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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps

Nov. 11, 2006

Pepperdine - 3
San Francisco - 1

San Francisco - USF volleyball slowed but could not stop Pepperdine, dropping a 3-1 (30-27, 23-30, 30-20, 30-20) West Coast Conference decision Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Gym on Senior Day. The Dons (21-8, 5-7 WCC) hit an impressive .279 for the match, but the Waves (14-10, 10-3 WCC) were even better at .372.

Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos turned in one of the top performances in her young career, recording a career-high 16 kills on .500 hitting to go along with three blocks. Gombos committed just a pair of errors on 28 swings. Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg recorded a team-high 18 kills with seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin added seven kills and a match-high six blocks, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer added seven kills and eight digs for the Dons.

Senior setter Jamie Kartchner competed in her final home match in the Green and Gold and turned in a strong performance, dishing out 24 assists to go along with six digs. With her 17th assist, Kartchner moved past April Scoggin (2000-03) for second place on the career charts, finishing the night with 3,187.

Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll added 25 assists , four kills and four digs, while junior opposite Linzy Kearney added five blocks and a pair of kills for USF, which held a 9.5-8.0 advantage at the net.

Trailing 1-0 in the match, the Dons turned in one of the best games in school history in the second frame. San Francisco led wire-to-wire, attacking at a remarkable .654 clip with no errors and 17 kills on 26 attempts. After the intermission, the Waves heated up and hit better than .400 in the final two games to seal the victory.

Sophomore outside hitter Julie Rubenstein led three Waves in double-digit kills with 19 kills on .441 hitting, while freshman outside hitter Rachel Lumsden added 17. Senior middle blocker Sophia Milo tallied 15 kills and five blocks for Pepperdine.

USF closes out the 2006 WCC season in the Pacific Northwest, starting Thursday, November 16 at Portland. First serve against the Pilots is set for 7:00 PM in the Chiles Center.

Saint Mary's - 3
Loyola Marymount - 0

Moraga, CA - In a game that saw four seniors play their last game in Mckeon Pavilion, it was a junior who stole the show. Saint Mary's outside-hitter Missie Stidham led the women's volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon. After the win, the Gaels improve to 10-12 overall and 5-6 in West Coast Conference play.

Down 25-20 in game one, the Gaels did not look back as they rallied to take the game 33-31. SMC then ran away from the Lions 30-16 and 30-26.

Stidham finished the day with a double-double. The Fresno native smashed 18 kills, added 12 digs and recorded six service aces. Stidham tallied an even six kills in all three games while her total of 18 led all players.

Senior Cassandra Kolkka nearly rounded off a double-double. The senior tallied 10 kills and nine digs to go along with her four service aces.

Once again the Gaels were terrific at the net. SMC out-blocked LMU 26-5. Seniors Mandy Bible and Christina Kirk led the charge. Bible tallied six block assists while Kirk added five block assists and one solo block.

Freshman Megan Burton also tallied five block assists while sophomore Brittany Barker added four.

Kirk also added nine kills and three digs. Bible rounded off her final home match with 40 assists, two kills and four digs.

The Lions were led by Christianna Reneau. The junior tallied 16 kills and five digs. Heather Hughes followed with nine kills and nine digs.

The Gaels finished the day hitting .286 compared to the Lions' .203. SMC hit .387 in game two and held LMU to just .111 in the game.

Saint Mary's will conclude its regular season in the Pacific Northwest. The Gaels will face the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Thursday, November 16 at 7:05 PM and then head to Portland for a 1:05 PM matinee on Saturday, November 18.

San Diego - 3
Portland - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - On a service error by the University of Portland's Jennifer Sheedy, the 18th-ranked University of San Diego claims the West Coast Conference championship for the second time in three years. USD swept the Portland Saturday afternoon inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion picking up wins of 30-22, 30-15, and 30-21.

With the win, the Toreros move to 22-5 overall, 12-1 in the WCC and have clinched the 2006 WCC Championship. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 8-17 overall and 1-11 in the WCC. On Nov. 26, the Toreros will learn whom they will play and where they will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

"This is a great win for our program, and the girls deserve all the accolades they have gotten this season. This championship is something they deserve," said USD interim head coach Brent Hilliard. "I have to also give credit to Jennifer Petrie. She recruited these kids and deserves as much credit as the team in this championship."

Kristen Carlson recorded a match-best 10 kills in the win as she posted a .381 attacking percentage. Christie Dawson recorded nine kills and Laurel Abrahamson tallied eight kills. Dawson posted a .692 attacking percentage as she committed no attacking errors. Jessica Nyrop posted 33 assists in the win as she helped direct the San Diego offense to a .278 team attacking percentage.

For the Pilots, Jennifer Sheedy had a team-leading nine kills on the afternoon and Kara Pein had 19 assists in directing the Portland offense to a .073 team attacking percentage.

The Toreros dominated in all phases of the match, as in games one, two and three they jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back. Game two was USD's best hitting performance on the afternoon as they posted a .480 team attacking percentage.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday Nov. 18 as they close out their conference play with a 1 p.m. match against Santa Clara University in Moraga, Calif. USD will then close out their regular-season on Tuesday Nov. 21 as they host Cal State Fullerton in a 7 p.m. non-conference match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 3
Gonzaga - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 22 Santa Clara volleyball team continued its winning ways Saturday afternoon, battling its way to a 3-0 (30-27, 30-28, 30-27) sweep of the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Leavey Center. With the victory, the Broncos have now won four in a row with the past three wins coming in three straight games, propelling the team into next weekend's season finale showdown with WCC-leading San Diego.

First serve for next Saturday's match is set for 1 p.m. at the Leavey Center as the Broncos battle the Toreros and look to avenge an earlier 3-0 loss in San Diego. The Senior Day match will also include a pregame ceremony marking the final home match in the SCU careers of seniors Kim McGiven and Megan Pura.

"The match against San Diego is going to be a good test for us, they beat us last time and will test us in a lot of ways, whether we're good enough in execution and tough enough in whether we want it enough," said head coach Jon Wallace. "Our heart will have to come out next weekend in that match."

The SCU attack continued its recent run of marked consistency as the Broncos hit .288 as a team, led by Crystal Matich's 45 assists which contributed to the .448 clip of Anna Cmaylo, who paced the squad with 16 kills and four blocks. Brittany Lowe and Kim McGiven each added 12 kills and seven digs to the effort, while on the back row, libero Caroline Walters made 15 digs to lead the team.

"Our goal right now is to take another step towards next weekend's match against San Diego and get the girls ready to peak for the tournament in a few weeks," head coach Jon Wallace said after the win. "Anna was amazing today as well, its good to see her back swinging with confidence, and connecting with Crystal has given her that. Those two are impressive together."

Santa Clara jumped all over Gonzaga at the outset of game one, running out to a 10-3 lead behind the setting of Matich, who passed out five assists in that span. The Broncos continued to cruise, eventually getting the lead up to eight at 22-14, but at that point the Bulldogs slowly began to creep back into the game.

After trading a few points, the Bulldogsgot kills from Heather Dunn, Elaina Renius, and Emily Johnson to pull to within four at 24-20, and after ceding a point put together another three-point string to close to two at 25-23. Gonzaga pulled to within one at 26-25, and again at 28-27, but kills from Lindsy Evans and then McGiven closed out the game for the Broncos to thwart the Gonzaga rally.

The second stanza started out like the first, with four Evans kills staking the Broncos out to an early 6-2 lead. But the lead wouldn't last long, as the Bulldogs woke up and put together a 9-2 run to take an 11-8 lead, one that they would keep the majority of the game.

Yet they wouldn't keep it the entire way. Behind the play of Cmaylo, who put down eight kills in the second game, SCU inched its way back to even footing, cutting things to one at 16-15 and again at 22-21. Cmaylo's sixth kill of the stretch since it had been 11-8 knotted the game at 24-apiece, bringing SCU even for the first time since the 8-8 mark. From this point the two teams traded the lead twice on the way to 28-28. After an attack error by Gonzaga's Becky Jones gave Santa Clara game point at 29-28, the Broncos stole the final point as Walters got in front of a Renius attempt that had so much force behind it that when dug, it carried over the net and over the Gonzaga back row, giving SCU the 30-28 win and two-game lead.

Still, as the third game got underway the Bulldogs came back with a vengeance, fiercely attacking as their backs were to the wall at 0-2. Paige Dillingham started the game with a pair of aces as Gonzaga jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 10-4, taking control of the frame. The lead continued to swell, getting to nine at 17-8 before the Broncos put together a rally to cut things to four at 18-14.

But Gonzaga stretched things to eight once more, and, behind 23-15, Santa Clara finally found its groove in the third game and, fueled by three kills from Lowe and a couple of blocks from Evans, regrouped to make a 7-0 run that cut the deficit to one at 23-22.

After the teams alternated the next three points with Gonzaga now leading 25-23, Cmaylo and Matich sparked a six-point run with a pair of block assists each, and teaming up for a kill that put Santa Clara at match point at 29-25. Two points later, Cmaylo got the call again and hammered down SCU's fourth consecutive win with her 16th kill of the day.