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WCC Women's Volleyball Season Opens Friday

Aug. 27, 2009

Complete Release

2009 SEASON OPENS THIS WEEKEND
After a highly successful 2008 season in which five WCC teams made it to the postseason, the 2009 campaign gets underway this weekend. This week, the WCC will get off to a challenging start as five of the teams will take on a total of seven nationally ranked opponents. Defending conference champion San Diego, ranked 15th, will take on No. 23 Long Beach State and No. 2 Texas. Santa Clara, ranked 20th, takes on No. 9 UCLA and No. 7 Hawai'i. Rounding out the matches against ranked opponents are Pepperdine against No. 24 Colorado State, Saint Mary's against No. 6 Cal, and San Francisco against No. 14 Oregon.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, AUGUST 28
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
TOURNAMENT
Saint Mary's vs. UConn Reno, NV
2:00 PM
Marriot Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational
Gonzaga vs. Utah Valley Ogden, UT
4:00 PM
Weber State Tournament
Loyola Marymount vs. Grambling State Forth Worth, TX
4:30 PM
TCU Tournament
Portland vs. Montana St. Pullman, WA
4:30 PM
Nike Cougar Invitational
Pepperdine at No. 24 Colorado State Fort Collins, CO
6:00 PM
Colorado State Asics Classic
San Diego at No. 23 Long Beach State Long Beach, CA
7:00 PM
Long Beach State Baden Classic
San Francisco at No. 14 Oregon Eugene, OR
7:00 PM
Oregon Tournament
Santa Clara vs. No. 9 UCLA Honolulu, HI
8:00 PM
Hawai'i Invitational
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
Tournament
Gonzaga vs. Utah State Ogden, UT
10:00 AM
Weber State University Tournament
Portland vs. UC Davis Pullman, WA
10:00 AM
Nike Cougar Invitational
Loyola Marymount vs. Arkansas Fort Worth, TX
11:00 AM
TCU Tournament
San Francisco vs. Missouri State Eugene, OR
12:00 PM
Oregon Tournament
Pepperdine vs. Cal Poly SLO Fort Collins, CO
3:30 PM
Colorado State Asics Classic
Saint Mary's vs. No. 6 California Reno, NV
4:30 PM
Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational
San Francisco vs. Eastern Washington Eugene, OR
4:30 PM
Oregon Tournament
Gonzaga at Weber State Ogden, UT
6:30 PM
Weber State University Tournament
Loyola Marymount at TCU Fort Worth, TX
7:00 PM
TCU Tournament
Portland at Washington State Pullman, WA
7:30 PM
Nike Cougar Invitational
Santa Clara at No. 7 Hawai'i Honolulu, HI
10:00 PM
Hawai'i Invitational
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine vs. Oregon State Fort Collins, CO
10:30 AM
Colorado State Asics Classic
Saint Mary's at Nevada Reno, NV
1:00 PM
Marriot Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational
Santa Clara vs. Western Michigan Honolulu, HI
2:00 PM
Hawai'i Invitational
San Diego vs. No. 6 Texas Long Beach, CA
4:00 PM
Long Beach State Baden Classic

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Player of the Week
Each week, the West Coast Conference will select a Player of the Week based on the previous week's performances. WCC women's volleyball Player of the Week selections will begin on Monday, August 31. For more information about WCC women's volleyball, log on to WCCsports.com.

Two WCC Teams Ranked Among The Nation's Best
Two West Coast Conference women's volleyball teams open the season ranked in national preseason polls, with three more receiving votes. All five teams are returning from an appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament. The University of San Diego came in at No. 15 in the AVCA poll and 16 in the Volleyball Magazine poll, while Santa Clara University ranked 20th in Volleyball Magazine and 25th in the AVCA poll. Pepperdine receiveed voes in both polls, while Saint Mary's and San Francisco gathered votes on the AVCA poll.

WCC Among the Elite Volleyball Conferences in the Country
Over the last six seasons, the West Coast Conference has established itself as one of the premier women's volleyball conferences in the country. Over the past six seasons, the WCC has owned a national top five ranking in the RPI four times. In 2008, the WCC had one of its best seasons ever tying for a conference high with the fourth best NCAA RPI ranking in the country.

WCC In The NCAA Tournament
WCC volleyball teams are no strangers to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, since 1997, the WCC has sent at least three teams each year into the postseason, totaling 45 teams. Last year was no different as Pepperdine, Saint Mary's San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara all made the tournament. In the past five seasons alone, the WCC has sent 20 teams into the NCAA Tournament with a conference record six teams advancing to the postseason in 2003.

Five Teams in 2008 NCAA Tournament
The WCC has placed five teams in last year's NCAA Tournament, which marked the highest percentage of teams from any conference in the country to make it to the tournament. It tied the highest number of WCC team since the conference sent a record six teams in 2003. It also marked the 13th year in a row that the WCC has sent at least three teams to the tournament.

Welcome Back
All eight WCC teams return several key players in 2009. In all, the WCC returns six All-WCC first team members and nine of the 14 players who earned All-WCC honorable mention. The returning first team All-WCC members include: Megan Burton (SMC), Amy DeGroot (USD), Kapua Kamana'o (SMC), Shannon Lowell (SMC), Sarah Mandala (USF), and Ali Troost (USD).


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 0-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Zags will be returning five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team for first Year Head Coach Dave Gantt.

  • Among the notable returners will be Denise Van de Mortel who led the league in assists last season with 1,206 in just her first year as a Zag. Her total placed her eighth in both the all-time single season and career assists list at Gonzaga.

  • Also returning is Michelle Boevers, who will be returning as the team's leader in kills and Layne Brosky, who was an All-WCC honorable mention last year.

  • The Bulldogs face five different teams that made a trip to last year's NCAA Tournament.

  • Gonzaga opens the season at the Weber St. Tournament against Utah Valley (8/28), Utah State (8/29) and Weber State (8/29).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Lions return five starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's squad.

  • With no seniors on the team this year, the Lions will look for leadership from Ariana Covington, who made the All-WCC freshmen team and was second on the team in kills, and Becky Stehling, an All-WCC honorable mention, who led the team in hitting percentage.

  • Loyola Marymount plays one of the toughest schedules in the conference this year, as 12 of its matches are against teams that made an appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament.

  • Head Coach Steve Stratos ranks 49th among active coaches with 372 career victories.

  • The Lions open the season at the TCU Tournament against Grambling State (8/28), Arkansas (8/29), and TCU (8/29).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves, picked second in the WCC preseason poll, return five starters and six letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 20-8 overall.

  • Though the Waves have just one senior on the team, they return three players from the All-WCC freshman team in Stevi Robinson, who was the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, Kim Hill, the 2008 WCC Freshman of the Year, and Lilla Frederick. Pepperdine also has the 12th ranked recruiting class accoriding to prepvolleyball.com.

  • In addition, Pepperdine welcomes back Kiah Fiers, a three-time All-WCC honoree and fifth on the school's career assists list, and Rachel Lumsden, a two-time All-WCC honorable mention and the school's career leader in aces per set.

  • Pepperdine starts the season at the Colorado State Asics Classic against Colorado State (8/28), Cal Poly (8/29), and Oregon State (8/30).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots return four starters and eight letterwinners overall from last season's squad.

  • Headlining the list of returners for Portland are Jessica Clemens, Kaylyn Jones, and Danielle Dupar. Clemens will return as the team's leader in kills, while Jones led the team in digs and Dupar led the team in assists.

  • The Pilots added Sara Reilly to the coaching staff in the Spring. Reilly played at Eastern Washington and professionally for Club Volibol Laredo in Cantabria, Spain.

  • Portland also welcomes back 2008 All-WCC freshman member Marissa Plummer.

  • The Pilots tip off the season at the Nike Cougar Invitational and will take on Montana State (8/28), UC Davis (8/29), and Washington State (8/29).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels received one first place vote to place third in the WCC preseason poll.

  • Saint Mary's returns five starters and eight lettwerwinners from a team that played in last season's NCAA Tournament.

  • The Gaels return three members from last year's All-WCC team in Megan Burton, Shannon Lowell, and Kapaua Kamana'o, the most of any team in the conference.

  • Burton ranks third (.299) and Lowell ranks fifth (.295) on the school's all-time career hitting percentage list, while Kamana'o ranks sixth (2,216) on the career assists list.

  • Saint Mary's opens the season at the Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational, taking on Connecticut (8/28), California (8/29), and Nevada (8/30).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Toreros enter the season ranked No. 15 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll and first in the conference preseason poll with seven first place votes for a total of 49 points.

  • The Toreros return five starters and 10 letterwinners, including 2008 WCC Player of the Year Amy DeGroot, who led the team in kills and was third in the conference (4.22). Also returning is Ali Troost, a member of last year's All-WCC team, and Torey Ellick, who led the team in hitting percentage.

  • San Diego has posted a 60-10 (.857) record during conference play the last five seasons, while capturing four WCC titles.

  • San Diego opens the season at the Long Beach State Baden Classic and will face Long Beach State (8/28) and Texas (8/30).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Dons return three starters and six letterwinners from last year's NCAA Tournament team.

  • Highlighting the list of returnees for San Francisco are Sarah Mandala, a member of last year's All-WCC team, and Haley Carroll, an All-WCC honorable mention. Mandala currently ranks fourth on the school's career kills average list (3.52), while Carroll ranks second on the career digs list (1,563).

  • Head Coach Gilad Doron has accomplished a lot in his first two years with the program, compliling a 39-12 (.659) overall record and leading the Dons to their best WCC finish (2nd) in 2008 as well as the team's second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

  • USF opens the season at the Oregon Tournament, taking on host Oregon (8/28), Missouri State (8/29), and Eastern Washington (8/29).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara enters the season ranked No. 20 in the Volleyball Magazine preseason poll.

  • The Broncos return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that made it to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament and ended the year ranked 25th nationally.

  • Santa Clara returns All-WCC honorable mention, Lindsy Davigeadono, and Tanya Schmidt, a member of last year's WCC All-Freshman team. Davigeadono ranks eighth on the school's all-time career assists list (1,558).

  • The Broncos turned in the 11th best recruiting class according to prepvolleyball.com.

  • The Broncos begin the season at the Hawai'i Invitational and will take on UCLA (8/28), Hawai'i (8/29), and Western Michigan (8/30).