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WCC Women's Volleyball Weekly Notes: San Diego Takes Home its Third Straight WCC Title

Nov. 25, 2008

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Entering the last week of conference play, Saint Mary's, San Diego, and San Francisco all had a shot at the conference title, with the possibility of a three-way tie for first place. After San Diego won at Loyola Marymount and San Francisco lost at Pepperdine, the Toreros were in the driver seat, needing a win at Pepperdine to clinch the title. San Diego ended up sweeping the Waves, with San Francisco beating the Lions in five sets, and Saint Mary's winning its only game of the week, at Santa Clara. The Dons took second place in the standings, while Saint Mary's took third. With the NCAA Tournament coming up, the West Coast Conference has a possibility of getting five teams in the tournament, as the top five teams in the conference all have RPI's at or below 50.


Yale at San Diego San Diego, CA
5:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
Pepperdine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
San Jose State at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
Portland at Pacific Stockton, CA
7:00 PM
Yale at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
8:00 PM
Portland vs. Nevada/Utah Stockton, CA


WCC Player of the Week
Amy DeGroot led the San Diego offense this past week to a pair of sweeps over Loyola Marymount and No. 23 Pepperdine by recording a team-best 31 kills, had five blocks, three solo, and recorded 10 digs. On the season, DeGroot has a team-leading 365 kills (4.24 kps), is hitting at a .255 clip and is second on the team in digs with 209. This is her third weekly award on the season.

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 up a spot in the poll this week is San Diego to No. 16. Pepperdine and San Francisco also moved up a spot to No. 23 and No. 24 respectively. Saint Mary's and Santa Clara both received strong consideration to be in the top 25 as the Gaels received 32 votes, while the Broncos received 23.

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 sixth and 16th in assists per game, while Julie Rubenstein (PEP) and Emily Day (LMU) are 15th and 18th 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 fifth in assists per game and seventh 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 50, trailing only the Pac-10 (7) and Big 10 (7).

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:         1,461           1,139Brittany Lowe, SCU:     1,435           1,148Julie Rubenstein, PEP:  1,705           955



Overall Record: 10-21
WCC Record: 3-11
  • Gonzaga ended its season losing to Northwest rival Portland, in its lone match last week and finished the year in seventh place.

  • Elaina Renius collected 13 kills, one solo block and one block assist in the loss. The 13 kills bumped her over the 1,000 kill plateau for her career. Renius has 1,001 kills to her credit; just the 11th player to join the exclusive 1,000 kill club. Renius also finished the season with 39 solo blocks, one shy of tying the single-season Zag record of 40 set by Lisa Petticord in 1988. Renius is currently second in the conference in total kills at 392 and first in total blocks (114.0).

  • Paige Dillingham led the way defensively with a match-high 16 digs. She closed out the season with 417 digs, and had double-digit digs in 23 of the 31 Gonzaga matches. She is currently second in the conference in total digs with 417.

  • Denise Van de Mortel dished out 37 assists and had 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She leads the conference in total assists with 1,206.

  • Overall Record: 13-15
    WCC Record: 3-11
  • The Lions lost a pair of matches, falling to San Diego, and taking San Francisco to five sets, before eventually losing to close out WCC play. LMU ended up in sixth place in the conference.

  • Emily Day ended her WCC career in impressive fashion with a team-best 19 kills and 15 digs for her 17th double-double of the season. She also had 18 kills against San Diego.

  • Day, Becky Stehling, and Ariana Covington all had back-to-back double digit kills to end their conference season. Stehling had 15 against San Diego and 11 versus San Francisco, while Covington finished with 10 in each match.

  • Day's 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 close out the season hosting Cal State Fullerton (11/25) and Yale (11/29).
  • Nov. 25
    vs. Cal State Fullerton - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 29 vs. Yale - 8:00 PM

    Overall Record: 20-6
    WCC Record: 8-6
  • The Waves split their matches against the top two teams in the league, sweeping San Francisco, before losing to San Diego to end conference play. Pepperdine ended up in a tie for fourth place.

  • Pepperdine held San Francisco to .098 hitting, which is the lowest the Waves have held a conference opponent to this year.

  • Julie Rubenstein led the way against the Dons, registering a match-high 17 kills on an efficient .441 hitting. Kiah Fiers had 39 assists leading the team to a .404 hitting percentage.

  • Rubenstein leads the conference in kills per game (4.39) and points per game (5.16).

  • Pepperdine ends the season on the road, at UCLA (11/25) and will await an at large bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament, which will be announced Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 PM ET.
  • Nov. 25
    at UCLA - 7:00 PM

    Overall Record: 7-23
    WCC Record: 1-13
  • The Pilots ended WCC play on a high note, earning their first conference victory of the season, as well as the first for Head Coach Joe Houck, against Northwest rival Gonzaga. Portland finished eighth in the conference.

  • Jennifer Sheedy had eight kills, which were enough to put her over the 1,000 kill mark for her career. Sheedy joins Ashley Grayson as the second Portland player in a week to reach the mark and is the ninth in school history. Grayson reached the milestone against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 15.

  • Kaylyn Jones had a season-best 53 assists on the night to direct three Pilots to double-digit kills. Jessica Clemens had a match-high 16, K.C. Fox had 14, and Grayson added 13.

  • The Pilots close out the season at the Pacific Community Bankers Classic, where they will take on host Pacific (11/28) and either Nevada or Utah (11/29).
  • Nov. 28
    at Pacific - 7:00 PM

    Nov. 29
    vs. Nevada/Utah - TBA

    Overall Record: 20-7
    WCC Record: 10-4
  • The Gaels swept Santa Clara on the road to close out their season and finished in third place in the WCC.

  • As a team, the Gaels hit for a high percentage, finishing with a .319 mark, while holding the Broncos to .113.

  • Shannon Lowell, Alita Fisher, and Kapua Kamana'o all had match-highs for the Gaels in the win. Lowell had 14 kills on .423 hitting, Fisher had 22 digs, and Kamana'o registered 38 assists.

  • Megan Burton had the highest hitting percentage of the match at .615 on eight kills with no errors on 13 swings.

  • Gaels will await an at large bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament, as the 64-team bracket will be announced on Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 PM ET.
  • Overall Record: 22-4
    WCC Record: 12-2
  • The Toreros took care of business, sweeping Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine to clinch the 2008 WCC championship. This is San Diego's third consecutive title and fourth in the past five years.

  • Amy DeGroot led San Diego to the title over the week, recording a team-best 31 kills, five blocks, three solo, and 10 digs. For her efforts, she was named WCC Player of the Week, for the third time this season. DeGroot is second in the league in kills per game at 4.24 and points per game at 4.90.

  • Jessica Nyrop had a match-high 39 assists against the Lions and followed that up with 31 against the Waves. Nyrop is second in the league in assists per game at 11.44.

  • San Diego will close out its regular season by hosting Yale (11/25) and has earnd an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The field will be announced Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 PM ET.
  • Nov. 25
    vs. Yale - 5:00 PM

    Overall Record: 21-7
    WCC Record: 11-3
  • The Dons split their matches last week, falling to Pepperdine, before defeating Loyola Marymount in five sets. San Francisco ends the conference season in second place.

  • The Dons, who wrapped up second place with a win over LMU, were led by Anna Berger, who had a career-high 20 kills on an impressive .311 hitting. She also added seven digs.

  • Darcy Carroll had a match-high 42 assists against the Lions, leading three Dons to double-digit kills. Along with Berger, Sarah Mandala had 16, while Carly Babin had 10.

  • Haley Carroll added to her league-leading digs mark with 21 digs against Loyola Marymount.

  • The Dons close out the regular season, hosting San Jose State (11/25) and will await an at large bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 PM ET.
  • Nov. 25
    vs. San Jose State - 7:00 PM

    Overall Record: 17-9
    WCC Record: 8-6
  • The Broncos ended their regular season with a loss to Bay Area rival Saint Mary's and finished in a tie for fourth place in the WCC.

  • Prior to the match, SCU honored its five graduating seniors - Nichole Clark, Anna Cmaylo, Brittany Lowe, Michelle Luxton and Taylor O'Brien. The quintet represents the final class of the 2005 Final Four team.

  • Lowe led the Broncos and the match with 14 kills. She registered her 10th double-double of the year and the 46th of her career with 11 digs. Lindsy Davigeadono dished out 28 assists and had three blocks. Cmaylo led the match with two aces, while O'Brien collected 17 digs.

  • With 33 aces, Lowe ends her career as No. 3 all-time in the Broncos' career record list.

  • The Broncos will await an at large bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 PM ET.