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Team Effort Lifts No. 23 Pepperdine Past Gonzaga, 3-0

Sept. 28, 2006

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team improved to 20-0 all-time against Gonzaga in Malibu as the No. 23-ranked Waves handed the Bulldogs a 3-0 (30-21, 30-19, 30-19) defeat in both team's West Coast Conference (WCC) opener Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Pepperdine (5-6, 1-0 WCC) was led in kills by freshman Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) who attacked Gonzaga (4-10, 0-1 WCC) from everywhere on the court and finished the night with 11 kills on .400 hitting. Senior Sophia Milo (Portland, Ore.) recorded her ninth double-digit kill total of the season with 10 on .643 hitting. As a team, the Waves dished out 10 service aces, marking the fourth time this season they have reached double-digits. Sophomore Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) led all players with four, while freshman setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) chipped in three and freshman Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) added two.

Gonzaga was limited to just .056 hitting on the night and never hit better than .079 in any game. Becky Jones and Elaina Renius each logged a team-high six kills with Renius' .294 hitting a team-best.

"We have been working hard on our passing and team defense and tonight I feel like our kids came out and executed what we worked on in practice," commented head coach Nina Matthies. "I thought Lecca [Roberts] was super tonight. [Milo] was great, [Cassi Chamberlain] played well. It really was a total team effort tonight."

A kill from Lumsden stopped a 3-0 Gonzaga run in game one and tied the score at 9-9. Another Lumsden kill was followed by a block from Roberts and Walker pushing Pepperdine to an 11-9 lead. The Waves began to pull away at that point and following a Rubenstein ace, Pepperdine led 17-13. Leading by two, 18-16, the Waves used runs of 6-1 and 6-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

After getting out to a 12-9 lead in game two, Pepperdine used three kills from Rubenstein and three block to extend its three-point lead to nine, 18-9. The frame was never close from that point on as the Waves recorded 16 kills with just two errors to hit .438 in the game and take a 2-0 lead into the break.

Behind the serve of Rubenstein, Pepperdine turned an 8-6 deficit into a 14-8 lead as the sophomore served the Waves to an 8-0 run. Fiers sealed the victory with consecutive aces, extending the home team's advantage to 19-11, setting up the Pepperdine sweep.

The Waves will close out its current four-match home stand Saturday afternoon as it takes on Portland at 1 p.m. (PDT). Pepperdine is 19-0 all-time against the Pilots in Malibu.