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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 10/19

Oct. 19, 2006

LMU - 3
Pepperdine - 0

Los Angeles, Calif. - It was not the night to be wearing blue and orange, as Loyola Marymount volleyball swept cross-town rival Pepperdine 3-0 (32-30, 30-28, 30-27) in West Coast Conference volleyball action Thursday. With the win, the Lions (16-6) and Waves (8-10) both moved to 4-3 in WCC play, as the first half of conference action came to a close.

For LMU, it was the first 3-0 sweep of Pepperdine since November 4, 1995. The victory kept Pepperdine winless on the road this season. The Waves were ranked in the nation's top-25 as recently as two weeks ago.

LMU junior Heather Hughes posted a match-high 23 kills. The WCC leader in statistical double-doubles, she tallied another one tonight with 11 digs. The impressive numbers came on a night where she moved to a new position, playing outside hitter instead of her usual opposite.

Also impressive Thursday was the defense of sophomore Lauren Kirk, who brought up a team-high 12 digs.

Senior Sandy Krone hit .421 with nine kills, nine digs, and three service aces.

Junior Jania Motton was impressive in the middle, tallying seven blocks and five kills.

Game one was a back-and-forth thriller, as the Lions trailed by as many as five and led by as many as five before the Waves evened it up again at 24-24. The score was then tied at every point to 30 until LMU final won two straight points on a kill by Christianna Reneau and a block by Reneau and Motton.

Game two remained close throughout, as both teams improved their hitting percentages. A kill by Hughes gave the Lions the 24-22 lead and forced Pepperdine to use a timeout. The Waves returned to win three straight points. LMU hung on to edge Pepperdine 30-28 on a solo block by Motton.

The third frame was tied at 11-11 before LMU took control for the rest of the match. Back-to-back kills by Hughes got the rally going, and she put up five more before the game was over to finish with 23 in the three games.

One dig shy of a double-double herself, LMU setter Ashley Dutro had 42 assists and nine digs.

Pepperdine was led by Sophia Milo, who had 11 kills (.368) and four block assists.

The LMU victory evens things in the WCC standings, as Pepperdine and LMU both sit a 4-3 at the midway point of conference play. First place and 22nd-ranked San Diego (6-0) and second place Santa Clara (4-2) play Saturday afternoon.

The two teams observed a moment of silence prior to tonight's match in memory of LMU volleyball alumna Kim Blankinship (1993-96), who passed away Monday. Blankinship will be inducted into the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame with the Class of 2007 in January. The Torrance, Calif. native was in a Lion uniform the last time the Lions swept the Waves 3-0.

The Lions will hit the road next weekend for the Northwest swing, playing at Gonzaga Thursday and Portland Saturday.

Saint Mary's - 3
Portland - 0

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's volleyball team needed just 1 hour and 30 minutes to take of the Portland Pilots 3-0 on Thursday night at The Pavilion. The Gaels beat the Pilots 30-19, 30-25, 30-20 in front of 563 fans.

The Gaels jumped in front of the Pilots early in the first game, setting the tone and they didn't let up after that. With the win the Gaels improve to 4-2 in West Coast Conference play and 9-8 overall.

Saint Mary's played well on both sides of the net, holding Portland to a .123 hitting percentage and recording 11.5 blocks. Offensively the Gaels hit .320 as a team and totaled 53 kills.

Missie Stidham led the offensive attack, recording 16 kills with a .324 hitting percentage. Stidham also added 13 digs and two blocks.

Senior setter Mandy Bible once again led the offensive attack with 39 assists, six kills, six digs and three blocks.

Defensively Brittany Barker had eight blocks, including two solo blocks and Megan Burton added two solo blocks.

The Gael offense was well rounded as Christina Kirk had nine kills, Burton added seven and Taylor Groess chipped in with six kills. Cassandra Kolkka and Alita Fisher led the backcourt defense, with Kolkka recording 13 digs and Fisher adding nine.

Saint Mary's returns to action on Saturday, October 21 when it hosts Gonzaga at 1 p.m. at The Pavilion.

San Francisco - 3
Gonzaga - 0

San Francisco, CA - USF volleyball collected the 300th victory in program history Thursday night in West Coast Conference action with a sweep of Gonzaga (30-27, 30-18, 30-24) at War Memorial Gym. More importantly for the Dons (18-5, 2-4 WCC) it was their second straight league victory and eighth consecutive win against the Bulldogs (5-16, 0-6 WCC).

Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer entered the match needing just one dig to tie USF Volleyball Hall-of-Famer Melanie Kaiser (1988-91) for the all-time digs record and wasted little time taking sole possession of the standard in game one. Maurer finished with nine digs on the night and 1,243, and counting, for her standout career in the Green and Gold.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg also passed a milestone in the match, entering the contest tied for sixth place on the Dons career kills list with USF Hall-of-Famer Kathy Schindler, and finished with a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs. Hasselberg now has 1,067 kills and with her final termination of the night moved past Jeanette Sargenti (1994-97) for fifth place on the career leader board.

Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos also enjoyed a strong night for the Dons, with 11 kills on .450 hitting to go along with three blocks (one solo). USF's setting tandem enjoyed a solid night as San Francisco hit at a .244 clip. Sophomore Darcy Carroll dished out 30 assists with a pair of aces and six digs, while senior setter Jamie Kartchner added 18 assists and five digs for the Dons.

USF enjoyed a 54-34 kills advantage and a 61-41 digs advantage, keyed by a match-high 21 from freshman libero Haley Carroll, who moved into third place on the single-season digs chart with 420 on the season. Next up is Maurer who holds the top two spots on the list with 457 as a freshman and 546 as a sophomore.

San Francisco got off to a slow start in game one and trailed 19-12, but promptly shrugged it off, going on a 18-9 run to seize the opening set in come from behind fashion. Gombos led the way for the Dons with eight kills. From there, it was all USF as Gonzaga led just once in game two and managed a pair of ties, the last coming at 4-4.

USF hit at a .350 clip in game two with 19 kills and tallied 18 kills on .220 hitting in the final frame.

Senior outside hitter Becki Jones led the way for Gonzaga offensively with 12 kills on .310 hitting to go along with eight digs and three blocks. The Bulldogs hit at a .120 pace, but held a 14.0-5.5 blocks advantage.

USF returns to action in a Saturday matinee when it hosts Portland in WCC action. San Francisco volleyball is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season and will honor the top-18 players in school history during the match set for a 1:00 PM first serve at War Memorial Gym.