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NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament Begins this Friday

Dec. 1, 2009

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Overall Record
#21 Saint Mary's 13-1
San Diego 10-4
Pepperdine 9-5
San Francisco 7-7
Santa Clara 7-7
Gonzaga 5-9
Loyola Marymount 3-11
Portland 2-12

The Saint Mary's Gaels will represent the West Coast Conference in this year's NCAA Tournament and will face UC Santa Barbara in the first round on December 5th at 5:00 pm at Maples Pavilion on the campus of Stanford University. The winner will take on the winner of the Stanford/Long Island match on Saturday at 7:00 pm.

The Gaels wrapped up the season with a sweep over BYU last week, for its third in a row and finished the season undefeated at home. The 13-1 conference record was the best in school history and Head Coach Rob Browning was named the WCC Coach of the Year. The Gauchos finished with a 22-7 record and placed second in the Big West and are currently receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll.



Saint Mary's vs. UC Santa Barbara Palo Alto, CA
5:00 PM

Saint Mary's/UCSB vs. Stanford/Long Island Palo Alto, CA
7:00 PM


2009 WCC All-Conference Teams

Player of the Year: Ali Troost, USD
Defensive Player of the Year: Alita Fisher, SMC
Freshman of the Year: Alaina Bergsma, LMU
Coach of the Year: Rob Browning, SMC

All-WCC First Team
Alaina Bergsma, LMU
Megan Burton, SMC
Haley Carroll, USF
Lindsy Davigeadono, SCU
Torey Ellick, USD
Kiah Fiers, PEP
Alita Fisher, SMC
Rachel Grochmal, PEP
Kim Hill, PEP
Shannon Lowell, SMC
Sarah Mandala, USF
Ali Troost, USD

All-Freshman Team
Victoria Adelhelm, PEP
Carrie Baird, USD
Alaina Bergsma, LMU
Lauren Corp, SMC
Dana Knudsen, SCU
Ariel Usher, POR
Missy White, SMC

Honorable Mention
Victoria Adelhelm, PEP
Michelle Boevers, GON
Layne Brosky, GON
Maria Clemens, POR
Lauren Corp, SMC
Kapua Kamana'o, SMC
Dana Knudsen, SCU
Kelsi Myers, USD
Stevi Robinson, PEP
Chanteal Satele, SMC
Megan York, SMC

WCC October Player of the Month

Shannon Lowell, SMC:
Lowell was huge for the Gaels in October, and was the driving force behind their 8-1 month. She was named the WCC Player of the Week on for her efforts against LMU and Pepperdine on 10/28 and 10/31. For the month she hit an astounding .397, notching 95 kills, on 199 attempts. She hit over .350 in six of the nine matches the Gaels played. She also notched nine aces, 18 digs, and led the team with 45 total blocks. Lowell averaged 2.79 kills per game, and 1.41 blocks per game. She recorded her first double-double of the season against Santa Clara on 10/8, recording 14 kills and 11 total blocks. In the match against Gonzaga she notched a season-high 18 kills on 24 attempts for a career-high .667 hitting percentage. In the five set match against Pepperdine, Lowell notched 17 kills on 34 attempts with no errors for a .500 hitting percentage. She also notched five total blocks. She was at her best when the Gaels needed her most in that match, notching the final two kills and a block for the Gaels in the fifth set to seal the win.

WCC Player of the Week
Alita Fisher, SMC:
Fisher notched 34 digs, four aces, and five assists. In doing so, she set a new career-high and broke a Saint Mary's single season record, while helping the Gaels go 2-0 and finish their WCC schedule with the best finish in school history. She broke a Saint Mary's single-season record with 452 digs on the year, breaking a five year old record.

Also Nominated: Sarah Mandala, USF

Two WCC Teams Ranked Among The Nation's Best
Two West Coast Conference women's volleyball teams open the season ranked in national preseason polls, with three more receiving votes. All five teams are returning from an appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament. The University of San Diego came in at No. 15 in the AVCA poll and 16 in the Volleyball Magazine poll, while Santa Clara University ranked 20th in Volleyball Magazine and 25th in the AVCA poll. Pepperdine receiveed voes in both polls, while Saint Mary's and San Francisco gathered votes on the AVCA poll.

WCC Preseason Poll and All-Conference Team

1. USD - 49 points (7)
2. PEP - 38
3. SMC - 37 (1)
4. SCU - 35
5. USF - 24
6. LMU - 21
7. GON - 10
7. POR - 10
(first place votes)

All-Conference Team

Megan Burton, SMC
Haley Carroll, USF
Lindsy Davigeadono, SCU
Amy DeGroot, USD
Kiah Fiers, PEP
Kim Hill, PEP
Kapua Kamana'o, SMC
Shannon Lowell, SMC
Sarah Mandala, USF
Ali Troost, USD

WCC Among the Nation's Best
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 six seasons, the WCC has owned a national top five ranking in the RPI four times. In 2008, the WCC had one of its best seasons ever tying for a conference high with the fourth best NCAA RPI ranking in the country.

WCC In The NCAA Tournament
WCC volleyball teams are no strangers to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, since 1997, the WCC has sent at least three teams each year into the postseason, totaling 45 teams. Last year was no different as Pepperdine, Saint Mary's San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara all made the tournament. In the past five seasons alone, the WCC has sent 20 teams into the NCAA Tournament with a conference record six teams advancing to the postseason in 2003.

Five Teams in 2008 NCAA Tournament
The WCC has placed five teams in last year's NCAA Tournament, which marked the highest percentage of teams from any conference in the country to make it to the tournament. It tied the highest number of WCC team since the conference sent a record six teams in 2003. It also marked the 13th year in a row that the WCC has sent at least three teams to the tournament.

Welcome Back
All eight WCC teams return several key players in 2009. In all, the WCC returns six All-WCC first team members and nine of the 14 players who earned All-WCC honorable mention. The returning first team All-WCC members include: Megan Burton (SMC), Amy DeGroot (USD), Kapua Kamana'o (SMC), Shannon Lowell (SMC), Sarah Mandala (USF), and Ali Troost (USD).



Overall Record: 10-18
WCC Record: 5-9
  • The Zags lost their matches last week, falling to Saint Mary's and San Diego on the road and finish in sixth place.

  • SR Michelle Boevers and SR Layne Brosky were both named to the all-conferencehonorable mention team to represent the Zags.

  • JR Caitlin Cozad and SO Kaprina Goodwin were two of the toughest players to hit against in the league as they combined for 260.0 blocks, the most of any duo in the conference. Cozad paced the league with 140.0, while Goodwin finished tied for second with 120.0.

  • Brosky finishes her career with 1,231 kills, which is fifth in the Zags' all-time career list and is only the 11th Zag to reach 1,000 kills.

  • As a team, the Zags finished first in the league with 290.5 total blocks.
  • Overall Record: 12-17
    WCC Record: 3-11
  • LMU closed out the regular season with a loss to Long Beach St. at the Mizuno Thanksgiving Tournament and finish in seventh place.

  • FR Alaina Bergsma was named the 2009 WCC Freshman of the Year and was also the only freshman to appear on the all-conference first team.

  • Bergsma currently ranks second among all freshmen in the country and 15th overall with 4.47 kills per set and tied for the league-high with 11 double-doubles on the season.

  • During conference play, Bergsma finished first in the league in kills (4.96 kps) and second in service aces (.36 aps), while SO Alesha Young finished fifth in assists (7.36).

  • Bergsma finished 10th on the school's all-time single season list for kills average (4.47), while Young is sixth for career assists average (6.8) and JR Becky Stehling is third in career hitting percentage (.339).
  • Overall Record: 16-11
    WCC Record: 8-4
  • The Waves split their matches last week, falling to Santa Clara before defeating San Francisco and finish in third place.

  • The Waves tied the league-high with three players on the all-conference first team in SR Kiah Fiers (2nd time), SR Rachel Grochmal, and SO Kim Hill.

  • Victoria Adelhelm was named to the all-freshman team as well as the all-conference honorable mention team to join SO Stevi Robinson.

  • Hill finished the season ranked first in the league in hitting percentage (.475) during WCC play, while her overall .425 hitting percentage ranks fifth in the country.

  • Fiers finished second in the conference with 11.39 assists per set, while Adelhelm led all freshmen in hitting percentage (.364) and blocks (1.04) during league play.
  • Overall Record: 6-23
    WCC Record: 2-12
  • The Pilots went winless last week, losing to San Diego and Saint Mary's and finish in eighth place.

  • Ariel Usher was named to the all-freshman team, while SR Maria Clemens was named an honorable mention. Usher is now the eighth Pilot to be named to the all-freshman team and only the second since 1997.

  • SR Kaylyn Jones finished sixth in the league during WCC play in assists with 6.92 aps and ends her career eighth in the Pilots' all-time career list with 1,756 career assists.

  • JR Danielle Dupar finished the season ranked third in the league in digs (4.16) during conference play and is already in the Pilots' all-time career record book. She now has 1,004 career digs, which ranks her ninth. She is also just the ninth player in the program's history to reach the 1,000 dig mark.
  • Overall Record: 22-4
    WCC Record: 13-1
  • The Gaels finished the regular season with a sweep over BYU to remain undefeated at home and their third straight sweep. The 13-1 record is the best conference finish in school history.

  • Saint Mary's tied the league-high with three players on the all-conference first team in SR Megan Burton (2nd time), JR Shannon Lowell (2nd time), and SR Alita Fisher, who was also named the Defensive Player of the Year. Lauren Corp and Missy White were both named to the all-freshman team, while SO Chanteal Satele, JR Kapua Kamana'o, and JR Megan York were named honorable mentions.

  • Lowell ranks 23rd in the country in blocking (1.32) and 30th in hitting percentage (.361). Fisher currently has 466 digs on the season, breaking SMC's single-season record.

  • Saint Mary's will take on UC Santa Barbara (12/4) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Stanford regional in Palo Alto, CA.
  • Overall Record: 18-7
    WCC Record: 10-4
  • The Toreros swept both their matches last week, defeating Portland and Gonzaga and finish the season in second place.

  • JR Ali Troost became the second consecutive Torero to win the Player of the Year award and the third in four years. SR Torey Ellick was named to the all-conference first team.

  • JR Kelsi Myers was selected as an honorable mention, while Carrie Baird was named to the all-freshman team.

  • Troost led the team in kills (357), while hitting .316 and also led the league with 39 service aces, and earned WCC Co-Player of the Month honors in September.

  • Myers ends the season as one of the best setters in the country, ranked seventh with 11.91 aps. Ellick finished fourth in the league during WCC play in hitting (.394) and kills (3.38 kps).
  • Overall Record: 13-14
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • San Francisco split its matches last week, defeating Loyola Marymount, before falling to Pepperdine and finished tied for fourth.

  • JR Sarah Mandala (2nd time) and SR Haley Carroll were both named to the all-conference first team.

  • Caroll became the WCC's all-time leader in digs this season with 2,091 in her career. She is also just the 45th player in NCAA DI history to reach 2,000 digs. Her 527 digs this season ranks ninth on the WCC's all-time single season list and she owns two of the top 10 spots.

  • Mandala paced the league with 508 kills on the season, marking the most by a junior in school history which also ranks third on the program's all-time single-season list. Her 4.84 kills per set also ranked fifth in the country and she became the fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 kills.

  • Overall Record: 17-12
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • Santa Clara went undefeated last week, with wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount and finish tied for fourth place.

  • SR Lindsy Davigeadono was named to the all-conference first team, while Dana Knudsen was named to the all-freshman team and named an honorable mention.

  • Davigeadono ranked in the top 10 in the league during conference play in hitting percentage (sixth at .342) and kills (fourth with 188).

  • Knudsen enjoyed an outstanding freshman campaign, finishing the season ranked seventh in the league overall in hitting percentage (.328).

  • In conference play, SO Tanya Schmidt finished seventh in hitting percentage (.326), while FR Samantha Selsky was third in assists (9.76), and SO Bridget O'Hara was seventh in digs (194).