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Volleyball In Washington Tournament

Sept. 6, 2006

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Washington TournamentHosted by the University of Washington - Seattle, WA

FRIDAY - Sept. 8GONZAGA (2-5) vs. University of Maryland-Baltimore County (3-1), 5 p.m.

SATURDAY - Sept. 9GONZAGA vs. North Dakota State University (2-5), 11 a.m.GONZAGA vs. #5 University of Washington (4-1), 7 p.m.

Last Week's Results9/1 - University of Connecticut (L, 3-0)9/2 - Gardner-Webb University (W, 3-0)9/2 - Portland State University (L, 3-1)

TOP STORY: Gonzaga University women's volleyball continues its non-conference slate when it travels to Seattle, Wash., to participate in the University of Washington Tournament Sept. 8-9. The tournament will pit the Bulldogs against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, North Dakota State University and the University of Washington; the defending national champions.

UMBC RETRIEVERS: This will be first meeting between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers. The Retrievers, who are currently 3-1, opened the season going 3-0 after winning the Colgate Invitational. It dropped its last match to Towson University, 3-1. The Retrievers are coached by second-year head coach Ian Blanchard.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE BISON: In its second match of the tournament, Gonzaga University will face the North Dakota State University Bison for the second time in three weeks. The Bulldogs dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to the Bison at the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Kickoff tournament Aug. 26. NDSU is coached by first-year head coach Erin Hinterstocker.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES: In its last match of the tournament, Gonzaga University will face-off against the University of Washington, who are currently ranked 5th in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Huskies, who are currently 4-1 on the season, are the defending national champions. UW's only loss of the season so far is a 3-2 setback to #8 Texas. Washington is led by Christal Morrison and Stevie Mussie, who are averaging 4.29 and 4.47 kills per game, respectively. The Huskies are coached by Jim McLaughlin, in his sixth season at UW.

A LOOK AHEAD: Gonzaga University will welcome Eastern Washington University to the Martin Centre on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. After its tilt with the Eagles, the Bulldogs will partake in the Boise State Tournament on Sept. 15-16. GU will play both Oregon and Boise State at the tournament.

HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura enters his fifth year as Gonzaga University's head coach returns a strong squad for the 2006 season. Yoshimura has compiled a 22-96 record during his first four years with the Bulldogs. A former assistant coach at Gonzaga during the 1992 season, Yoshimura has complied a 273-168 career record which includes nine seasons at Lewis-Clark State College where he guided the Warriors to nine-straight NAIA tournament appearances. A 1990 graduate of Long Beach State University, Yoshimura entered the coaching ranks as a student-assistant on Long Beach State's 1989 NCAA National Championship team.

A FAMILIAR FACE ON THE SIDELINES: Kip Yoshimura has added one new coach to his staff in 2006. Abby Cullen returns to her alma mater as an assistant coach after one season as an assistant coach at Central Washington University. Cullen, a four-year starter for the Bulldogs from 2000-03, ranks in the top 10 in the Zags career record book for block assists (3rd, 341), block solos (3rd, 87), total blocks (3rd, 428), total kills (4th, 1,140), attack attempts (7th, 2,917) and games played (8th, 400). She also holds the single-match record for total blocks in a game with 15 and assisted blocks with 13; both recorded against Portland in 2002.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Outside hitter Becky Jones has started off her junior season strong for Gonzaga University. Jones finished the Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic with 72 kills, 56 digs, three solo blocks, one block assist, three-straight double-doubles and earned all-tournament honors. At the Gonzaga Tournament, she collected 37 kills, 33 digs, four blocks, along with her fourth double-double of the season. Jones currently leads the team in kills (109) and is second in digs (89).

SAME SCHOOL JUST DIFFERENT SPORT: After playing two seasons with the Gonzaga University women's basketball team, sophomore Elaina Renius stepped onto the volleyball court for the Bulldogs for the first time this season. The 6-4 middle blocker was spectacular in her debut. Over the four games at the Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic she collected 50 kills, a team-high .333 hitting percentage, two solo blocks and 10 block assists. Her best game came in a 3-2 heartbreaking loss to North Dakota State University. She finished with career-high 17 kills, a match-high .583 hitting percentage and one block assist.

A STEADY SETTER: Junior Heather Dunn began her second season as the starting setter for Gonzaga University at the Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic. Starting all four matches for the Bulldogs, Dunn finished the tournament averaging 53 assists per game. She dished out a career-high 61 assists in GU's heartbreaking 3-2 loss to South Dakota State to close out the classic. Her previous best was 59 dished out against UC Davis on Sept. 10, 2005. Dunn is currently averaging 11.10 assists per game.

JUMPING RIGHT IN: Layne Brosky and Emily Johnson, both freshman, have jumped right into the Gonzaga University lineup. Brosky, a left-handed hitter, is averaging 2.14 kills per game, while Johnson, an outside hitter, is averaging 2.04 kills per game. Brosky's best match of the season was against North Dakota State where she had 17 kills, a team-high .536 attacking percentage and four digs. Johnson season-best was in a 3-2 victory over Weber State University, where she collected 15 kills, four digs and three total blocks .

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Junior Briawna Mueller and junior Heather Dunn, of Gonzaga University, were both named to the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament team this past weekend.

A MINOR SETBACK: Gonzaga University was looking forward to the tandem star power of junior Becky Jones and sophomore Michelle Boevers this season, but Boevers suffered a season-ending knee injury late this summer. As a freshman, Boevers ranked second on the squad with 296 kills despite missing the final seven matches of the season. She had double-figure kills in 15 of the 24 matches she played in during 2005.

A NEW LIBERO: After two seasons as a starting defensive specialist for Gonzaga University, junior Alecia Douglas is now the starting libero for the Bulldogs. She averaged double-figure digs in each match at the Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic in GU's first weekend of action, including a team-high 20 digs in the Bulldogs 3-2 setback to North Dakota State. The 20 digs is only three off her career-high of 23, collected Oct. 1, 2005 against Portland. On the season, Douglas, who has had double-digit digs in all but one contest this season, is averaging a team-best 3.55 digs per game.

STELLAR PLAYER: Over three contests at the Gonzaga University Volleyball Invitational, junior Briawna Mueller finished with an impressive .449 attacking percentage. On the season, she has 84 kills to her credit, a team-high .346 hitting percentage and a team-best 28 total blocks.

BULLDOGS TABBED 7TH IN WCC COACHES POLL: Gonzaga University's women's volleyball team has been picked to finish seventh in the West Coast Conference this season in a pre-season vote of the conference coaches. Santa Clara University was picked as the unanimous favorite to repeat as West Coast Conference champions in 2006.

Women's Volleyball 2006 Preseason Poll

1. Santa Clara - 64 (8)

2. Pepperdine - 55

3. San Diego - 45

4. Saint Mary¹s - 36

5. Loyola Marymount - 35

6. San Francisco - 27

7. Gonzaga - 17

8. Portland - 9