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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Sept. 15, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
Sam Houston State - 1

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team won a school-record eighth-straight match with a 3-1 (27-30, 30-23, 30-22, 30-25) victory over Sam Houston State University Saturday morning in its second match of the TCU Tournament. The Bulldogs broke the previous school record of seven-straight set Oct. 19 through Nov.5, 1994.

With the win the Zags improved their record to 10-3 overall this season, while the Bearkats dropped to 3-6 on the year.

Two Gonzaga players closed out the match with double-doubles. Senior Becky Jones collected 16 kills and 25 digs; both match-highs. The 25 digs is also a career-high for Jones. Her previous best was 23. Classmate Heather Dunn had her seventh double-double of the season by dishing out a match-high 56 assists along with collecting 18 digs; one dig shy of tying her career-high. Dunn also had six digs, while both added two service aces.

Also finishing the contest in double-digit kills was sophomore Layne Brosky and junior Elaina Renius. Brosky had 11 kills in the win, while Renius knocked down 10.

Gonzaga finished the match with 64 total team kills and a .244 hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs held the huge 89-69 advantage in digs along with the slight 10-9 edge in blocks. Besides Jones and Dunn, senior Alecia Douglas and freshman Allyson Powell collected double-digit digs. Douglas had 15 digs and Powell finished with 12; a new career-high. Renius finished with a team-high five blocks for Gonzaga, while senior Briawna Mueller and Brosky both chipped in four.

Sam Houston State was led by Cynthia Yarotsky who finished with a double-double of 15 kills and 21 digs. Megan McNamara passed out 45 assists as the Bearkats finished with 52 team kills and a .145 hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs will look to win their second-straight tournament championship when they take on TCU at 5 p.m. today.

TCU - 3
Gonzaga - 0

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team had its school record eight-match winning streak broken by Texas Christian University Saturday evening. The Horned Frogs earned a 3-0 (30-22, 30-24, 30-25) sweep over Bulldogs in the championship match of the TCU Tournament.

The loss drops Gonzaga overall record to 10-4, while TCU improved to 13-2 with the tournament win.

Senior classmates Heather Dunn and Becky Jones earned All-Tournament accolades for the third-straight tournament. Dunn dished out 29 assists, had eight digs, four kills and one block assist in the setback, while Jones was limited to just four kills in the Zags final match of the tournament. Jones also collected a match-high 15 digs, three blocks and one service ace.

With Jones having an off night offensively, junior Elaina Renius and sophomore Michelle Boevers were the Zags offensive threats. Renius finished the match with a team-high 11 kills while Boevers added 10. As a team, Gonzaga tallied 44 total kills and a .104 attacking percentage.

Senior Alecia Douglas finished the match with 10 digs, but also had a team-high five reception errors. Also strong defensively was freshman Allyson Powell and junior Frances Garcia who had eight and six digs, respectively.

TCU held the slight edge in digs over GU 54-52 and held the huge 11-6 advantage in blocks.

The Horned Frogs were led by Lauren Otto and Kourtney Edwards. Otto finished the match with a double-double of 15 kills and 11 digs. Edward added another 15 kills, along with a match-high five blocks.

The Bulldogs will return to action when they play a mid-week match at the University of Idaho on Tuesday, September 8 (7 p.m.) before taking nearly a week off to prepare for West Coast Conference action. The Bulldogs will begin WCC play at Saint Mary's College on Sept. 27.

Pepperdine - 3
Marshall - 1

Pepperdine - 3
West Virginia - 1

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team posted four-game victories over Marshall and West Virginia on Saturday to claim it's third tournament victory of the season at the Blue/Green Classic in Huntington and Charleston, W.Va.

The Waves (8-4) began the day with a 23-30, 30-26, 30-13, 30-18 win over Marshall (6-7) and ended it with a 30-17, 28-30, 30-15, 30-17 victory over West Virginia (8-4). The Waves went 3-0 in the Blue/Green Classic and captured their third tournament win of the season after they posted wins at the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational and the 2007 Asics Classic, hosted by Pepperdine.

"It's a great way to go into conference play," Pepperdine Assistant Coach Tim Jensen said. "Our team maturity is starting to show, and we're going to be crisp and ready for conference play."

In the morning match against Marshall, the Waves dropped game one 30-23 despite outhitting the Thundering Herd .353 to .333. In game two, the Waves responded with a 30-26 victory after limiting Marshall to a .085 hitting percentage. Pepperdine took control in games three and four, posting 30-13 and 30-18 wins, respectively. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) recorded her fourth double-double on the season with 20 kills and 14 digs, and hit .447 for the match.

Pepperdine hit .345 for the match, while Marshall hit .100.

"The team and their fans were ready," Jensen said. "It was the biggest game of the year for them. They played amazing in game one, and we hung in there and were able to break it open in game two, and that really broke their backs. We made some adjustments at the break and the girls played with maturity and they kept pressing and pressing in the last two games."

In the final match of the tournament, the Waves held the Mountaineers to a .027 hitting percentage in game one en route to a 30-17 victory. West Virginia countered with a 30-28 win in game two after hitting .250 as a team. The Waves responded by closing out the match with 30-15 and 30-17 victories in games three and four to record the tournament win. Lumsden posted her fifth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 18 digs, while sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) notcher her sixth double-double of the season with 51 assists and 11 kills.

Pepperdine hit .279 for the match, while West Virginia hit .056.

"We came out hot and just rolled on them," Jensen said. "They responded and won a tough game two, but we talked during the break and kept pressing and really stuck in to them in games three and four."

Lumsden was named Tournament MVP after compiling 37 kills and hitting .325 for the tournament. Fiers and junior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS) were also named to the All-Tournament Team. Fiers recorded 154 assists, 20 kills and 25 digs for the tournament, while Chamberlain notched 25 kills and 11 block assists.

Notably, senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) recorded her 1,000th career kill during the West Virginia match, a day after notching her 500th career dig against Akron. Rubenstein led all Waves players with 43 kills for the tournament, and also registered 30 digs.

Up next, the Waves host Loyola Marymount in their WCC conference opener Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. PT.

San Diego - 3
Cal State Northridge - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Laurel Abrahamson and Amy DeGroot both recorded double-digit kills to help lead the 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-14, 30-23, 30-27) win over Cal State Northridge in the morning game at the USD Tournament Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 7-3 overall and have now win five consecutive matches. With the loss, the Matadors fall to 3-8 overall.

Abrahamson led all players with her 16 kills on 26 attempts to post a team-leading .423 attack percentage. DeGroot poured in 15 kills on 34 attempts to post a .294 attack percentage. DeGroot also recorded a double-double as she added in 11 digs. Jessica Nyrop recorded 28 assists and Kelsi Myers added in 21 to help lead the USD offense to a .358 attack percentage.

For the Matadors, Val Kepler was the lone Northridge player in double-digit kills as she recorded 10 kills on 19 attempts to post a .368 attack percentage. As a team, Northridge recorded a .175 attack percentage.

In game one, the Toreros came out on fire as they jumped on the Matadors, 6-0 right out of the gates. Myers began the match in stylish fashion with a service ace, and the run was capped on a kill from Torey Ellick. Pittsburgh was not able to keep pace with the Toreros, as they would not close the gap to more than five for the remainder of the game. USD posted a .419 team attack percentage in cruising their way to a 30-14 win.

In game two, the early going was a close battle with both teams taking their turn with the lead and neither team taking a lead bigger than one. The with the score knotted at 9-9, the Toreros began to pull away as they put together a 5-0 run, sparked by a Ashton Basch kill off a set from Myers and the run was capped on a attack error by Northridge. The Toreros never looked back as they went on to post an impressive .487 team attack percentage.

Game three was a much closer contest, as both teams seemed to sea saw back and forth a bit, each taking their turn with the lead. Northridge was able to capitalize on several USD miscues as USD posted a .179 attack percentage. But with the score knotted at 24-24, a Matador service error gave USD back a lead they would not relinquish.

UCLA - 3
San Diego - 2

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot's career-high 26 kills combined with Laurel Abrahamson's 16 kills and Ali Troost's 13 kills were not enough to get the 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team past No. 5 UCLA in the championship of the USD Tournament, as the Bruins barley escaped the Jenny Craig Pavilion with a 3-2 (30-20, 23-30, 30-27, 25-30, 13-15) win.

With the loss, the Toreros fall to 7-4 overall and saw their five-match winning streak come to an end. With the win, the Bruins improve to 10-1 overall and run their winning streak to nine.

DeGroot and Abrahamson were both named to the All-Tournament team as DeGroot finished with her career-high and match-best 26 kills and also added in 18 digs, while posting a .285 attack percentage. Abrahamson racked up 16 kills on 40 attempts and posted a .300 attack percentage. Troost added in 13 kills on 28 attempts to post a .321 attack percentage. Kelsi Myers recorded 33 assists and Jessica Nyrop added in 30 more assists to help direct USD to a .258 team attack percentage.

San Diego began the showdown in stylish fashion as they scored four of the first five points of the initial game and maintained the lead the whole way. Leading 8-5, Erin Wiskar recorded a kill followed by back-to-back kills by Abrahamson, which would move the score to a six point advantage at 11-5. The Bruins got back to within two on four straight kills to make it 11-9. However, UCLA could get no closer than two the rest of the game, as the Bruins struggled with their hitting down the stretch. San Diego led 25-19 and scored five of the final six points of the game to win it 30-20. Three of those five points came on hitting errors by UCLA, which hit just .184 in the first game. On the flip side, the Toreros hit .400 in the first.

In game two, the Bruins bounced back and jumped out of the gates with a 4-1 run sparked by a Dicey McGraw kill and capped by an attack error by USD. The Toreros would then real off three straight points to again be on level terms with the Bruins. DeGroot began the run with a kill off a set from Abrahamson and the run was capped with an attack error by UCLA. San Diego took its first lead of the game at 7-6 on an attack error by UCLA, but the Bruins responded with a 5-0 run to regain the momentum. The Toreros sliced the margin to a pair on two occasions, one time forcing a UCLA timeout. Out of the break and still up 23-21, the Bruins got the serve back on a kill by Kaitlin Sather and two straight aces by junior Jade Machado gave UCLA a 26-21 advantage, and the bruins never looked back going on to claim game two by a final of 30-23.

San Diego regained its hitting stroke at the start of the third game, scoring five of the first seven points to jump out to an early lead. The run was sparked by a DeGroot kill off a set from Myers and was capped on a Abrahamson kill off a set from Myers. Back-to-back kills by UCLA cut the deficit to 5-4, but San Diego went on runs of 4-1 and 7-2 to take a 12-6 lead and force the Bruins into a timeout. After the UCLA timeout, the Bruins went on a 5-0 run to pull within one at 12-11, and they would eventually even the score at 14-14. USD would then remain in control of the momentum as they refused to surrender the lead with Troost throwing down a kill. The two teams then remained in a close battle until UCLA took back the lead at 20-19 on a McGraw kill. The with the score at 23-23, Jaimarie Sutherland put the Toreros ahead for good with a kill, as USD closed out the game on a 7-4 run.

UCLA took a 4-2 lead to start the fourth game, but three in a row by the Toreros gave them a 5-4 edge. That would be San Diego's last lead of the game though, as the Bruins scored three straight and seven of the next eight to take an 11-7 lead. On top 14-10, the Bruins scored four consecutive points to take an 18-10 lead, the Bruins then never looked back as they forced a fifth and deciding game.

The Bruins scored the first three points of the deciding game, but the Toreros got the next two. Six sideouts later and trailing 6-5, the Toreros recorded a kill to even things at six. After a UCLA kill gave the Bruins the lead back, three straight points were reeled off by San Diego to give them a 9-7 advantage, prompting a UCLA timeout. The Bruins scored four of the next five to take an 11-10 lead, but the Toreros got the next two to go up 12-11 and cause another UCLA timeout. A kill by Abrahamson made it 13-11, but Sather and Daley had back-to-back kills to even the game at 13, as San Diego called a timeout. A kill by Sather out of the timeout gave the Bruins match point.

The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they host cross-town rival San Diego State University in a 7 p.m. match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

San Francisco - 3
Xavier - 0

Cal Poly - 3
San Francisco - 1

San Francisco - USF volleyball earned a split Saturday during the final day of the 2007 USF Asics/Coca-Cola Invitational at War Memorial Gym, sweeping Xavier 30-28, 32-30, 30-24 in the first match of the day, before falling 3-1 to No. 14 Cal Poly 30-28, 30-17, 36-34, 30-25 in the tournament finale. The Dons (9-5) battled, but failed in its bid to dispatch the Mustangs (6-6) who entered the finale at 0-2 in tourney play.

Senior libero Brynn Maurer captured all-tournament honors for San Francisco, enjoying a strong tournament, averaging 6.00 digs per game to go along with three service aces. Senior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg heated up for the Dons, averaging a team-high 4.75 kills and 3.38 digs per game. The honors candidate hammered a season-high 29 kills on .254 hitting and added a season-high 19 digs with a pair of blocks against Cal Poly. Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala enjoyed a strong tournament, averaging 4.00 kills and 2.30 digs per game.

"It was a tough weekend overall, USF head coach Gilad Doron said. "I thought we played our best match of the tournament against Cal Poly, but unfortunately for us they did as well. I think if we can continue to improve and learn from this experience, we can be a tough team in our conference."

Sacramento State captured the tournament hardware, going 3-0, starting the event with a sweep of USF Friday night before downing the Mustangs 3-1 and Xavier 3-0. Senior Hornet outside hitter Missie Stidham was named tournament MVP after three straight double-double matches, capped by a remarkable 29-kill, 27 dig effort against Cal Poly.

USF returns to non-conference action Friday, September 21 when it hosts Cal State Bakersfield. First serve against the Roadrunners is set for 7:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.

No. 14 Cal Poly 3, USF 1: Senior honors candidate Krisint Hasselberg hammered a match-high 29 kills on .254 hitting to go along with a season-high 19 digs, but it was now enough as San Francisco dropped a 3-1 (30-28, 30-17, 34-36, 30-25) decision to Cal Poly. The Mustangs hit .289 for the match and limited the Dons to a .178 clip. Five Cal Poly players reached double-digit kills, led by 19 from Kylie Atherstone. All-tournament selection libero Kristin Jackson tallied a match-high 32 digs for the Mustangs.

Hasselberg led four Dons with double-digit kills with her season-high. Freshman opposite Sarah Mandala tallied 15 with six digs, while junior middle blocker Carly Babin added 12 kills with five blocks (two solo). Junior opposite Addie Webster recorded 11 kills and 11 digs for her third double-double of the season. Junior setter Darcy Carroll dished out 71 assists for the Dons.

USF 3, Xavier 0: USF attacked at a .268 clip for the match and rolled past a determined Xavier squad 3-0. Freshman opposite Sarah Mandala recorded a career-high 18 kills on .273 hitting to go along with nine digs, while senior opposite Linzy Kearney added a season-high 10 kills for USF. Senior libero Brynn Maurer dug a match-high 20 for USF, while junior setter Darcy Carroll turned in her first double-double of the sseason with 45 assists and 11 digs.

Jill Quayle and Kelly Ruth shared the team lead with 13 kills for the Musketeers.

USF Asics/Coca-Cola All-Tournament Team
Tournament Champion - Sacramento State (3-0)
Cal Poly - Kristin Jackson
Sacramento State - Missie Stidham (MVP), Lindsay Haupt, Jennifer Ferguson
San Francisco - Brynn Maurer
Xavier - Jill Quayle

UC Santa Barbara - 3
Santa Clara - 2

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Despite Brittany Lowe's match-high 24 kills, the No. 22 Bronco volleyball team lost a hard-fought battle against the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara, 3-2 (28-30, 31-29, 30-21, 27-30, 12-15), Saturday night at the Leavey Center. With the loss SCU dropped to 7-5 overall, while UCSB improved to 5-7 on the season.

"I believe our team felt as though they should have won the first game tonight," said head coach Jon Wallace. "That is why we came out with a high sense of determination in the second and third games. Then we started out as the aggressors in games four and five, but Santa Barbara found a way to get back in the game. They made some pretty nice plays. It is going to be a battle of wills tomorrow. Both us and Notre Dame lost in five today, so whoever wants it more is going to be the victor. We are going to have to stay strong willed in order to compete."

Lowe's attacking effort in the match tonight as just two kills shy of her career-high, which was against WCC opponent Saint Mary's on Oct. 28, 2006. Freshman Krista Kelley tied her season-high 17 kills, while Nina Sevastopoulos and Lindsy Evans chipped in with 13 kills each. Senior setter Crystal Matich dished out a match-high 67 assists and compiled a career-best 22 digs to lead the Broncos. Senior libero Caroline Walters was right behind her with 20 digs, and Taylor O'Brien added 11 digs.

The Gauchos opened the first game on a kill from Rebecca Saraceno, but Broncos' leading score, Evans answered right back, putting SCU on the board. Santa Barbara continued to hold an edge over Santa Clara but another Evans kill knotted the score, 9-9. The two teams faced an intense game one as they tied the score nine times. UCSB produced a 4-1 run to bring the score to 27-25, but three straight kills from Lowe knotted the score, 28-28, for SCU. However, a kill from Lauren McLaughlin would end the first game, 30-28, for the Gauchos.

Santa Clara exploded in the beginning of the first game, jumping to a quick 4-1 lead on points from Evans, Lauryn Dowd and Alex Scoffone. Although Santa Barbara rallied back to tie the score, 8-8, Santa Clara pushed a head on back-to-back kills and a solo block from Evans, 12-9. The Gauchos fought back and took a small edge, on an attack from Saraceno, 19-17, but Kelley posted two consecutive kills to knot the score, 19-19. Evans slammed the ball down for the Broncos to give them a 21-20 advantage and Lowe widened the gap to two-points, 22-20, shortly after. Rallied on strong service from O'Brien, Santa Clara took its largest lead of the match, 25-20. But UCSB fought back again to take the lead. A long rallied battled on saves from O'Brien, Walters and Lowe, and a dump from Matich, knotted the score again for the Broncos, 29-29. A Scoffone and Matich block brought Santa Clara to game point and a block solo from Kelley ended game, 31-29.

Once again the Broncos rallied behind service efforts of O'Brien and solid plays from Lowe to open game three with an 8-3 lead. A kill from Matich brought the Broncos to an 11-3 lead. Even though the Gauchos began to close in on the Broncos, SCU kept constant edge on points from Lowe and Dowd. A block from Sevastopoulos gave Santa Clara a seven-point lead, 19-12, and forced UCSB to take its last timeout of the game. A dive from Walters saved the point for the Broncos as Matich set Sevastopoulos once again to bring the Broncos to 20-points, 20-13. SCU held the advantage for the remainder of the game, while a kill from Matich gave Santa Clara a 30-21 win.

The Broncos began game four similar to the previous, creating a 3-0 start on a kill from Lowe, a Dowd service ace and a Gauchos error. However, this time around, UCSB fought back quicker and tied the score3-3 on an ace from Saraceno. Scoffone tied the score again for the Broncos, 7-7, and a kill from Matich gave SCU the edge once again. A pair of kills from Lowe and Matich made the score, 12-7. A third time was a charm for Sevastopoulos who got the kill off a block after a long rally, which included Matich setting her three times. The Broncos then controlled the scoreboard with a score of 18-14. Freshman Kelley got on top of the ball to bring the score to 20-15. But the Gauchos rallied back and knotted the score, 24-24. Going point-for-point, UCSB broke ahead and won the fourth game, 30-27, on a block from Brett Quirarte.

A kill from Sevastopoulos gave the Broncos a 2-0 start in the deceive game, but strong serving from UCSB's Jessica Welch knotted the score, 3-3. A kill from Saraceno put the Gauchos up by three, 6-3. The Gauchos continued control of the fifth game and opened the score to 11-7 on a block assist from Saraceno and Dana Vargas. A kill from Saraceno brought UCSB to match point, but a high-powered kill from Lowe kept the Broncos alive, 14-10. Back-to-back kills from Sevastopoulos brought SCU within two, but a kill from McLaughlin ended the match, 15-12.

For the Gauchos, McLaughlin and Saraceno tied the team-best 18 kills, while Leigh Stephenson registered a match-high 23 digs.

The Broncos return to action in the final match of the 2007 SCU Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 16. Santa Clara will take on Notre Dame at 11 a.m., at the Leavey Center.