With another weekend sweep, this time over Pepperdine and LMU, Gonzaga advanced to 6-0 in WCC play for the first time in program history...their previous best start to conference play was 5-1 in 1990.
Against Pepperdine, the Zags won their fifth consecutive five-set match, twice rallying from one-set deficits...OPP/S Jenna Kuehn tallied a triple-double with 20 assists, 14 digs, and 11 kills, her second of the year and the second in Gonzaga's rally-scoring history...four more Zags tallied double-digit kills, led by MB Alyse Whitaker, who also tied for the team lead with six blocks.
On Saturday, the Zags' five-set streak was snapped, but they extended the win streak anyway with a sweep of LMU...Gonzaga out-blocked the Lions 12.0 to 2.0, and MB Payton Mack led all players with 7.0...over the two matches, Gonzaga out-blocked its opponents 23.0 to 12.0.
Gonzaga is riding a seven-match win streak...that equals the Bulldogs' second-longest in the program's Division I history...in 2007, they won eight in a row...in 1994, they won seven straight as well.
GU's current seven-gamer is also one of the 18 longest active streaks in Division I as of Oct. 9...in the WCC, only BYU has a longer active streak at 9-0.
Prior to the six-win start to WCC play, the Zags had last won six consecutive conference matches in 1994...they won a school-record eight straight WCC matches that year.
At least two Bulldogs have reached double-digit kills in 11 of 18 matches this season...eight of those matches have seen three or more Zags reach 10 kills...five Zags reached the mark last Thursday against Pepperdine, and four have posted 10 or more kills in the same match twice this season.
Defensively, it's a similar story for Gonzaga...four Zags (DS/OH Tiyana Hallums, DS Marit Thorkildsen, S Faith Smith, and Kuehn) each have at least 150 digs this season...all four average over two digs a set, with Hallums leading the way at 3.03.
Thorkildsen tops the squad with 11 matches of 10 or more digs, including a rally-scoring era record of 24 in a three-setter against Grand Canyon Sept. 9...both Hallums and Kuehn have reached 10 digs eight times.
TRIPLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE FUN:
Kuehn's triple-double versus Pepperdine was her second (first came Sept. 21 versus Saint Mary's) and the fourth in the WCC this season...only Andie Shelton of Pacific has also tallied a triple-double in the league.
Kuehn is one of eight players in Division I with multiple triple-doubles this season.
The sophomore also leads the Zags with 10 double-doubles or better...S Faith Smith has six, and OH Sarah Penner registered the first of her career Oct. 5 versus the Waves with 12 kills and 14 digs.
The Zags have seven freshmen on the roster, six of which have taken the court...GU's attack is led by first-years OH Sarah Penner and OH Chapin Gray, who are first and second on the team with 162 and 149 kills, respectively...in all, freshmen have tallied 352 digs this season, 28.8% of the team's tally.
DS Gretchen Rudel has played in 50 sets, third-most among the freshmen, and has 51 digs, 1.02 a frame...OPP Abby Knapp comes next at 33 sets...she's registered 39 kills and 16 blocks...S Mary Marzo has seen action in 12 sets, providing 30 assists.
DS Julia Talarico made her collegiate debut against Pepperdine last Thursday...in seven sets throughout the weekend, she tallied seven digs and even registered a kill against LMU.
ON THE TOREROS:
San Diego is ranked No. 18 in the country by the AVCA...they're coming off a weekend sweep of Pacific and Saint Mary's in the Bay Area last weekend...their sole conference loss came in four sets against BYU.
Jayden Kennedy leads the team with 200 kills, 3.64 per set...four others offer more than 2.00 kills a set...Kristen Gengenbacher is the lone setter and averages 11.16 assists a frame.
Lizzy Tardieu leads the team with 4.09 digs a set, and only Gengenbacher is above 2.00 with 2.24...at the net, Addie Picha has 63 blocks, 1.31 a set.
Gonzaga is looking for its first win against the Toreros since 1994...the Bulldogs haven't won at San Diego since 1991.
ON THE COUGARS:
BYU is ranked No. 7 after tallying a 17-1 record this season...that one loss came to Baylor -- currently No. 25 in the nation -- in five sets on Sept. 9 in Hawaii...the Cougars are tied for the WCC lead at 6-0.
Veronica Jones-Perry leads the team with 304 kills, 4.54 a set...she leads the conference and is 15th in the nation in the category...Lyndie Haddock is the everyday setter with 589 assists, 9.66 a frame...Alohi Robins-Hardy has 122 assists, 4.52 a frame.
Defensively, the Cougars are ninth in the nation with 200.5 total blocks and 11th with 2.99 a set...Cosy Burnett and Kennedy Redding lead the way with 1.34 and 1.31 blocks a set, respectively...Mary Lake is nearing 300 digs on the year and puts up 4.45 every frame.
The Zags are 1-15 overall against BYU, but that one win came in 2011 at Provo...Gonzaga is the last WCC team to beat BYU inside the Smith Fieldhouse, downing then in four sets Nov. 17 to end the season.