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WCC Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes

Nov. 20, 2008

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With the 2008-09 conference season coming to a close this week, No. 17 San Diego, No. 25 San Francisco, and Saint Mary's all have a chance to own or have a share of the conference title this year, with a possibility of a three-way tie.

With only one game remaining, the Gaels need to win their last match and hope the Dons and Toreros lose both remaining contests to have a three-way tie. In that case, the conference automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament would go to the Dons by virtue of a tie-breaker over both USD and SMC in their combined matches this year.

If the Gaels lose and San Diego and San Francisco match records over the two remaining games, there would be a two-way tie between the Toreros and Dons, with the AQ this time going to San Diego by virtue of a tie-breaker over San Francisco as it has a four games to three advantage over the Dons in their two matchups this season.


San Diego at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
San Francisco at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
7:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
Portland at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
1:00 PM
San Francisco at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
1:00 PM
San Diego at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
1:00 PM


WCC Player of the Week
Sarah Mandala earned her second weekly award of the season and fourth overall. Sunday, in a victory over Saint Mary's, Mandala recorded a career high 28 kills on .535 hitting, while also posting six digs and three blocks. Earlier in the week, the sophomore recorded eight kills, one assist, two digs and three blocks as the Dons' swept then-No. 21 Santa Clara. For the week, Mandala posted 27 kills on .443 hitting with one assist, eight digs and six blocks. With the victories, San Francisco reentered this week's national poll, landing at the No. 25 spot.

Three WCC Teams Ranked Among The Nation's Best
Three West Coast Conference women's volleyball teams are ranked in American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll. Moving back into the polls is San Francisco, to the No. 25 spot, while Pepperdine remains at No. 24. The Toreros, No. 13 last week, fell to No. 17. The WCC is on the brink of having five teams ranked as Santa Clara received 51 votes, while Saint Mary's received 27.

National Leaders Among the WCC
Several players in the WCC rank among the nation's best in several categories. Notable leaders are Kapua Kamana'o (SMC) and Jessica Nyrop (USD), who are 12th and 17th in assists per game, while Julie Rubenstein (PEP) and Emily Day (LMU) are 15th and 24th in kills per game. Alix Gombos and Anna Cmaylo are fifth and 17th in the country in hitting percentage. As a team, San Diego ranks seventh in assists per game and ninth in kills per game.

WCC Among the Elite Volleyball Conferences in the Country
Over the last six seasons, the West Coast Conference has established itself as one of the premier women's volleyball conferences in the country. Over the past five seasons, the WCC has owned a national top five ranking in the RPI three times. Currently the WCC has five schools with RPI's under 60, trailing only the Pac-10 (8) and Big 10 (9).

1,000 Kill and Dig Club
The WCC welcomes back several players who are on pace to eclipse the 1,000 kill and dig mark.

Emily Day, LMU:         1,424           1,118Brittany Lowe, SCU:     1,421           1,137Julie Rubenstein, PEP:  1,677           938



Overall Record: 10-20
WCC Record: 3-10
  • Gonzaga split its games, going the distance to beat Loyola Marymount, before losing to No. 19 Pepperdine.

  • In the win over Loyola Marymount, the Zags had five players in double-digit kills. Elaina Renius had a team-high 17, followed by Caitlin Cozad, Layne Brosky, and Michelle Boevers, who all had 12. Emily Johnson added 11 of her own.

  • Three Zags had double-digit digs against the Lions as well. Paige Dillingham led the way with 16, while Denise Van de Mortel had 15. Johnson added 12 to go along with her 11 kills, for her fifth double-double of the year.

  • The win over the Lions was 10th in program history since 1987.

  • This week, the Zags host Northwest rival Portland (11/22) in their last match of the season.
  • Nov. 22
    vs. Portland - 1:00 PM

    Overall Record: 13-13
    WCC Record: 3-9
  • The Lions lost a five set match to Gonzaga, before defeating Portland in their trip up North.

  • Ariana Covington helped the Lions end their six game losing streak by registering a career-high 21 kills on an impressive .356 clip.

  • Emily Day was the only other Lion to reach double-digits in kills with 15 to go along with 12 digs for her league-leading 16th double-double of the season.

  • Day has had a tremendous season leading the team in kills and digs. She currently ranks second in the conference at 4.19 kpg and eighth in digs at 2.87 dpg. Her season totals have put her in the Lions' record book as she ranks fifth in kills and seventh in digs for her career.

  • The Lions host San Diego (11/20) and San Francisco (11/22) to close out the season.
  • Nov. 20
    vs. San Diego - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 22 vs. San Francisco - 1:00 PM

    Overall Record: 19-5
    WCC Record: 7-5
  • No. 19 Pepperdine had a perfect weekend on its trip to the Northwest, sweeping Portland and Gonzaga.

  • The Waves continue to be dominant in the Northwest, as they are 41-3 all-time against Gonzaga and 42-2 against Portland.

  • The Waves were led by Julie Rubenstein over the weekend, who notched a 15 kill 10 dig effort against Portland and a 17 kill performance on .500 hitting against Gonzaga.

  • The Waves, in fifth place, have a chance to end up in a three-way tie for third with some help from Santa Clara who hosts third place Saint Mary's. If the Broncos win, all three teams will have indentical records of 9-5, pending Pepperdine can sweep its matches.

  • The Waves host No. 25 San Francisco (11/20) and No. 17 San Diego (11/22) to end the conference season.
  • Nov. 20
    vs. San Francisco - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 22 vs. San Diego - 1:00 PM

    Overall Record: 6-23
    WCC Record: 0-13
  • Portland suffered a pair of setbacks at home, losing to No. 19 Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

  • Ashley Grayson had her fourth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 13 digs against the Waves. Grayson leads the Pilots and is eighth in the conference with 3.29 kills per game.

  • Grayson added another double-double against Loyola Marymount, with 16 kills and 12 digs, for her fifth of the year. She also became just the eighth Pilot in program history to reach 1,000 kills, reaching the mark in the second set.

  • Jessica Clemens is among the team leaders in three categories: kills (second at 241), aces (first at 28), and digs (first at 266).

  • Portland will head to Northwest rival Gonzaga (11/22) to end the season.
  • Nov. 22
    at Gonzaga - 7:00 PM

    Overall Record: 19-7
    WCC Record: 9-4
  • The Gaels split their games, defeating No. 17 San Diego, before losing to No. 25 San Francisco.

  • The win over the Toreros was the Gaels first win at Jenny Craig Pavilion since the 1989 season and is the fourth win over a ranked opponent.

  • The Gaels were led by Chanteal Satele in the win over San Diego, as she posted a career-high 16 kills on .419 hitting. Shannon Lowell added 14 kills, while hitting .345.

  • The Gaels, in third place, could move into a three-way tie for first place with some help from Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. The Lions and Waves both trade off hosting first place teams San Diego and San Francisco. If the Toreros and Dons lose both matches and Saint Mary's wins its last, then all three teams will have identical conference records.

  • The Gaels head to Santa Clara (11/21) to end the season.
  • Nov. 21
    at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM

    Overall Record: 20-4
    WCC Record: 10-2
  • The Toreros split their games over the weekend, losing to Saint Mary's, before bouncing back and sweeping Santa Clara.

  • In the win over the Broncos, Amy Degroot led all players with 17 kills at a .438 attack percentage. Ali Troost also eclipsed the .400 hitting mark, with 13 kills on 22 attempts, for a .409 clip.

  • The Toreros play a set of crucial games this week as first place is up for grabs. Tied with San Francisco for the top spot, San Diego needs to at least match the Dons record this week and have Saint Mary's lose their match to earn a share of the league title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, as it owns the tie-breaker against San Francisco.

  • San Diego will head down South for its last two matches of the season, playing at Loyola Marymount (11/20), before facing Pepperdine (11/22).
  • Nov. 20
    at Loyola Marymount - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 22 at Pepperdine - 1:00 PM

    Overall Record: 20-6
    WCC Record: 10-2
  • The Dons earned a pair of victories last week, sweeping Santa Clara, before defeating Saint Mary's, jumping back into the AVCA top 25.

  • With the win over Saint Mary's, the Dons have amassed an impressive 14-1 record at home, with the only loss coming in a five-set match to Miami.

  • The Dons were led by Sarah Mandala, who had a career-high 28 kills against Saint Mary's on an outstanding .535 hitting clip, en route to being named WCC Player of the Week.

  • The Dons, tied for first place, play two crucial games, and will try to secure first place with some help from Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. If the Dons can beat out San Diego's record this week, they will own first place. If the Dons and Toreros lose both matches and Saint Mary's wins, there will be a three-way tie for first place with the tie-breaker for the AQ going to USF.

  • The Dons head down South to play Pepperdine (11/20) and Loyola Marymount (11/22).
  • Nov. 20
    at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 22 at Loyola Marymount - 1:00 PM

    Overall Record: 17-8
    WCC Record: 8-5
  • The Broncos had a pair of setbacks last week, losing to San Francisco and San Diego.

  • Over the weekend, Santa Clara was led by Anna Cmaylo, who posted back-to-back double digit kills performances. Lowe tallied 12 kills against San Francisco and 13 against San Diego.

  • Brittany Lowe posted a double-double against the Dons with 10 kills and 10 digs. Lowe has passed the 1,000 career dig mark and is the only current Bronco with both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Lowe has 1,421 kills and 1,137 digs in her career.

  • With 33 aces this year, Lowe moved to the No. 3 spot on SCU's career service aces list and is only one ace away from tying the No. 2 spot.

  • This week, the Broncos host Saint Mary's (11/21) to close out the season.
  • Nov. 21
    vs. Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM