Volleyball headed to ASU Sheraton Invitational
THIS WEEKEND: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team travels to Tempe, Ariz., for its third and final road tournament of the season. The Zags open the ASU Sheraton Invitational Friday when they face Florida Atlantic University at 9:30 a.m. and Villanova University at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Bulldogs face UC Riverside at 12 p.m. and close the weekend against host Arizona State University at 8 p.m. All matches will be played at the Wells Fargo Arena on the ASU campus.
ABOUT FLORIDA ATLANTIC: Florida Atlantic University volleyball heads to the ASU Sheraton Invitational 2-3, coming off a tough 3-2 win over Stetson University Tuesday. The Owls are ran by setter Jelena Jovanovic with her 202 assists and the attack is spread out amongst four players who have 45 kills or more. Fernanda Nelson is a first-year head coach.
ABOUT VILLANOVA: Last weekend, Villanova University played in the Yale Invitational and dropped matches to Yale University and Northwestern University, but beat Brown University. The Wildcats are coached by Josh Steinbach in his sixth year. Villanova freshman Lauren Carpenter has played a major role for the team and has 93 kills, five aces and 87 digs.
ABOUT UC RIVERSIDE: UC Riverside comes to Tempe, Ariz., 0-5 in its previous five matches. Ron Larson coaches the team in his fourth season at UCR. The Highlanders have already faced Gonzaga University this season at the Gonzaga Invitational, and lost 3-0 to the Bulldogs. UCR is led by Amanda Vialpando who has 79 kills and 13 aces for the 3-6 Highlanders.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: The Arizona State Sun Devils enter the ASU Sheraton Invitational with the best record of all the teams at 7-2. ASU won it's first six matches of the season including a 3-1 victory against WCC member Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. The squad is coached by Jason Watson. ASU is led by Macey Gardner and Erica Wilson who have 174 and 155 kills, respectively.
CAREER RECORDS: The Gonzaga University volleyball team has faced three of the four teams it will play in the ASU Sheraton Invitational. The Bulldogs are 1-0 against Florida Atlantic University, playing back in 2002; 1-3 against UC Riverside, picking up its lone win two weekends ago at the Gonzaga Invitational, and 0-1 versus Arizona State University with the loss in 2003. Gonzaga has not faced Villanova University and the two programs meet for the first time Friday night.
UNLV CLASSIC RECAP: Last weekend, the Gonzaga University women's volleyball team traveled to Las Vegas, Nev. for the UNLV Classic. The Bulldogs had a quick start to the weekend by sweeping both Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University. Gonzaga dropped its last match of the tournament against host UNLV and took second overall. The Bulldogs improved its record to 5-4.
UNLV CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT: Redshirt freshman Savannah Blinn was named to her third consecutive all-tournament team at the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., along with senior Kylie Edinger. The outside hitter finished the weekend with 31 kills, 10 aces and 16 digs and Edinger finished with 30 kills, two aces and nine digs. Blinn was previously named to the all-tournament teams at the Northwest Challenge in Seattle, Wash., and the Gonzaga Invitational in Spokane, Wash.
TWELVE ZAGS IN ACTION: Gonzaga University's volleyball head coach Dave Gantt played all 12 Bulldogs in every match at the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. Eight of the 12 players had a season-high accomplishment over the weekend including junior Meredith Crenshaw's .571 kill percentage against Prairie View A&M University, redshirt Savannah Blinn's 21 kills against UNLV and redshirt freshman Deanna Nielson's four aces versus Texas Southern University.
SIX LETTERWINNERS RETURN IN 2012: Gonzaga returns six letterwinners from the 2011 season that is led by the senior trio of setter Mengya Wang, right side hitter Kylie Edinger and outside hitter Terran Poindexter. The three combined last season for 502 kills, 212 digs and 109 blocks for the Bulldogs. The Zags also have high expectations for junior libero Kristina Lavrisha, middle blocker Meredith Crenshaw and sophomore libero Kennedy Wesley.
GANTT BACK FOR HIS FOURTH SEASON: Gonzaga University women's volleyball head coach Dave Gantt returns for his fourth season at the helm of the Bulldogs. Gantt has previously coached at Montana State University and Oregon State University. For more information on Gantt, including his full bio, go to GoZags.com
BULLDOGS PICKED NINTH IN WCC COACHES PRESEASON POLL: The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team has been selected to finish ninth in the 2012 West Coast Conference season according to a preseason vote of the league's head coaches. The Bulldogs received 11 votes in this year's poll after losing three starters from last years team.
Women's Volleyball 2012 Preseason Poll (First place votes)
T-1. Saint Mary's - 59 (4)
T-1. San Diego - 59 (4)
3. Pepperdine - 53 (1)
4. BYU - 42
5. San Francisco - 33
T-6. Loyola Marymount - 27
T-6. Santa Clara - 27
8. Portland - 13
9. Gonzaga - 11
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