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Volleyball Concludes Home Schedule

Nov. 8, 2006

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WHAT'S ON SCHEDULE: The Saint Mary's women's volleyball team returns to McKeon Pavilion for their final two home matches of the season. The Gaels will face Pepperdine on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m., before facing Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

WHO'S HOT: Saint Mary's senior outside hitter Christina Kirk recorded 13 kills with a .423 hitting percentage in three games against San Francisco last week. Kirk also recorded four blocks and four digs in the loss.

SAINT MARY'S VERSUS PEPPERDINE: The Gaels are now 4-35 all-time against the Waves, including a 3-0 loss earlier this season at the Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. Last season the Gaels beat the Waves 3-1 at McKeon Pavilion and have won three out of the last five matches.

SAINT MARY'S VERSUS LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The Gaels are now 10-29 all-time against the Lions, including a 3-2 win over LMU earlier this year at the Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. Last season the Gaels beat the Lions 3-2 at McKeon Pavilion. Saint Mary's has won five out of the last six matches against LMU.

BLOCK PARTY: Saint Mary's once again is atop the blocking battle in the West Coast Conference. Saint Mary's recorded 12.5 blocks against San Francisco last week to improve its blocks per game average to 3.24 for the season. During conference play, the Gaels are averaging 3.63 blocks per game. The Gaels improved to No. 14 in the national rankings in blocks per game.

SAINT MARY'S DROPS IN RKPI: In the latest RKPI, the Gaels fell three spots to No. 59 in the nation and No. 13 in the Pacific Division. The Gaels went 0-1 last week, with a loss to San Francisco, who ranks just ahead of the Gaels at No. 12 in the Pacific Division and No. 51 in the national ranks.

BARKER LEADS WCC IN BLOCKS: Saint Mary's sophomore middle blocker Brittany Barker leads the conference in blocks per game, averaging 1.59. Barker's 1.59 blocks per game also ranks No. 11 in the nation.

CAREER-HIGH FOR KIRK: Saint Mary's senior middle blocker/outside hitter Christina Kirk recorded a career-high 27 kills against Gonzaga on Saturday, October 21. Kirk's previous career-high was set earlier this year against No. 9 Santa Clara when she recorded 22 kills.

LAST WEEK: Saint Mary's went 0-1 last week with a 3-0 loss at San Francisco. The Gaels were led offensively by Christina Kirk, who had 13 kills with a .423 hitting percentage. Kirk also added four blocks and four digs. Megan Burton added eight kills with a .429 hitting percentage and Nikki Gonzalez added 17 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 concludes West Coast Conference play when it travels to Gonzaga on Thursday, November 16 to face the Bulldogs at 7:05 p.m. The Gaels will then face Portland on Saturday, November 18 at 1:05 p.m. in Portland, OR.