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Volleyball Ready for TCU Tournament

Sept. 12, 2007

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Texas Christian Tournament
Hosted by Texas Christian University - Forth Worth, Texas

GONZAGA (8-3)  vs. Alcorn State (0-6), 3:30 p.m.

GONZAGA vs. Sam Houston (3-4), 9:30 a.m.
GONZAGA vs. Texas Christian (10-1), 6:00 p.m.

Last Week's Results
Comcast Lobo Invitational
9/7 - vs. Bowling Green - W, 3-2
9/7 v s. Northern Colorado - W, 3-0
9/8 vs. New Mexico - W, 3-2

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team will play in its fourth and final tournament of the season when it participates in the Texas Christian University Tournament Sept. 14-15. The Bulldogs will face Alcorn State University on Friday, Sept. 14 at 3:30 p.m. and then play both Sam Houston State University (9:30 a.m.) and TCU ( 6 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 15.

ALCORN STATE BRAVES: This will be the first meeting between Gonzaga University and Alcorn State University and the fifth first-time meeting for the Bulldogs this season. The Zags currently hold a 3-1 edge against first-time opponents in 2007. Alcorn State comes into the Texas Christian University Tournament with a 0-6 record. The Braves are led by Ashlyn Holmes who is averaging a team-best 1.48 kills per game, along with 1.86 digs per game. Alcorn State, members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, is coached by Yolanda Brown who is in her third year with the Bears.

SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS: This will be only the second meeting between Gonzaga University and Sam Houston State University. Sam Houston State won the only meeting between the two schools by the score of 3-0 during the 1996 season. The Bearkats come into the Texas Christian University Tournament with a 3-4 record and are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the SMU Mustang Classic. SHSU is led by Cynthia Yarotsky who is averaging 3.68 kills and 3.78 digs per games. The Bearkats are coached by Brenda Gray in her 24th year at Sam Houston State.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS: When Gonzaga University and Texas Christian University meet at the TCU Tournament it will be the first-ever meeting between the schools. TCU comes into the tournament with an impressive 10-1 record and an eight-match winning streak. The Horned Frogs only loss of the 2007 campaign is a 3-1 setback to Florida State. TCU is led by Lauren Otto who is averaging 3.67 kills and 3.02 digs per contest. The Horned Frogs are coached by Prentice Lewis who is in her seventh year at TCU.

BEST START IN 17 YEARS: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad improved to 8-3 overall by defeating Bowling Green State University (3-2), the University of Northern Colorado (3-0), and host New Mexico University (3-2) to claim the Comcast Lobo Invitational. The 8-3 start for the Zags is the best start since the 1990 season when they came out strong with an 8-1 record.

TOURNAMENT WIN: Matching up against the University of New Mexico, whose only loss of the 2007 season was against a Top-25 team, did not scare the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team. The Bulldogs took a hard-fought 3-2 (23-30, 30-27, 31-29, 30-22, 15-13) victory over the Lobos to win the Comcast Lobo Invitational hosted by New Mexico. It was the first tournament victory in two seasons for GU. The Bulldogs last won a tournament in 2005 when they claimed the Over the Mountain Invite. 

MVP, MVP: Senior Heather Dunn, of the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team, was named the Comcast Lobo Invitational Most Valuable Player after dishing out a season-high 64 assists, along with collecting eight digs in the decisive 3-2 win over New Mexico to claim the championship. In the three tournaments the Zags have participated in this season, Dunn has been named to each all-tournament squad.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Along with Gonzaga University senior Heather Dunn, who was named Most Valuable Player of the Comcast Lobo Invitational, senior Becky Jones and sophomore Layne Brosky both garnered all-tournament accolades.

ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE: Gonzaga University women's volleyball player Elaina Renius tallied 19 kills, seven solo blocks and two block assists versus the University of New Mexico. The seven solo blocks is tied for the second most blocks in a single-match in GU history. Renius also had seven solo blocks against Saint Mary's in 2006.

SIX-STRAIGHT: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squads heads in the TCU Tournament with a six-match winning streak. The last time the Bulldogs won six or more straight was during the 1994 campaign when they strung together seven-straight victories, including six-straight West Coast Conference wins.

FIVE SWEEPS TO START THE SEASON: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team first five wins of the season were each 3-0 victories. It is the first time in program history that the Zags first five wins of the season have been sweeps and the first time since the 1997 campaign they have had five total sweeping victories.

SECOND PLACE: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team defeated Boise State University 3-0 (30-26, 30-22, 30-26) to earn second place in the Bulldog Volleyball Tournament. The Zags, who rebounded from a first-match loss in the tournament to win their next two, placed two players on the All-Tournament team; seniors Heather Dunn and Becky Jones.

RUBY'S MONTANA TOURNAMENT: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team got off to a great start in 2007 finishing the Ruby's Montana Invitational with 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. Both Elaina Renius and Heather Dunn were named to the All-Tournament team.

OPEN THE SEASON WITH A W: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep of Canisius College to open its 2007 season. It was the first Bulldogs season-opening win since the 2001 campaign when they defeated Boise State University 3-1. It also was the first Zag season-opening sweep since the 1999 when they defeated Whitworth 3-0.

A STAR RETURNS: Outside hitter Michelle Boevers returned to the court for Gonzaga University for the first time in nearly a year and a half. Boevers, who redshirted 2006 season with a knee injury, seems to have jumped in exactly where she left off. The sophomore is averaging 2.71 kills and 1.12 digs per game, along with nine aces and 18 blocks.

NEWCOMER MAKES HER MARK: Gonzaga University women's volleyball freshman Allyson Powell has made an immediate impact on the Bulldogs' squad. Powell has played in all 11 matches for Gonzaga. She has two double-digit dig performances to her credit, 10 digs against both  Bowling Green and Northern Colorado.

LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University women's volleyball home matches are available via Gametracker on the internet at www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga website for all Gametracker links.

HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura enters his sixth year as  Gonzaga University's head coach. Yoshimura has compiled a 38-119 record during his first five plus years with the Bulldogs. A former assistant coach at Gonzaga during the 1992 season, Yoshimura has complied a 282-188 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.

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. Pepperdine University was selected as the favorite to capture the 2007 WCC regular season title. The Waves garnered five first place votes and tallied 61 overall points to earn the top spot.

Women's Volleyball 2007 Preseason Poll
1. Pepperdine - 61 (5)
2. San Diego - 52 (1)
3. Santa Clara - 50 (1)
4. Loyola Marymount - 37
5. San Francisco - 30
6. Saint Mary's - 27 (1)
7. GONZAGA - 23
8. Portland - 8
(First place votes)