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Zags Wins Thriller Over Eastern Washington

Sept. 12, 2006

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball defeated visiting Eastern Washington University 3-2 (30-27, 26-30, 24-20, 30-25, 15-11) this evening at the Martin Center. The victory breaks a 15-match losing streak to the Eagles that dates back to the 1996 season. With the win the Bulldogs improved to 4-7 on the season and with the loss the Eagles dropped to 7-2 overall on the year.

Gonzaga started out quick in game one, building a 4-0 lead off four-straight kills, including two by freshman Emily Johnson and one each by sophomore Elaina Renius and sophomore Tianna Tuatagaloa. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 10-6 after a monster solo block by junior Becky Jones.

Eastern Washington rallied and tied the game at 10-10 after an attacking error by Renius, but a few miscues by the visiting Eagles allowed the Bulldogs to expand their lead to 16-12. GU continued to hold EWU at bay and pushed its lead to 25-21 on back-to-back kills by Tuatagaloa.

Eastern Washington put a small scare into Gonzaga, but an attacking error by Julia Reis of the Eagles gave the Bulldogs the 30-27 victory and one-game lead.

It was a close played contest early in game two, with three lead changes and four ties, but with the score tied at 7-7, Eastern Washington pulled ahead 12-8 on the strength of Addie Webster, who tallied four kills. A block by the Eagles and a service ace by Webster extended EWU's lead to 14-8.

Gonzaga started to chip away at Eastern Washington's lead and sliced the score to 24-22 after an attack error by the Eagles. An ace by Gonzaga sophomore Frances Garcia put the score at 25-24, but the Eagles took back the momentum and kept the Bulldogs at bay to earn the 30-26 victory.

Eastern Washington quickly built a 6-2 lead in game three on the strength of three-straight kills by Hayley Hills. Two service errors by the Bulldogs helped the Eagles propel their lead to 10-5.

The Eagles extended their lead to eight points, 20-12, but the Bulldogs fought back and sliced the lead down to two, 21-19. Renius was instrumental in Gonzaga getting back into the game, with one spectacular block and two kills. The rally fell short, as Eastern Washington earned the 30-24 victory by closing out the game with three-straight points.

It was Gonzaga who pulled ahead early in game four, building a 7-5 lead. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 17-12 on five-straight points.

The Bulldogs kept their lead at five points until two kills by the Eagles cut GU's advantage to 25-22. Renius tallied a kill and EWU had an attacking error to push back Gonzaga's advantage to 27-22. GU earned the 30-25 victory and pushed the match to the decisive fifth game on a service ace by sophomore Paige Dillingham.

Eastern Washington built a slight two-point lead at 5-3 in the fifth game, but seven-straight points by Gonzaga gave the Bulldogs an 8-5 advantage. Freshman Emily Johnson and junior Briawna Mueller started things off with back-to-back kills. Mueller kept things going with a block assist and a kill. The Bulldogs did not let the Eagles get any closer as they earned the 15-11 win.

Gonzaga had three players finish with double-digit kills, including Renius who tallied a team and career-high 19 kills and had an impressive .533 attacking percentage. She also added two assists, one solo block and two block assists. Jones had her seventh double-double of the season with 16 kills and 14 digs. Mueller was the final player for GU in double-digit kills with 14. She also had one solo block and two block assists. Junior setter Heather Dunn dished out a match-high 61 assists and had a team-high 17 digs. As a team, the Bulldogs finished with 72 kills and a .253 hitting percentage.

Eastern Washington was led by Brittney Page who finished with a match-high 26 kills. Webster added 16 kills and a match-high 18 digs for the Eagles. EWU finished the match with 72 team kills and a .188 attacking percentage.

Gonzaga will be back in action this weekend when it participates in the Boise State Tournament Sept. 15-16. GU will match up with Oregon on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. and play host Boise State on Sept. 16 at 11 a.m