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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps

Oct. 6, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
Loyola Marymount - 1

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team earned its first West Coast Conference victory of the 2007 season with a decisive 3-1 (33-31, 33-31, 28-30, 30-24) win over visiting Loyola Marymount University Saturday afternoon. Senior Becky Jones led the Bulldogs to only their ninth-ever victory over the Lions, and their second-straight, with a double-double of 22 kills and 10 digs.

With the win Gonzaga improved to its record to 12-7 overall and 1-3 in the WCC, while Loyola Marymount dropped to 9-7 on the season and 1-2 in conference.

Besides Jones, whose 22 kills was a season-high, the Bulldogs had three other players close out the match in double-figure kills. Junior Elaina Renius and sophomore Michelle Boevers both had 13 kills on the day, while sophomore Layne Brosky tallied 10.

Senior Heather Dunn passed out 58 assists as Gonzaga finished with 72 total kills and a .282 hitting clip. Dunn also contributed 13 digs, six kills and three blocks.

Senior Alecia Douglas and freshman Allyson Powell were both defensive stars and offensive threats for Gonzaga. Douglas finished the contest with a match-high 22 digs, one shy of tying her career-high. The co-caption also had three service aces on the day.

Powell had seven digs for the Bulldogs but also contributed four key services aces. She had the service ace that earned GU the second-game 33-31 victory. Powell also started a key rally for the Bulldogs in the fourth game. Down 15-11, Powell came in and served six-straight times, included in that run was back-to-back service aces, to give the Bulldogs the 16-15 lead; a lead Gonzaga would not relinquish.

The Bulldogs closed out the match with the slight 18-14.5 edge in blocks and the 68-56 advantage in digs. Three Zags had five or more blocks in the victory, including senior Briawna Mueller who finished with seven block assists and two solo blocks.

Leading the way for Loyola Marymount was Heather Hughes and Emily Day. Hughes finished the match with 32 kills and 14 digs, while Day contributed 22 kills and seven digs.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Tuesday, Oct. 9 when it closes out its non-conference slate with a match at Eastern Washington University. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

Pepperdine - 3
Portland - 0

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team continued its hot play with a 3-0 sweep of Portland (30-18, 30-25, 30-21) Saturday afternoon at the Pilots' Chiles Center.

The Waves (11-4, 3-0 WCC) extended their winning streak to six games as they remained unbeaten in conference play. In game one, the Waves limited the Pilots (7-10, 0-4 WCC) to a .086 hitting percentage, as they cruised to a 30-18 win. In game two, the Waves claimed a 30-25 win, as they hit .250 as a team for the second straight game. The Waves held a narrow 12-11 lead early in game three before putting the game out of reach late en route to a 30-21 victory.

The Waves hit .248 for the match while the Pilots hit .135.

"You really saw the leadership of Julie Rubenstein and Lecca Roberts today," Pepperdine Assistant Coach Tim Jensen said. "We had a different lineup than usual, but we were able to get contributions from everyone. We're starting to understand what it takes to win."

Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) had 20 kills for the fourth match this year, and hit .474 on the match. Roberts (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury HS) hit a team-best .533 with nine kills on only 15 swings, and sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) notched 38 assists and seven digs.

The Waves return home to face San Diego Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.

San Diego - 3
Saint Mary's - 2

SAN DIEGO, Calif.- Behind sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot's 24 kills, the 14th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team defeated Saint Mary's College, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the 30-16, 30-23, 27-30, 19-30, 15-11 win, the Toreros improve to 12-5 overall and move to 2-1 in the WCC. With the loss, the Gaels fall to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in the WCC.

DeGroot led all players with her 24 kills and she also recorded 13 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double of the season. Laurel Abrahamson was the second Torero in double digit kills as she had 15, while Ali Troost recorded 12 kills and Torey Ellick was the fourth USD player in double digit kills as she had 11. Jessica Nyrop recorded a match and season-best 57 assists and Andrea Csaszi had a team-best 24 digs.

For the Gaels, Megan York led the team with 18 kills and Shannon Lowell was the only other SMC player in double-digit kills as she has 12. Alita Fisher recorded a match-best 26 digs in the loss for the Gaels.

In game one, San Diego jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead, thanks to a 4-0 spurt to begin things. The USD run was sparked by a Ellick kill and capped by a SMC attack error. San Diego then kept the pedal to the medal using runs of 8-3 and 4-1 to gain complete control of the game, and went on to claim game one handily 30-16, posting a .510 team attack percentage along the way.

In game two, the Gaels captured the first point on a attack error by USD, but that only sparked a 4-0 USD run. The run began on a SMC attack error and was capped on a SMC attack error. USD would go on to build their lead up to as many as six at 16-10, thanks to a Ellick kill. The Gaels were again mystified at the play of the Toreros as USD never allowed the Gaels to get any closer then four for the remainder of the way, taking a 2-0 lead with a 30-23 win.

In game three, it was the the Gaels who jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead, but the Toreros responded with a 6-3 run of their own. The Toreros' run was ignited by a DeGroot kill and was capped by a Abrahamson kill. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth a bit with each team taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score knotted at 15-15, SMC took the lead with a USD attack error, and never relinquished the lead. USD would keep things close, and eventually tie things back up at 23-23. The Gaels however, refused to give up the lead and held on to claim game three 30-27.

In game four, the Gaels jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never looked back as they took advantage of several USD miscues, as the Toreros posted a -0.40 team attack percentage.

In game five, the Toreros would not be denied on their home court as they opened the frame with a 3-1 spurt. The Gaels then responded with a 7-3 run to take a 7-6 lead. Back-to-back kills from DeGroot and Erin Wiskar gave USD back the lead, as the two teams then switched sides. Then after the Gaels evened the score at 10-10, Wiskar went up for an attack, and SMC's Megan Burton attempted to block the attack, only to drag the net down with her, surrendering the point to USD and giving the Toreros back the momentum. USD closed the match with a 4-1 run to win the match.

USD will return to action as they head to Malibu on Thursday for a 7 p.m. showdown with Pepperdine University.

San Francisco - 3
Santa Clara - 0

San Francisco - USF volleyball played its best match of the season and stunned, then swept Santa Clara 30-23, 30-26, 30-25 in West Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (13-6, 2-1 WCC) defeat their ancient Bay Area and WCC rivals for the first time since November 9, 1989 and snap a 34-match losing streak to the Broncos (11-8, 3-1WCC), who posted a 3-1 road win at No. 14 San Diego on Friday night.

Junior middle blocker Alix Gombos stepped up for the Dons, recording a match-high 13 kills on .500 hitting to go along with seven blocks (one solo), while sophomore opposite Sarah Mandala shook off a slow start to tally 11 kills, eight digs, four blocks and a pair of service aces.

Senior honors candidate Kristin Hasselberg added 11 kills, five digs and a block, while junior outside hitter Addie Webster enjoyed a strong match with 10 kills, 14 digs and three blocks, good for her team-leading fourth double-double of the season.

Junior setter Darcy Carroll did a great job running the USF offense, dishing out a match-high 46 assists to go along with seven digs and a block. Carroll becomes the first Dons setter to lead her team to a win since Denise MacDougal (1988-91). Sophomore libero Haley Carroll recorded 10 digs and three aces.

"I thought we served really well and did a solid job passing," USF head coach Gilad Doron said. "We ran a solid offense, stayed very patient and executed our game plan very well. I'm extremely happy for the players on this team doing something that hasn't been done for 18 years. I think it shows we're moving in the right direction. I am very proud and happy of the way the team came up with two wins against a pair of strong WCC Bay Area opponents. Hopefully we can continue to build on this."

San Francisco stormed out of the gate from the opening serve of game one, building a 16-6 lead on a Hasselberg kill and led wire-to-wire. Gombos, Hasselberg and Webster recorded five kills apiece to pace the Dons, while Webster added seven digs to the cause.

USF built a 7-1 lead in game two before Santa Clara rallied to take its first lead of the match at 13-12 and again at 14-13. USF recovered and went ahead 17-16 on a Gombos kill and the Broncos would not recover to tie it. Gombos recorded six kills on seven swings in the game to go along with a remarkable five blocks (one solo).

Game three was tighter, featuring 14 tie scores and seven lead changes. USF trailed 16-14, but roared back on a 8-4 run to seize a 22-20 lead it would not relinquish. The Broncos closed to within one at 23-22 on a Dons service error, but San Francisco got a service ace from Haley Carroll and back-to-back kills from Mandala and senior opposite hitter Linzy Kearney to take a 27-23 lead. Hasselberg capped the sweep with a kill on match point.

USF hit at a .260 clip for the match and limited the Broncos to .156 attacking. The Dons held a 52-44 kills advantage and won the battle at the net 12.0 blocks to 8.5.

Junior outside hitter Brittany Lowe and freshman outside hitter Krista Kelley tallied 10 kills to lead the Broncos. Senior setter Crystal Matich dished out 36 assists to go along with four kills, five digs and two blocks. Senior libero Caroline Walters recorded a match-high 18 digs.

San Francisco returns to WCC action when it travels to Southern California to take on Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, beginning Thursday, October 11 in Los Angeles. First serve against the Lions is set for 7:00 PM at Gersten Pavilion. The Dons then tackle the Waves in Malibu Saturday with a 1:00 PM match at Firestone Fieldhouse.