Zags Clinch Winning Season with Four-Set Victory
Nov. 17, 2016
SPOKANE, Wash.--With a four-set win that was tense until the final play, the Gonzaga University volleyball team clinched its third consecutive winning season Thursday night, downing Pacific 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-18, 25-23) at the Martin Centre in Spokane.
The Bulldogs took an early match lead, winning the first set by eight points. Up 12-10, McKayla Ferris earned a sideout, and the Zags took two more points on a pair of errant Tiger attacks. Two points later, the Zags launched another small run with two more errors sandwiching a block from Emmy Allen and Sarah Bradley. That put the score at 18-12 in favor of the home team. After a few more tallies by both squads, Ferris pounded two more kills to give the Zags set point, and the Bulldogs eventually took the set on a block.
Pacific tied the match by coming from behind to take set No. 2 25-27, but the Zags responded by winning the third 25-18. They stormed out to a 9-4 lead early in the frame and never trailed again. The Tigers did come back within one at three different instances, but the Zags responded to the last one with a four-tally run, getting a kill from Allen and three on Pacific errors. After swapping the next three points for a 22-18 advantage, the Zags closed out the frame to go up two sets to one.
In the fourth, the Tigers jumped out to a two-point lead after the frame's first 10 points, but the Zags rallied, using a 5-1 stretch with a couple errors, a block from Imani Wimbush and Katelyn Oppio, and a kill from each of them to take the lead. After that, the Zags didn't trail again in the match, but the Tigers didn't fade away, either. With the score tied at 19-all, Gonzaga used another 4-1 stretch to take a three-point lead, but the Tigers responded with three in a row to re-tie the set at 23. After the tying service ace from Andie Shelton, Bradley and Paige Folger combined for a block and a sideout to give the Zags match point. That match point was a tense rally which included a big diving save from Morgan Douglass to keep the ball alive. Gonzaga's defense absorbed the next Pacific attack, and Ferris finished the match off with a kill, her 15th of the night.
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The Bulldogs (15-11, 8-8 WCC) will wrap up the 2016 home slate on Saturday, Nov. 19 with a contest against Saint Mary's. That will begin at 12:00 p.m., again in the Martin Centre. Before the match, Gonzaga's six seniors - Allen, Bradley, Douglass, Ferris, Folger, and Wimbush - will be honored for their service to Gonzaga volleyball over the years.
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