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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Oct. 18, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
San Francisco - 2

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Senior Briawna Mueller had three kills and two block assists in the deciding fifth game to help the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team earn a 3-2 (30-25, 30-32, 30-21, 22-30, 15-10) victory over the University of San Francisco at War Memorial Gymnasium in San Francisco on Thursday.

The Bulldogs, who have won four-straight, including three West Coast Conference matches, improved their record to 15-7 overall and an even 3-3 in the WCC, while San Francisco dropped to 13-9 overall and 2-4 in conference.

Gonzaga had five players finish in double-figure kills during the see-saw battle with San Francisco. Senior Becky Jones collected her 11 double-double of the season with a match-high 20 kills and 22 digs; on dig shy of tying her career high. Sophomore Michelle Boevers added 15 kills for the Bulldogs, along with seven digs, one solo block and three block assists. Mueller closed out the match with 13 kills, a team-high .429 hitting clip, her third-straight contest hitting above .400, and two solo blocks and eight block assists.

Rounding out the Zags in double-digit kills was junior Elaina Renius and sophomore Layne Brosky, who had 13 and 10, respectively.

Senior Heather Dunn finished with her team-leading 12th double-double of the season. The main-stay setter dished out 58 assists as Gonzaga closed out the hard-fought victory with 74 total kills and a .195 attacking percentage. Dunn also added 13 kills for GU.

Senior Alecia Douglas had a career-breaking night for the Bulldogs. The starting libero had a team-high 25 digs in the victory. The 25 digs breaks her previous career high of 23. The Zags finished the match with 97 total digs, while the Dons had 101.

Keeping the match close for San Francisco was Sarah Mandala and Addie Webster. Mandala had a team-high 17 kills in the setback for the Dons, along with five block assists, while Webster added 15 kills and eight digs. Haley Carroll was superb on defense for USF finishing the match with 32 total digs.

Gonzaga will continue its two-match WCC road trip with a contest at #16 University of San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 20. Match time is set for 1 p.m.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Saint Mary's - 0

MORAGA, Calif. - Led by junior Emily Day's double-double of 18 kills and 16 digs, Loyola Marymount volleyball (11-8 overall, 3-3 in WCC) captured a three-game sweep of Saint Mary's (10-8 overall, 2-4 in WCC) on the road on Thursday night, 30-18, 31-29, 31-29. National kills per game leader Heather Hughes also collected a double-double for the Lions, tallying 16 kills and 13 digs in the victory while hitting an astounding .342 (16 for 38) in the match.

The Lions held Saint Mary's to a -0.04 hitting percentage en route to a 30-18 win in game one. Despite finding itself in an early 5-2 hole in the frame, LMU quickly caught fire and fought back to even the score at 8-8. After taking a 19-15 lead, the Lions rattled off nine unanswered points to take a commanding 27-16 advantage. Led by Hughes, who hit .500 (3 for 6) in the game, LMU coasted to a 30-18 game one victory.

Game two looked to start just as game one had ended, as LMU opened up a 7-2 lead to start the frame. This time it was Saint Mary's who rallied back from an early deficit, stringing together five straight points to even the game at 7-7. After both teams exchanged points, Day gave LMU the 13-12 lead with one of her game-high nine kills. The native of Torrance, Calif. led the Lion attack in the frame, hitting a blistering .500 (9 for 16) over the span. Senior Christianna Reneau also had an outstanding game two, turning in five of her nine kills on the match in the game. With LMU trailing 29-28, it was once again Day who stepped up, this time swinging home two straight points before Hughes notched her sixth kill of the frame to give the Lions the 31-29 game-two victory. Both teams collected impressive hitting percentages in the frame, with LMU connecting at .265 and the Gaels turning in a .279 mark.

Saint Mary's freshman Megan York, who collected a match-high 20 kills, gave the Gaels an early lead in game three, collecting the first four points of the frame for Saint Mary's via kill. After a very tight middle of the game, the Gaels took a 24-20 lead on a Megan Burton kill. Though down, the Lions were certainly not out, surging to knot the game at 28-28 on the backs of Day and Hughes, who finished the frame with eight and seven kills, respectively. The Gaels' Taylor Groess gave Saint Mary's a 29-28 lead on the ensuing play, but three straight attack errors allowed LMU to take game three and capture the three-game match sweep.

Freshman Renee Horton served up a match-high 42 assists for the Lions and Saint Mary's Alita Fisher collected a match-high 19 digs.

LMU will continue West Coast Conference play on the road this Saturday when it visits Santa Clara at 1:00 p.m.

San Diego - 3
Portland - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 16th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 win over visiting University of Portland in a West Coast Conference match at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion Thursday evening.

With the 30-26, 30-15, 30-19 win, the Toreros run their winning streak to four as they improve to 15-5 overall and move to 5-1 in the WCC. With the loss, the Pilots remain winless in the WCC at 0-6 and fall to 7-11 overall.

Amy DeGroot helped to pace the Toreros offense as she had a match-best 12 kills on 29 attempts to post a .241 attack percentage. Laurel Abrahamson, the defending WCC Player of the Week, was the second player in double-digit kills as she had 10 on 19 attempts to post a .368 attack percentage. Andrea Csaszi tied for a match-best 13 digs for USD, and as a team the Toreros hit for a .283 clip.

For the Pilots, Jennifer Sheedy was the team's leader offensively as she had nine kills on 18 attempts to post a .500 attack percentage. Kara Pien recorded 20 assists in pacing the Portland offense to a .053 attack percentage.

In game one, it was the Pilots who grabbed the early 3-1 lead, taking advantage of a couple of USD miscues. San Diego in turn responded with a 5-1 run sparked by a Jessica Andersen kill and capped by a Andersen Kill off a set from Jessica Nyrop. The Pilots however, hung around with the Toreros not allowing USD to gain a lead bigger than three for majority of the game. The Pilots even tied the game up late at 23-23, but the Toreros proved to be to strong to overcome as they claimed game one 30-26.

In game two, it was all USD as with the score at 6-4 in favor of the Toreros, San Diego put together an 18-4 run sparked by a Torey Ellick kill and capped by a Abrahamson service ace and San Diego never looked back as they cruised to a 30-15 win hitting for a .273 clip, compared to that of Portland who hit for a -.128 clip.

In the third and final game, USD jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but the Pilots answered back with a 5-3 run to even things up. The Pilots then remained within two of the Toreros for a bit until the score was at 12-10, then the Toreros began to pull away using runs of 5-2 and 8-0 to gain complete control of the momentum, and would go on to claim the match with a 30-19 win.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they host Gonzaga University in a 1 p.m. match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 3
Pepperdine - 1

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team earned its fifth conference win of the season Thursday night with a 3-1 victory over Pepperdine at the Leavey Center. The match, which was aired on ESPNU, was decided by individual game scores of 28-30, 30-24, 30-23 and 30-28. With the victory, Santa Clara improved to 13-9 overall and 5-1 in West Coast Conference play, while Pepperdine is now 12-6 on the season and 4-2 in league action.

"Playing steady was an integral part of winning tonight's game," said head coach Jon Wallace. "I really liked what I saw in our scouting report and we stayed true to that. Game one was tough, but we made the adjustments needed to come out with the win."

Freshman Krista Kelley became the first Bronco on the 2007 squad to enter the 20-20 club this season as she registered match highs with 27 kills and 21 digs. Both are also season-bests for the Sandy, Utah, native. Junior Brittany Lowe also registered a double-double, her ninth of the season, with 23 kills and 15 digs. Senior libero Caroline Walters collected 14 digs and two service aces, while junior Lauryn Dowd tallied a match-high three service aces.

In the first game, the Broncos and Waves kept the score close at the start, until a kill from Casie Chamberlain gave Pepperdine a one point edge. The Waves then produced a 6-0 run on points from Chamberlain, Kristen Seaton and Kayla Walker to make the score, 17-10. Santa Clara, after being forced to call a timeout, rebounded to bring the score within one, 19-18, on a solo block from setter Crystal Matich. The Broncos then fought to tie the score, 27-27, on a Waves attacking error. However, Pepperdine regained control and won the first game, 30-28.

The Broncos stormed through the second game to a 30-24 victory behind solid efforts from Lowe, Kelley and Lindsy Evans. Santa Clara jumped to a 6-1 start on points solely from Lowe and Pepperdine errors. The Waves came within two points, 8-6, on a service ace by Kiah Fiers, but that was the closest they would get to the Broncos in the entire second game. SCU went on to earn a six-point lead, 15-9, on a kill from Evans. Later, Evans stuck again to give Santa Clara an eight-point lead, 23-15. A high-powered attack from Nichole Clark made the score, 29-24, and a kill from Kelley ended game two, 30-24, for SCU.

Pepperdine's Fiers scored the first point of game three, but Kelley quickly tied the score. The two teams then fought point-for-point until Clark posted a solo block to give the Broncos the advantage. SCU pushed to a five-point lead, 16-11, on back-to-back service aces from Dowd. The Broncos continued to control the scoreboard on successful attacks from Kelley, Clark and Dowd, and a kill from Lowe finished the third game, 30-23.

Santa Clara was forced to rally back in the fourth game to garner the 30-28 triumph. The Waves took early control of the fourth game with a 3-1 lead, but a service ace from Dowd knotted the score, 3-3. Pepperdine responded fast with a kill from Chamberlain and continued to widen the gap as it pushed the score, 10-5. Santa Clara fought hard to tie the game again with powerful attacks from Kelley and Clark, but Pepperdine still held a slight edge. Back-to-back kills from Kelley brought the Broncos within three, 23-20, and a two straight kills from Lowe brought SCU within one, 26-25. Santa Clara eventually tied the score, 27-27, on a solid play by Kelly and a service ace from Lowe put the Broncos up by one, 28-27. The fourth game was ended on a Waves error.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Oct. 20 against the Lions of Loyola Marymount. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m., at the Leavey Center. Santa Clara will hold the annual "Dig for the Cure" fundraiser to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation during Saturday's game. Fans that wish to pledge or donate to the nationwide event can download a pledge form on the Bronco volleyball homepage at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.