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Volleyball Hosts Santa Clara, Saint Mary's

Oct. 23, 2007

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Upcoming Matches:

GONZAGA (15-8, 3-4 WCC) vs. Santa Clara (14-9, 6-1 WCC), 7 p.m.

GONZAGA vs. Saint Mary's (11-8, 3-4 WCC), 5 p.m.

Last Week's Results
10/18 at San Francisco - W, 3-1
10/20 at #16 San Diego - L, 3-2

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of the Martin Centre this week as it welcomes two West Coast Conference foes. The Bulldogs will host Santa Clara University on Thursday at 7 p.m., and then hit the courts against Saint Mary's College Saturday at 5 p.m.

SANTA CLARA BRONCOS: This will be the 42nd meeting between Gonzaga University and Santa Clara University and the second meeting of the season. The Broncos defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season by the score of 3-0 and have now won 25-straight; dating back to the 1995 season. The 2005 and 2006 meetings at Gonzaga were both five-game matches, with the Broncos prevailing 3-2 in each. Santa Clara comes into the contest with a 14-9 overall mark and a 6-1 record in WCC action. The Broncos lone loss of the WCC season was a 3-0 setback at the University of San Francisco. SCU is led by reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week Krista Kelley who is averaging a team-best 3.96 kills per game, along with 2.37 digs per game.

SAINT MARY'S GAELS: This will be the 43rd meeting between Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College and the second meeting of the season.The Gaels defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season 3-0 but GU still holds the 22-20 lead in the all-time series. Saint Mary's currently holds an 11-8 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the West Coast Conference. Leading the way for the Gaels is Megan York who is averaging 4.80 kills, 3.58 digs and 0.76 blocks per game.

A RECAP OF LAST WEEK: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad split two matches this past week. The Bulldogs earned a 3-2 victory at the University of San Francisco, before dropping a heartbreaking 3-2 decision at #16 University of San Diego. Gonzaga now holds a 15-8 overall record and a 3-4 mark in conference. 

THE FIRST HALF OF CONFERENCE PLAY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team closed out the first half of West Coast Conference play with a 3-4 record. The Bulldogs defeated the University of Portland, the University of San Francisco and Loyola Marymount University. The 3-4 record is the best start in conference play since the 2001 campaign when GU also started out 3-4 over the first seven WCC matches.

ROAD WIN: When Gonzaga University women's volleyball squad defeated the University of San Francisco 3-2 on the road Oct. 18 is was only the third West Coast Conference road win in Kip Yoshimura's six-year tenure. The Bulldogs defeated Saint Mary's College on the road in 2002 and again in 2006.

NINE SWEEPS: With its sweeping victories over Eastern Washington University and the University of Portland two weeks ago, 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.

15 VICTORIES: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team won its 15th match of the season when it defeated the University of San Francisco on Oct. 18. The 15 wins are the most victories for the Zags since the 1994 campaign when GU closed out the season at 17-12.

A LOOK AHEAD: After its home matches against Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College, Gonzaga University hits the road for West Coast Conference contests at Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University. The Zags will face LMU on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and Pepperdine on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.

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.

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 hit the 100 career solo block mark with her two in the win. Mueller currently has has 503 total career blocks to her credit; 41 shy of the Gonzaga career record held by Lisa Petticord (544). She also has 396 career block assists and is only 13 block assists away from breaking the Bulldog career record held by Lisa Petticord (408).

13 DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Gonzaga University volleyball senior Heather Dunn tallied her 12th and 13th double-doubles of the season this past weekend. In the Zags 3-2 victory at the University of San Francisco Oct. 18, Dunn finished with 58 assists and 13 digs. She followed that performance up with a 56 assists, 15 dig outing in GU's heartbreaking 3-2 loss at the University of San Diego.

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 second in total blocks (503) and block assists (396) and is third in block solos (107). Senior Becky Jones is second in total attempts (3,877) and fourth in kills (1,361) and eighth in digs (1,032), while classmate Alecia Douglas is fifth in digs (1,113) and seventh in service aces (104). Heather Dunn is also third in total assists (3,491). 

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.

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. 

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 second on the squad in total kills with 257.

HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura enters his sixth year as  Gonzaga University's head coach. Yoshimura has compiled a 45-123 record during his first five plus years with the Bulldogs. A former assistant coach at Gonzaga during the 1992 season, Yoshimura has complied a 297-196 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)