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Bulldogs Break 10-Match Losing Streak To Idaho

Oct. 3, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team earned a hard fought 3-2 (25-30, 28-30, 30-25, 30-20, 17-15) come-from-behind victory over the University of Idaho this evening at the Martin Centre. With the win the Bulldogs broke a 10-match losing streak to the Vandals that dated back to the 1998 season.

GU improved its record to 5-12, while UI dropped to 3-11 overall this season.

In the first game, Gonzaga took an early 8-3 lead on the strength of sophomore Elaina Renius and junior Briawna Mueller. Renius had two kills while Mueller added one kill and a block assist.

Idaho rattled off five-straight points though to tie the game at 8-8 and then took the lead and held a 15-12 edge after a block assist by both Sarah Loney and Erin Curtis. Two kills by freshman Emily Johnson sliced the Vandals advantage to 16-15, but the Bulldogs could not get any closer as UI increased it lead to 26-21 after another block assist by Loney and Curtis and earned the 30-25 victory on an attacking error by junior Becky Jones.

In game two, it was the Vandals who jumped out strong, building an 8-3 advantage. Stacy Sode helped Idaho take the lead with two service aces. Gonzaga was able to tie the game at 10-10 after a kill by Johnson, and a block and kill by Mueller.

Five-straight points by Idaho gave UI the 15-10 advantage, but Gonzaga responded with a run of four-straight points of its own to cut the Vandals lead to 15-14. A kill by Jones the tied the game at 16-16.

After three more ties, the Bulldogs were able to break out and take a 23-21 lead on an attacking error by Vandal Haley Larsen, but Idaho responded with a 4-1 run to recapture a 25-24 lead; a lead it would not relinquish. The Vandals earned the 30-28 victory after an attacking error by Johnson.

Gonzaga controlled the beginning of the third game, going ahead 8-4 after a monster solo block by Mueller. The Vandals pulled within two, 16-14, after a kill by Loney, but another kill by Mueller, her eighth of the match, and an attacking error by Larsen gave the Bulldogs an 18-14 edge and forced UI to take a timeout.

Gonzaga pushed its lead to 25-19 after Johnson's fourth kill of the match and earned the five-point victory after back-to-back kills by Mueller.

It was a closely played fourth game, with neither team leading by more than two points until the Bulldogs, who were leading 10-8, strung together six-straight points to pull ahead by eight.

Gonzaga continued to keep Idaho at bay and took a 28-20 lead after a kill by Johnson and a block assist by junior Heather Dunn and Mueller. Johnson gave GU the 10-point victory with her 11th kill of the match.

In the fifth and deciding game, Gonzaga jumped out to a 5-0 lead on back-to-back kills by Renius and Jones, a block assist by Renius and freshman Layne Brosky, an attacking error by Vandal Saxony Brown and Jones' 22nd kill of the match.

A 6-2 run by Idaho knotted the game at 6-6, but a kill by Johnson and a block by Mueller gave GU the two-point advantage. GU continued to hold a two-point edge until a block assist by Sarah Conwell and Brown and a kill by Erin Curtis tied the game at 12-12.

The game continued to be a battle, see-sawing back and forth until, with the score tied 15-15, GU forced Amanda Bowman to miss hit a ball which gave the Bulldogs a 16-15 lead. Johnson then propelled Gonzaga to victory with a kill assisted by Dunn.

Gonzaga had four players finish in double-digit kills, including Jones who finished with a match-high 22 kills and 14 digs; her eighth double-double of the season. Mueller also was spectacular for the Bulldogs, finishing with 15 kills, an impressive .542 attack percentage, nine total blocks and five digs. Rounding out the double-digit kills was Renius and Johnson who added 17 and 13, respectively.

Dunn dished out a career-high 64 assists as Gonzaga finished with 78 total kills and a .243 hitting percentage. Dunn also collected 12 digs and had four kills and one service ace.

GU held the huge 81-59 advantage in digs and a slight 17-16 edge in blocks. Junior Alecia Douglas finished with a match-high 20 digs, while Johnson had 11.

Leading the way for Idaho was Brown and Larsen who each finished with 16 kills. Brown also had 30 assists and 11 digs. The Vandals finished the game with 67 total kills and a .153 attack percentage.

Gonzaga will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 7 when it plays at West Coast Conference member Portland. Match time is slated for 7 p.m.