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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 9/30

Sept. 30, 2006

LMU - 3
Gonzaga - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - Loyola Marymount finished its first weekend of West Coast Conference action with two victories, as the Lions swept Gonzaga 3-0 (30-18, 30-21, 30-25) in Gersten Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The win improved the Lions to 14-3 overall and 2-0 in WCC play, while Gonzaga falls to 4-12 and 0-2.

LMU also improves its all-time record against the Bulldogs to 31-6. The Lions have not dropped a match to Gonzaga since the 1992 season.

Ashley Dutro led the Lion offense to a strong outing, as the team hit .341 on the afternoon. Dutro finished with 44 assists and nine digs.

Junior Heather Hughes led all players with 16 kills. Christianna Reneau and Megan Nash joined Hughes in double-digit kills with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.

Gonzaga earned its only lead of the day in game one, taking an early 8-2 lead on a kill by Becky Jones. But the Lions fought back and tied the score at 13-13 before rattling off seven straight points to win the game 30-18. Sophomore Lauren Kirk served the final rally, which featured kills from four different Lions.

The Lions never let the Bulldogs ahead again, holding Gonzaga to hit just .134 on the afternoon.

Senior Cat Svorinich once again gave the Lions a defensive boost, helping LMU out-dig Gonzaga 54-45.

LMU finished the afternoon with seven service aces, led by Hughes' four. Hughes ranks sixth in the nation this week in aces.

Gonzaga's Heather Dunn led all players with 15 digs.

The Lions hit the road for their next weekend of WCC play, as they take on 9th-ranked Santa Clara Thursday (7:00 p.m.) and 25th-ranked San Diego Saturday. Saturday's match at San Diego will air live on Fox Sports West at 1:00 p.m.

Pepperdine - 3
Portland - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team completed its four-match home stand with a 3-0 (30-20, 30-16, 30-26) victory over the Portland Pilots Saturday afternoon and improved to 2-0 in West Coast Conference (WCC) play after the first weekend of league action.

Sophomore Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) led all players with 12 kills and two aces on .435 hitting. Freshman Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) chipped in with 11 kills and a team-leading five blocks as the Waves (6-6) moved to 20-0 all-time against Portland (7-8, 0-2 WCC) in Malibu.

Jennifer Sheedy's nine kills and Ashley Grayson's eight led a Portland team which hit a combined .085 for the match.

Already leading by three, 6-3, in game one, Pepperdine sent freshman setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) back to serve. Fiers sent the Waves on an 8-0 run and a commanding 13-3 lead. Portland managed to battle back to within five at 20-15, but a 10-5 run ended the Pilots' comeback attempt.

Pepperdine jumped out to a seven-point, 12-5, lead in game two before stretching its lead to nine, 20-11. In hitting .375 with 15 kills and three errors in the game, the Waves took a commanding 2-0 lead into the intermission.

Waves' head coach Nina Matthies allowed some reserves to gain experience in game three. Although Portland picked up an early lead in the frame, Pepperdine would prove to be too much in the end.

Pepperdine will hit the road next week for a pair of critical WCC matches. First up for the Waves will be San Diego, Thursday night. On Saturday afternoon, Pepperdine will face Santa Clara, the team which eliminated the Waves from the NCAA tournament last year.

San Diego - 3
Saint Mary's - 1

MORAGA, Calif. - Kristen Carlson, Christie Dawson, Laurel Abrahamson and Jessica Andersen all recorded double-digit kills to help lead the 25th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (24-30, 30-24, 30-11, 30-26) win over the Saint Mary's College in a West Coast Conference match Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 12-4 overall and move to 2-0 in the WCC. With the loss, the Gaels fall to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the WCC.

Offensively for the Toreros, Carlson led the way with her match-best 25 kills on 46 attempts while only committing seven errors for a .391 attack percentage and added 12 digs. Dawson poured in 16 kills on 32 attempts while committing only two errors for .438 attack percentage. Abrahamson had 11 kills and added seven digs while recording a .364 attack percentage and Andersen had 12 kills on 26 attempts to boast a .269 attack percentage. Sophomore setter Jessica Nyrop set a new career-best in assists with 64 to help direct the San Diego offense to a .352 team hitting percentage.

For the Gaels, Christine Kirk led the team in kills with 15 and the only other SMC player in double-digit kills was Brittany Barker who had 12 kills. Mandy Bible led the team with 36 assists to direct the offense to a .193 hitting percentage.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they return to the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion to host Pepperdine University in a 7 p.m. WCC match.

Santa Clara - 3
San Francisco - 1

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Fired up and ready to bounce back after Thursday night's tough loss in Moraga, the No. 9 Santa Clara volleyball team unleashed their pent-up frustration on the San Francisco Dons in posting a program-record 26 team blocks on the way to a 3-1 (30-22, 30-25, 26-30, 30-25) win Saturday afternoon at Wear Memorial Gymnasium.

The Broncos (11-3, 1-1 WCC) will return to the Leavey Center this coming weekend to host a pair of matches, beginning with the Pepperdine Waves at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, and the Loyola Marymount Lions at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660.

"The girls came out ready, fired up, and angry from the loss Thursday night," said head coach Jon Wallace. "You could tell from the match's first point that they wanted to focus on and do the things necessary to win the match."

Kim McGiven led the team offensively with 25 kills at a .354 clip, but the real story Saturday afternoon was about the defensive clinic put on in front of the net by the Broncos. Anna Cmaylo had a career high 14 blocks (one solo, 13 assists) while freshman Lindsy Evans turned in a triple-double with 42 assists, 13 blocks, and 11 digs. Megan Pura had nine blocks while Nichole Clark stepped up on the front line against the Dons, making five digs and four blocks, while Taylor O'Brien and Brittany Lowe each served up three aces as Lowe also added 16 digs to the defensive effort.

"Kim played great and she took big swings, the matchups that they gave us ended up being beneficial for Kim, allowing her to have a big match," Wallace stated. "But today's big efforts came from Nichole, who came in and made some really nice plays on playing the front line, and Taylor, who did the job really well for us with her service and defense. Their performances gave us a big lift."

"Lindsy continues to play very steady for us, which is all we're asking her to do," Wallace said of his freshman wunderkind. "We are running a real simplistic offense, plus she's big so she is blocking balls, those are things that we are expecting out of her. Her digs are more of pleasant surprise for us to see."

A kill from McGiven and a USF attack error gave the Broncos the first two points of the match, but things evened out, and the Dons even went ahead 10-6 after a 3-0 run after an ace and a block by Carly Babin, forcing Wallace to use a timeout. Santa Clara responded with a 6-0 run that featured two kills and a block from freshman Lauryn Dowd, and held that lead throughout the rest of the game. Leading 24-21 later in the game, two aces from Caroline Walters sparked a 5-0 run that put the Broncos at game point at 29-21, and two points later, a Cmaylo kill gave SCU the first game.

The Dons started the second game with a 4-1 lead, and later even held a four-point lead of 19-15 before the Broncos fought their way back into things. A seemingly inconsequential service error by the Dons ended up starting a 6-0 run for SCU, bolstered by two USF attack errors and a pair of blocks from SCU. Despite the Dons tying it up at 21-21, the Broncos went on a 5-0 run thanks to three more hitting errors by the Dons. From there, the teams traded points up until the Broncos took the second game 30-25 behind a Lowe ace.

SCU took the quick 2-0 lead in the third stanza thanks to a Cmaylo block and Clark ace, but the Dons came back, tying things up at five-apiece. USF used a 4-0 run to take a 12-7 lead, and eventually extended things to six at 17-11. The Broncos could not chip away at the lead the rest of the way, as the Dons eventually went up 28-21 to essentially put out any hopes of a Bronco sweep, as although Santa Clara staged a late rally with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to two, the Dons got kills from Alix Gombos and Anna Berger to salvage the third game.

The fourth game started off tight, until the Broncos took advantage of a pair of Don attack errors and an ace from O'Brien to make a quick 3-0 run to lead 10-6. A few points later, leading 13-11, SCU again went on a run, getting four in a row as McGiven made a pair of kills and Dowd had a kill and a block to boost the team to a six-point advantage. But the Dons made up significant ground right away, taking six of the next seven points to cut the deficit to one at 18-17, forcing a Bronco timeout.

A Lowe kill and another ace by O'Brien helped get the lead back up to four at 22-18, but another Don run cut that to 22-21. This time, though, Santa Clara went on a run of its own, getting consecutive blocks from Evans and Pura, then Lowe, and an ace by Evans to spur a 6-0 run that put the Broncos within two points of the game. Although the Dons got the next three points, an attack error followed by a block from McGiven and Pura closed the book on the Dons in game one.

"This win felt great, it really did. The girls battled hard both physically and mentally, so it is a great reward to have," Wallace said afterwards.