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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Nov. 16, 2006

Pepperdine - 3
LMU - 0

MALIBU, Calif. - Sophia Milo hit .519, Kristin McClune hit .500 and Kekai Crabbe lead all players with 16 digs as the 25th-ranked Pepperdine women's volleyball team swept cross-town rival Loyola Marymount, 30-21, 30-24, 30-28, on Senior Night in Malibu, Calif.

The victory clinches the Waves (15-10, 11-3 West Coast Conference) second straight second-place finish in the conference and extends the team's current win streak to seven.

"We reached one of our goals tonight which was to go undefeated at home in conference," said head coach Nina Matthies. "After the first half of conference play we had to reevaluate our goals. We wanted to put ourselves in position to be a part of postseason play and I feel like we are doing that now. My team is playing well right now and it is not just one or two players making plays, it is a different person every time."

Pepperdine was paced by senior middle blocker Milo (Portland, Ore.) who recorded a match-high in kills with 16 and in blocks with seven. Sophomore Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) added 15 kills on .406 hitting and senior middle blocker McClune had two kills in her first start of the year.

LMU (17-12, 5-9 WCC) was limited to .185 hitting in the match as Cristianna Reneau posted a team-leading 10 kills but Heather Hughes was limited to minus .045 on 22 swings.

The Waves took control of game one early and following kills from McClune and Rubenstein led 11-7. Pepperdine used a season-high of 21 kills in the opening frame to hit .450 and were able to sideout on 19-of-21 attempts. The Lions hit .265 for the game but were never able to cut into a Waves' lead that reached seven before a 3-1 run to close the set gave the home team a nine-point victory.

Pepperdine continued to have the hot hand early in game two as it raced out to a 5-2 lead. But LMU would settle down and claw its way back into the game before a 5-0 stretch gave the visitors a four-point, 16-12 lead. A Milo kill was followed by a Milo and Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) block of Hughes and a Lumsden kill to tie the game at 16-all as the Lions called timeout. Out of the break, LMU scored four straight points, pushing its lead back to four forcing Matthies to call her final timeout of the game. Lumsden secured the ensuing point for the Waves who capitalized on a pair of Lion hitting errors and a pair of blocks to blow the game open with an 8-0 run en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Lions seemed poised to hand the Waves just their second game lost out of the intermission. LMU took a 5-4 lead and despite Pepperdine's efforts to keep the frame close, the Lions never allowed the Waves to take a lead and built a 20-15 lead. Rubenstein started the Waves final run at completing the sweep with a kill which was followed by a Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) and Milo block of Hughes and Rubenstein completed the 3-0 run with another kill to pull Pepperdine within two, 22-20. After a Lions' kill, Rubenstein went back to work and Milo followed suit, cutting the deficit to one, 23-22. The Waves served into the net to push the LMU lead back to two, 24-22, when Milo rattled off three kills and a solo block, along with a Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) kill, to make up a 5-0 run. The Waves never let the lead go and after LMU fought off consecutive match-point attempts, Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) sealed the deal.

Pepperdine will finish the regular season next week as it travels to UCLA on Monday and hosts Dayton on Wednesday.

"We are looking forward to facing UCLA," noted Matthies. "We are preparing for postseason play and facing the No. 6 team in the country will give us an idea of where we stand this late in the season." The two teams have developed a bit of a rivalry of late as the Waves have won three of the last four matches. First serve at Pauley Pavilion is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT, with the Dayton match slated for a 5 p.m. start two days later.

Saint Mary's - 3
Gonzaga - 1

Spokane, WA - The Saint Mary's volleyball team beat Gonzaga 3-1 on Thursday night in Spokane, WA to avenge an earlier loss this season to the Bulldogs. Saint Mary's won 30-26, 30-26, 24-30, 30-21.

With the win the Gaels improve to 11-13 overal and 6-7 in West Coast Conference play. Gonzaga fell to 8-20 overall and 3-10 in conference action.

Saint Mary's will wrap up conference play on Saturday, November 18 when it faces Portland at 1:05 p.m. in Portland, OR.

Saint Mary's had four players finish in double-figure digs, including one player who tallied a double-double.

Cassandra Kolkka collected a double-double of 10 kills and 15 digs, while Missie Stidham led all players with 18 kills.

Rounding out the Gaels offensive threats were Christina Kirk and Taylor Groess who chipped in 13 and 10 kills, respectively.

SMC setter Mandy Bible dished out 58 assists as the Gaels had 69 total team kills and a .224 attacking percentage. Bible also had 10 digs and nine block assists during the match.

San Francisco - 3
Portland - 0

Portland, OR - USF volleyball collected its 22nd win of the season and third in its last four matches with a 30-28, 30-28, 30-27 sweep of Portland Thursday night in West Coast Conference action at the Chiles Center. The Dons (22-8, 6-7 WCC) dispatch the Pilots (8-18, 1-12 WCC) for the eighth consecutive time and now head to Spokane for a Saturday matinee match where they will attempt to equal the program's all-time wins record of 23, set during the 2003 campaign.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg led the way for the Dons offensively, with a match-high 16 kills to go along with five digs and a pair of blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos enjoyed another strong night, with 12 kills on .360 hitting and added three blocks (one solo).

With her 13th assist of the night, senior setter Jamie Kartchner moved into sole possession of second place on the USF career assists book, finishing the night with a team-high 22 and 3,209 so far during her three years in the Green and Gold. Kartchner passed April Scoggin (2001-03), who tallied 3,199. Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll added 19 assists and seven digs for the Dons.

Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded five kills and nine digs, while freshman outside hitter Anna Berger added four kills and seven digs. Junior opposite Linzy Kearney and sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin each added four kills and a block for San Francisco.

Freshman libero Haley Carroll tallied a team-high 15 digs to go along with three aces and now needs just six digs to become only the second player in program history to surpass 500 in a season (Maurer, 546 in 2005).

USF hit .217 for the match and limited the Pilots to a .197 clip. Both teams recorded 46 kills, while Portland held a 57-53 digs advantage and a 8.0-4.0 blocks edge.

San Francisco needed a furious late rally in game one. The Dons trailed 26-20 and then 28-23 in the opener. A kill from Babin, a service ace by Haley Carrol brought the Dons to within three at 28-25, forcing a Pilot timeout. After a kill from Berger, the Pilots committed back-to-back attack errors to tie the match at 28-28. A Hasselberg kill followed by a service ace from Haley Carroll, who served six consecutive points, capped the improbable comeback. Hasselberg led the Dons offensively with eight kills in the set.

USF broke out of a 12-12 tie and edged out to a 22-18 lead and maintained just enough cushion to hold off the Pilots who would not tie the score again before the intermission. The Dons hit at a .308 clip, led by six kills from Gombos, four from Hasselberg.

Portland opened up a 25-19 lead in game three before sputtering once again offensively. USF put together a 11-2 run, fueled by a pair of kills from Kearney and Hasselberg combined with four Pilot miscues.

San Francisco closes the 2006 WCC campaign Saturday afternoon at Gonzaga. First serve against the Bulldogs is set for 1:00 PM at the Martin Centre.