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WCC Volleyball Recaps

Oct. 11, 2007

San Diego - 3
Pepperdine - 0
MALIBU, Calif. -
The Pepperdine and San Diego women's volleyball teams played three close games on Thursday night, but the #17-ranked Toreros won each of them, 30-28, 30-27, 30-26, in a West Coast Conference match at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Pepperdine (11-5, 3-1 WCC) was the last unbeaten team in the conference, but San Diego (11-5, 3-1) matched the Waves in the standings with the victory.

The Waves were led by junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS), who had 17 kills, but she was the only Pepperdine player in double-figures. Rubenstein and freshman defensive specialist Kealohilani Kea (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS) each had 13 digs and sophomore setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) had 44 assists.

The Toreros had a balanced attack with five players collecting at least eight kills, including 16 by sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot and 12 by senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson.

The match was part of the "Dig for the Cure" series, where dozens of collegiate volleyball teams across the nation are hosting matches to collect donations and pledges to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the fight against breast cancer. Both teams wore pink warmup tops and a presentation was made during the intermission between games two and three. For those who pledged per dig, both teams recorded 53 for the match.

Pepperdine will be back at home on Saturday (Oct. 13) to face San Francisco at 1 p.m. while the Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they travel to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount in a 1 p.m. match.

The Waves got off to a strong start in game one, going on an early 6-0 run to take a 7-1 lead. The Toreros kept it close, however, and finally tied the match at 27-27. After a Pepperdine point, USD scored the next three to claim game one on an Abrahamson kill, a Torey Ellick block and a Wave setting error. Rubenstein had eight kills for the Waves in game one, while Ali Troost had six for the Toreros.

Hitting errors plagued the Waves early in game two as the Toreros got out to a 9-3 lead, with five points off Pepperdine miscues. A timeout seemed to be the cure, as the Waves scored the next five points (with two kills and a block by Rubenstein) to get the score back to 9-8. A 6-0 run a little later by the Waves gave them their first lead of game two at 18-17. With the score later tied at 22-22, the Toreros scored the next four points and went on to win game two as well.

San Diego was up 10-5 in game three, but an 8-0 Wave run, fueled by three block assists by senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury HS) and two service aces by junior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS), turned it into a 13-10 lead for Pepperdine. Tied 16-16, Pepperdine scored four straight points, two on kills by Chamberlain, to go back up 20-16. San Diego went on a 7-2 run of their own to regain the lead at 23-22, as Erin Wiskar had a kill, an ace and two block assists. Tied 23-23, the Toreros rattled off another three points in a row to go up 26-23, and the Waves got no closer than two points the rest of the way.

Overall, San Diego hit .255 and Pepperdine hit .212.

Loyola Marymount - 3
San Francisco - 1
Playing at home for the first time in over a month, Loyola Marymount volleyball halted the hot play of West Coast Conference foe San Francisco, topping the Dons 3-1 (30-22, 25-30, 30-25, 30-24) in WCC action Thursday. LMU improved to 10-7 on the season and 2-2 in conference play, while San Francisco, who had entered the match winning four of its last five, fell to 13-7 and 2-2.

The Lions, who participated in the Dig for the Cure effort Thursday night, finished with 66 digs, including a career-high 24 from freshman libero Whitney Leonard. Watch for the Dig for the Cure fundraising total to be announced this weekend at LMULions.com.

The Lions held San Francisco to just a .189 team hitting percentage en route to the 30-22 victory in game one. USF took its first timeout after the Lions pulled ahead 17-13. But the break only added fuel to LMU's fire, as the Lions continued to roll to a 24-15 advantage. Led by Christianna Reneau, who hit 4-for-4 on the frame, the Lions closed it out 30-22 to go up 1-0.

San Francisco came out looking to even things in game two and had a six point lead halfway through the frame at 16-10. A pair of kills by Renee Horton kept the Lions within four at 19-15. Horton then served the Lions back in the game, forcing a USF timeout when LMU tied the score at 20. On a roll, Emily Day posted three straight kills as the Lions went up 22-20, but San Francisco battled back and eventually went up 25-22. Day and Erin Downey teamed up on a block to make it 25-23. But USF went on to win 30-25 to head to the break with the match tied 1-1.

LMU volleyball took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 30-25 win in the third game. National kill leader Heather Hughes had seven kills in the set to lead the Lions, despite the team hitting just .175.

Game four saw senior Ashley Dutro make her first appearance of the season after being sidelined with an ankle injury since opening day. Dutro had injured her ankle during the warm-up period of the Lions' first match of the season. Though the Lions trailed 12-10 in the frame, Dutro served the Lions to six straight points that featured kills by Day and Downey. Soon, LMU was up 21-15. A kill by senior Jania Motton made it 23-20 LMU, and USF took a timeout trailing by four at 24-20. Motton and Horton combined on a block that put the Lions up five at 25-20. Day's 13th and 14th kills of the night gave the Lions game point and then the match after a 30-24 win.

It was a huge blocking night for the Lions, as LMU out-blocked USF 16 to 12. Downey led all players and finished with a career-high nine blocks and eight kills. Day and Motton each added six blocks of their own.

Hughes led all players with 18 kills and made it a double-double with 13 digs.

Haley Carroll had a match-high 30 digs to lead San Francisco.

The Lions next host 17th-ranked San Diego this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. LMU Athletics will retire the jersey of Lion great Sarah Noriega prior to the WCC match-up, so come early and be a part of LMU history in Gersten Pavilion.

The match will also be carried on Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network at LMULions.com.