Zags at Loyola Marymount: Thursday, Nov. 2; 7:00 p.m.
Zags at Pepperdine: Saturday, Nov. 4; 12:00 p.m.
Gonzaga went 1-1 last weekend, advancing to 8-3 in West Coast Conference play and keeping a hold of third place in the WCC standings...the Bulldogs downed San Francisco in three sets Oct. 26, getting a combined 23 kills from OH Sarah Penner and MB Alyse Whitaker...against Santa Clara, the Zags twice rallied from set deficits but lost the final frame 15-12, ending their win streak in five-set matches.
Whitaker led the Zags’ offense last weekend, tallying a .444 attack percentage and 24 kills, 3.00 per frame...she also topped the team with 10 blocks, one a solo effort...DS/OH Tiyana Hallums tallied 36 digs, 4.50 a frame, while organizing the Zags’ defensive efforts.
OPP/S Jenna Kuehn added a triple-double against Santa Clara, pairing 16 assists with 15 digs and 10 kills...it’s her third triple-double of the year and the Zags’ third of the rally scoring era.
THE MATCH DOESN’T EVEN START UNTIL THE FOURTH...:
The Bulldogs have played a lot of extra volleyball already this season, going to five sets 10 times...they are 7-3 when going five sets this year and 13-4 over the last two seasons.
GU’s loss to Santa Clara was their first five-set loss of the WCC season...the Zags are 6-1 in five-setters against conference foes.
The Zags’ Division I record for most five-setters played is 13, first set in 1990 and equaled in 2014...in 1990, Gonzaga won all 13 matches that went the distance.
TAKING OUR TALENTS TO VENICE BEACH:
Gonzaga will look to replicate historic success from last year this weekend as they’re in Southern California for matches at Loyola Marymount...last year, the Zags won both matches at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine for the first time ever...GU’s four-set win at PEP Oct. 6, 2016, was the Bulldogs’ first-ever win in Malibu.
GU is 5-1 against the SoCal schools dating back to last season...Gonzaga also swept LMU and PEP earlier this year in Spokane.
The Zags are looking for another win in Los Angeles after last year’s five-set thriller...that was GU’s first win in Los Angeles since 1992...Gonzaga twice rallied from set deficits and out-blocked the Lions 15.0-7.0 for the win.
The Zags are 5-2 against Pepperdine over the last four years...over half of GU’s wins over the Waves have come since 2014...the current three-match win streak is the first time GU has ever won back-to-back contests against Pepperdine.
The Bulldog attack has been well-balanced this year...six different Bulldogs have at least 100 kills on the season...only one, MB/OH Kaylie Loewen, has a kills-per-set average above 2.50, but three more are above 2.00...an additional three contribute well over a kill per set.
Multiple Zags have reached double-digit kills in 15 of the Zags’ 23 matches...on Oct. 5, five Zags reached that milestone against Pepperdine...MB Alyse Whitaker (10) and OH Sarah Penner (13) each reached double figures against San Francisco, and those two, OPP/S Jenna Kuehn (10), and OH Chapin Gray (17) hit that mark against Santa Clara.
FIRST YEAR, NO FEAR:
The Zags have seven freshmen on the roster, six of which have taken the court...OH Sarah Penner leads the team with 212 kills – second-most by a freshman in the WCC this season – and OH Chapin Gray is fourth in the WCC, third on the team with 187...both average over two kills a set.
DS/OH Gretchen Rudel has played in 64 sets, third-most among the freshmen, and has 73 digs, 1.14 per frame...OPP Abby Knapp comes next at 45 sets...she’s registered 64 kills and 24 blocks.
S Mary Marzo played a strong role in Gonzaga’s attempted comeback against Santa Clara, entering in the second set and tallying 12 assists and five digs in two frames...she’s at 42 and 10 overall, respectively.
DS Julia Talarico has played in 14 sets this season, tallying 14 digs for a 1.00 d/s rate.
In all, the freshmen have landed 478 kills this year, 42.8% of the team’s total...they’ve also tallied 277 digs (22.0%) and 26 service aces (25.2%).
ON THE LIONS:
Loyola Marymount is currently 12-11 on the season…the Lions have lost their past four matches, last losing to Saint Mary’s 3-1…they are tied for sixth overall in the WCC with a record of 5-7.
Offensively, LMU is led by Sara Kovac with 265 kills, 3.12 a set…Jessie Prichard and Tess Reid are the team’s setters with 493 and 445 assists on the year.
The net is defended by Emma Johnson with 74 total blocks, 1.01 a set…. Kristen Castellanos carries the team in digs with 3.76 a set, 320 total.
ON THE WAVES:
Pepperdine is 13-12 overall on the season…the Waves lost their most recent match to Pacific, falling 3-1…they too are tied for sixth in the WCC with a record of 5-7.
Hannah Frohling carries the team offensively with 341 kills, 3.55 a set…that’s good for fifth-most in the WCC…. leading the team in assists is Heidi Dyer with 527, closely followed by Blossom Sato with 526.
Jasmine Gross sets the standard for both the Waves and the WCC in blocks with 147.0 total, 1.53 a set…defensively, Hana Lishman tops the squad with 329 digs, 3.92 a set.