WCC Volleyball Recaps

San Diego's Amy DeGroot earned tournament MVP honors.
San Diego's Amy DeGroot earned tournament MVP honors.

Aug. 29, 2008


August 29
6 Gonzaga def. Bradley - 3-0
5 Loyola Marymount def. Idaho State - 3-1
3 Pepperdine def. UNC Greensboro - 3-0
7 Saint Mary's def. UC Davis - 3-1
4 San Diego def. Albany - 3-0
1 San Francisco def. Missouri State - 3-2
6 Montana def. Gonzaga - 3-1
2 Montana State def. Portland - 3-1
1 Long Beach State def. San Francisco - 3-1

August 30
5 Loyola Marymount def. Central Arkansas - 3-0
3 Pepperdine def. Delaware - 3-0
3 Pepperdine def. Cal State Fullerton - 3-0
2 Portland def. Montana State - 3-2
7 Saint Mary's def. Cal State Bakersfield - 3-0
7 Saint Mary's def. Fresno State - 3-0
4 San Diego def. UC Irvine - 3-1
4 San Diego def. San Diego State - 3-0
8 Santa Clara def. Utah Valley - 3-2
6 North Dakota State def. Gonzaga - 3-2
6 UC Riverside def. Gonzaga - 3-0
5 New Mexico def. Loyola Marymount - 3-0
2 Washington def. Portland - 3-0
1 Indiana def. San Francisco - 3-0

August 31
Utah def. Santa Clara - 3-2

1. Long Beach State Tournament (Long Beach, CA); 2. Holiday Inn Classic (Bozeman, MT); 3. Holiday Inn Buena Park Titan Classic (Fullerton, CA); 4. San Diego State Invitational (San Diego, CA); 5. New Mexico Tournament (Univ. of New Mexico); 6. University of Montana Tournament (Missoula, MT); 7. Fresno State Tournament (Fresno, CA); 8. Ute Invite (Salt Lake City, UT)


Utah - 3
Santa Clara - 2

SALT LAKE CITY - The Santa Clara volleyball team faced its first loss of the season, an intense five set contest against Utah. The final scores of the match were 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 19-25, 13-15. With the win, the Utes take home their tournament title, while the Broncos finished in second with a 1-1 record.

Redshirt senior Anna Cmaylo tied for the match-high kills with 21, while leading the match with six total blocks. Senior Brittany Lowe notched a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs, while junior Nina Sevastopoulos posted a career-high four block assists and junior Lindsy Davigeadono compiled a career-high 83.3 hitting percentage.



Utah opened the match with a 3-1 lead in the first set, with all three points coming from Kathryn Haynie. Yet, Santa Clara rallied back to knot the score, 5-5, on a block by Tanya Schmidt and Sevastopoulos. Although the Utes quickly regained control of the set, the Broncos fought back to tie the score on two occasions in the final moments of the first set. Another block by Schmidt and Sevastopoulos tied the set, 23-23, but a kill from Karolina Bartkowiak and a Bronco attacking error gave Utah the 25-23 win.

The Broncos and Utes went head-to-head in the second set as the score was tied six times before Santa Clara pulled ahead with a three-point edge. Back-to-back kills by Cmaylo lifted the Broncos to a 12-9 lead. Yet, Utah fought back to even the score at 13 points each and then claimed a two-point advantage, 15-13, on a block by Cinthia Silva and Bartkowiak. Cmaylo then knotted the set at 18-18 with a kill and the Broncos kept the score tight until a kill by Schmidt tied the set, 24-24. Santa Clara was victorious in evening the match score to 1-1 as two straight service aces by Davigeadono gave the Broncos a 26-24 win.

SCU returned from the break and quickly took control of the third set. A block by Cmaylo and Davigeadono gave the Broncos a 4-1 lead and then never looked back. A kill by Cmaylo, who went 4-for-7 in the set, gave Santa Clara a nine-point advantage, 16-7. Although Utah continued to fight, the Utes could not catch the Broncos as they won the set, 25-20, on kill by Lowe.

Leading 2-1 in sets, the Broncos took a 3-1 lead at the beginning of the fourth set, but their edge was short-lived as the Utes tied the score 3-3 and took a three-point advantage, 9-6, on a kill by Lori Baird. Utah held the lead and reached set point on a block by Haynie. Yet, Santa Clara held off the conclusion of the set with three straight points by Lowe, Cmaylo and Sevastopoulos. However, a kill by Haynie gave the Utes a 25-19 win.

The fifth and final set of the match was quite the nail-biter. SCU and Utah exchanged points through a 7-7 tie, when a kill by Sevastopoulos and an ace from Kim Courtney gave the Broncos a 9-7 lead. Back-to-back kills by Lowe then brought SCU to a 12-9 edge. However, two service aces by Haynie tied the score once again at 12-12, forcing the Broncos to call a timeout. Utah came out of the break and took the set, 15-13, on a kill by Baird.

Santa Clara returns to action on Friday, Sept. 5 at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The Broncos will face the Red Raiders of Texas Tech in the opening match at Noon. Later that night, SCU will play Arizona at 7 p.m., and then battle Texas State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.


Pepperdine -3
Delaware - 0

Pepperdine - 3
Cal State Fullerton - 0

FULLERTON, Calif. ­-- The Pepperdine women's volleyball team opened 2008 in excellent form as the Waves won the championship of the Radisson Suites Buena Park Volleyball Classic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, on Saturday.

The Waves defeated Delaware in three sets on Saturday morning (25-15, 25-12, 25-20), then swept the host Titans (25-21, 25-13, 25-18) in the championship match on Saturday night. The Waves didn't drop a set in their three victories over the weekend.

"We had a really good day today," Pepperdine assistant coach Tim Jensen said. "We're really proud of our kids. The concentration level was great all day. Our execution was flawless at times."

Senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) earned Tournament MVP honors after averaging 5.1 kills and hitting .418 over the three matches. She was joined on the all-tournament team by senior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS), who averaged 2.0 kills, and freshman libero Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS), who averaged 5.6 digs.

The Waves have opened a season with a 3-0 record for the first time since 2001.

The rout of Delaware was sparked by a big performance by Rubenstein, who finished with a match-high 21 kills and a .514 hitting percentage (21-3-35) as well as eight digs. No one else on the Waves' roster had more than six kills.

Chamberlain hit .556 (6-1-9), Robinson had 18 digs and freshman outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) added five kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Kealohilani Kea (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS) made her first career start at setter and had 42 assists.

The Blue Hens, who went 31-5 last year and made the NCAA Tournament, got 13 kills from Katie Dennehy.

Pepperdine outhit Delaware, .336 to .079, and had nearly twice as many kills (48 to 25). Rubenstein almost had more kills than the entire Blue Hen squad.

Against the Titans, Rubenstein had another big match with 18 kills and a .432 hitting percentage (18-2-37). Again, no other teammate had more than seven kills. Pepperdine's defense was strong again as Robinson had 18 digs and Frederick and junior outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) each had 14 digs. Junior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) returned to the starting lineup and had 36 assists.

The Waves outhit the Titans, .311 to .109.

"In the morning, Julie was unstoppable and Kea set beautifully," Jensen said. "This evening, Julie was unstoppable again and Kiah set beautifully. She played a great all-around game. Fullerton was playing pretty flawlessly in game one but we didn't fold, we stayed strong and pulled away. Julie stepped up, Stevi stepped up defensively, and we didn't allow ourselves to get uncomfortable when we were being pressed. It was good to see that because we hadn't been pressured yet in this tournament."

Pepperdine opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over UNC Greensboro on Friday night.

The Waves are back on the court next weekend (Sept. 5-7) as they travel to Corvallis, Ore., for the Oregon State Asics Classic. Pepperdine will face Colorado State, Pacific and the host Beavers.

New Mexico - 3
Loyola Marymount - 0

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - LMU (2-1) was swept in the championship match of the MCM Elegante Logo Classic by host University of New Mexico (3-0), 25-22, 25-16, 25-22, on Saturday night in Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Emily Day narrowly missed her third consecutive double-double, notching a team-best nine kills, a block solo, a block assist and 10 digs as the Lions finished as the tournament runner-up.

Following the match, Day, Becky Stehling and Megan Nash were each named to the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic All-Tournament team. New Mexico placed four players on the All-Tournament squad, led by Tournament MVP, Gayle Tripp. Jeanne Fairchild, Anna Lehne and Jade Michaelsen rounded-out the Lobo selections.

Freshman Ariana Covington contributed six kills for the Lions in the loss, while Stehling continued to play well with six kills and four block assists. Libero Whitney Leonard posted 15 digs, while setter Renee Horton dished-out 21 assists and recorded four block assists.

The Lobos were guided by Fairchild and Rose Morris on the attack, collecting 16 and 10 kills, respectively. Fairchild totaled nine digs, a block solo and a block assist to accompany her .257 hitting percentage (16-for-35). Morris was even better in terms of hitting percentage, posting a .304 mark (10-for-23) with four digs and a block assist. The leaders at the net proved to be setter Michaelsen and middle blocker Allie Suiter. Michaelsen posted a block solo and five block assists to accompany her match-high 34 assists, while Suiter notched two block assists and two block solos to guide the Lobos to 12 total team blocks (four block solos and 16 block assists). Tripp got the bulk of the digs for New Mexico, tallying a match-best 17 in the victory.

The Lions and Lobos competed to an 8-8 draw to start set one of the championship match. LMU seemed to seize momentum just a few plays later after a kill and block solo by Day ran the tally to 11-8 in favor of the Lions. The senior from Torrance, Calif. finished the first period with six kills. New Mexico would not let the Lions run away with the set, as Suiter collected a block solo and Fairchild notched two of her five kills in the set to put the Lobos on top by a count of 13-12. The two teams traded blows, battling back and forth to a 19-17 Lobo lead, capped by a Lehne kill. The Lions would keep the deficit to two points at 20-18 on a Nash kill, but the Lobos quickly went on a run, pushing the score to 24-20 on a Day service error. LMU survived two set-points as New Mexico committed a service and attack error, but Day returned the favor at 24-22 on an attack error to hand the Lobos the 1-0 advantage.

LMU led early in set two, taking a comfortable 8-3 lead before the Lobos scraped back to even at 10-10. Carrying momentum, New Mexico took control of the period and scored five unanswered points to take a 15-12 advantage just moments later. The lead quickly became 21-14 in favor of the Lobos on one of Fairchild's 16 match kills before a solo block by Suiter ran the tally to 22-15. After LMU was hit with a blocking error and a receiving error to make it set-point, the Lions posted a ball-handling error to hand New Mexico the 2-0 lead headed into the break.

The Lions dropped set three and the match after falling 25-22 in the period. LMU trailed by only one at 9-8 before the Lobos posted four unanswered points to extend the advantage to 13-8. After the tally was pushed to 14-9, LMU notched a few unanswered points of its own, knotting the score at 14 on a kill by Nash, a service ace by Horton and two Lobo attack errors. New Mexico did not trail for long, re-claiming a healthy three-point lead at 21-18 on a Lion attack error and a service ace from Suiter. Consecutive kills from Lehne and Fairchild pushed the set to match-point at 24-20 before the Lions stuffed the Lobos twice to make things interesting and send the score to 24-22. Unfortunately for LMU, that would be as close as it would come to extending the match to a fourth set, as Fairchild drove the final spike into the floor to ensure the tournament championship for the Lobos. The senior finished the final set with eight kills on 15 swings for a .400 attack percentage.

The Lions return to action next weekend when they travel to Middle Tennessee State for the Blue Raider Bash that takes place on Friday and Saturday. LMU will square-off against Lipscomb University on Friday at 5 p.m. before playing Middle Tennessee State and Appalachian State on Saturday.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Central Arkansas - 0

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - LMU (2-0) earned its first sweep of the season, blanking Central Arkansas (0-2), 25-22, 25-21, 25-20, in match two of the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic on Saturday. Senior Emily Day once again led the Lions to the victory, notching her second consecutive double-double after teaming a match-best 16 kills with 12 digs. Sophomore Becky Stehling contributed 10 kills and hit .350 (10-for-20) in the win.

Sophomore Renee Horton set the Lion the offense and narrowly missed her first double-double of the season, posting 32 assists and collecting nine digs. Freshman Alesha Young matched Day's mark of 12 digs to share the team-lead in that category, while senior Lauren Kirk tallied 11 digs and two service aces.

No Sugar Bear player collected double-digit kills, paced by seven apiece from Emily Gordon and Evaree Franklin. Setter Robyn Smith posted 23 assists, while Kelly Bence received the bulk of the digs with a match-high 17. For the second consecutive match, LMU did a stellar job of holding its opponent to low hitting percentages. Central Arkansas managed to post marks of .114 (12-for-44), .061 (six-for-33) and -.023 (11-for-43) over the course of the match. The Lions, who managed three total blocks in the final set, collected six total team blocks in the match, led by Day and Megan Nash with a block solo and two block assists apiece.

Day and Stehling came out swinging in set one, posting six kills apiece over the span. Stehling was especially impressive, hitting .500 (six-for-10) in the period and making only one error. Horton also excelled in the set, notching nearly half of her assists with 14. LMU took an early 4-1 lead after a Nash kill and back-to-back Sugar Bear attack errors. The Lions would maintain the four-point advantage to 10-6 before Central Arkansas posted three straight points, including two of Gordon's five kills in the set, to cut the lead to 10-9. The two teams entered a see-saw battle that saw eight ties to a score of 19-19. Stehling and the Lions quickly took control of the situation, posting four unanswered points, including three of Stehling's six kills in the set, to give the Lions a 23-19 advantage. After LMU advanced to set-point at 24-20 on a Sugar Bear service error, Gordon and Chloe Smith posted back-to-back kills to force a Lion timeout. The break proved beneficial as LMU came out of the huddle and quickly put the set away on a Day kill to go ahead 1-0 in the match score.

The Lions had to erase an early 7-3 deficit in set two after Kelly Bence notched back-to-back service aces for the Sugar Bears to force the first LMU timeout of the period. Nash came out of the break strong, posting one of her three kills and a block solo to run the tally to 7-5. The Lions benefitted from a service error at 9-7 to inch closer to Central Arkansas before Kirk took to the serve and contributed back-to-back service aces as part of a four-point swing to force a Sugar Bear timeout at 13-10. The Lions started to run away with the set after the break, getting two kills from Day, a kill from Nash and a service ace from Horton to take an 18-12 lead. Following two Central Arkansas points, Nash and freshman Ariana Covington posted kills to push the Lions to the 20-point plateau at 20-14. A quick Sugar Bear run forced a Lion timeout at 21-18, but LMU eventually earned the set victory at 25-21 on a Horton kill to go up 2-0 in the match.

Set three began as a closely-contested battle as the two teams played to an 8-8 tie early, guided on the LMU side by Day's two kills and one block solo over the span. Day, who finished with six kills in the final set, got a little help from Nash just a few points later, as they teamed to stuff Smith at the net to put the Lions up 12-10. Sensing another LMU run after a Central Arkansas attack error to extend the lead to 13-10, Sugar Bear head coach Steven McRoberts decided to call a timeout to settle his players. Day and the Lions refused to surrender momentum, as the senior posted three more kills en route to a 17-13 LMU advantage. Central Arkansas managed to cut the deficit to 18-16, but the Lions quickly rebounded to take a 21-17 lead and force another Sugar Bear timeout. The timeout had a short-term effect on the Lions as Central Arkansas clawed its way back to 22-20. Fortunately for LMU, that would be as close as the opposition would get, as the Lions notched three unanswered points, including a service and attack error by Central Arkansas, to take the match at 25-20.

LMU will complete play at the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic tonight at 6:30 p.m. as they take on the University of New Mexico in the final match of the tournament. The Lobos swept Central Arkansas last night, and will play Idaho State today at 12 p.m. before meeting the Lions. The match between the Lions and Lobos can be viewed via Gametracker at the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic Tournament Central.

Portland - 3
Montana State - 2

BOZEMAN, Mont. --- The University of Portland Pilots volleyball team finished strong at the Holiday Inn Classic avenging an earlier loss to the host Montana State Bobcats with a thrilling 3-2 victory Saturday night. Portland won with scores of 25-20, 18-25, 25-19, 21-25 and 15-13 to give first-year head coach Joe Houck his first win on the Pilots' bench.

Trailing 12-9 in the final set of the evening, the Pilots turned to a duo of consistent players while staging a spirited comeback. Kaylyn Jones and Maria Clemens, who had 25 and 27 assists for the match, respectively, provided the spark the Pilots needed late. The duo combined to serve up eight points while setting up Jessica Clemens and K.C. Fox a combined eight times in the final set.

Fox led four Pilots with double-digit kills and finished with 17 on the night en route to all-tournament honors. Senior Ashley Grayson added 14 kills and joined Fox as the other Pilot representative on the all-tournament team. Jessica Clemens collected a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs.

Grayson came out firing in the first set, collecting her first kill of the match on the first play and led the Pilots (1-2) to a .371 attack percentage in the set. The Bobcats hit at a .333 clip in the first game, but the Pilots capitalized on two late attack errors and secured a game one victory at 25-20.

The Bobcats (1-2) managed to hold the Pilots at bay in the second set, however, and seemed to pull away early and ran to a 19-9 advantage behind the strong play of Nicole Grypiuk and Jodeen Rademacher. Several Pilot errors, including a botched serve and two quick time outs, left the Pilots at the mercy of the Bobcats deep into the set. The resilient Pilots put up a fight, but the Bobcats evened the score at one set apiece.

In the third game, Fox demonstrated her senior leadership abilities by serving up nine points in addition to being a perfect 3-for-3 on attacks. Despite having four blocks in the sets, the Bobcats were unable to capitalize and finished with a .154 (8-26) attack percentage with four errors.

Down two sets to one, the Bobcats came through in the clutch to complete an even set sweep of the Pilots in the fourth frame. Taylor Faught, a Bobcat junior also named to the All-Tournament Team, contributed 14 assists in the second set as two Bobcats combined to go 11-for-15 on their attacks, pushing the Pilots to a fifth set. Just like the Bobcats experienced in the third set, the Pilots arms went cold with .128 (12-39) attack percentage and seven attack errors.

The Pilots now return home to the Chiles Center where they open the 2008 home schedule by hosting the Nike Portland Invitational starting Thursday September 4. The tournament begins Thursday with Kansas State playing UC Irvine at 5 p.m. Following the conclusion of that match, Pilot fans will be introduced to the coaching reign of Joe Houck with Portland taking on Arizona State.

Washington - 3
Portland - 0

BOZEMAN, Mont. --- The ninth-ranked Washington Huskies dealt the Portland Pilots a 3-0 loss Saturday morning at the Holiday Inn Classic at Shroyer Gym. Washington overcame a first set scare from the Pilots, but then went on to a 25-19, 25-18, 25-12 victory. Portland will conclude the tournament this evening against the host Montana State Bobcats, MSU knocked off the Pilots 3-1 on Friday.

Saturday's morning match began with a back-and-forth affair in the first set as senior Ashley Grayson's kill made the score 13-13. Shelley Sievers kill brought the Pilots (0-2) to within 18-17, but the Huskies (2-0) closed the set with a 5-1 run.

The Huskies mounted a 5-0 run early in the second set to gain a 15-7 margin. Portland clawed back to a 20-16 deficit on three straight kills by senior K.C. Fox, but Washington closed the set shortly thereafter.

The third set was more of the same as Portland hung around and trailed 12-11, but Airial Salvo rattled off 11 consecutive service points to settle the outcome.

Fox led the Pilots with 10 kills, but the team struggled against the Huskies frontline. After hitting .167 in the first set, the Pilots finished the match with 27 kills and 27 attack errors. Washington hit .209 for the match and racked up 11.5 team blocks.

Junior Maria Clemens had 11 assists, four kills and seven digs in her split duties as setter and outside hitter. Junior Kaylyn Jones added 10 assists for the Pilots.

Sophomore libero Danielle Dupar collected a match-high nine digs, as the Pilots gained a 41-35 edge over Washington in total digs.

Jill Collymore had a match-high 12 kills, while Jenna Hagglund racked up 27 assists for the Huskies.

Saint Mary's - 3
Fresno State - 0

Story coming soon.

Saint Mary's - 3
Cal State Bakersfield - 0

Fresno, CA - The Saint Mary's women's volleyball team improved to 2-0 this season following a 3-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield in the Fresno State Invitational this morning. The Gaels defeated the Roadrunners in three straight sets, 25-22, 25-22, and 31-29.

Saint Mary's had strong hitting performance from three front line players in Shannon Lowell, Megan York and Chanteal Satele. Lowell posted a .467 hitting percentage, converting 8-of-15 swings into kills with just one error in the match. For the second straight game, York led the Gaels with 16 kills, while hitting .400. She also added 12 digs for her second double-double of the year. Satele, who was playing in her first match as a Gael, posted a .357 hitting percentage as she had 11 kills and just one error in 28 attempts.

For the second straight game, Kelly Houston recorded a team-high in digs as she recorded 16 digs against CS Bakersfield on Saturday morning. Setter Kapua Kamana'o had 36 saves while recording eight digs and two block assists.

In the first set, Saint Mary's posted a .262 hitting percentage while holding the Roadrunners to a .163 hitting mark to start the match and won the set by three points. The Gaels had a great defensive performance in the second set, as SMC held CSUB to .086 while hitting .235 to take the second set 25-22. Although the Gaels hit a match-best .326 in the third set, the Gaels needed overtime in the third set to wrap up the match, winning the final set 31-29.

Saint Mary's will wrap up the Fresno State Invitational this evening with a 7 p.m. match against the Fresno State Bulldogs from the Save Mart Center.

San Diego - 3
San Diego State - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Behind a balanced offensive attack, the 22nd-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team cruised past its cross-town rival San Diego State University, 3-0, Saturday evening at Peterson Gym.

With the 25-13, 25-23, 25-15 win, the Toreros remain unbeaten on the season as they improve to 3-0 and claimed the San Diego State Invitational championship. With the loss, the Aztecs fall to 1-2 overall.

Amy Mahinalani DeGroot was named the Tournament MVP after capping off the weekend with a 14 kill performance, while hitting for a .286 clip in the match. Jaimarie Sutherland was the second Torero in double digit kills as she had 12 on 19 attempts while posting a .421 attack percentage. Senior setter Jessica Nyrop was named to the All-Tournament team after posting a double-double in the final match with 36 assists and 10 digs. As a team, USD hit for a .383 clip.

In set one, the Toreros wasted no time in asserting themselves as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead, sparked on a three consecutive Aztec errors and capped on DeGroot kill off a set from Nyrop. USD never looked back as they quickly built up a double-digit lead and cruised on to a 25-13 victory.

In set two, the Aztecs gave the Toreros a run for their money. SDSU would not allow the Toreros to get too far ahead as USD took the early advantage, but the Aztecs stayed to within three. SDSU would go on to take the lead at 8-7 and build their lead up to as many as three on several occasions. Then an attack error by SDSU's Stephanie Darnall knotted the score at 23-23, which forced the Aztecs into a timeout. The Toreros came out of the time out and claimed the next two points on an Ashton Basch kill and an attack error by SDSU's Paije Pearson to give USD a 2-0 lead going into the break.

In set three, USD again asserted itself early and grabbed the momentum by taking a 10-5 lead and never looked back as they would cruise their way to a 25-15 win to complete the sweep over the Aztecs.

USD will return to action on Friday as they head to Los Angeles to compete in the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational. The Toreros will open play against Hofstra in a 10 a.m. match, followed by a 5 p.m. match against Oklahoma.

San Diego State Invitational All-Tournament Team
USD - Amy Mahinalani DeGroot (MVP)
USD - Andrea Csaszi (Libero of the Tournament)
USD - Jessica Nyrop
USD - Ashton Basch

San Diego - 3
UC Irvine - 1

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A pair of Toreros record double-digit kills to help pace the 22nd-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (2-0) to a 3-1 (25-16, 26-24, 21-25, 25-20) non-conference win over UC Irvine (1-1) Saturday morning at the San Diego State Invitational.

Amy Mahinalni DeGroot led all players with her 18 kills on 41 attempts while only committing four attack errors to post a .341 attack percentage. Ashton Basch was the second Torero in double-digit kills as she recorded a career-high 15 kills on 26 attempts, while only committing two attack errors to post a .500 attack percentage. Senior setter Jessica Nyrop recorded 44 assists, while directing the Toreros to a .299 team attack percentage. Andrea Csaszi led all players with 21 digs.

In the first set, the Toreros cruised their way to a 25-16 win. The first part of the set was a close nit battle with each team taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 5-4 in favor of the Toreros, a DeGroot kill off a set from Jillian Wolpman ignited a 7-3 run that was book-ended on back-to-back Jaimarie Sutherland kills to give USD a 12-5 edge. USD never let up as they would go on to build their lead up to as many as 10 at 21-11 on a Wolpman kill, before settling for the nine-point win.

The second set was a lot closer battle as USD recorded a 26-24 win to take a 2-0 lead going into the break. This set was a sea saw battle. Both teams took their turn with the lead and neither team had a lead bigger than three, then with the Toreros trailing 21-19, a Ellick kill sparked a 4-2 run to give USD set point at 24-23. The Anteaters then evened things up on a Lauren Killerman kill, but a service ace by DeGroot and a UCI attack error gave USD the win.

UC Irvine avoided getting swept by the Toreros by capturing game three 25-21. The Anteaters grabbed the early momentum and built their lead up to as many as six at 21-15. But USD then launched a comeback as they went on a 4-0 run to make things interesting, but could come no closer as the Anteaters came away with the win, forcing game four.

In game four, the two teams were again engaged in a battle as each team took their turn with the lead and neither team having a lead bigger than three. Then with the score knotted at 18-18, a Basch kill off a set from Nyrop sparked an 7-2 Torero rum to close out the match and give the San Diego the win.

The Toreros will return to action later on tonight as they conclude play in the tournament against the host and cross-town rival San Diego State University.

Santa Clara - 3
Utah Valley State - 2

SALT LAKE CITY - The Santa Clara volleyball team opened the 2008 season with a five-set victory (25-18, 17-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-0) against Utah Valley at Crimson Court Saturday in the second match of the Ute Invitational.

Senior Brittany Lowe led the Broncos with 20 kills. She also had seven digs and three blocks. Anna Cmaylo also posted double-figure kills with 12. Lindsy Davigeadono dished out a match-high 44 assists and two service aces.

In set one, Santa Clara scored the first three points of the first set with Kim Courtney serving two aces. Lowe turned in five kills on 16 attempts, while Krista Kelly was efficient on the attack with four kills on six swings. The Broncos jumped to a 14-10 lead on a kill by Cmaylo and then climbed to their largest lead of the set, seven-points, on a Wolverine attack error. A block by Tanya Schmidt and Nina Sevastopoulos brought Santa Clara to match point, 24-17, and a service error by Utah Valley ended the set, 25-18.

Utah Valley responded quickly in the second set with an early 4-1 run. The Wolverines jumped to an 8-5 lead after the Broncos rallied back to knot the score at 5-5 on a kill by Cmaylo. Utah Valley, however, would never relinquish its lead and took the set, 25-17.

After the break, Santa Clara assumed control of the match with a 4-0 run to open the third set. The Broncos' lead would grow to as many as five at a 6-1 margin on successful plays by Davigeadono, Lowe, Sevastopoulos and Schmidt. Utah Valley battled back to reduce the margin to two points on two occasions; yet, SCU held the advantage with a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to gain a 17-10 edge and cruise to a 25-20 third-set victory. The Broncos held the Wolverines to a .065 hitting percentage, connecting for eight kills on 31 attempts with six errors.

The two teams went point-for-point in the start of the fourth set before Utah Valley surged to a four-point lead at 16-12. Despite solid attacks from Lowe and Cmaylo, the Wolverines held on to win the set, 25-22.

The Broncos wasted no time and took all 15 points of the fifth set. Service was held by senior Taylor O'Brien, who brought the Broncos to match point, 14-0, with an ace. A kill by Lowe off a set from Davigeadono, drew the contest to a close. Lowe once again took charge with four kills in the determining set.

The Ute Invitational concludes tomorrow as Utah hosts Santa Clara at 4 p.m. at Crimson Court.

UC Riverside - 3
Gonzaga - 0

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team closed out the University of Montana Tournament with a 3-0 loss to UC Riverside Saturday evening. The Highlanders defeated the Bulldogs by the scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-22.

Gonzaga (1-3) closed out the match with 38 total team kills, only four less than UC Riverside (3-1), with senior middle blocker Elaina Renius leading the charge with her fourth-straight double-figure kill match. Renius had 14 kills in the loss along with three solo blocks, one block assist and two digs. Also strong offensively for the Zags was junior outside hitter Michelle Boevers who tallied 11 kills.

UC Riverside had two players finish in double-digit kills, including Kelly Fink who registered a match-high 15 kills. Kelly Simpson added 10 kills for the Highlanders.

The Bulldogs were able to hold a huge edge in digs, finishing the match with 36 digs, while holding the Highlanders to only 26. Freshman setter Denise Van de Mortel led the way for Gonzaga with nine. Senior libero Paige Dillingham added eight digs and sophomore defensive specialist Allyson Powell collected six.

The Zags return home to prepare the first week of classes and for the University of Washington Tournament next week. Gonzaga will open tournament play against Washington on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. and then round out the tournament with matches against Portland State University (1 p.m.) and Boise State University (5 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 5.

North Dakota State - 3
Gonzaga - 2

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team seemingly was on its way to victory Saturday morning, having won the first two sets of its match against North Dakota State University, but the Bison forged a comeback, winning the final three sets to hand the Bulldogs their second loss of the season.

Playing in its third match of the University of Montana Tournament, Gonzaga (1-2) won the first set two sets 25-22 and 25-13, before North Dakota (1-1) found its rhythm winning the final three 25-23, 26-24 and 15-10 to snatch the victory from the Bulldogs.

Both teams had three players close out the match with double-figure kills. The Bulldogs were led by junior outside hitter Michelle Boevers who had a match-high 16 kills in the Zag setback. Senior middle blocker Elaina Renius added 15 kills, while junior outside hitter Emily Johnson tallied 11.

Johnson also collected 11 digs in the loss to register her second career double-double. Her only other double-double came as a freshman when she had 13 kills and 11 digs against the University of Idaho.

Defensively Gonzaga had multiple players stand out. Senior libero Paige Dillingham finished the contest with a match-high 17 digs, tying her career-high set yesterday against the University of Montana. Renius, on the other hand, controlled the airwaves for the Zags, blocking two Bison attack attempts and assisting on six others.

Gonzaga finished the match with a slight 61-55 edge in kills and a 60-51 advantage in digs. Neither team had a spectacular hitting day, as the Bulldogs hit .199 and the Bison had a .153 attacking percentage.

North Dakota State was led by Brooke VandenBergh who finished with 15 kills. Chrissy Knuth and Lauren McLaughlin contributed 12 and 10 kills, respectively for the Bison.

Gonzaga will round out the Montana Tournament with a match against UC Riverside tonight at 5 p.m.

Indiana - 3
San Francisco - 0

Long Beach, CA - USF volleyball suffered a 25-13, 25-12, 25-18 sweep against Indiana to close out the 2008 Long Beach State Invitational Saturday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid. The Dons (1-2) hit a truly dismal .036 for the match, while the Hoosiers (1-2) turned in .297 attacking in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

San Francisco managed just 27 kills for the match and a whopping 23 attack errors. Indiana, who finished 10th in the Big 10 last season, first year head coach and former USF assistant coach Sherry Dunbar, hit .297 with 46 kills and just hitting 13 errors.

Senior middle blocker Carly Babin recorded nine kills for the Dons, while senior outside hitter Addie Webster added eight kills and a team-high nine digs. It was a rugged match in all facets for USF, who lost the blocking battle 14.0 - 3.0.

San Francisco looks to bounce back when it hosts the first of back-to-back weekend tournaments on the Hilltop, this one beginning Friday, September 5 in the USF Asics/Powerade Challege. USF takes on perennial NCAA power UC Santa Barbara at 7:00, preceded by Texas-Arlington against Utah State at 5:00 PM. All games in the tournament are played at War Memorial Gym.


Gonzaga - 3
Bradley - 0

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team opened its 2008 season with a 3-0 sweep over Bradley University at the University of Montana Tournament Friday afternoon. The Zags, who also swept their season opener a season ago, combined for 42 kills and had a solid .345 hitting percentage in the 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 victory.

Junior Layne Brosky and sophomore Caitlin Cozad led the way for Gonzaga, both finishing the match hitting over .600. Brosky had eight kills and only one error in 11 attempts for a match-high .636 hitting percentage, while Cozad also had eight kills and no errors on 13 total attempts for a .615 attacking percentage.

Senior Elaina Renius dominated both offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. The middle blocker finished with a match-high 12 kills and added three block assists. The 12 kills was Renius' 29th double-digit kill performance of her career.

Senior Paige Dillingham collected a match-high 13 digs for Gonzaga in her first career start as the Zags libero. Dillingham also served up two aces and had one assist for GU.

Zag freshman Denise Van de Mortel played well in her first collegiate match. The Bulldog starting setter closed out the contest dishing out 35 assists, and also had four digs, two kills and two blocks.

Three other Gonzaga players saw their first collegiate action against Bradley. Freshman Laura Day played in all three sets as a defensive specialist, finishing the match with four digs and one service ace. Freshman Kaprina Goodwin and sophomore Kelsey Bashaw, who was injured last season, both played in one set for the Bulldogs.

The Zags limited the Braves to just 28 team kills and a dismal .051 hitting percentage. Megan Schmidt and Melissa Collins both finished the match with six kills for Bradley.

Gonzaga ended the match with a 35-30 advantage in digs and a 6-3 edge in team blocks.

GU will be back in action later tonight when its faces Montana in its second of four matches at the Montana Tournament. The Bulldogs will match-up with the host Grizzlies at 7 p.m.

Note: The number of points to win a set has been reduced from 30 to 25 this season.

Montana - 3
Gonzaga - 1

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team played evenly with the University of Montana but dropped a 3-1 decision to the Grizzlies in its second match of the University of Montana Tournament Friday evening. The Bulldogs (1-1) fell to the Griz (2-0) 25-14, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18.

The Zags closed out the match with 48 kills on 127 attempts for a .181 hitting percentage. The Grizzlies finished with three less kills, at 45, on 119 attempts for a .219 attacking percentage. The Zags, though, tallied 25 errors, while the Griz only faulted on 19 attacks.

The two other differences of the match were Montana's powerful serve and their blocking ability above the net. Gonzaga could not figure out the Grizzlies serve, allowing 13 aces, including three each by Amy Roberts, Jade Roskam and Jaimie Thibeault. Montana also finished the match with 22 block assists. The tag-team blocking was led by Thibeault and Roskam, who had nine and four, respectively.

Gonzaga's offensive and defense wasn't lacking in of its self though. Sophomore middle blocker Caitlin Cozad hit over .600 for the second-straight match, finishing with a .667 clip on nine kills, including one error, on 12 total attempts. Senior middle blocker Elaina Renius led both teams in kills for the second-straight match with 16. She also added one service ace and three block assists.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by senior libero Paige Dillingham and junior outside hitter Emily Johnson. Dillingham collected a match and career-high 17 digs in the setback, while Johnson had 10 digs; one dig shy of tying her career-high. Johnson also contributed nine kills, and two blocks.

Gonzaga looks to rebound from its first loss of the season tomorrow against North Dakota State University and UC Riverside. The Bulldogs will face the Bison at 10:30 a.m. and the Highlanders at 5 p.m. on the final day of the Montana Tournament.

Loyola Marymount - 3
Idaho State - 1

Albuquerque, N.M. - LMU (1-0) defeated Idaho State (0-1), 3-1, in convincing fashion, 25-13, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, on Friday afternoon in the Lions' season-opener played at the University of New Mexico as part of the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic.

Senior Emily Day led all players in the match with 16 kills and three service aces, connecting at a .174 clip on 46 total attacks. Day, who finished the 2007 season with 17 double-doubles, wasted no time notching her first in 2008, pairing the kill total with a team-best 15 digs. Sophomore Megan Nash was virtually unstoppable in the match, posting a .500 attack percentage (11-for-22) and no attack errors. Not to be outdone, sophomore Becky Stehling hit an impressive .435 (12-for-23), and freshman Ariana Covington contributed 11 kills in her first match for the Lions.

Sophomore Renee Horton, who garnered All-West Coast Conference honorable mention recognition last year, picked up right where she left off, serving-up a match-high tying 31 assists and guiding the offense to .316 (15-for-38) and .370 (13-for-27) hitting percentages in sets one and three, respectively. While the Lions seemed to have the offense clicking, the defense was stellar as well. LMU held Idaho State to sub-.100 hitting percentages in three of the four sets on the day, including a .023 (10-for-43) mark in the final set. The Lions totaled 16 block assists and nine total blocks in the match, led by Nash's eight block assists.

Emily Waldron paced the Bengal offense on the day, collecting 13 kills on 53 attacks. Emily Beardmore also contributed double-digit kills, notching 12 and hitting a solid .478 (12-for-23). Setter Blakely Peppinger posted a match-high tying 31 assists, while Paige Palmer recorded a match-best 21 digs.

Stehling recorded half of her 12 kills on the day in the first set, guiding the Lions to an easy 25-13 victory in the first set of the season. Covington quickly made her presence felt at the collegiate level in her Lion debut, totaling five kills on 10 swings to help LMU to the win. The Lions jumped out to an early 10-3 advantage on a Covington kill before advancing the lead to 15-8 on a Bengal attack error. After a ball handling error on Peppinger to make it 17-11, a Covington kill and a Day service ace ran the total to 19-11. With the score at 20-12, Stehling and Covington took control of the set, posting three and two kills, respectively to hand LMU the 1-0 advantage.

Idaho State bounced back after the lopsided first set, evening the tally at one set apiece headed into set number three. Waldron and Beardmore each collected five kills in the period, as the Bengals hit .216 (16-for-37) en route to the 25-23 victory. It was Day who came alive in set number two for the Lions, posting four kills and a service ace over the span. Nash added a .750 hitting percentage (three-for-four), but the effort came up short as the two teams were knotted after two sets.

LMU once again hit the accelerator in set three, hitting .370 and benefiting from seven Day kills on 12 attacks en route to a 25-18 victory. Nash once again was impressive, collecting three kills on six attacks and three block assists, while Horton dished-up eight assists in the set. LMU trailed early in the set, falling behind by counts of 9-7 and 12-9 before evening the score at 13-13. After a see-saw battle to 17-17, the Lions went on a four-point swing to take a 21-17 lead and force an Idaho State timeout. The timeout proved to be a short-term solution, as the Bengals managed to post one final point before a Day kill and three consecutive attack errors handed LMU the third set and a 2-1 lead in the match score.

The Lions showed no mercy in the final set, holding the Bengals to a .023 hitting percentage and taking the match with a 25-20 victory. Nash capped her outstanding performance over the course of the match with four kills on seven attacks for a blistering .571 hitting percentage. Stehling also excelled in the set, adding four kills of her own on six attacks, while Horton posted 12 assists. The Lions collected a slim 8-6 advantage early in the set before posting four unanswered points to take a 12-6 lead just short of halfway through the final period. LMU extended the lead to 18-14, but Idaho State inched back to 19-17 on back-to-back Lion attack errors and a kill by Beardmore. Just as the Bengals seemed to be gaining momentum, back-to-back attack errors of their own spelled the final turning of the tides for the Lions. LMU would close the match strong, as Nash posted two kills and Covington notched one to push the tally to match point at 24-19. Idaho State escaped the first match point on a Waldron kill, but the ninth Bengal attack error of the set proved costly, handing the Lions the victory on the very next play.

LMU will continue the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic on Saturday, squaring-off against Central Arkansas at 9:30 a.m. and host University of New Mexico at 6:30 p.m. to close play. Both games can be viewed via Gametracker at the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic Tournament Central.

Pepperdine - 3
UNC Greensboro - 0

FULLERTON, Calif. ­-- The 2008 women's volleyball season got off to an outstanding start for Pepperdine as the Waves routed UNC Greensboro, 25-15, 25-21, 25-15, on Friday night at the Radisson Suites Buena Park Volleyball Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton.

A balanced attack saw three Waves share a team-high eight kills, and Pepperdine had a big .278 to .044 edge in hitting percentage. Serving (10 aces) and defense (39 digs) played a big role in the victory.

Pepperdine's heralded freshman class, ranked #8 in the country by Volleyball Magazine, had an extremely impressive debut. Middle blocker Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) and outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) each had eight kills, while Hill hit .500 (8-2-12) and Frederick added seven digs. The third freshman, Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS), started at libero and collected a match-high 14 digs.

Junior outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) also had eight kills while senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) added seven kills and seven digs.

"This is a really good start," Pepperdine assistant coach Tim Jensen said. "We served and passed extremely well, and we knew at the beginning of the year that was going to be the most important thing for us. In the first set we served and passed so well and hit over .400, and if we do that, we'll be tough to beat. I'm really proud of our seniors' leadership and the output we got from the freshmen."

Junior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS), returning from a knee injury, started and had 19 assists. Sophomore Kealohilani Kea (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS) played the third set and had three assists.

UNC Greensboro (0-1), a preseason favorite in the Southern Conference, was led by nine kills by Kayren Finney.

The Waves play their final two matches of the tournament on Saturday (Aug. 30) against Delaware at 11 a.m. and host Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 3
UC Davis - 1

Fresno, CA - The Saint Mary's Women's volleyball team kicked off the season tonight when they played UC Davis for their opening match-up in the Fresno State Tournament. The Gaels took the match in four sets, defeating the Aggies by scores of 25-15, 26-24, 23-25, and 25-19. Sophomore outside hitter Megan York collected a double-double on the night as she pounded a match high 18 kills, and added 12 digs.

The Gaels appeared to be in control of the entire match, as they outplayed the Aggies at the net all night, out-blocking UC Davis 15-2. Sophomore Shannon Lowell led the Gaels with four blocks for the match.

Saint Mary's also saw a great performance from senior outside hitter Taylor Groess who added 15 kills in 35 attempts for a .229 percentage.

Sophomore setter Kapua Kamana'o totaled 40 assists on the evening, while adding 10 digs. Junior Alita Fisher had three service aces on the evening.

The Gaels will play two games tomorrow, with the first game at 10 AM against CS Bakersfield. They will then finish up tournament play against host Fresno State at 7:00 PM.

San Diego - 3
Albany - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 22nd -ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team cruised their way to a 25-20, 25-13, 25-20 win over the University of Albany in the season opener for both teams Friday afternoon at the San Diego State Invitational.

Jaimarie Sutherland led the team in kills with 13 on 25 attempts, while only committing three attack errors to post a .400 attack percentage. Amy Mahinalani DeGroot and Ashton Basch were the other two Toreros with double-digit kills as each had 11 with Basch posting a .588 hitting percentage and DeGroot posting a double-double with a match-best 15 digs. Jessica Nyrop led all players with 37 assists and Andrea Csaszi recorded 14 digs. As a team, USD hit for a .359 clip.

In set one, the Great Danes jumped out to the early 2-0 lead, but an Albany service error ignited a 10-4 San Diego run that was capped off on a DeGroot kill to give the Toreros a 10-6 advantage. Albany was then able to keep pace with the Toreros as there were eight ties for the remainder of the set, but USD never surrendered the lead. Then with the score knotted at 17-17, San Diego closed out the set with an 8-3 run sealed on a Sutherland cross court kill off a set from Nyrop to give the Toreros a 25-20 set one win.

In the second set, Albany again grabbed the first point, but the Toreros continued their momentum from the first set and used a 6-1 run sparked on a Basch kill and capped on an Albany attack error, which forced the great Danes into a timeout. The Toreros then came out of the time out and never looked back as they cruised their way to a 25-13 win.

In the third set, the Toreros jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but the Great Danes refused to go away as they came back and pulled to within one at 11-10 on a USD attack error, but the Toreros used a 6-3 run sparked by a Sutherland kill and capped on a Albany attack error to regain control of the momentum of the match and take a 17-12 lead and cruise their way to a 25-20 win, claiming the match.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday morning in a 10 a.m. match against UC Irvine at Peterson Gym.

USF - 3
Missouri State - 2

LONG BEACH, Calif. - San Francisco watched a 2-0 games advantage evaporate, but held on for a 25-16, 25-12, 20-25, 23-25, 15-9 victory against Missouri State. The Dons (1-1) hit at a .242 clip for the contest, but faltered in game three, managing just .089 attacking.

Sophomore opposite Sarah Mandala did the heavy lifting for the Dons once again with a match-high 17 kills and three aces, while senior middle blocker Carly Babin added 14 kills and five blocks (one solo). USF had four players record double-digit kills and senior outside hitter Addie Webster collected her second straight double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs. Senior middle blocker Alix Gombos chipped in 10 kills.

Junior libero Haley Carroll recorded a match-high 24 digs and senior setter Darcy Carroll dished out a match-high 31 assists with seven digs. Sophomore setter Alaina Sully added 15 assists.

Sara Staubach had 15 kills to pace the Bears, who are one of just five Division I programs to surpass 1,000 victories. BYU, Long Beach State, Nebraska and UCLA are the others.

Long Beach State - 3
USF - 1

LONG BEACH, Calif. - USF battled in the 2008 season opener, but fell to No. 24 Long Beach State 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20 in opening round action of the Long Beach State Invitational. Sophomore opposite Sarah Mandala wasted no time in establishing career highs setting new standards with a match-high 21 kills, 18 digs and five blocks. Senior middle blocker Carly Babin added 10 kills on .348 hitting with a block and senior outside hitter Addie Webster chipped in 10 kills and 11 digs for the Dons.

Junior Haley Carroll recorded 18 digs with a pair of service aces. Freshman Chelsey Lowe recorded 11 digs with a pair of kills in her first collegiate contest, while freshman middle Erin Bragg added three kills and six blocks in her Green and Gold debut. Sophomore setter Alaina Sully recorded 21 assists, while senior setter Darcy Carroll dished out 20.

Long Beach State hit .207 for the match, .441 in game two and limited the Dons to a .147 clip, including a .067 rate in game four. USF also committed 10 service errors. San Francisco held a 13.0 - 11.0 blocking advantage.

Quincy Verdin led four 49ers with double-digit kills with 13. Four Long Beach State players recorded double-doubles.

Montana State - 3
Portland - 1

BOZEMAN, Mont. --- The Montana State Bobcats took the first two sets from the Portland Pilots and held on for a 3-1 win in the season-opening match for both teams at the Holiday Inn Classic at Shroyer Gym. The Bobcats won the first two sets by identical 25-22 margins before the Pilots took the third 25-23. MSU then closed out the match by taking the fourth set 25-19.

Portland opens the season at 0-1, while Montana State is 1-0.

Senior K.C. Fox, who missed most of last season with a broken hand, recorded a double-double for the Pilots, finishing with 11 kills and 10 digs. Senior Jennifer Sheedy had a match-high 15 kills, while senior Ashley Grayson totaled 14 kills and a .444 hitting percentage.

Juniors Maria Clemens and Kaylyn Jones split time at the setters' spot, finishing with 21 and 27 assists, respectively. Clemens also had 10 digs.

The first set looked promising for UP as the Pilots opened up a four-point advantage. Up 9-6, a kill from Fox gave Portland its biggest lead at 10-6. But the Bobcats responded with a 9-4 spurt to take their first lead of the match at 15-14. Moments later, Sheedy connected on a kill to tie the set at 17-17. From there, MSU would score three straight points and close the set with an 8-5 run.

The second set began in a familiar fashion as the Pilots opened a 7-2 lead after a kill by Maria Clemens. With Portland still in command, Fox connected once again to make it 15-12. MSU would stick around, eventually taking a 19-18 lead. The Pilots fought back late, with Fox giving them the lead on a kill that made it 22-21. MSU would then score the set's final four points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set remained close throughout, with the Pilots prevailing 25-23. Trailing 19-16 late in the set, the Pilots responded by taking four of six points to tie it at 21-21. MSU would take a 22-21 lead before UP freshman Allix Strahon connected on a kill that tied the set once again. Portland would end the set with a 3-1 run, capped by a kill from Grayson.

MSU began the final set by taking a 9-6 advantage. The lead would grow to five at 15-10 before Portland responded and climbed within two points at 17-15. But the Bobcats would pull away from there to seal the win.

Jodeen Rademacher led the way for Montana State and matched Sheedy with a match-high 19 kills. Nicole Grypiuk chipped in with 13 kills, while Kyla Hendry finished with 10. Taylor Faught handed out a match-high 40 assists.

MSU finished with 10 team blocks, while Portland countered with five. The Bobcats also had a .299 hitting percentage to UP's .224.

The match marked the first at UP for first-year head coach Joe Houck.

Portland continues play at the Holiday Inn Classic with a match on Saturday against the ninth-ranked Washington Huskies. The Pilots and Huskies are set to go at 9:00 a.m. (PT). Portland then concludes play in Bozeman with another match against host school Montana State at 6:00 p.m. (PT) on Saturday night.


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