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WCC Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes 9-12

Sept. 12, 2006

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WCC Player of the Week

Heather Hughes, Loyola Marymount
A junior opposite, Hughes led the Lions to a 4-0 week, downing Cal State Fullerton before sweeping their three games in the LMU Classic for the tournament win. The Classic MVP racked up 47 kills and 37 digs in 10 games during the tournament. Hughes hit at a .343 clip last week, recording 4.69 kills, 3.85 digs and .92 aces per game. The Lions beat previously undefeated Cal State Fullerton 3-0, with Hughes notching the first of her four double-doubles of the week. The Fallbrook, Calif. native had her best match against UC Irvine, chalking up 19 kills and 14 digs on .405 hitting in a 3-1 win over the Anteaters. In the final two matches of the Classic, Hughes dropped in 10 aces, including six against SMU.

Upcoming Games

Sept. 12
Eastern Washington at Gonzaga - 7:00 PM
Oregon at Portland - 7:00 PM
UC Davis at San Francisco - 7:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Jose St. - 7:00 PM

Sept. 14
23UC Santa Barbara at San Diego - 7:00 PM
24 Santa Clara at Stanford - 7:00 PM
$USC at Pepperdine - 7:30 PM

Sept. 15
25 LMU vs. Jacksonville - 1:00 PM
24 Saint Mary's vs. UC Irvine - 5:00 PM
28 San Francisco at Marquette - 5:00 PM
26 Gonzaga vs. Oregon - 6:00 PM
23Ohio at San Diego - 7:00 PM

Sept. 16
25 LMU vs. Florida A&M - 7:00 AM
23Brown at San Diego - 10:00 AM
27 San Francisco vs. Stony Brook - 10:30 AM
26 Gonzaga at Boise St. - 11:30 AM
24 Santa Clara vs. UC Irvine - 12:00 PM
28 Portland vs. Texas-Pan American - 3:00 PM
25 LMU at Miami - 4:30 PM
27 San Francisco vs. Manitoba - 4:30 PM
24 Saint Mary's at Stanford - 5:00 PM
Purdue at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM
24 Santa Clara vs. Georgetown - 7:00 PM
23Wisconsin at San Diego - 7:00 PM

Sept. 17
28 Portland at Nevada - 12:00 PM

Tournament Key
23 San Diego Tournament; 24 Stanford Invitational; 25 Hurricane Invitational; 26 Boise State Tournament; 27 Marquette Challenge; 28 Circus Circus/Molten Invitational; $ televised on ESPNU

Around the WCC

WCC at Center Stage
The night of September 14 marks the 2006 debut of WCC volleyball on television, with No. 20 Pepperdine hosting No. 9 USC on ESPNU. The Southern California rivals meet for the 41st time, with the Women of Troy holding a 32-8 advantage. The Waves, however, look to repeat their win that knocked USC out of the NCAA Tournament in the teams' last meeting. First serve for the match is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Winning Ways
The WCC teams continued their successful preseason in week three, taking two tournament titles and one second place finish. San Francisco and LMU both scored tournament wins, while No. 20 Pepperdine went 2-1 to finish second in the Cal Golden Bear Invitational. All in all, conference squads compiled a record of 18-7 last week while placing eight players on all-tournament teams.

Rank and File
Although Santa Clara dropped four spots in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Poll with its first loss this week, the Broncos are still ranked No. 8 in the nation. Pepperdine, previously ranked 18th, dropped to No. 20. Although both teams fell in the rankings, San Francisco and San Diego moved closer to entering the poll. Both squads received votes this week, with the Dons garnering 24 and the Toreros 19. Nebraska, Penn State and UCLA held on to the top three spots in the poll, while Michigan and Kansas State both entered the top 25.

Competitive Edge
Conference teams continued tough preseason schedules against ranked opponents last week. Overall, the WCC has posted a 3-9 record against ranked teams, with Santa Clara recording all three wins. Both Pepperdine and the Broncos have faced ranked squads at least three times, while San Diego and Saint Mary's both played at No. 1 Nebraska. WCC squads have posted winning records against 18 different conferences this season, including an 8-2 record against the Big West and a 5-1 record against the Big Sky.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (3-7 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Zags downed UMBC before dropping back-to-back matches to North Dakota State and then-No. 5 Washington.

- Junior Becky Jones posted her fifth double-double of the season against UMBC, tallying 10 kills and 20 digs in the win.

- Sophomore outside hitter Elaina Renius added 14 kills and two solo blocks in the sweep, helping Gonzaga to out-block the Retrievers eight to 3.5.

- The Bulldogs lost to North Dakota State in five games for the second time in two weeks, but had four players with double-digit totals in kills and assists.

- This week, Gonzaga hosts Northwest rival Eastern Washington before heading to the Boise State Tournament to face Oregon (9/15) and the host Broncos (9/16).

Loyola Marymount Lions (8-2 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions won their own LMU Classic after sweeping Cal State Fullerton September 5, finishing the week 4-0.

- Heather Hughes earned MVP honors with her 47 kills, 37 digs and 10 aces in the tournament. Along with MVP accolades, Hughes took home the conference player of the week award after averaging 4.69 kills and 3.85 digs per game last week.

- Christianna Reneau and newcomer Ashley Dutro joined Hughes on the all-tournament team. Reneau averaged 3.5 kills in the tournament, while Dutro dished out 115 assists, setting LMU to a .265 hitting percentage for the weekend.

- The Lions handed Cal State Fullerton (8-1) its first loss of the season, a 3-0 sweep.

- The Lions wrap up tournament play this week at the Hurricane Invitational in Miami, Fla.

Pepperdine Waves (4-4 / 0-0 WCC)
- Pepperdine continued its tough preseason schedule, taking second place at the Golden Bear Invitational with wins over American and Colorado State and a loss to the host, then-No. 13 Cal.

- Kekai Crabbe nabbed all-tournament, defensive standout honors in Berkeley after averaging 4.4 digs per game.

- Along with Crabbe, Sophia Milo earned all-tournament honors for her .366 hitting percentage and three kills per game at the invitational.

- Rachel Lumsden chipped in as well, averaging 13 points per match last weekend.

- Pepperdine hosts two ranked opponents this week, matching up with No. 9 USC on ESPNU at 7:30 PM Thursday and No. 14 Purdue on September 16.

Portland Pilots (5-4 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Pilots finished the weekend with a winning record as host of the Nike Invitational.

- Portland downed three of its four opponents last week, dropping just one match to Cornell, 3-1.

- Ashley Grayson and Murphy McClenahan led the Pilots, earning spots on the all-tournament team. The two teamed up to power the defense with McClenahan contributing 5.67 digs per game, and Grayson averaging 1.53 blocks per game.

- Freshman Maria Clemens has provided a spark for Portland, recording her third double-double of the season against High Point.

- Next, the Pilots host Oregon (9/12) before taking next weekend off.

Saint Mary's Gaels (4-4 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels went 1-1 last week, dropping a decision to Long Beach State in three games and picking up a win over Idaho at the Long Beach State Invitational.

- Senior middle blocker Christina Kirk notched her first double-double of the season against Idaho and recorded a .688 hitting percentage.

- The Gaels dropped their second-straight match to the 49ers after losing in five games at the Nebraska Labor Day Tournament on September 2.

- Sophomore Taylor Groess led Saint Mary's in the loss, recording a career-high 14 kills while hitting at a .385 clip.

- The Gaels face UC Irvine (9/15) and the host Cardinal (9/16) at the Stanford Invitational this week.

San Diego Toreros (7-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Toreros put together a 2-1 record at the Hilton Las Cruces Classic, recording just one loss on the weekend to host New Mexico State.

- Christie Dawson and Kristen Carlson teamed up again to lead the Toreros, earning all-tournament honors. Dawson averaged 4.33 kills and hit at a .376 clip, while Carlson posted a 5.44 kills per game average.

- Laura Murphy and Laurel Abrahamson chipped in 11 kills apiece in USD's win over Idaho State.

- The Toreros have posted a 7-3 record away from home so far this season, including a 2-2 record on visitor's courts.

- San Diego gets back into action as host of the USD Invitational, taking on UCSB (9/14), No. 16 Ohio (9/15), Brown (9/16) and No. 11 Wisconsin (9/16).

San Francisco Dons (8-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Francisco dispatched all four of its opponents at the Sacramento State Invitational last week, including 2005 Big Sky champion Sacramento State, en route to a 4-0 record for the weekend.

- Kristin Hasselberg, the tournament MVP, averaged 4.27 kills and .73 blocks per game in helping the Dons to their second straight tournament title.

- San Francisco's 8-1 overall record garnered them 24 votes in the CSTV/AVCA Poll this week.

- Brynn Maurer and Alix Gombos joined Hasselberg on the all-tournament team, while sophomore setter Darcy Carroll posted two double-doubles last weekend.

- Up next, the Dons travel to Milwaukee, Wis. for the Marquette Challenge.

Santa Clara Broncos (6-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Broncos suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of then-No. 7 Texas before bouncing back to beat then-No. 15 Missouri.

- In the loss, Santa Clara dropped its first sets of the season. Prior to the meeting with the Longhorns, SCU had not lost a single set in its first five matches.

- Recording his 162nd win against Missouri, Head Coach Jon Wallace tied Mary Ellen Murchison (1978-1988) for the most wins by a Santa Clara women's volleyball coach.

- Kim McGiven notched her second double-double of the season with 21 kills and 14 digs to lead the Broncos against the Tigers.

- Santa Clara returns to the Bay Area this week, playing at San Jose State (9/12) before heading to the Stanford Invitational to face the Cardinal (9/14), UC Irvine (9/16) and Georgetown (9/16).