Another Five-Set win for Gonzaga
Oct. 21, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore.--Gonzaga volleyball wrapped up the first half of its West Coast Conference schedule with a win Saturday, and this win went the same as numerous others as the Zags beat Portland in five sets (11-25, 25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 15-9) inside the Chiles Center in Portland.
Gonzaga (12-9 overall) advanced to 7-2 in conference play, the program's highest win total at the halfway mark of conference play. Six of those wins came in five sets with the first five coming during the first five matches on the WCC slate.
"It took a team effort to get this win today," said Gonzaga head coach Diane Nelson. "Gretchen Rudel and Abby Knapp stepped up to give us what we needed. Overall, we got better as the match went on."
Gonzaga responded to a slow start in the first set by winning the next two by 25-20 and 25-14 scorelines. Portland took the fourth to force a deciding fifth set, but the Zags hit a match-high .471 in the final frame for the match win. In that fifth set, the Zags won the first three points and took a 9-4 lead just after changing sides. Portland whittled that lead to two at 11-9, but Gonzaga claimed the match's final four points, the last of which came from a service ace from Rudel.
Knapp led the team with 15 kills and a .448 attack percentage while Rudel added 10 on 22 swings. Both freshmen vastly extended their career highs in kills, Knapp by six and Rudel by nine. Rudel, a Naperville, Ill., native, had never seen extensive time in the Zags' hitting line until Saturday.
Also having a career day, libero Tiyana Hallums dug up 31 attacks for the Zags. That's tied for the third-highest dig total by a Zag during the rally scoring era and fifth-highest overall. Before Saturday, Gonzaga had gone five years without an individual reaching 30 digs. The junior also organized the Bulldogs' defensive efforts to the tune of 81 team digs, another season high.
Higher up on the court, the Zags out-blocked Portland 13.0-4.0 with Payton Mack tallying seven total blocks. Knapp assisted on five for another personal best.
The Bulldogs will now return home to start the second half of the WCC season. That homestand begins on Thursday, Oct. 26 as Gonzaga hosts San Francisco at 6:00 p.m. inside the Martin Centre.
11/20/2017 - Zags End Season with Senior Day Win
11/18/2017 - Penner Lands 22 Kills as Zags Fall in Five
11/16/2017 - Tough Night Offensively Hands VB Loss in Stockton
11/15/2017 - Zags to End Regular Season with Long Weekend
11/14/2017 - Two NLI Signees for Volleyball
11/11/2017 - VB Falls to No. 12 San Diego
11/09/2017 - VB Falls to Ninth-ranked BYU