Oct. 28, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball picked up its second straight West Coast Conference (WCC) road sweep as the Waves downed the Gonzaga Bulldogs, 30-23, 30-21, 30-24, in Spokane, Wash. Saturday afternoon.
Pepperdine (10-10, 6-3 WCC) was led by the duo of Sophia Milo (Portland, Ore.) and Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) who recorded 17 kills apiece. Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) chipped in with 10 kills and two of the team's six service aces.
With two solo blocks in the contest, Rubenstein tied Milo's sophomore-class rally-scoring era record of 22 in a season. The sophomore already holds the freshman class record of 48.
Gonzaga (7-17, 2-7 WCC) was paced by Becky Jones' 12 kills but it was not enough as the Bulldogs saw their two-match conference win streak snapped.
Trailing 4-2 in game one, Pepperdine used a 3-1 run to gain a 7-5 advantage. The lead would reach as many as four, 11-7, before Gonzaga put together a 7-2 run that forced Nina Matthies to burn her first time out with the Waves trailing, 14-13. Pepperdine immediately regained the lead off a pair of Bulldogs miscues and led 20-18 when Nina Baltimore (Seal Beach, Calif.) toed the service line. The defensive specialist served the Waves to six straight points and a 26-18 lead which Pepperdine would never lose.
Pepperdine hit a blistering .429 in taking a 2-0 lead in the match. Milo and Rubenstein proved too much for Gonzaga to handle combining for 14 kills without an error. The two squads battled tough in the early going with nine ties before the Waves broke open game two as Rubenstein and Milo each notched a three kills as Pepperdine gained a 15-11 lead with a 6-1 run. After a Waves' service error, Pepperdine would go on to score seven on the next ten points in going ahead by seven, 22-15. The Bulldogs would score consecutive points for just the third time in the frame to pull within five, 22-17, but the Waves would score eight of the final 12 points in the game.
Gonzaga scored the first two points of game three only to fall behind 7-2 after Pepperdine exploded out on a 7-0 run. Trailing by six, 13-7, the Bulldogs started to climb back into the game with a 4-0 run. A pair of solo blocks by Rubenstein capped a 3-0 Waves' run to up the lead to five, 16-11. In scoring seven of the next 10 points, Gonzaga closed within one, 19-18. A Lumsden kill started what would become a 7-3 Waves' run and a five point, 26-21 advantage. The Bulldogs would score the next three points to pull within two, 26-24, before two Pepperdine blocks and a pair of unforced Gonzaga errors closed out the match.
The Waves will return to Firestone Fieldhouse next week for a pair of pivotal conference matches. Thursday, Pepperdine will host Santa Clara which is tied with the Waves for second in the league standings. The match will be televised by CSTV as part of the Sunday Night Spikes via tape delay. Saturday, San Diego will put its perfect WCC record on the line looking to clinch the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Thursday's match is slated for a 7 p.m. PT first serve, while Saturday's action is slated for a 1 p.m. start.