{{ article.title }}

WCC Volleyball Recaps

Sept. 29, 2007

Pepperdine - 3
LMU - 1

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team prevailed in the West Coast Conference opener with a 3-1 victory (18-30, 30-23, 30-26, 30-25) over Loyola Marymount on Saturday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves (9-4, 1-0 WCC) got off to a rough start in game one, as the Lions (8-6, 0-1 WCC) hit .344 as a team en route to a 30-18 victory. In game two, the Waves returned the favor, as they led by as many as 10 points during the game in a 30-23 win. In game three, the Waves used an 11-2 run to rally from a 16-10 deficit to claim a 30-26 victory. The Waves prevailed in a closely contested game four, as they broke a 25-25 tie by scoring the last five points of the game to win 30-25 and claim the match victory.

The Waves hit .263 for the match while the Lions hit .217.

"I think we were pretty amped up tonight after not playing for two weeks," Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said. "We made some errors and tried to be too fine, but we were able to balance on the court and overcome our early mistakes."

Sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 51 assists and 13 digs, sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) also notched her sixth double-double of the season with a team-high 19 kills and 10 digs, and junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./ Oaks Christian HS) registered 17 kills and six digs.

"We didn't start out passing very well," Lumsden said. "We weren't giving ourselves a lot of hitting options. In the second game we picked it up. To start with a win like this is so important and so exciting. It's a good way to start the conference, and it's good to win a home conference match."

Heather Hughes led the Lions with 28 kills while hitting .377 for the match and Christianna Reneau notched a double-double with 10 kills and 19 digs.

Up next, the Waves travel to Spokane, Wash. to take on Gonzaga on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 3
Portland - 1

Moraga, CA - The Gaels won their second WCC match of the weekend, defeating Portland 30-24, 28-30, 30-26, 30-26. Junior outside hitter Taylor Groess notched 19 kills in the match, while posting an impressive .326 hitting efficiency. Joining Groess was junior middle blocker Brittany Barker, posting eight kills on 15 swings for a .400 attack percentage. Saint Mary's offense was led by Kapua Kamana'o with 39 assists, while also adding seven digs. The Pilots were led by Jennifer Sheedy with 19 kills and five blocks.

The Gaels struggled early in game one, but would bounce back late to defeat the Pilots. Portland took the early lead at 0-1 and continued to maintain control, taking a 13-7 advantage over the Gaels. Saint Mary's surged back in the game behind Payne's serving, scoring five consecutive points to bring the Gaels back within reach. The Pilots remained composed and continued to exchange points with the Gaels, until Saint Mary's Alita Fisher stepped up to the service line. Fisher began her serving run with Saint Mary's down 21-23, and boosted the Gaels to a 26-23 lead over the Pilots. Fisher tallied one ace in the run. With the lead in hand, the Gaels went on to defeat Portland 30-24 in the first game.

In game two Saint Mary's momentum was stolen, with the Pilots forcing the Gaels into a .163 team hitting percentage. Megan York and Lauren Jaeckel provided bright spots for the Gaels in the game, posting six and four kills respectively. Barker posted two kills on four swings, and added one block in the game. Portland was led by Jennifer Sheedy, recording five kills and two blocks. The Pilots jumped out to an early lead, and held onto it for the remainder of the game. Portland went on to defeat the Gaels 30-28.

Groess turned up the heat in game three, tallying six kills on nine swings for a .667 hitting percentage. Barker added three kills in the game, for a .400 hitting efficiency. The Gaels came out in game three taking the lead from the start. Groess scored the first point on a kill, and would continue her stellar play, notching five more in the game. The game remained close early, but the Gaels would find a rhythm with Kamana'o at the line. Kamana'o started serving at 9-7 and extended the lead to 12-7. In the service run the Gaels forced the Pilots into three errors. Portland continued to battle with the Gaels, but would never gain the lead, falling to Saint Mary's 30-26.

In game four Groess continued to display her dominance, tallying five kills in 15 swings. Saint Mary's took the lead from the start, off a Kelly Huston kill, and would continue to control the momentum. Huston tallied four kills on five swings in the game, posting an impressive .800 hitting percentage. Kamana'o dished out 16 assists, leading the offense to a .273 mark. Barker continue her consistent play in the game, recording three kills on five swings, while also adding two blocks. Saint Mary's defeated the Pilots 30-26 in game four, winning the match three games to one.

The Gaels return to WCC action next weekend when they make their way across the Bay to play San Francisco on October 4 at 7:00 PM. Saint Mary's will then travel south to face No. 15 San Diego, on October 6 at 1:00 PM. The Gaels improve to 10-4 on the year and 2-0 in WCC play.

San Diego - 3
San Francisco - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 15th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team began their West Coast Conference title defense with a sweep over visiting University of San Francisco Saturday afternoon at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the 30-25, 30-24, 30-12 win, the Toreros improve to 11-4 overall, move to 1-0 in WCC action and have now strung together four consecutive wins. With the loss, the Dons fall to 11-6 overall and 0-1 in the WCC.

Senior Laurel Abrahamson led all players with 12 kills on 16 attempts, while only committing one attack error to post a match-best .688 attack percentage. Amy DeGroot was the second USD player in double-digit kills as she racked up 10. Freshman right side Ali Troost looked impressive in her WCC debut as she recorded nine kills and posted an attack percentage of .294. Andrea Csaszi had a match-best 12 digs and Kelsi Myers had 21 assists and Jessica Nyrop added in 23 more to help direct USD to a .299 team attack percentage.

For the Dons, Alix Gombos led the team with nine kills and Haley Carroll had a team-best 11 digs. As a team, USF posted a .079 attack percentage.

In game one, USD captured the first point with a Abrahamson kill, but the Dons would take the next three points to take a 3-1 lead. The two teams would then battle back an forth until the score was at 11-10 in favor of the Toreros. An attack error by USF would ignite a 6-2 San Diego run to give USD back the momentum. With the score at 20-16, the Dons would make a run of their own, using a 4-2 run to pull within two, but USD wouldn't allow the Dons to come any closer as USD would claim game one 30-25.

In game two, it was the Dons who grabbed the first point on a Gombos kill, but that sparked a 5-0 run for USD. The run was started on a DeGroot kill and was capped on a Jessica Andersen kill off a set from Nyrop. USD would go on to build their lead up to as many as seven at 14-7. The Dons would then eventually pull back to within two at 22-20, but the Toreros were too strong to overcome down the stretch as the Toreros posted a 30-24 win.

In the third and final game, it was all San Diego . A Kill from Erin Wiskar sparked a 7-3 run for the Toreros. USD would then use runs of 7-1 and 7-3 to pull away and never look back. In game three, the Toreros hit for an impressive .545 clip.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday on a ESPNU televised WCC match against Santa Clara University at 8 p.m. inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 3
Gonzaga - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's volleyball team improved to 2-0 in West Coast Conference play with a 3-0 sweep of Gonzaga at the Leavey Center. The Broncos, who are now 10-7 overall, took control of the match early and never looked back, winning 30-22, 30-23 and 30-25. Junior Brittany Lowe had a great afternoon for the Broncos, posting a double-double with 19 kills and 11 digs, while hitting .469. Seniors Crystal Matich and Caroline Walters also had solid matches with 42 assists and 21 digs, respectively.

Lowe got off to a great start in the first game to lead SCU to a 30-22 win. The junior outside hitter had eight kills and hit .583 for the game. With the Broncos leading 5-4, Lowe finished off a kill from Matich. The Broncos then won three straight points on Lowe's serve to get out to a 9-4 edge. After a mini-run by the Bulldogs to get back within 15-13 midway through the game, SCU got the lead back to five at 20-15 and were not threatened again. Leading 29-22, Lowe finished off the game with her eighth kill.

With the momentum clearly on their side, the Broncos got out of the blocks quickly in the second game, bursting to a 10-point edge at 16-6. Unlike game one, a balanced attack keyed the team's success in the second game, as six players picked up kills and no one had more than four. After racking up 15 assists in the first game, Matich put up 12 more in game two for a two-game total of 27. Through two games, Lowe had 10 kills and was hitting .600, while sophomore Lindsy Evans was also hitting over .400 at .417 with seven kills. SCU won the game 30-23.

Gonzaga refused to go down without a fight and came out strong to start the third game, taking a 6-3 lead. However, Jon Wallace's squad recovered from the slow start to take command of the game and finish out the match. Lowe got the comeback started with three kills to cut the lead to 7-6. The Broncos would eventually tie the match at eight apiece, before going on an 11-5 run to take a 20-15 lead. Fittingly, Lowe would finish the Zags off with two kills for a 30-25 win in game three for a 3-0 sweep.

Santa Clara takes its 2-0 conference record on the road next weekend. The Broncos play the San Diego Toreros on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU from San Diego. SCU then returns to the Bay Area to play San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. PT in San Francisco.