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WCC Volleyball Recaps - 10/21

Oct. 21, 2006

Gonzaga - 3
Saint Mary's - 2

MORAGA, Calif. - Behind 2-1 against Saint Mary's College, the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team fought back and won the final two games to earn the 3-2 (17-30, 30-25, 28-30, 31-29, 5-12) come-from-behind victory. The win was the Bulldogs first conference victory of the season and first road conference win in 26 matches; nearly four seasons. The last time GU earned a WCC road win was during the 2002 season when it also defeated Saint Mary's by the same score.

GU improved its record to 6-16 overall and 1-6 in the WCC with the win, while the Gaels dropped to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in conference.

Each Gonzaga player had a part in the come-from-behind victory as the Bulldogs had five players finish in double digit kills and five players finish in double figure digs. GU was led by junior Becky Jones who tallied her 10th double-double of the season. Jones finished with a team-high 21 kills along with 20 digs.

Sophomore Elaina Renius chipped in 18 kills and was a monster above the net for the Zags finishing with seven solo blocks. The three other players who had double figure kills were junior Briawna Mueller (13), freshman Emily Johnson (11) and freshman Layne Brosky (10).

Junior setter Heather Dunn dished out a career-high 66 assists as the Bulldogs finished the match with 85 total kills and a .260 attack percentage. Dunn also added eight kills and 15 digs.

Keeping the ball alive in the backline for Gonzaga were juniors Alecia Douglas, Paige Dillingham and Megan Thompson. Douglas closed out the match with a team-high 22 digs, while Dillingham and Thompson both added 10.

Saint Mary's was led offensively by Christina Kirk, who recorded a career-high 27 kills and added 12 digs and four blocks. Mandy Bible set the pace offensively with 65 assists, 11 digs and eight blocks. Cassandra Kolkka added 13 kills and 20 digs while Megan Burton had 11 kills and five blocks.

Rounding out play for the Gaels was Taylor Groess who added 12 kills, Nikki Gonzalez who had a career-high 29 digs and Brittany Barker who had nine blocks. Saint Mary's finished the match with 74 total kills and a .224 hitting clip.

Gonzaga will be back in action this coming Thursday (10/26) when it welcomes Loyola Marymount to the Martin Center. Match time is slated for 7:00 p.m.

GU Notes - Elaina Renius' seven solo blocks ranks second in the GU single match Top 10, just one behind Kelley Cunningham who had nine solo blocks against Eastern Washington in 1989 ... With her 21 kills today, Becky Jones is only eight kills shy of eclipsing the 1,000-kill plateau. Jones will become only the 12th player in GU volleyball history to collect 1,000+ kills.

San Diego - 3
Santa Clara - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the seventh consecutive match, the big three help lead the 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to victory as Kristen Carlson, Laurel Abrahamson and Christie Dawson all record double-digit kills in a 3-0 West Coast Conference win over No. 15 Santa Clara University Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the 30-25, 30-28, 30-27 win, the Toreros move to 17-4 overall, 7-0 in the WCC and have now reeled off seven consecutive victories. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the WCC.

Carlson led all players with 16 kills to go along with a match-best 13 digs to record her team-leading 14th double-double of the season. Dawson recorded 12 kills on 24 attempts for a .250 attacking percentage and Abrahamson recorded 10 kills on 21 attempts while only committing two attacking errors to post a .381 attacking percentage. Erin Wiskar also had a solid game for the Toreros recording nine kills on 19 attempts for a .421 clip. Jessica Nyrop recorded 40 assists to help lead the San Diego offense to a .303 team hitting percentage.

For the Broncos, Anna Cmaylo led the team in kills with 11 on 19 attempts to post a .316 attacking percentage. Lindsay Evans recorded 35 assists to help direct the SCU offense to a .207 team attacking percentage.

In game one, after the two teams were locked at 3-3, the Broncos took the early momentum with a 5-0 run. However, the Toreros clamped down and went to work as they used a 9-4 run to once again get on even playing terms with the Broncos. The two teams then seesawed back and fourth and with the score at 19-18 in favor of USD, the Toreros would go on a 6-2 run sparked by a Wiskar kill to take control of the game and cruise their way to a 30-25 win.

In game two, the Broncos were the ones who took control midway through the game as they quietly took a four point lead at 15-11. Nyrop then sparked a 6-2 run as she dumped the ball over the net much to the surprise of the Broncos. Then with the score knotted at 17-17 the teams battled back and fourth with nether team taking a lead bigger then two until Dawosn broke a 23-23 tie with a kill to give USD a lead they would not look back on.

In the final game, the Toreros took all the early momentum as they jumped out to a 9-3 lead. However, the Broncos didn't fade away as they got back into the game with a 5-2 run pulling within two at 11-9 and would eventually go on to tie the game at 13-13 on a Brittany Lowe kill. It was then again a seesaw battle with each team taking a lead, until USD took over for good at 19-18 thanks to an attacking error by SCU's Megan Pura.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they begin the second half of WCC play by hosting Saint Mary's College in a 7 p.m. match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

San Francisco - 3
Portland - 0

San Francisco, CA - USF volleyball celebrated its past Saturday afternoon by honoring the 30th Anniversary team in a special ceremony. Meanwhile, the current team wasted little time showing the present is in good hands, storming past Portland 30-18, 30-13, 30-26 in West Coast Conference action at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (19-5, 3-4 WCC) hit .388 in securing their third straight league victory and eighth straight against the Pilots (8-12, 1-6 WCC).

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg led all attackers with a match-high 18 kills on .417 hitting to go along with six digs, a block and an ace, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 12 kills on a career-best .600 hitting to go along with 10 digs.

San Francisco's offense was clicking and all facets produced as seven players tallied at least one kill and hit .250 or better for the match. Freshman outside hitter Anna Berger recorded eight kills and five digs and sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin added seven kills and six blocks (three solo). USF held a dominating 56-35 kills advantage and owned a 62-42 digs margin.

Freshman libero Haley Carroll keyed a strong defensive effort recording 29 digs - a new USF three-game match record, surpassing a 30th anniversary team member, Kelly Harris (1994-95) who tallied 26 against Idaho State Sept. 16, 1994. Carroll finished the match with 428 digs on the year, good for third place on the USF single-season list.

San Francisco's setting tandem enjoyed plenty of options as senior Jamie Kartchner dished out a match-high 34 assists, while sophomore setter Darcy Carroll added 14 to go along with three kills.

USF got off to a slow start in the opening game but accelerated rapidly. The Dons turned an 8-7 lead into a 21-11 advantage courtesy of a 13-4 burst. Portland used a run of its own to close within 25-17, but Darcy Carroll served five straight points to seal the win.

Game two was even more lopsided as the Dons built a remarkable 18-3 lead as Kartchner served 10 consecutive points. USF capitalized on 12 Pilot attack errors, while hitting .444 in the frame with just two errors in 27 attempts.

San Francisco had to rally from a 23-21 deficit in game three, but after a Maurer kill, sophomore defensive specialist Tiffany Woo served eight straight points interrupted by a Pilot timeout to give the Dons a 29-24 advantage. Maurer wrapped up the match victory with her ninth kill of the game.

Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Grayson led the Pilots offensively with 10 kills on .381 hitting, while sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Sheedy added nine. Senior libero Murphy McClenahan added a team-high 15 digs for Portland.

USF returns to WCC action when it travels south to take on ancient Bay Area rival No. 15 Santa Clara Thursday, October 26. First serve against the Broncos is set for 7:00 PM at the Leavey Center.