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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps

Oct. 12, 2006

Pepperdine - 3
San Francisco - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team improved its home-winning streak over San Francisco to 22 Thursday night with a 30-27, 30-18, 30-22 sweep of the Dons in West Coast Conference (WCC) action at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Pepperdine (7-9, 3-2 WCC) had several standout performances on the evening, led by sophomore Julie Rubenstein's (Camarillo, Calif.) 15-kill, nine-dig, six-block performance. Freshman Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) equaled Rubenstein's match-leading 15 kills and added four service aces and 12 digs for her team-leading seventh double-double of the season. Sophia Milo (Portland, Ore.) chipped in 10 kills and five blocks for the Waves who held a 13.0-9.5 edge in blocks, while Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) hit .471 with nine kills and four blocks. Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) narrowly missed a triple-double with 48 assists, 13 digs and seven kills.

San Francisco (16-5, 0-4 WCC) was led by Carly Babin and Anna Berger's six kills, while three others chipped in with five. As a team, the Dons were held to .088 hitting, including .038 in game two.

"I really feel like our middle blockers got us going tonight," commented Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies. "Rachel was on fire in game one and Julie caught on in game two. We served tough tonight and got them out of system which was also key."

Game one was a see-saw battle with the Dons getting out to a 5-2 lead only to see the Waves move ahead 8-7 after a 6-2 run. USF would go ahead by as many as three, 15-12, before the third of Lumsden's eight kills in the game fueled an 8-3 run. San Francisco managed to tie the game at 24-24 before a Chamberlain kill and consecutive blocks by Lumsden and Chamberlain put Pepperdine on top for good, 27-24.

Pepperdine sprinted out to a commanding 8-4 lead in game two as Rubenstein became a one-person wrecking crew. The sophomore recorded seven kills on seven attempts, five digs, three solo blocks and an ace during the frame. The Waves never let up in taking a 2-0 lead in the match, hitting at a .533 clip with 21 kills.

San Francisco led briefly in game three, but consecutive Pepperdine blocks started a 12-5 run as the Waves opened a four-point 15-11 lead. USF pulled within three following a timeout, but it would be as close as the Dons would get the remainder of the night.

The Waves will look to improve to 4-0 at home in conference play Saturday afternoon when they host Saint Mary's at 1 p.m. (PDT).

Saint Mary's - 3
Loyola Marymount - 2

Los Angeles, Calif. - Thursday night's West Coast Conference volleyball battle between Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's was a match of momentum, and when the dust cleared, it was Saint Mary's escaped with the 3-2 (25-30, 30-27, 30-32, 32-30, 15-8) victory. The Lions (15-5, 3-2 WCC) controlled game one, but let the momentum slip away, as the Gaels (8-7, 3-1 WCC) hit a match-high .349 to mount the comeback in game four.

LMU juniors Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes combined for 49 kills, but Saint Mary's held off further offensive attacks, out-blocking the Lions 21 to nine. The Gaels' Megan Burton had 11 of those blocks.

Sophomore Kiera Reilly posted four of the Lions' eight service aces.

The Lions looked in control in the first game, as the Gaels hit just .045. Reneau led the way with six kills in the first frame, as the Lions won 30-25.

Saint Mary's sent the match to the intermission tied 1-1 after taking game two 30-27.

The Lions hit their best in game three, as setter Ashley Dutro helped the Lions to a .333 team attack percentage. Reilly notched back-to-back service aces to give the Lions the 25-21 lead, but Saint Mary's charged back to tie things at 28 each. Hughes sealed the win with two straight kills to make it 32-30 and put the Lions up 2-1.

But the Gaels picked up momentum in game four and never let go, hitting a match-high .349 as a team. The Lions led at 28-23, but Saint Mary's once again fought back to force the decisive game five.

That final frame was full of twists and turns, as SMC took a 7-1 lead. The Lions came back within four at 10-6 on kills by Reneau and Hughes. But substitution controversies resulted in the Lions losing three points, as the score returned to 10-3. LMU would again pull within four at 11-7, but eventually fell 15-8 in game five.

The Lions did display their characteristically strong defense, out-digging Saint Mary's 101 to 79.

Dutro finished with 65 assists, while LMU libero Lauren Kirk equaled a season-high 22 digs.

Hughes and Reneau both finished with double-doubles after combining for the 49 kills and 37 digs.

The Lions continue WCC action Saturday, hosting San Francisco at 1:00 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.

San Diego - 3
Portland - 0

PORTLAND, Ore. - For the fifth consecutive match, Kristen Carlson, Laurel Abrahamson and Christie Dawson all recorded double-digit kills to help lead the 22nd-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to a 3-0 West Coast Conference win over the University of Portland Thursday evening.

With the 30-18, 30-24, 30-15 win, the Toreros improve to 15-4 overall, remain undefeated in WCC play moving to 5-0 and have now won a season-best five consecutive matches. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 8-9 overall and 1-4 in the WCC.

Carlson led all players with 19 kills on 38 attempts, while only committing two attacking errors to post a.447 attacking percentage. Carlson also recorded her team-leading 12th double-double of the season as she recorded 17 digs on the night. Abrahamson posted a match-best .529 attacking percentage as she recorded 11 kills on 17 attacks, while only committing two errors. Dawson also had 11 kills, committed only one attacking error on 27 attempts to post a .370 attacking percentage. Jessica Nyrop recorded 46 assists in the win to help direct the Toreros offense to a .326 team attacking percentage.

For the Pilots, Kelly Whitehouse was the lone Portland player in double-digit kills with 10. Kara Pein led the team in assists with 31, and as a team, Portland had an attacking percentage of .197

In the first game, the Pilots were able to keep things close in the early going as neither team had a lead bigger then one. Then with the score knotted at 8-8, Carlson stepped up and recorded back-to-back kills to spark a 4-1 USD run. The Toreros continued to build on that momentum and cruised their way to a 30-18 win.

In game two, the Toreros were in control throughout the first part of the game building a five point lead at 15-10. The Pilots wouldn't go away as they climbed their way back to within two at 16-14. USD's Erin Wiskar would have no more of the run as she sparked a 5-2 run for the Toreros with a kill. After the Toreros built up a six point lead at 26-20, the Pilots would go on a 3-0 run to give USD a brief scare, but the Pilots could come no closer as the Toreros went on a 4-1 run to claim the 30-24 win.

In the third game, USD jumped out to an early lead at 9-3, but the Pilots put on a 3-1 run to pull to within four. The Toreros would not allow the Pilots to come any closer as Andrea Csaszi stepped back to serve, and it sparked a 7-0 run for the Toreros and USD then cruised their way to a 30-15 victory to complete the sweep over the Pilots.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they conclude their Pacific Northwest road swing with a 1 p.m. WCC match against Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

Santa Clara - 3
Gonzaga - 2

SPOKANE, Wash. - Once again the No. 17 Santa Clara volleyball team went the distance against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane, and once again, the Broncos came out victorious in dramatic fashion. SCU got a breakout performance from freshman opposite hitter Nina Sevastopoulos, who turned in 18 kills and five blocks in the 3-2 (25-30, 30-22, 30-27, 28-30, 15-13) win.

The Broncos (13-4, 3-2 WCC) return to action Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest against the Portland Pilots at the Chiles Center.

Santa Clara got a well-rounded effort from its top hitters Thursday night, as in addition to the play of Sevastopoulos, outside hitter Kim McGiven had a team-high 19 kills to go with 17 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, fellow outside Brittany Lowe had a double-double as well with 17 kills and 15 digs, while Anna Cmaylo added 17 kills and seven blocks. Libero Caroline Walters made 21 digs, while Lindsy Evans dished 71 assists and made 10 digs.

Becky Jones led the Bulldogs (5-14, 0-4 WCC) with 19 kills and 16 digs, while Elaina Renius and Heather Dunn each had eight blocks as the two teams engaged in a defensive affair, with the Broncos hitting only .204 and the Zags only .182.

But the win was a vital one for the Broncos, as it lifts them above .500 in WCC play for the first time in 2006 and puts them in prime position to earn their first weekend sweep in conference play.

Things didn't start out smoothly for SCU Thursday night, as they quickly fell behind 9-2 to start game one. Two kills by Briawna Mueller and a pair of aces helped put the Broncos on their heels right away, but they started to recover, taking four straight points highlighted by a kill and ace by Cmaylo to cut the deficit to three. It stayed at about that margin until, trailing 16-12, the Broncos put three more on the board thanks to a pair of SCU blocks, cutting the lead to one at 16-15, and eventually tying it at 17-apiece with a McGiven kill.

The teams battled back and forth for the next few points, until Gonzaga made a 4-0 run to get ahead 24-20, boosted by three Bronco attack errors. The lead eventually got to 28-22 and the Bulldogs coasted to the 30-25 game one win.

Santa Clara came out firing in the second stanza, grabbing a 3-0 lead which eventually became 7-1 thanks to five errors on the Bulldogs. The Broncos stayed in control for the entire frame, as the lead got to within three just twice, the last time at 17-14, but then SCU powered its way to a 7-0 run behind a pair of McGiven kills and most notably four more Bulldog errors. From there, it was only a matter of time before SCU closed out the game, which they did on a Cmaylo kill for the 30-22 win.

Game three was a tighter affair than the second, but the Broncos began to put distance between themselves and the Bulldogs by building a 9-5 lead on consecutive kills by Lowe. But with the score at 12-9 in favor of SCU, Gonzaga's Mueller made a kill followed by two Bronco errors to knot things up at 12-12. Yet SCU again got out to a lead, this time 19-14 on a 3-0 run sparked by a pair of Megan Pura kills. From this point SCU never gave up its lead, keeping Gonzaga at an arm's length until another Cmaylo kill ended the frame and put the Broncos up 2-1.

But the Bulldogs would not roll over and play dead, showing some fight in the fourth game as they played catch-up for most of it. At the 5-5 mark, the Broncos started quickening the pace, leading 9-7, then getting two points in a row to make it 13-9 as Sevastopoulos made a kill and followed up with a block on the next volley. The SCu lead eventually got to six at 20-14 after a 4-0 run sparked by two McGiven kills, and things still looked safe at 23-19 a few points later.

Yet it wasn't. Trailing by four, Gonzaga got kills from Jones and Renius, and, combined with a block and two Mueller aces, and next thing the Broncos knew they were trailing 24-23 after yielding five straight points. The teams fought to 26-all, but at that point Gonzaga took the next three points, and staved off a Broncos comeback attempt to force the deciding fifth game.

In terms of drama and grit, the fifth frame did not disappoint. Gonzaga jumped to a 2-0 lead, followed by a 3-0 Bronco run, which was in turn answered with a 3-0 run by the Bulldogs to make it 5-3. SCU fought back with a Cmaylo kill and two blocks from Pura to go on another 3-0 run and claim a one-point lead.

But Gonzaga answered with yet another three-point burst to re-take the lead at 9-7, but SCU, in keeping with the trend, put up three straight on three consecutive McGiven kills to take the lead back at 10-9. A block by Gonzaga's Dunn tied things up at 10-apiece, but the Broncos put together a pair of quick 2-0 bursts sandwiched around a Gonzaga point to stand at game point at 14-11. The Bulldogs made things interesting with two kills from Jones to come within a point, but Lowe came through and ended matters with the match's final kill to deliver the clutch road win.