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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 9/28

Sept. 28, 2006

LMU - 3
Portland - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Loyola Marymount offense was firing on all cylinders Thursday, as the Lions opened West Coast Conference play with a 3-0 (30-23, 30-22, 30-16) sweep over the University of Portland (7-7, 0-1 WCC). With the win, the Lions (13-3, 1-0 WCC) improve to an impressive 8-1 in Gersten Pavilion.

Led by junior Christianna Reneau's 20 kills and 14 digs, the Lion offense hit .331 as a team tonight. At the helm of the LMU offense, setter Ashley Dutro finished with 39 assists. Reneau, Sandy Krone, and Heather Hughes combined for 44 kills.

The offensive attack helped LMU open WCC play with a victory and improved the Lions' all-time series advantage to 32-8 over Portland.

Game one was as close as the Pilots could get, as the lead changed five times over the course of the frame. One of Krone's 12 kills gave the Lions the advantage for the rest of the game, as LMU worked up to the 30-23 final.

The Lions improved with each game and never relinquished the lead in the second frame. Reneau posted eight of her 20 kills and hit .727 to lead the Lions in game two.

Hitting .371 in game three and holding Portland to hit just .028, the Lions ran off eight straight points early to take a 14-4 lead behind the serving of Hughes. LMU's lead continued to increase, and the Lions secured the sweep with a 30-16 game three victory.

Reneau, who had 19 kills Tuesday night at UC Santa Barbara, hit .607 tonight. Dutro (39 assists, 12 digs) and Hughes (12 kills, 12 digs) joined Reneau in posting double-doubles.

LMU held Portland to hit just .079, with no Pilots reaching the double-digit kill mark.

UP's Ashley Grayson led all players with four blocks.

The Lions continue WCC play this weekend, hosting Gonzaga Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion. Gonzaga will enter the match coming off tonight's 3-0 loss to Pepperdine. Saturday's LMU-Gonzaga match will be carried free of charge on Gametracker and Lions' All-Access, both at www.LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 3
Gonzaga - 0

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.

Saint Mary's - 3
Santa Clara - 2

Moraga, CA - Mandy Bible wasn't going to let the Saint Mary's volleyball team lose. Bible fell two kills shy of recording a quadruple double, and the Gaels rallied from two games down to win the final three games and take home a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Santa Clara on Thursday night.

Bible, came into the match wanting to turn the season around for the Gaels and start the West Coast Conference season off on the right track.

The 5-9 senior setter from Santa Barbara, recorded 55 assists, 13 digs, 10 blocks and eight kills as Saint Mary's dropped the first two games against the Broncos. The Gaels fell behind 32-30 and 30-23 before heading into the break.

After the eight-minute break, the Gaels came out with tons of emotion and energy and beat the Broncos 30-26, 30-27, 15-10.

Offensively, Christina Kirk recorded a career-high 22 kills for the Gaels. Kirk hit .327 from the floor and added a career-high 13 kills and six blocks.

Sophomore Brittany Barker recorded nine kills and 10 blocks, Taylor Groess recorded 13 kills and Cassandra Kolkka had nine kills and 11 digs.

As a team the Gaels recorded a season-high 17 blocks, holding Santa Clara to a .271 hitting percentage, including a -.053 hitting percentage in the final game.

With the win the Gaels improve to 6-6 on the season and 1-0 in WCC play. Santa Clara fell to 10-3 overall and 0-1 in conference action.

Junior Missie Stidham recorded 12 digs and one service ace in the match and Nikki Gonzalez added 13 kills. Megan Burton and Lauren Jaeckel each added five kills.

Saint Mary's returns to action on Saturday, September 30 when it hosts No. 25 San Diego at 2:05 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion.

San Diego - 3
San Francisco - 1

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Kristen Carlson, Christie Dawson and Laurel Abrahamson all recorded double-digit kills to help lead the University of San Diego women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (29-31, 33-31, 30-24, 30-28) win over the University of San Francisco in both teams' West Coast Conference opener Thursday evening at the War Memorial Gym.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 11-5 overall, move to 1-0 in the WCC and snap the San Francisco 14-match winning streak. With the loss, the Dons fall to 16-2 overall and 0-1 in the WCC.

Carlson led all players with a match-best 23 kills to go along with a match-high 24 digs and posted an attack percentage of .246. Abrahamson had a season-best 17 kills on the evening on 33 attempts while only committing seven errors to post a .303 attack percentage. Dawson had 16 kills on the night and also registered two solo blocks in helping lead USD to victory. Jessica Nyrop had another outstanding match for USD as she registered 60 assists, which is the third time this season she has recorded at least 60 assists.

For the Dons, Alix Gombos led the team in kills with 16 and the only other San Francisco player in double-digit kills was Kristin Hasselberg, who had 13 kills. Darcy Carroll led the team in assists with 26.

In the first game, the Toreros jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Dons went on a run, outscoring USD 11-3 to take a five point lead. However, USD would go on run themselves to knot the score at 14-14 on Carlson's fourth kill of the match. The Dons then regained the lead and seemed to be cruising along, eventually taking a five point lead late in the game at 25-20. The Toreros then dug in and went to work and eventually tied things up at 29-29. However, USD could come no closer, as the Dons would score the final two points to capture the 1-0 lead.

Game two was a dog fight, as there were 17 ties and 10 lead changes. Neither team had a lead larger then three and down the stretch the Dons appeared to have control as they took a 27-24 lead, but thanks to two kills by Carlson, the Toreros got right back in the game and tied things up at 27-27. The teams would then trade points back and fourth and USF had a chance to take a 2-0 lead at 30-29, but Abrahamson's 10th kill of the match sparked a 3-0 run by the Toreros to capture the second game, 33-31.

In game three, USD continued to build on the momentum of the exciting end to game two and jumped out to an early lead, a lead they would not look back on as they cruised to a 30-24 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth and final game, USD took control of the game early, but the Dons kept things close. After San Francisco tied the game at 13-13, USD would take over and eventually build a five point lead at 23-18. USF would make a late run, but it wasn't enough to overcome San Diego as the Toreros claimed the match with a 30-28 win.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they continue their Northern California swing with a 2 p.m. WCC match against Saint Mary's College.