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WCC Volleyball Weekly Notes

Aug. 28, 2007

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WCC TEAMS ENJOY STRONG START TO THE 2007 SEASON

West Coast Conference teams fared very well in the opening weekend of play, posting a combined 16-6 record (.727) and collecting three tournament titles. Highlighting last weekend's action was Saint Mary's capturing the Four Points University Plaza Classic with a thrilling 3-2 win at Arizona, Santa Clara claiming the Boise State Invitational with a sweep over the host Broncos, and Pepperdine taking home the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational. San Diego also impressed in its debut, recording a 3-0 win at then-No. 19 Long Beach State. The win propelled the Toreros up to No. 12 in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches poll, while Santa Clara climbed to No. 19 after its 3-0 weekend. The WCC's combined 16-6 mark is an improvement upon last season's strong opening start that saw WCC teams combine for a 14-7 record through the first weekend of play.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

San Diego sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot is the West Coast Conference Player of the Week after leading the 12th-ranked Toreros to a season-opening sweep over then-No. 19 Long Beach State this past week. DeGroot led all players with her career-high 17 kills on 36 attack attempts, while only posting three errors to post a .389 attack percentage. DeGroot also recorded 10 digs to pick up her first career double-double. This is DeGroot's first WCC Player of the Week honor of her career.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Aug. 28
San Diego vs. Fairfield - 5:00 PM

Aug. 29
Gonzaga vs. Washington State - 7:00 PM

Aug. 31
8 Santa Clara vs. North Carolina State - 7:00 AM
9 Portland vs. Wyoming - 11:00 AM
8 Santa Clara vs. Georgia Southern - 2:00 PM
10 San Diego vs. Stanford - 3:00 PM
11 Pepperdine vs. Nevada - 5:00 PM
12 Gonzaga vs. Washington - 7:00 PM
9 Portland at UC Irvine - 7:00 PM
13 Loyola Marymount vs. Northwestern - 7:00 PM
14 San Francisco vs. Oral Roberts - 7:00 PM

Sept. 1
11 Pepperdine vs. Lipscomb - 10:00 AM
10 San Diego vs. Ohio - 11:00 AM
14 San Francisco vs. Colgate - 11:00 AM
8 Santa Clara at Florida - 12:30 PM
12 Gonzaga vs. Morgan State - 1:00 PM
13 Loyola Marymount vs. UC Santa Barbara - 12:30 PM
9 Portland vs. Toledo - 5:00 PM
12 Gonzaga vs. Boise State - 7:00 PM
13 Loyola Marymount vs. UNLV - 7:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Cal State Bakersfield - 7:00 PM
14 San Francisco vs. E. Washington - 7:00 PM
11 Pepperdine vs. Arizona - 7:30 PM

Sept. 2
10 San Diego at Minnesota - 11:30 AM
Saint Mary's at Fresno State - 2:00 PM

8 Florida Tournament; 9 UC Irvine Tournament; 10 Minnesota Tournament; 11 Asics Classic; 12 Gonzaga Tournament; 13 LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic; 14 USF Powerade/Asics Classic

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Among The Elite Volleyball Conferences In The Country
Over the last five seasons, the West Coast Conference has established itself as one of the premier women's volleyball conferences in the country. For the second consecutive season and the third time in the last four years, the WCC owned a national top five RPI.

WCC RPI Rankings
2006 - 5th
2005 - 4th
2004 - 6th
2003 - 4th
2002 - 7th

WCC In The NCAA Tournament
WCC volleyball teams are no stranger to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, since 1997, the WCC has sent at least three teams each year into the postseason, totalling 37 teams. In the past five seasons alone, the WCC has sent 21 teams into the NCAA Tournament with a conference record six teams advancing to the postseason in 2003.

How Sweet It Is
Last season, San Diego advanced to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals, marking the sixth consecutive season that the WCC was represented in the Sweet Sixteen, and the eighth time in the last nine years.

WCC Sweet Sixteen Teams
2006 - San Diego
2005 - Pepperdine and Santa Clara (NCAA Final Four participant)
2004 - Saint Mary's and San Diego
2003 - Pepperdine
2002 - Pepperdine
2001 - Pepperdine
1999 - Pepperdine
1998 - Pepperdine

WCC TEAM NOTES

Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga opened the season at the Ruby's Montana Invitational, posting a 2-1 record. The Bulldogs defeated both Canisus College and host University of Montana 3-0, and fell to tournament champion UC Irvine, 3-1.

- It was the first Bulldogs season-opening win since the 2001 campaign, while their 2-1 record is their best start to a season since the 1997 campaign when GU opened up with a 2-1 mark.

- Senior Heather Dunn and junior Elaina Renius were both named to the Ruby's Montana All-Tournament team. Dunn closed out the tournament averaging 12.10 assists, 1.80 kills, and 3.20 digs per game, while Renius averaged 4.20 kills and 0.70 blocks per game along with .507 attacking percentage.

- Gonzaga hosts in-state rival Washington State (8/29) before hosting Washington (8/31), Morgan State (9/1), and Boise State (9/1) in the Gonzaga Volleyball Tournament.

Loyola Marymount (1-2 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions posted a 1-2 record at the Trojan Invitational, beating Michigan State, 3-1, but falling to St. John's and host USC by 3-0 margins.

- Senior Heather Hughes was brilliant in the Lions' win over Michigan State, hammering down a team-high 23 kills, on a .311 hitting percentage, to go along with a game-high 18 digs. Hughes, who ranked second in the WCC in double-doubles last season with 20, also notched a double-double versus USC with 15 kills and 10 digs.

- Freshman setter Renee Horton enjoyed a stellar start to her career, posting double-doubles in her first two matches. Horton handed out 28 assists to go along with 13 digs versus St. John's before dishing out 56 assists and collecting 10 digs in LMU's win over Michigan State.

- The Lions host Northwestern (8/31), UC Santa Barbara (9/1) and UNLV (9/1) in the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic.

Pepperdine Waves (2-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves opened the season with a 2-1 record at the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational. Pepperdine defeated Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech, before falling to the host Razorbacks, 3-2, in the championship match.

- Sophomore Kiah Fiers directed the Pepperdine attack with 33 assists and set the Waves to a blistering .431 hitting percentage versus Pittsburgh.

- Senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts and junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein were named to the all-tournament team. Rubenstein registered a double-double in all three matches, highlighted by a 25-kill, 22-dig effort versus Arkansas. Roberts averaged 3.42 kills per game, while leading the Waves with a .398 hitting percentage.

- The Waves return to Malibu to host Nevada (8/31), Lipscomb (9/1), and Arizona (9/1) in the Asics Classic this weekend.

Portland Pilots (2-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Pilots posted a 2-1 record at the Baden Cougar Challenge, downing Northern Colorado and South Dakota State, but falling to host Washington State.

- Five players reached double figures in kills for Portland in the Pilots win over Northern Colorado. Sophomore Maria Clemens, freshman Jessica Clemens, and senior Kara Pein had double-doubles for the Pilots. Maria had 14 kills and 10 digs, while Jessica finished with 11 kills and 18 digs. Pein racked up 50 assists and 17 digs in the winning effort.

- The Pilots used a balanced attack over the weekend, with five players on the team averaging 2.27 kills per game or more.

- The Pilots travel to the UC Irvine Tournament where they will take on Wyoming (8/31), the host Anteaters (8/31), and Toledo (9/1).

Saint Mary's Gaels (3-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels captured the Four Points by Sheraton University Plaza Wildcat Classic, sweeping Eastern Washington and Utah State, before defeating Arizona, 3-2, in the championship match.

- Freshman outside hitter Megan York was named the Arizona Tournament MVP in her first weekend as a Gael. York tallied a team-high 48 kills in the first weekend of competition, while also contributing another team high, 46 digs. York never left the floor in all three matches, averaging 4.36 kills and 4.18 digs per game.

- Sophomore middle blocker Megan Burton was also named to the all-tournament team, posting 21 kills over the weekend, while also contributing a team-high 20 blocks.

- Saint Mary's continues its season-opening road trip, playing at Cal State Bakersfield (9/1) and at Fresno State (9/2).

San Diego Toreros (1-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Toreros opened the season with an impressive 3-0 win at then-No. 19 Long Beach State.

- San Diego was led by sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot and senior Laurel Abrahamson. Degroot recorded a career-high 17 kills to go along with 10 digs for her first career double-double. For her efforts, she earned her first career WCC Player of the Week honor. Abrahamson was a force as well, picking up 14 kills on 21 attempts to post a match-best .571 attacking percentage

- The win at Long Beach State catapulted the Toreros up three spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll to No. 12.

- San Diego preps for a busy week as the Toreros host Fairfield (8/28) before taking on No. 2 Stanford (8/31), Ohio (9/1), and Minnesota (9/2) at the Minnesota Tournament.

San Francisco Dons (2-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- USF posted a 2-1 record at the 2007 Husky Invitational to open the season. The Dons defeated Cal State Northridge, 3-2, and swept Fresno State, but fell to host Washington.

- Senior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded the 1,400th dig of her career with her final tally against Fresno State. Maurer, USF's career digs leader, moved past Pepperdine's Carolyn Hueth (1,371) for sole possession of seventh place on the WCC's career list and now needs just five digs to move past former Waves standout Christine Hinds (1,404) for the sixth spot.

- Junior middle blocker Carly Babin enjoyed a strong tournament for the Dons, averaging a team-high 3.64 kills on .325 hitting to go along with 1.09 blocks per game.

- USF welcomes Oral Roberts (8/31), Colgate (9/1), and Eastern Washington (9/1) to War Memorial Gym for the fourth annual USF Asics/Powerade Challenge.

Santa Clara Broncos (3-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara swept its way to the Boise State Invitational title, defeating Cal State Fullerton, Texas-San Antonio, and the host Broncos in three games.

- Sophomore Lindsy Evans walked away with tournament Most Valuable Player honors after racking up 47 kills in three matches. Evans, who averaged a team-high 5.22 kills per game over the weekend, registered a solid .365 hitting percentage for the tournament.

- Senior setter Crystal Matich joined Evans on the all-tournament team. Matich, who finished the tournament with 126 assists for a 14.00 assists per game average, guided the Broncos to a .325 hitting percentage for the tournament. In addition, the Broncos limited their opponents to a 0.76 attack percentage.

- Santa Clara heads to Florida this weekend to take on North Carolina State (8/31), Georgia Southern (8/31), and Florida (9/1) at the Florida Invitational.