an excellent game at the net for the Pilots, stuffing several Broncs attempts and finishing with 10 blocks, 8 kills and only 1 attack error. Grayson leads Portland with 33 total blocks, and tallied 23 blocks over the four matches at the Nike Invitational to earn All-Tournament honors. Grayson averaged 1.53 blocks per game over the tournament.

Senior Murphy McClenahan led the way with 21 digs adding to her team-leading 4.76 dig per game average. McClenahan had 85 digs over the tournament, also earning All-Tournament honors while averaging 5.66 digs per game over the four matches. McClenahan has also displayed excellent leadership for the Pilots as the lone senior on the team.

"If a coach were to write a textbook on leadership, it should be about Murphy," Sparks said.

Junior Kelly Whitehouse added 8 kills and 9 digs on the match, while freshman Maria Clemens pitched in 8 kills and 12 digs and had several blistering hits. Clemens is third on the team with 2.23 kills per game and second with 3.16 digs per game.

"It was really nice to see Maria Clemens step it up," Sparks said. "We saw the athlete we recruited tonight."

Junior setter Kara Pein had also had a good match for the Pilots, notching 45 assists, 7 digs and 3 kills. Pein is averaging 11.09 assists per game, 2.03 digs per game and is fourth on the team with 15 total blocks.

Sparks is proud of how his team played at the tournament and believes that many of his players are stepping it up and improving their play.

"Hats off to Murphy and Ashley for earning All-Tournament honors, but it easily could have gone to Kara, Nicole, or Jenn too," Sparks said.

The Pilots have two days of well-deserved rest before hosting Oregon at the Chiles Center on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m.

"I'm happy where we are right now, and Tuesday night we've got the Ducks," Sparks said. "We're going to try to keep it rolling."

San Diego - 3
Idaho State - 0

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Laurel Abrahamson, Christie Dawson and Laura Murphy all registered double-digit kills to help lead the University of San Diego women's volleyball team (7-3) to a clean sweep over Idaho State University (4-8) Saturday morning in their final game of the Hilton Las Cruces Classic.

The Toreros took care of the Bengals, 30-22, 30-27, 30-27, and registered their third sweep of the young season.

Offensively San Diego hit .238 as a team on the match compared to ISU's .154 attack percentage. USD was led offensively by Dawson who had a match-best 14 kills followed by both Murphy and Abrahamson who had 11 kills apiece. Jaimarie Sutherland had her best offensive output of the season as she had nine kills on the day. Jessica Nyrop successfully directed the Toreros offense as she registered a match-best 45 assists to go along with 14 digs to post a double-double.

For Idaho State, Jessica Gurney and Katie Hurst tied for a team-best eight kills and Amanda Bevens led the team in assists with 15.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday evening as they finally get to play inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion with the opening match of the USD Invitational against the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.

San Francisco - 3
UC Riverside - 0

Sacramento, CA - USF volleyball captured its fifth straight win, sweeping UC Riverside 30-20, 30-28, 30-28 in second round action at the 2006 Sacramento State Hornet Invitational. The Dons (7-1) take on Western Kentucky in the tournament finale in a match scheduled for 5:00 PM.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg recorded a match-high 14 kills on .360 hitting, including nine in game one. With her sixth kill against UC Riverside, Hasselberg moved into 10th place on the Dons all-time kills list passing Amanda Willnerd (1998-2001), who tallied 857. Next up on the list is Sharon Mellen (1984-87), who is in ninth place with 876.

Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer added 13 kills and an ace for the Dons. Senior setter Jamie Kartchner dished out 40 assists for USF who hit at a .214 clip. Freshman libero Haley Carroll continued her strong play with a match-high 20 digs to go along with four service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos recorded eight kills on .500 hitting without an error.

San Francisco jumped out to a 8-1 lead and never looked back, hitting at a .405 clip in game one. Hasselberg punished the Highlanders with nine kills in the opening set, while Maurer added five.

USF was out of sync in game two and needed a late rally to take a 2-0 advantage. The Dons trailed 24-21, but went on a 9-4 run to end it. Maurer recorded a pair of kills and Carroll added a pair of aces, while serving four straight points.

Game three featured 21 tie scores and nine lead changes. The Dons trailed 27-26 before a pair of kills from Gombos, one from Kartchner and a Maurer service ace secured the game and match victory.

San Francisco - 3
Western Kentucky - 1

Sacramento, CA - USF volleyball won the 2006 Sacramento State Hornet Invitational after completing a 3-1 (30-20, 30-18, 27-30, 30-15) victory against Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon at the Hornet's Nest. The Dons (8-1) win their second straight tournament title and sixth straight match overall with the win against the Lady Toppers (8-4).

In the tournament, San Francisco dispatched Syracuse (3-0) and the host Hornets (3-2) Friday, before sweeping UC Riverside (3-0) and downing Western Kentucky (3-1) on Saturday. USF hit .247 for the tournament and held a 243-186 kills advantage, limiting its opponents to .160 hitting.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg recorded a match-high 16 kills on .312 hitting to go along with nine digs and collected tournament MVP honors for the second straight week. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos continued her strong tournament with 14 kills on .321 hitting to go along with six blocks (three solo) and earned all-tournament selection as did junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer, who recorded seven kills against WKU. Freshman outside hitter Anna Berger chipped in 12 kills on .323 hitting.

Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll turned in her second double-double of the season with 28 assists and 10 digs to go along with a career-high five aces. Senior setter Jamie Kartchner added 24 assists for the Dons who hit at a season-high .315 with 18 errors in 130 attempts. San Francisco held a 59-43 kills advantage and out-blocked the Lady Toppers 12-4.

"I am really pleased with the way we played in this tournament against some quality programs," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "We are coming together and playing much better as a team."

USF roared out to a fast start in game one, taking a 12-6 lead and never looked back on the way to an easy 1-0 advantage. Hasselberg tallied five kills, while Gombos added four for the Dons who led wire-to-wire in the opener.

San Francisco hit .423 and torched the Toppers for 15 kills on 26 swings in game two. The Dons limited Western Kentucky to .000 hitting by throwing up a huge block combining for seven in the set.

Western Kentucky bounced back to take game three despite allowing the Dons to hit at a .324 clip. Hasselbebrg swatted six kills in the frame, while Gombos added four. The Lady Toppers hit at a .225 pace to extend the match.

USF answered emphatically in game four. The Dons broke open a 6-4 advantage with a 13-2 run and ran away with their sixth straight victory.

San Francisco returns to action Tuesday, September 12 when it hosts UC Davis. First serve against the Aggies is set for 7:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.

North Dakota State - 3
Gonzaga - 2

SEATTLE, Wash. - For the second time in two weeks the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-2 (29-31, 27-30, 30-26, 30-27, 15-9) decision to North Dakota State University. The Bulldogs won the first two games of the match, but the Bison regrouped to win the final three games to earn the victory on the second day of the Husky Classic hosted by the University of Washington. With the loss, GU dropped its overall record to 3-6 on the year, while the Bison improved to 3-7 with the victory.

With North Dakota State leading 6-2 in the first game, Gonzaga rattled off six-straight points to take the slight two-point lead. Junior Heather Dunn started the rally with a kill, followed by back-to-back kills from sophomore Elaina Renius. Renius then blocked an attacking attempt by Sheila Parrish of NDSU. Freshman Layne Brosky closed out the run with her first kill of the match.

The Bulldogs continued to hold the lead until a kill by NDSU's Kelly Kaufmann tied the game at 29-29. A kill by sophomore Tianna Tuatagaloa and an attacking error by the Bison's Parrish gave Gonzaga the game one victory.

In game two, Gonzaga jumped ahead quickly building an 8-3 lead after back-to-back kills by Renius and Brosky. North Dakota State fought back, slicing Gonzaga's lead to 13-12 after a kill by Chloe Quirk, but a 6-1 run by the Bulldogs gave GU some breathing room at 19-13. Gonzaga continued to hold a multiple point advantage until late in the game when a kill by Kaufmann of NDSU cut GU's lead to 28-27. A kill by Brosky and an attacking error by the Bison gave the Bulldogs the win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

Game three was a closely played contest early with seven ties and six lead changes, but with the game tied at 14-14, North Dakota State scored nine out of the next 11 points to break the game open and take a 23-16 advantage. Gonzaga was unable to overcome the deficit and dropped the four-point decision.

The Bison pushed the match to a fifth and deciding game after earning the 30-27 fourth game victory. Parrish and Christy Stuewe helped North Dakota State tie the match at two games a piece after finishing the fourth game with seven kills each.

North Dakota State jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth game with the help of six attacking errors by Gonzaga. The Bison pushed its advantage to 13-5 after a block by Stuewe. Three-straight points by the Bulldogs cut NDSU's lead to 13-8, but the Bison's lead was too big to overcome and North Dakota State earned the match win with the 15-9 victory in game five.

The Bulldogs had four players finish with double-digit kills, including Jones who collected her sixth double-double of the season, and second double-double of the tournament with a team-high 20 kills and 17 digs. Brosky added 16 kills, while Renius and Tuatagaloa chipped in 12 and 11, respectively. GU closed out the match with 72 team kills and a .182 attacking percentage.

Dunn dished out a career-high 62 assists and had a team-high 18 digs; her fourth double-double of the year for Gonzaga. Also finishing in double-digit digs for GU were juniors Alecia Douglas (17) and Megan Thompson (10).

North Dakota State also had four players finish in double-digit kills, including Parrish who tallied a match-high 26 kills along with 21 digs. Mattie Johnson passed out a match-high 64 assists as the Bison finished with 78 team kills and a .244 hitting percentage.

The Bison held a slight edge in blocking, with 20 team blocks compared to the Bulldogs 15. Stuewe lead the charge above the net for NDSU with one solo block and eight block assists, while Renius was the leader for GU with four solo blocks and four block assists.

Washington - 3
Gonzaga - 0

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team closed-out the Husky Classic with a 3-0 (30-22, 30-18, 30-21) loss to the University of Washington, who are currently ranked #5 in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25. The Bulldogs are now 3-7 on the season, while the Huskies are now 8-1 overall.

Junior Becky Jones was the Bulldogs top offensive player finishing with 17 of the team's 35 kills as the Gonzaga offense combined for a .213 attack percentage. Junior setter Heather Dunn passed out 33 assists as only two GU players finished with five or more kills.

Washington's offense was quite the opposite as the Huskies combined for 59 team kills and an impressive .425 hitting percentage. Christal Morrison had 17 kills on 30 attacks with only two errors for a .500 attacking clip. Jill Collymore, Jessica Swarbrick and Alesha Deesing also finished in double-figure kills. Collymore had 12 kills, while Swarbrick and Dessing had 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Washington also controlled play at the net with 8.5 team blocks compared to only four for the Bulldogs. Morrison had four blocks for Washington, while Jones and Elaina Renius both had two for Gonzaga.

Tamari Miyashiro led all players with 10 digs for the Huskies. Junior Alecia Douglas was the Bulldog leader with seven. Morrison and Collymore both picked up two service aces for Washington as the Huskies won that category 6-2.

Gonzaga returns to action this Tuesday, Sept. 12 when it welcomes Eastern Washington University to the Martin Centre. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.