Zags vs. No. 12 San Diego: Saturday, Nov. 11; 12:00 p.m.
The Bulldogs went 0-2 last weekend in southern California...they fell in three sets at Loyola Marymount on Nov. 2...redshirt junior Kaylie Loewen made her WCC debut in that match...Loewen led the Zags in kills during the non-conference season before missing the first 11 conference matches due to injury.
Two days later, GU fell 3-1 at Pepperdine...despite the loss, four different Zags posted double-doubles...OH Chapin Gray tallied the first of her career with 10 kills and 11 digs...OH Sarah Penner, S Faith Smith, OPP/S Jenna Kuehn also reached double figures in two different categories.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE:
The Bulldogs are 7-2 inside the Martin Centre this season with three home matches left...they clinched their fourth consecutive winning season in the building Oct. 26 with a three-set win over San Francisco.
This streak of four consecutive winning seasons at home is the Zags' longest in Division I history...the only other time they posted three consecutive home winning records was 1988-90.
GU's best record at home during the past four-year stretch was last season when they went 6-3...they reached seven wins twice as well (2014, 2015)...the Zags' 11-2 home mark in 1989 is a program best.
GU is 5-1 in home conference matches this season...three of those five wins came in five sets, and two were three-set sweeps...the Bulldogs have not played a four-set match at home this year.
IT JUST MEANS WE GET TO PLAY MORE!:
Gonzaga has gone to five sets 10 times this season...the Zags are 7-3 when going the distance this year and 13-4 over the last two seasons.
They are 6-1 in five-setters against conference foes...they opened WCC play with five straight five-set wins from Sept. 21-Oct. 5
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.
GU has gone to five sets at least once in eight of their 11 weekends of play this year.
DIGGING FOR GOLD:
The Zags are fourth in the WCC with 1,365 total digs...their 13.93 digs per set is fifth-best.
They have reached the 1,500-dig mark in each of the last three seasons and are on pace to do so again.
In conference play, Gonzaga is also fifth with 14.35 digs a frame...libero Tiyana Hallums is fourth in the conference with 4.15 per set...her 224 total digs tops the league.
They've tallied at least 70 digs in five matches so far this season, four of which have come during conference play...their season high of 81 came Oct. 21 at Portland...they dug up 75 attacks last Saturday at Pepperdine.
On Sept. 9, DS Marit Thorkildsen set a school rally-scoring record by averaging eight digs a frame in a three-set match at Grand Canyon...at Portland Oct. 21, Hallums became the first Zag in five years to tally at least 30 digs in a single match...she provided 31 that day, tying for the third-most digs in the rally scoring era and fifth in overall program history.
In addition to the six freshmen, five players have already set career highs in total digs and are on pace for a personal-best digs per set mark...those five are Hallums, Thorkildsen, OPP Hailey Dunn, OPP/S Jenna Kuehn, and MB Alyse Whitaker.
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 226 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 199...both average over two kills a set.
DS/OH Gretchen Rudel has played in 71 sets, third-most among the freshmen, and has 81 digs, 1.14 per frame...OPP Abby Knapp comes next at 50 sets...she's registered 72 kills and 25 blocks.
In all, the freshmen have landed 512 kills this year, 43.2% of the team's total...they've also tallied 313 digs (22.9%) and 26 service aces (24.5%).
ON THE COUGARS:
BYU is currently 23-2 on the season and a perfect 11-0 on the road...the Cougars are tied for first in the WCC with a record of 12-1...they're also ranked #9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Veronica Jones-Perry leads the team offensively with 431 kills, 4.68 a set...Lyndie Haddock is the primary setter with 859 assists, just under 10 a frame.
Defensively, the Cougars are led by Cosy Burnett with 131 total blocks, 1.42 a set...Mary Lake is the team and conference leader with 415 digs, 4.51 every frame.
ON THE TOREROS:
San Diego is currently 19-4 on the season...the Toreros have won their last nine matches, last losing to BYU 3-1 on September 30...they are tied for the league lead with a record of 12-1 and are ranked #12 in AVCA Coaches Poll.
Offensively, San Diego is led by reigning WCC Player of the Week Jayden Kennedy with 312 kills, 3.95 a set...Kristen Gengenbacher is the lone passer with 913 assists.
At the net Addie Picha leads with 100 total blocks, 1.39 a set...Lizzy Tardieu carries the team with 332 digs, 4.20 per frame.