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Volleyball Opens WCC Play

Sept. 24, 2007

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Upcoming Matches:
Thursday - Sept. 27 - GONZAGA (11-4)  at Saint Mary's (8-4), 7 p.m.
Saturday - Sept. 29 - GONZAGA at Santa Clara (8-7), 1 p.m.

Last Week's Results
9/18 at Idaho - W, 3-1

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team begins West Coast Conference action this week as it plays at Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs will face the Gaels on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., and the Broncos on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. Saint Mary's is currently 8-4 on the season, while Santa Clara, who was a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant, holds a 8-7 overall record. 

SAINT MARY'S GAELS: This will be the 42nd meeting between Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College. The Bulldogs hold the slight 22-19 lead in the all-times series. Each team won one match in the two-game series a season ago. In their first meeting of the 2006 season, the Bulldogs earned a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. That win was the first road conference win in 26 matches for Gonzaga; nearly four seasons. The last time GU had earned a WCC road win was during the 2002 season when it also defeated Saint Mary's by the same score.  Saint Mary's currently holds an 8-4 overall record. The Gaels, who have won three-straight, are led by Megan York who is averaging 4.78 kills and 3.67 digs per game.

SANTA CLARA BRONCOS: This will be the 41st meeting between Gonzaga University and Santa Clara University. The Broncos hold the 34-6 lead in the all-times series and have won 24-straight. Santa Clara comes into the contest with a 8-7 record after falling to UNLV 3-0 in its last contest. The Broncos are led by Krista Kelly who is averaging 3.96 kills and 2.04 digs per game.

A LOOK AHEAD: After its matches against the Saint Mary's College and the Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University will welcome WCC opponents Pepperdine University (Oct. 4) and Loyola Marymount University (Oct. 6) to the Martin Centre. GU's match against the Waves will begin at 7 p.m., while its contest against the Lions will start at 1 p.m.

A RECAP OF LAST WEEK: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad played in only one match last week. The Bulldogs, playing in their second-to-last non-conference match, defeated the University of Idaho Vandals 3-1. 

BIG WIN: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team got back on the winning track when it defeated the University of Idaho 3-1 on Tuesday. The Bulldogs came alive after a first-game 30-19 setback to the Vandals to win three-straight (30-27, 30-26, 30-23) and capture the victory. The win was a momentous one for Gonzaga as the Bulldogs had not won on Idaho's court since the 1997 campaign.

NUMBER 11: With Gonzaga University's victory over the University of Idaho on Sept. 18 it improved the Bulldogs record to 11-4 overall. The 11 victories are the most Bulldogs wins in 11 seasons and the most wins this early in the season in 17 years. Gonzaga finished the 1996 campaign with a 13-19 record and finished the 1990 season with a 25-7 record, including a 12-3 mark over the first 15 contests.

BEST START IN 17 YEARS: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad improved to11-4 overall by defeating  the University of Idaho (3-1) on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The 11-4 start for the Zags is the best start since the 1990 season when they came out strong with an 12-3 record.

EIGHT MATCH WINNING STREAK: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team won a school-record eight-straight matches when it defeated Sam Houston State University in the second match of the TCU Tournament. The winning streak started with a 3-0 victory over Morgan State University on Sept. 1 and was broken when they Bulldogs fell to TCU on Sept. 15. The longest winning streak in Gonzaga history had been seven-straight from Oct. 19 through Nov. 5, 1994.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University women's volleyball senior classmates Heather Dunn and Becky Jones earned All-Tournament honors at the TCU Tournament. Dunn earned all-tournament accolades in each of the four tournaments the Zags have participated in, while this is Jones third-straight all-tournament honor.

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.

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.

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 2.80 kills and 1.08 digs per game, along with 11 aces and 21 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 15 matches for Gonzaga. She has three double-digit dig performances to her credit, 10 digs against both  Bowling Green and Northern Colorado and a career-high 12 against Sam Houston State University.

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 41-120 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)