Aug. 24, 2007
Tucson, AZ - The Saint Mary's Volleyball team started the season with a bang, defeating Eastern Washington in their first match of the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic. The Gaels won in three quick games, by scores of 30-11, 30-27, and 30-24. The starting line-up consisted of four freshman and three sophomores. Freshman Megan York started the match at outside hitter, while freshmen Christy Payne, Shannon Lowell, and Kelly Huston joined her on the floor.
York displayed volleyball skill beyond her years, leading the Gaels in kills with 13, while also adding six digs and two aces. York maintained a high hitting percentage throughout the match ending with 13 kills on 29 swings with only two errors, for a .379 average. Freshman Shannon Lowell was another key contributor throughout the match. Lowell finished with eight kills on 13 swings, while also adding four assisted blocks.
Game one began with freshman Kelly Huston serving nine straight points, including one ace, which forced EWU to call their first timeout of the match. After the break the Gaels continued to keep pressure on their opponent, recording six aces, including two from York. Saint Mary's forced the Eagles to a -.417 hitting percentage, while freshman setter Christy Payne led her team to a .375 hitting percentage following game one. Saint Mary's defeated the Eagles convincingly, ending game one 30-11
Eastern Washington started game two with a quick lead. At one point in the game the Eagles lead by five points over the young Gaels, 7-12. After a timeout by head coach, Rob Browning, Saint Mary's bounced back to tie the game at 14 a piece. Led by York's five kills, Saint Mary's took the lead and never looked back. The Gaels would win the match 30-27.
Saint Mary's began game three with a 3-0 lead. York and Groess contributed five and four kills respectively, while Burton added two kills and three assisted blocks. Freshman Kapua Kamana'o gathered up 13 assists in the game, while Alita Fisher would add seven digs. The Gaels won the game 30-24, sweeping the Eagles in their first match of the season.
The Gaels second match of the tournament will take place at 5:00 P.M this evening, at the McKale Center.