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Volleyball Hits The Road

Oct. 17, 2007

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Upcoming Matches:

GONZAGA (14-7, 2-3 WCC)
at San Francisco (13-8, 2-3 WCC), 7 p.m.

GONZAGA at #16 San Diego (14-5, 4-1 WCC), 1 p.m.

Last Week's Results
10/9 at Eastern Washington - W, 3-0
10/13 vs. Portland - W, 3-0

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team continues its West Coast Conference schedule with matches at the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego, currently ranked 16th in the nation. The Bulldogs will face off against the Dons on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., while their matchup against the nationally ranked Toreros is set for Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO DONS: This will be the 41st meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of San Francisco. The Bulldogs hold the 24-16 lead in the all-time series and swept the last meeting between the two schools. The Dons had won eight-straight matches, over a span of five seasons, before Gonzaga closed out the 2006 campaign with a 3-0 win to break the streak. San Francisco, who is currently 13-8 overall and 2-3 in the West Coast Conference, are led by Kristen Hasselberg and Sarah Mandala. Hasselberg is averaging 3.92 kills and 1.69 digs per game,while Mandala is averaging 3.19 kills and 1.51 digs per contest.

SAN DIEGO TOREROS: This will be the 41st meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego. The Toreros hold the 31-9 lead in the all-time series and have won 25-straight over the Bulldogs. San Diego, who comes into the match ranked 16th in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 poll, holds a 14-5 overall record in 2008, including a 4-1 mark in West Coast Conference action. The Toreros are led WCC Player of the Week Laurel Abrahamson. Abrahamson is averaging 3.78 kills, 1.11 blocks and 0.75 digs per contest for San Diego.

A RECAP OF LAST WEEK: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad earned two victories last week. The Bulldogs closed out their non-conference slate with a 3-0 sweep of Eastern Washington University. The Zags followed that performance up with a 3-0 sweep of West Coast Conference foe the University of Portland. With the two victories, Gonzaga improved its overall record to 14-7 and 2-3 in conference.

NINE SWEEPS: With its sweeping victories over Eastern Washington University and the University of Portland last week, the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team has now won nine matches by sweeping its opponents. It is the first time since 1994 that the Bulldogs have swept nine matches and only the fifth time in school history they have had nine or more sweeps in a season.

14 VICTORIES: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team won its 14th match of the season when it defeated the University of Portland on Oct. 13. The 14 wins are the most victories for the Zags since the 1994 campaign when GU closed out the season at 17-12.

WINNING ON ITS OPPONENTS COURT: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team broke two momentous records this season when it defeated the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University. The 3-1 win on the Vandals court was the first victory on their court since the 1997 campaign. The 3-0 sweep of the Eagles, also on their court, was the Zags first win on the EWU's court since the 1994 season and only the fifth-ever sweep over EWU. The last time Gonzaga swept Eastern Washington was Oct. 19, 1994.

A LOOK AHEAD: After its matches against the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego, Gonzaga University will return to the Martin Centre to host Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College. The Zags will face SCU on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. and SMC on Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.

HITTING THE 100 MARK: Senior Briawna Mueller had a strong all-around performance for Gonzaga University in its 3-0 win over the University of Portland on Oct. 13. The middle blocker had 10 kills in the victory and a match-high .421 hitting percentage, along with three digs, five block assists and two solo blocks. Mueller, who now has 479 total career blocks to her credit, hit the 100 career solo block mark with her two in the win. Mueller also has 379 career block assists and is only 30 block assists away from breaking the Bulldog career record held by Lisa Petticord (408).

11 DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Gonzaga University volleyball senior Heather Dunn tallied her 10th and 11th double-doubles of the season this past weekend. In the Zags 3-0 victory at Eastern Washington University Oct. 9, Dunn finished with 35 assists and 11 digs. She followed that performance up with a 45 assists, 12 dig outing in GU's 3-0 win over the University of Portland.

MOVING UP THE RECORD BOOKS: Multiple Gonzaga University women's volleyball players have continued to move up the ranks in the Bulldog career record book this season. Senior Briawna Mueller is currently third in total blocks (479), block solos (100) and block assists (379). Senior Becky Jones is second in total attempts (3,782) and fourth in kills (1,325), while classmate Alecia Douglas is sixth in digs (1,074) and seventh in service aces (102). Heather Dunn is also third in total assists (3,377). 

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 the 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 participated in this season, while this was 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 Canisius 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.

CAREER NIGHT: Junior Elaina Renius had a career night against the University of Idaho Sept. 18. The Gonzaga University middle blocker finished the contest with 20 kills; a career-high. Renius is currently first on the squad in total kills with 235.

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. Gametracker for selected away matches are also available. Check out gozags.com for all Gametracker links. 

HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura enters his sixth year as  Gonzaga University's head coach. Yoshimura has compiled a 44-122 record during his first five plus years with the Bulldogs. A former assistant coach at Gonzaga during the 1992 season, Yoshimura has complied a 296-195 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)