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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps

Sept. 12, 2006

Gonzaga - 3
Eastern Washington - 2

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.

San Francisco - 3
UC Davis - 0

San Francisco - USF volleyball recorded its seventh straight win in impressive fashion with a 30-26, 30-20, 30-18 sweep of UC Davis Tuesday in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (9-1) hit .367 for the match and hit .421 in games two and three against the Aggies (1-7).

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg once again led the way for the Dons offensively, recording a team-high 15 kills - with eight coming in game two - on .520 hitting with just two errors in 25 attacks. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos tallied 11 kills on .600 hitting in just two games, while freshman outside hitter Anna Berger also added 11 kills for the Dons.

USF's setting tandem enjoyed a solid night as nine Dons recorded at least one kill, while six recorded four or more in the match. Sophomore Darcy Carroll dished out a team-high 25 to go along with four kills and five digs, while senior Jamie Kartchner chipped in 20 with six digs.

Freshman libero Haley Carroll keyed a solid San Francisco defensive effort with a team-high 12 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin recorded seven blocks (one solo) to go along with seven kills on .400 hitting. Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer added 10 digs for the Dons.

San Francisco held a 58-37 kills advantage and limited the Aggies to a .126 hitting percentage, including a .054 mark in game two. USF won the defensive battles 46-41 in digs and 11-5 in blocks in a match featuring just seven tie scores and one lead change.

Senior opposite Nicole Read recorded a match-high 18 kills on .295 hitting for the Aggies, while freshman libero Avreeta Singh posted a match-high 17 digs.

USF returns to action Friday, September 15, when it competes in the 2006 Marquette Challenge. The Dons square off against the host Golden Eagles in the opener, scheduled for a 5:00 PM (PT) first serve at the McGuire Center.

Santa Clara - 3
San Jose State - 2

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Bearing down and showing unmatched grit in a stifling, 100-degree Spartan Gym, the No. 8 Santa Clara volleyball team overcame an 0-2 deficit behind the career-high performance of Anna Cmaylo and capture a 3-2 (28-30, 28-30, 30-27, 30-19, 15-6) victory over a very game San Jose State Spartans squad.

"I think we found our groove, both mentally and emotionally," head coach Jon Wallace said of the spark the Broncos showed in making the comeback. "This team has great chemistry, they all like each other, and I thought the girls had their backs against the wall, and I give them credit for coming off very calm, not panicking, and staying very patient, which allowed them to play their best. That's what we talked about after the match, they found a good, comfortable and emotional state in themselves with which to play this match, where they trusted in their abilities to take over."

Cmaylo unloaded a career-high 26 kills on the Spartans, hitting an amazing .571 Tuesday night. Outside hitters Kim McGiven (13 kills, 11 digs) and Brittany Lowe (15 kills, 10 digs) each posted double-doubles, and setter Crystal Matich nearly posted a triple-double, dishing out 67 assists, putting down 10 kills (at a .625 rate), making seven digs and serving up three aces.

"Without a doubt, Anna carried us, she gave us the momentum-building hits and came up with a huge block in game five that finally moved us apart from them," Wallace said of the star middle blocker. "She was just automatic and she knew it."

"I thought Crystal struggled a bit in games one and two, but I give her a ton of credit for settling down in the last three games and being able to dig and block more balls," Wallace added about his junior setter. "I'm really proud of the way she really battled through to make this happen."

Annalisa Muratore had 13 kills and seven blocks as well for SCU, while freshman Lindsy Evans continued her strong play, hitting .615 with eight kills, four blocks and two aces to contribute to a tremendous all-around team effort.

The win was also an historic one, as it was the 163rd career victory for Wallace, putting him alone atop the Santa Clara volleyball career wins list, surpassing former coach Mary Ellen Murchison (1978-88). Fittingly, it came against the very school that dealt Wallace his first defeat in his head-coaching debut seven years ago.

"Without a doubt this one's going to be memorable," Wallace said. "The first match of my career was at San Jose State and we lost in three straight, so now to break that record against San Jose State I guess is a pretty cool thing."

SCU got off to an early 6-4 lead in game one, but the Spartans battled back to take an 13-9 lead after a trio of aces from libero Jessie Shull and a kill by Courtney Lorusso which prompted Wallace to burn a timeout in an effort to calm the Broncos down.

Sure enough, the Broncos roared back to life, conceding a point to the Spartans before making a four-point run highlighted by a pair of aces from Evans, forcing SJSU to call a timeout of their own.

Things seesawed once the teams returned to play, but Santa Clara managed to reclaim the lead at 17-16 after a Matich kill. Kills by Megan Pura and Cmaylo got the lead to 22-19 as the Spartans used their final timeout of the game to attempt to regroup.

An Annalisa Muratore kill gave the Broncos a five-point lead at 28-23, and things looked to be in hand, but the Spartans put together a run that featured three attack errors by Santa Clara, stealing the game's final seven points to capture the first stanza 30-28.

Game two picked up where the first left off as the Spartans jumped out to a 7-4 lead, eventually extending it to 14-9, sending the Broncos to the bench once more for a timeout.

SCU continued to stay in striking range, but struggled to put together a solid string of points that would get them over the hump. Despite cutting the lead to two at 25-23 and forcing a San Jose State timeout, the Broncos still could not capitalize as the Spartans ran off the next two points to extend the lead to four. They managed to hold off SCU, as Jennifer Sentfleben's kill gave SJSU the second game, 30-28.

Needing a win to stay alive entering the third stanza, the Broncos battled neck-and-neck with the Spartans for much of it. The Spartans, though, grabbed the lead at 18-16, but Santa Clara continued to battle, knotting things up at 22-apiece when Muratore and Lowe combined for a crucial block. Behind the steady serving of Taylor O'Brien, SCU fed off of the momentum with a five-point run featuring three kills from Muratore that made it 28-23.

San Jose State answered with a four-point run of its own, threatening to steal the third and potentially deciding game, but a thunderous kill by Lowe followed by a Spartan attack error gave the Broncos the 30-27 win and a new lease on life.

Santa Clara opened the fourth game fired up and took a 10-7 on the strength of three straight points, forcing San Jose State to burn their first timeout. Fueled by the attacking of Cmaylo and the wall of Muratore and Matich, the Broncos went up 22-15, as the momentum began leaning towards the SCU end. An 8-4 run was capped by a McGiven kill as SCU took the fourth stanza 30-19 to force the deciding fifth game.

With the final stanza only going to 15 points, the team getting off to the fast start would be at the advantage. An Evans block followed by a Spartan attack error gave SCU the quick 2-0 lead, and another Cmaylo kill made it 3-1 two rallies later. Kills by McGiven and Matich helped extend the lead to 6-2 as the Spartans burned a timeout to regroup.

Following the break, nothing was stopping the Broncos as they had fully regained their swagger, punishing the Spartan defense with undiggable kills and morale-crushing blocks up front. SCU took a 13-6 lead and following an SJSU attack error, Nichole Clark served up an ace for the deciding point, giving SCU the game at 15-6.

The Broncos will return to action Thursday night as they begin play in the Stanford Invitational with a 7 p.m. match against No. 7 Stanford at Maples Pavilion.

Oregon - 3
Portland - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Pilots were defeated 3-1 by the Oregon Ducks in a non-conference volleyball match on Tuesday night at the Chiles Center. Oregon took the four games 30-18, 32-30, 18-30 and 30-22, as the Pilots drop to 5-5 on the season. The Ducks improve to 8-0.

"The way we played tonight reconfirms that we are a legitimate team and this match is good preparation for the West Coast Conference season," head coach Doug Sparks said. "I'd liken Oregon to a lot of the teams we'll play in conference in terms of athleticism, speed and height, and we were right there with them all night."

The Pilots connected on 49 kills for the match, led by junior Nicole Thometz with a game-high 18. Thometz added 11 digs for the double-double.

UP Sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Sheedy added 10 kills. Junior setter Kara Pein led UP with 38 assists, while senior libero Murphy McClenahan made 22 digs. McClenahan now has 1,428 career digs, good for third on Portland's all-time charts.

"When we execute our system, we can play with anybody," said Sparks. "I think we showed that tonight."

Oregon totaled 56 kills for the match, led by Sonja Newcombe's 14. Newcombe also made a team-high 22 digs, while Neticia Enesi chipped in with 12 kills.

It was all Oregon the first game as the Ducks built an early 10-4 advantage en route to the win. Oregon racked up 18 kills and a .500 attacking percentage.

"I was disappointed that we walked out on our home court and got hit in the mouth in that first game," said Sparks. "We played way too tentatively at the start."

Portland led for most of the second game and twice was serving for the match. But the Ducks prevailed with two late kills from Karen Waddington and Newcombe.

The Pilots fought back to take the third game, connecting on 16 kills for a .464 attack percentage. Oregon would bounce back to claim the fourth game and the match.

Portland next travels to Reno, Nevada for a tournament hosted by the University of Nevada. The Pilots face UT-Pan American, whom the Pilots defeated last weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 3:00 p.m. Portland then takes on Nevada on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.