Nov. 14, 2006
WCC Player of the Week
Christie Dawson, San Diego
Christie Dawson helped San Diego clinch its second WCC title in three years with wins over Gonzaga and Portland last week. Dawson averaged 4.43 kills per game, while hitting at a .630 clip with just two errors in the Toreros' championship clinching victories. The senior middle hitter recorded 22 kills and three blocks against the Bulldogs and nine kills with no errors against the Pilots. A native of Apple Valley, CA, Dawson has posted double-digit kills in 12 of the Toreros' 13 conference matches this season and leads the WCC with a .389 hitting percentage in league play. The championship is San Diego's fourth in school history and second with Dawson starting in the middle.
*LMU at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM
*San Francisco at Portland - 7:00 PM
*Saint Mary's at Gonzaga - 7:00 PM
*San Francisco at Gonzaga - 1:00 PM
*Saint Mary's at Portland - 1:00 PM
*San Diego at Santa Clara - 1:00 PM
Pepperdine at UCLA - 7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton at San Diego - 7:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at LMU - 7:30 PM
* Denotes Conference Match
Around the WCC
San Diego Takes 2006 Title
No. 17 ranked San Diego clinched its second WCC championship in the past three years thanks to a 3-1 win over Gonzaga and a 3-0 sweep of Portland at home last week. The Toreros have posted a 12-1 record in WCC play with just one match remaining in conference play. The conference title marks the fourth in San Diego history. With the championship, the Toreros also earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament bid is San Diego's 11th in school history and sixth straight. Selection and seeding for the NCAA Tournament is scheduled for November 26.
With the final week of WCC play ahead and the conference championship settled, WCC squads are looking to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee in the final two weeks of the regular season. Two wins last week earned Pepperdine its first national ranking since October 2, and its second-place standing in the WCC gives it a good chance of earning an at-large postseason bid. The Waves have won six straight with LMU, No. 6 UCLA and Dayton remaining on their schedule. Third-place Santa Clara will be looking for a win over WCC Champ San Diego in its final regular season match this week. LMU and San Francisco were both NCAA tournament teams last season, but are sitting on the bubble entering the final stretch. The Dons will be looking to improve their NCAA portfolio with wins over UP and Gonzaga this weekend. Meanwhile, LMU is in a must-win situation in its final WCC match against Pepperdine and when it hosts Cal State Northridge next week.
Top 25 Triumvirate
Pepperdine re-entered the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Rankings at No. 25 this week after a five week hiatus. The Waves' two victories last week and six game winning streak brought them back into the national polls for the first time since October 2. Pepperdine's re-entry into the polls gives the WCC three ranked teams for just the second time this season, with the other coming in the preseason poll. After clinching the WCC title last week, San Diego improved one spot in both the CSTV/AVCA poll and Molten/Volleyball Magazine rankings to No. 17 and No. 16, respectively. Santa Clara remained stable at No. 22 in the AVCA rankings.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (8-19 / 3-9 WCC)
- Gonzaga dropped back-to-back matches at San Diego and at Santa Clara last week.
- Briawna Mueller and Becky Jones led the Bulldogs in the 3-1 loss to then-No. 18 San Diego. The two combined for 27 kills, while Jones posted her 13th double-double of the season adding 15 digs.
- Heather Dunn dished out 48 assists against the Toreros, helping the Zags hit .233 for the match and .342 in game four.
- Mueller and Emily Johnson recorded 11 kills each to lead Gonzaga in the sweep by Santa Clara.
- The Bulldogs wrap up their season hosting Saint Mary's (11/16) and USF (11/18) this week.
Loyola Marymount Lions (17-11 / 5-8 WCC)
- LMU extended its recent losing streak to four matches after being swept by San Francisco and Saint Mary's.
- Emily Day led the Lions against USF posting her 11th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs.
- The Lions dropped the season series with USF for the first time since 1988 and were swept by the Dons for the first time in history.
- Christianna Reneau was the only LMU player to reach double digits in kills against Saint Mary's, recording 16 putaways and five digs.
- Loyola Marymount looks to improve its NCAA Tournament resumé this week, traveling to No. 25 Pepperdine (11/16) in its final WCC match of the season.
Pepperdine Waves (14-10 / 10-3 WCC)
- Pepperdine extended its winning streak to six matches with a 3-2 win over Saint Mary's and a 3-1 win over USF.
- Julie Rubenstein led the Waves' hitters last week averaging 4.33 kills, two digs and 0.88 blocks per game while hitting .329 in the two victories.
- Dishing out 56 assists in each match, freshman setter Kiah Fiers helped the Waves hit .272 as a team on the week. Pepperdine's .372 clip against USF was the team's second-highest match average this season.
- Thanks to the winning streak, Pepperdine re-entered the CSTV/AVCA national rankings at No. 25 this week after a five-week hiatus.
- Pepperdine looks to clinch second place outright with a win over LMU on Thursday.
Portland Pilots (8-17 / 1-11 WCC)
- Portland extended its losing streak to nine matches after sweeps by Santa Clara and San Diego last week.
- Murphy McClenahan moved to second on Portland's all-time digs list with her sixth dig against San Diego. With 19 total digs on the weekend, McClenahan now sits at 1,637 career digs, good for third on the WCC career list.
- Ashley Grayson paced the Pilots with 10 kills on .444 hitting against Santa Clara.
- Junior Nicole Thometz was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Eight third team. Thometz was named to the Dean's List twice last year and leads Portland in kills.
- The Pilots close out their season hosting USF on Thursday and Saint Mary's on Saturday.
Saint Mary's Gaels (10-13 / 5-7 WCC)
- After dropping a 3-2 decision to Pepperdine, the Gaels halted a six-match losing streak with a 3-0 sweep of LMU.
- Missie Stidham posted an 18-kill,12-dig double-double in the win over LMU. The junior outside hitter added three blocks and six aces to round out her stats for the match.
- The Gaels outblocked Loyola Marymount 13.5-4 thanks to six blocks by Christina Kirk and five blocks from Megan Burton.
- Setter Mandy Bible's 40 assists against LMU helped Saint Mary's to its .286 hitting percentage for the match. The Gaels hit .387 in their 30-16 game two win.
- SMC travels to Gonzaga on Thursday and Portland on Saturday looking to earn wins to close out the regular season.
San Diego Toreros (22-5 / 12-1 WCC)
- San Diego downed Gonzaga 3-1 and swept Portland to clinch the WCC championship outright.
- After combining for 48 kills against Gonzaga, the trio of Laurel Abrahamson, Kristen Carlson and Christie Dawson saw their 12-match streak of double-digit kills come to an end against Portland. The three had each recorded double-digit kills in every WCC match this season until Saturday, when only Carlson kept her streak alive, leading the team with 10 kills.
- Despite ending the streak, Dawson earned WCC Player of the Week honors after averaging 4.43 kills per game and hitting at a .630 clip with just two errors on the week.
- The WCC title is San Diego's fourth in school history and second in the last three years.
- The Toreros finish the WCC season off at No. 22 Santa Clara on Saturday.
San Francisco Dons (20-8 / 5-7 WCC)
- USF earned a split last week, topping LMU 3-0 before dropping a 3-1 decision to Pepperdine.
- The Dons are on the verge of marking 2006 as their most balanced offensive attacking season in program history. Carly Babin is five kills away from joining Alix Gombos, Anna Berger, Kristin Hasselberg and Brynn Maurer as USF's fifth player to reach 200 kills this season.
- With the win, San Francisco earned its first season sweep of the Lions since 1988 and its first-ever single match sweep of LMU.
- Jamie Kartchner needs just 13 assists to secure sole possession of second on the USF career assists lists.
- San Francisco closes out the WCC season at Portland (11/16) and Gonzaga (11/18).
Santa Clara Broncos (20-6 / 9-4 WCC)
- Santa Clara earned three wins last week, sweeping UC Davis, Portland and Gonzaga.
- Anna Cmaylo led the Broncos last week recording a 4.77 kills per game average while hitting .500 over the three matches. Cmaylo committed just seven errors on the week.
- With setter Crystal Matich back in the lineup, the Broncos saw some much improved hitting last week. Matich averaged 13.77 assists per game and set Santa Clara to a .304 attack percentage for the week. SCU hit at a .385 clip against Gonzaga on Saturday.
- Senior Kim McGiven and sophomore Brittany Lowe joined Cmaylo in double figures on Saturday. The three combined for 40 total kills.
- The Broncos finish out their regular season schedule Saturday, hosting No. 17 San Diego.