Sept. 18, 2006
WEST AUXILIARY GYM, Missoula, MT
Gonzaga (4-9) vs. University of Montana (3-6, 1-0 BSC)
Last Week's Results
9/12 - Eastern Washington University (W, 3-2)
9/15 - *vs. University of Oregon (L, 3-0)
9/16 - *vs. Boise State University (L, 3-0)
* Boise State Tournament
TOP STORY: Gonzaga University women's volleyball plays its last non-conference road match when it travels to Missoula, Mont., for a contest against the University of Montana. The match-up with pit the Bulldogs against former Gonzaga assistant coach Jerry Wagner, now the head coach with the Grizzlies. Wagner was an assistant coach with the Bulldogs during the 2005-06 season.
MONTANA GRIZZLIES: This will be the 31st meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of Montana. The Grizzlies hold a 21-9 lead in the all-time series and have won the last two matches. Montana currently holds a 3-6 overall record and are 1-0 in the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies, who defeated Montana State 3-1 in its last contest, are led by Claudia Houle who is averaging 4.73 kills and 4.00 digs per game.
A RECAP OF LAST WEEK: Gonzaga University finished 1-2 for the week, having defeated Eastern Washington University 3-2, before falling to both the University of Oregon and Boise State University 3-0 at the Boise State Tournament.
BREAKING A STREAK: Gonzaga University's 3-2 victory over Eastern Washington University on Tuesday, Sept. 12 broke a 15-match losing streak to the Eagles that dated back to the 1996 season. The last time the Bulldogs had defeated the Eagles was on Oct. 1, 1996 when they earned a 3-1 victory. With Eastern Washington leading 2-1 in last week's match, Gonzaga won the final two games to earn the five-game victory and break the streak.
A LOOK AHEAD: After its match against the University of Montana, Gonzaga University has a week between contests to prepare for West Coast Conference action. GU hits the court again on Thursday, Sept. 28 when it plays at WCC member Pepperdine at 7 p.m.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Gonzaga University sophomore Elaina Renius was the strength behind the Bulldogs impressive 3-2 victory over Eastern Washington University on Sept. 12. Renius finished with a match and career-high 19 kills, a match-high .533 attacking percentage, along with two assists, one solo block and two block assists. On the season, Renius leads the team in attack percentage (.321) and solo blocks (15) and is second in total kills (130) and block assists (30).
DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Outside hitter Becky Jones has had a strong start to her junior season for Gonzaga University. Jones has accumulated seven double-doubles this season, including three-straight to close-out the Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic Aug. 25-26. At the Washington Tournament, Jones finished with double-doubles in two out of the Bulldogs three matches. She currently has 21 career double-doubles.
A STEADY SETTER: Junior Heather Dunn began her second season as the starting setter for Gonzaga University in 2006. She has dished out 30 or more assists in all 13 Bulldog matches this season. Dunn has broke her career-high assists two times this season. She dished out a then career-high 61 assists in GU's heartbreaking 3-2 loss to South Dakota State and bested that when she passed out 62 assists in a 3-2 loss to North Dakota State on Sept. 9. Her previous best was 59 dished out against UC Davis on Sept. 10, 2005. Dunn is currently averaging 11.41 assists per game.
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 four matches this season, is averaging a team-best 3.33 digs per game.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University junior Becky Jones earned Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic all-tournament honors, while junior Briawna Mueller and junior Heather Dunn were both named to the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament Team.
HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura, who 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.
CAREER-HIGHS: Multiple Gonzaga University players have broken personal career-highs this season. Junior Megan Thompson collected a career-high 15 digs against Weber State. Junior Briawna Mueller served-up a career-high five aces against Weber State and collected a career-high nine digs against UMBC. Junior Alecia Douglas had a career-high four service aces against Gardner-Webb. Sophomore Francis Garcia tallied a career-high 10 digs at South Dakota State. Sophomore Tianna Tuatagaloa finished with a career-high 11 kills and four aces against North Dakota State. Sophomore Paige Dillingham had a career-high 12 digs against North Dakota State.
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.
LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home matches will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links.