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Volleyball Hosts San Francisco in Lone Match on Saturday

Oct. 5, 2006

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WHAT'S ON SCHEDULE: The Saint Mary's volleyball team continues its four-match homestand when it hosts San Francisco at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 in its lone match of the week. The Gaels only play one match in a week for the first time this season.

WHO'S HOT: The Gaels' senior setter Mandy Bible had an outstanding week for the Gaels. Bible averaged 10.11 assists, 2.67 digs, 1.56 blocks and 1.67 kills per game in two West Coast Conference matches last week. Bible had an outstanding match when the Gaels beat No. 9 Santa Clara 3-2 on Thursday night. The senior setter just missed recording a quadruple-double as she posted 55 assists, 13 digs, 10 blocks and eight kills. Against No. 25 San Diego two days later, Bible recorded a double-double with 36 assists and 11 digs. Bible also added seven kills and four blocks in a tough 3-1 loss.

SAINT MARY'S VERSUS SAN FRANCISCO: The Gaels are 25-17 all-time against the Dons, including four straight wins against their cross-bay rival. San Francisco comes into the match 16-3 overall, but began WCC play with a 0-2 start last week. The Dons had a 14-match win streak going into last week before the Toreros snapped it on Thursday night.

BLOCKING BATTLE: The Gaels and Dons will square off on Saturday night as the two top teams in the West Coast Conference when it comes to blocking. The Gaels were leading going into last week, but the Dons came out on top of the Gaels this week, averaging 2.94 blocks per game as a team. Saint Mary's is second, averaging 2.89 blocks per game. Santa Clara ranks third with a 2.57 average.

BARKER RANKS SECOND IN BLOCKS: Saint Mary's sophomore middle blocker Brittany Barker ranks second in the WCC in blocks, averaging 1.41 per game. Barker is right behind Carly Babin of San Francisco, who is averaging 1.42 blocks per game to lead the WCC.

CAREER-HIGH FOR KIRK: Saint Mary's senior middle blocker/outside hitter Christina Kirk recorded a career-high 22 kills against No. 9 Santa Clara on Thursday, September 28. Kirk's previous career-high was set earlier this year against when she recorded 19 kills against UC Irvine.

LAST WEEK: Saint Mary's went 1-1 last week in the first weekend of West Coast Conference play. The Gaels had a huge victory over No. 9 Santa Clara. The Gaels fell behind 2-0, but won the next three games to take home a 3-2 victory. Mandy Bible led the Gaels with an unbelievable match, recording 55 assists, 13 digs, 10 blocks and eight kills. Christina Kirk recorded a career-high 22 kills and added 13 digs and six blocks. Brittany Barker and Cassandra Kolkka each added nine kills and Barker had 10 blocks. Taylor Groess added 13 kills in the win.In a tough 3-1 loss to No. 25 San Diego on Saturday, the Gaels were once again led by Bible, who recorded a double-double with 36 assists and 11 digs. Bible also had seven kills and four blocks. Kirk led the team in kills with 15 and Brittany Barker had 12 kills and four blocks. Missie Stidham added 13 digs as libero.

ALUMNI PLAY AGAIN IN MCKEON: Saint Mary's called a list of former players and several supporters of the school to play in its second annual alumni match. The Gaels had another successful tournament as the team played against the 2006 squad. Former players such as Meg Herr (Hauser), Rachel Avilla, Lindsey Bogason, Leslie McKinley, Raechel Parker, Jill Parmele and Suzanne Sarkees made the trip back to McKeon Pavilion.

BIBLE BREAKS ALL-TIME ASSISTS RECORD: Saint Mary's senior setter Mandy Bible broke the school's all-time assist record after recording 110 assists this weekend. Bible now has 4,373 assists in just over three years in a Gael uniform. The senior setter from Santa Barbara, CA broke Tracie Hajdukovich's 15-year-old record. Bible also holds the all-time assists per game record, which stands at 12.73 per game.

THREE FRESHMEN JOIN THE ROSTER: Saint Mary's head coach Rob Browning added three freshmen to this year's team. The Gaels welcome Megan Burton, a 6-2 middle blocker from Kapolei, HI, Lauren Jaeckel, a 6-0 outside hitter from Littleton, CO, and Alita Fisher, a 5-9 libero from Lakewood, WA.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Saint Mary's volleyball team and staff finally returned to McKeon Pavilion to face Sacramento State on September 23. The Gaels spent the first four weeks of the season on the road, which included trips to Alabama and Nebraska.

SAINT MARY'S PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN WCC: The Gaels were picked to finish in fourth place in the WCC by the conference's coaches, released earlier this month. Saint Mary's finished fourth in conference last season with a 9-5 record. Santa Clara was picked to finish in first, receiving all eight votes after making it to the final four last season. Pepperdine was picked to finish second and San Diego was picked third. Following the Gaels, Loyola Marymount was picked fifth, San Francisco sixth, Gonzaga seventh and Portland was picked to finish eighth.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE GAELS: Saint Mary's will hit the road for the first time in West Coast Conference play. The Gaels will face Loyola Marymount on Thursday, October 12 at 7:05 p.m., before traveling to Malibu to face Pepperdine on Saturday, October 14 at 2:05 p.m.