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Waves Fire on all Cylinders in Sweep of Gaels

Oct. 14, 2006

MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine's women's volleyball team improved to 4-0 at home in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Saturday afternoon with a dominating performance against Saint Mary's. The Waves improve to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in league play with the 3-0 (30-18, 30-23, 30-28) sweep, while the Gaels fall to 8-8 (3-2 WCC).

Rachel Lumsden's (Brea, Calif.) 16 kills led all players. Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) added 12 kills and Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) chipped in with 10 on .500 hitting. As a team, Pepperdine had little trouble beating a Saint Mary's block which entered the weekend averaging a WCC-best 2.91 per game. The Waves out blocked the Gaels by a 12.0-8.0 margin on .272 hitting. Defensively, Pepperdine was at its best recording 69 digs in the three games led by Kekai Crabbe's (Honolulu, Hawaii) 21 and Julie Rubenstein's (Camarillo, Calif.) 13. Rubenstein tacked on a pair of service aces as well.

Saint Mary's received 12 kills each from Missie Stidham and Christina Kirk but was limited to just .130 hitting as a team.

The match started out as a tightly contested affair with four lead changes and seven ties with the final one coming at 9-all. Walker broke the stalemate with a kill and an ace as Pepperdine opened a six-point, 21-15, lead. Following a Gaels' point, the Waves' Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) recorded a kill as the beginning of a 9-2 run to close out the frame.

Pepperdine took control of game two from the start scoring eight of the first 11 points. SMC used a 5-3 run to climb back to within three, 11-8, bur the Waves forged back ahead by seven with a 5-1 run. Pepperdine would go on to lead by as many as 12, 27-15, before the Gaels mounted any type of a comeback attempt but it was too-little, too-late.

Stidham and Kirk doubled their offensive production for the match in game three with six kills apiece just to keep Saint Mary's in the match. Pepperdine surged ahead of SMC, 12-7, before the Gaels came to life with a 7-2 run to tie the frame at 14-all. SMC took its first lead of the frame at 16-15 but never led by more than three in the game. With its biggest lead, 25-22, Saint Mary's got a heavy dose of Lumsden who recorded consecutive kills and teamed up with Chamberlain for a block before tallying her fourth kill of the game to put the Waves back on top, 26-25. With the score knotted at 26-26, Lumsden put Pepperdine back up by two with a kill and a block assist along with Chamberlain. Out of the Gaels' final timeout, they recorded a block and a kill to tie the frame at 28-all. Walker answered with her final kill of the night, setting up match point which came via a Stidham hitting error.

Pepperdine will wrap up the first half of WCC play next week when it travels to cross-town rival Loyola Marymount Thursday night. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. (PDT) at the Galen Center.