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Bulldogs Host Portland Pilots

Nov. 2, 2006

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SATURDAY - NOV. 4 - 1 p.m.


University of Portland (8-14, 1-8 WCC) vs. GONZAGA (7-17, 2-7 WCC)

Last Week's Results

10/26 - vs. Loyola Marymount (W, 3-2)

10/28 - vs. Pepperdine (L, 3-0)

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team closes out a three-game homestand this weekend when it welcomes the University of Portland to the Martin Centre for a West Coast Conference matchup. The Bulldogs host the Pilots on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.

PORTLAND PILOTS: This will be the 43rd meeting between Gonzaga University and the University of Portland and the second meeting this season. The Pilots earned a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs on Oct. 7. Gonzaga holds a 27-15 lead in the all-time series, but Portland has won the last two matches. The Pilots currently hold an 8-14 overall record and a 1-8 record in the West Coast Conference. Portland, who have lost six-straight, are led by Nicole Thometz who is averaging 3.29 kills and 2.83 digs per game.

A RECAP OF LAST WEEK: Gonzaga University continued its West Coast Conference season with home matches against Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University this past week. Gonzaga began the week with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Loyola Marymount and then dropped a 3-0 decision to Pepperdine. The Bulldogs currently hold a 7-17 overall record and are 2-7 in conference.

ANOTHER STREAK DOWN: It is safe to say that the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team has a knack for breaking streaks this season. First the Bulldogs broke a 15-match losing streak to Eastern Washington on Sept. 12, then ended a 10-match losing streak to Idaho on Oct. 3, and followed that up with winning their first road West Coast Conference match in 31 matches against Saint Mary's on Oct. 21. Oct. 26 was no different. Gonzaga broke a 27-match losing streak to Loyola Marymount University that dated back to the 1992 season when it came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the visiting Lions 3-2 (26-30, 30-26, 22-30, 30-24, 16-14).

BACK-TO-BACK WINS: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team won back-to-back West Coast Conference matches for the first time since the 2002 season when it defeated both Saint Mary's College (10/21) and Loyola Marymount University (10/26) by the score of 3-2. The last time the Bulldogs pulled of this feat they defeated San Francisco University and Saint Mary's by the exact same score in 2002.

A LOOK AHEAD: After its match against the University of Portland, Gonzaga University will close out its West Coast Conference road slate when it plays at the University of San Diego and at Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs face USD on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and SCU on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.

FIRST WCC WIN OF THE SEASON: Behind 2-1 against Saint Mary's College, the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team fought back and won the final two games to earn a 3-2 (17-30, 30-25, 28-30, 31-29, 5-12) come-from-behind victory on Saturday, Oct. 21. The win was the Bulldogs first conference victory of the season and first road conference win in 31 matches; nearly four seasons. The last time GU earned a WCC road win was during the 2002 season when it also defeated Saint Mary's by the same score.

ONE OF ONLY 12: Gonzaga University junior Becky Jones became one of only 12 players in GU history to eclipse 1,000 career kills. With her 21 kills against Saint Mary's College on Saturday, Oct. 21 she broke past the 1,000 kill plateau and currently has 1,036 kills to her credit.

ABOVE THE NET: Sophomore Elaina Renius' seven solo blocks against Saint Mary's College on Oct. 21 ranks second in the GU single match Top 10, just one behind Kelley Cunningham who had nine solo blocks against Eastern Washington in 1989.

SECOND TIME AROUND: Gonzaga University junior Becky Jones collected her second career 20/20 double-double Oct. 21 at Saint Mary's College. Jones finished with a team-high 21 kills along with 20 digs. Her only other 20/20 double-double came during her sophomore season when she collected 22 kills and 20 digs against New Mexico on Sept. 10, 2005.

ANOTHER STREAK BROKEN: Gonzaga University's 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the University of Idaho on Oct. 3 broke a 10-match losing streak to the Vandals that dated back to the 1997 season. The last time the Bulldogs had defeated the Vandals was Sept. 9, 1997 when they earned a 3-0 sweep at Idaho.

BREAKING A STREAK: Gonzaga University's 3-2 victory over Eastern Washington University on Tuesday, Sept. 12 broke a 15-match losing streak to the Eagles that dated back to the 1996 season. The last time the Bulldogs had defeated the Eagles was on Oct. 1, 1996 when they earned a 3-1 victory. With Eastern Washington leading 2-1 in last week's match, Gonzaga won the final two games to earn the five-game victory and break the streak.

MOVING UP THE CAREER RECORD BOOK: Gonzaga University junior classmates Heather Dunn, Becky Jones, and Briawna Mueller are each inching up the GU career record book. Dunn is currently fifth in assists (2,255), while Jones is sixth in total attempts (3,004). Mueller is fifth in total blocks (355) and block assists (71) and tied for sixth in solo blocks (71).

SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS: Gonzaga University juniors Becky Jones and Briawna Mueller have earned a spot in the Bulldogs single-match Top 10. Jones is tied for sixth in digs (3 games) with 20 (vs. UMBC, Sept. 8) and tied for eighth in total attempts with 65 (vs. North Dakota State, Aug. 26). Mueller's 10 blocks against Portland State on Sept. 2 ties her for eighth in the single-match Top 10.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Outside hitter Becky Jones has had a strong junior season so far for Gonzaga University. Jones has had double-digit kills in 18 matches and double-digit digs in 14 matches. She also has accumulated 11 double-doubles this season; including one 20/20 double-double. On the year, Jones leads the Bulldogs in kills (357) and is second in digs (279).

400-PLUS CLUB: Junior Becky Jones needs 43 more kills for her second-straight season of 400 or more kills. Her 471 kills in 2005 ranks 6th on the all-time GU list; the 10th player in GU history with 400 or more.

A NEW LIBERO: After two seasons as a starting defensive specialist for Gonzaga University, junior Alecia Douglas is now the starting libero for the Bulldogs. On the season, Douglas, who has had double-digit digs in all but seven matches this season, is averaging a team-best 3.32 digs per game. Douglas finished with a season-high 22 digs at Saint Mary's College on Oct. 21; just one dig shy of her career-high of 23.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University junior Becky Jones earned Jackrabbit Kickoff Classic all-tournament honors, while junior Briawna Mueller and junior Heather Dunn were both named to the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament Team. Jones and Elaina Renius also earned all-tournament honors at the Boise State Tournament.

A STEADY SETTER: Junior Heather Dunn began her second season as the starting setter for Gonzaga University in 2006. She has dished out 30 or more assists in 21 out of the Bulldogs 24 matches this season. Dunn has broken her career-high assists four times this season. She dished out a then career-high 61 assists in GU's heartbreaking 3-2 loss to South Dakota State, topped that when she passed out 62 assists in a 3-2 loss to North Dakota State on Sept. 9 and topped it again when she had 64 assists in a 3-2 win over Idaho Oct. 3. Then on Oct. 21 at Saint Mary's, Dunn dished out a career-high 66 assists in a thrilling 3-2 victory. Her career high coming into the season was 59 dished out against UC Davis on Sept. 10, 2005. Dunn is currently averaging 11.17 assists per game.

CAREER-HIGHS: Multiple Gonzaga University players have broken personal career-highs this season. Junior Megan Thompson collected a career-high 15 digs against Weber State. Junior Briawna Mueller served-up a career-high five aces against Weber State and against Santa Clara and collected a career-high nine digs against UMBC. Junior Alecia Douglas had a career-high four service aces against Gardner-Webb. Sophomore Francis Garcia tallied a career-high 10 digs at South Dakota State, at Portland and against Loyola Marymount. Sophomore Tianna Tuatagaloa finished with a career-high 11 kills and four aces against North Dakota State. Sophomore Paige Dillingham had a career-high 12 digs against North Dakota State.

HEAD COACH Kip Yoshimura: Kip Yoshimura, who enters his fifth year as Gonzaga University's head coach, returns a strong squad for the 2006 season. Yoshimura has compiled a 22-96 record during his first four years with the Bulldogs. A former assistant coach at Gonzaga during the 1992 season, Yoshimura has complied a 273-168 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.

A FAMILIAR FACE ON THE SIDELINES: Kip Yoshimura has added one new coach to his staff in 2006. Abby Cullen returns to her alma mater as an assistant coach after one season as an assistant coach at Central Washington University. Cullen, a four-year starter for the Bulldogs from 2000-03, ranks in the top 10 in the Zags career record book for block assists (3rd, 341), block solos (3rd, 87), total blocks (3rd, 428), total kills (4th, 1,140), attack attempts (7th, 2,917) and games played (8th, 400). She also holds the single-match record for total blocks in a game with 15 and assisted blocks with 13; both recorded against Portland in 2002.