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WCC Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes 9-5

Sept. 5, 2006

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WCC Player of the Week

Crystal Matich, Santa Clara
The junior setter helped the Broncos to a 2-0 showing in Notre Dame's Shamrock Invitational, dishing out 14.16 assists per game in the tournament. Matich set Santa Clara to a .423 hitting percentage in its win over Valparaiso, adding six kills and two aces. The Santa Rosa native repeated the performance against then-No. 21 Notre Dame, recording 48 assists and dropping in three aces and helping the Broncos hit at a .391 clip.Santa Clara has yet to lose a single set in 2006, sweeping each of their five opponents and winning two tournament titles. Matich leads the conference in assists, tossing up 208 in 15 games for a 13.86 average.

Upcoming Games

Sept. 5
Cal St. Fullerton at LMU - 7:00 PM

Sept. 7
15Santa Clara at Texas - 4:30 PM
16Montana at Portland - 7:00 PM
17Saint Mary's at Long Beach St. - 7:30 PM

Sept. 8
18San Francisco vs. Syracuse - 9:00 AM
16Cornell at Portland - 12:00 PM
19San Diego vs. Wyoming - 12:00 PM
15Santa Clara vs. Missouri - 2:00 PM
18San Francisco at Sacramento St. - 2:30 PM
20Gonzaga vs. UMBC - 5:00 PM
22Pepperdine vs. American - 5:00 PM
17Saint Mary's vs. Idaho - 5:00 PM
19San Diego at New Mexico St. - 6:00 PM
21UC Irvine at LMU - 7:00 PM
16High Point at Portland - 8:00 PM

Sept. 9
18San Francisco vs. UC Riverside - 10:00 AM
19San Diego vs. Idaho St. - 10:30 AM
20Gonzaga vs. North Dakota St. - 11:00 AM
22Pepperdine vs. Colorado St. - 12:00 PM
21Southern Methodist at LMU - 12:30 PM
20Gonzaga at Washington - 7:00 PM
22Pepperdine at Cal - 7:00 PM
17San Francisco vs. W. Kentucky - 7:00 PM
21Nevada at LMU - 7:30 PM
16Texas-Pan American at Portland - 8:00 PM

Tournament Key
15 Texas Tournament; 16 Nike Portland Invitational; 17 Long Beach St. Invitational; 18 Sacramento St. Invitational; 19 Hilton Las Cruces Classic; 20 Washington Tournament; 21 LMU Classic; 22 Golden Bear Invitational

Around the WCC

Scouting the Competition
The competition got tougher in the second week of the season for the WCC schools. With all eight teams in tournament action, the conference posted a record of 13 wins and eight losses over the past week. The WCC teams faced five ranked opponents last week, including two matches against No. 1 Nebraska. So far in 2006, conference teams have posted a 2-6 record versus ranked opponents, with Santa Clara earning both wins. The WCC currently holds winning records against 13 different conferences this season, including a 5-1 advantage over Big West Conference teams.

Bring Out the Brooms
With its two sweeps over the weekend, No. 6 Santa Clara extended its winning streak to five matches. So far this season, the Broncos have been perfect in the win-loss column, earning all of their victories in three straight sets. Along with Santa Clara, four other WCC teams recorded a 3-0 win last weekend, giving the conference 17 wins by way of three-game sweeps this season.

Polling Rank
After two weeks of play, the WCC teams' rankings have shifted in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Poll. Undefeated Santa Clara garnered a No. 4 ranking in the latest poll. Pepperdine improved its standing as well, moving up one spot to No. 18, after taking on tough competition in then-No. 7 Hawai'i. San Diego suffered due to the success of previously unranked teams like BYU, LSU and Cal Poly, dropping out of the poll. Overall, the rankings were shaken up, with just No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 Penn State remaining in their original positions.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-5 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Zags posted a 1-2 record last week as the host of the Gonzaga Invitational.

- Juniors middle blocker Briawna Mueller and setter Heather Dunn earned all-tournament team honors.

- Mueller averaged 11 assists per game along with 2.7 digs per game, while Mueller slammed home 3.8 kills per game and recorded 14 blocks for the weekend.

- In Gonzaga's win over Gardner-Webb, junior outside hitter Becky Jones posted a double-double, notching 12 kills and 15 digs in the sweep.

- The Zags continue tournament play this week in Seattle at the Husky Classic where they face UMBC (9/8), North Dakota St. (9/9) and host No. 5 Washington (9/9).

Loyola Marymount (4-2 / 0-0 WCC)
- LMU co-hosted the LMU/USC LAX Invitational last week, compiling a 2-1 record with wins over Fresno State and North Carolina.

- Junior opposite Heather Hughes racked up 46 kills, 33 digs and 10 aces over the three games, including a 22-kill, 21-dig performance in a 3-1 win over the Tar Heels.

- Lions sophomore outside hitter Emily Day recorded her fourth double-double of the season in a 3-1 loss to then-No. 11 Tennessee.

- With eight team blocks and 60 digs, LMU held the Lady Vols to a .184 hitting percentage for the match.

- Next, the Lions play Cal State Fullerton (9/5) before hosting the LMU Classic this weekend, taking on UC Irvine (9/8), Southern Methodist (9/9) and Nevada (9/9).

Pepperdine Waves (2-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves put together a near-perfect weekend, dropping one match to No. 8 Texas, before downing Long Island and Cal Poly.

- Senior middle blocker Sophia Milo posted 49 kills on the weekend, hitting at a .396 clip and posting 15 blocks, including two solo blocks, which moved her to ninth on the Pepperdine all-time list.

- The Waves handed Cal Poly its first loss of the season, clinching a 3-2 victory with a Milo solo block in game five.

- Joining Pepperdine Classic MVP Milo on the all-tournament team was sophomore outside hitter Julie Rubenstein, who recorded a double-double against the Longhorns.

- The Waves look to earn a winning record for the first time this season this weekend at No. 17 Cal's Golden Bear Invitational.

Portland Pilots (2-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- Portland kicked off its season last week, posting a 2-3 record against Washington State, Ohio, Liberty, Morehead State and Davidson College.

- Although they were swept by then-No. 15 Ohio, the Pilots outblocked the Bobcats and hit at a respectable .255 clip.

- Junior outside hitter Nicole Thometz paced Portland last week, averaging 3.63 kills per game.

- Senior libero Murphy McClenahan and sophomore middle blocker Ashley Grayson led the defense for the Pilots, with McClenahan averaging 4.05 digs per game and Grayson posting 10 blocks.

- This weekend, Portland hosts the Nike Invitational featuring Montana, Cornell, High Point and Texas-Pan American.

Saint Mary's Gaels (3-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels dropped three straight matches at the Nebraska Labor Day Tournament, including two consecutive five-game losses to Long Beach State and Middle Tennessee.

- Senior middle blocker Christina Kirk led the defense, averaging one block per game in the tournament.

- With 14 kills and nine digs, junior outside hitter Missie Stidham led Saint Mary's in a loss to Nebraska.

- Junior setter Mandy Bible helped the Gaels push Long Beach State to five games with a double-double, recording 57 assists and 18 digs.

- Saint Mary's looks to bounce back this weekend at the Long Beach State Invitational.

San Diego Toreros (5-2 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Toreros posted an even 2-2 record last week, dropping matches to No. 1 Nebraska and Michigan while picking up two wins at the UC Irvine Invitational.

- The loss to the Cornhuskers marks the first time San Diego has been swept in the regular season since November 22, 2003.

- Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson earned all-tournament team honors in Lincoln after helping the Toreros pull out two five-game victories.

- The return of senior outside hitter Kristen Carlson to the court for San Diego in 2006 has produced excellent results. Carlson posted three double-doubles this week, giving her season averages of 5.36 kills and 3.03 digs per game.

- Next, San Diego travels to New Mexico State for the Hilton Las Cruces Invitational.

San Francisco Dons (4-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Dons improved to 4-1 in 2006, sweeping their own Powerade/Asics Classic with wins over San Jose State and UC Santa Barbara.

- Tournament MVP Kristin Hasselberg recorded back-to-back double-doubles over the weekend, averaging 5.33 kills and 2.89 digs per game.

- Junior Brynn Maurer had a successful weekend after making the switch from libero to outside hitter for the Dons. Maurer recorded a career-high 16 kills along with 11 digs on the way to her first double-double in the win over UCSB.

- In the second week of her collegiate career, freshman libero Haley Carroll had another successful showing, recording career-highs of 26 digs and four aces during the tournament.

- The Dons hit the road again this week, traveling north for the Sacramento State Invitational.

Santa Clara Broncos (5-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara remained undefeated last week, sweeping Valparaiso and No. 21 Notre Dame at the Shamrock Invitational in South Bend.

- Junior setter Crystal Matich earned WCC Player of the Week honors, averaging 14.16 assists per game in setting the Broncos to a .406 overall hitting percentage for the tournament.

- Playing the minimum 15 games through five matches, Santa Clara has yet to lose a single set this season.

- Recording 14 kills and 11 digs against the Fighting Irish, senior outside hitter Kim McGiven notched her first double-double of the season.

- This weekend should be a test for the Broncos, who travel to the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational to face host No. 7 Texas (9/7) and No. 15 Missouri (9/8).