Women's Volleyball Sweeps Gonzaga
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team captured its 25th consecutive victory over Gonzaga with a 25-22, 25-23, 28-26 road win in West Coast Conference play on Thursday night.
The Waves (9-6, 2-1 WCC) haven't lost to the Bulldogs (5-10, 1-1) since 1996.
Senior opposite Rachel Grochmal (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) posted a season-high and match-high 19 kills while hitting .378 (19-5-37) with seven digs. Sophomore middle blocker Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) had 11 kills with a .533 hitting percentage (11-3-15). Sophomore outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) added 10 kills and eight digs.
Senior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) recorded 39 assists and 16 digs. Sophomore libero Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) made 14 digs. Freshman middle blocker Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) had seven kills and six blocks.
Pepperdine had advantages of .256-.223 in hitting and 9-1 in service aces.
The Waves broke open the first set by going on a 7-0 run after it was tied 8-8. Frederick had two service aces, Adelhelm had a kill and a block and freshman outside hitter Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) made the score 15-8 with a kill. Pepperdine led by as many as eight points, last at 18-10 after a kill by Grochmal. The Bulldogs made a nice run of their own, scoring six straight points to pull within two at 18-16. Gonzaga got no closer, however, and Grochmal eventually ended the set on a kill. Pepperdine prevailed in the first set despite being outhit .429-.344.
Pepperdine led for much of the second set, but couldn't ever shake Gonzaga. Pepperdine led by as many as four points, first at 15-11 and later at 22-18 after Frederick had two kills in a three-point run. But the Bulldogs tied the set at 22-22 and 23-23. Pepperdine then came up big defensively, getting a block by Adelhelm and Grochmal to go ahead and another block by Adelhelm and Frederick to finish the set. Pepperdine's hitting dipped to .184, but Gonzaga's fell even further down to .086.
The Waves built an early 6-3 lead in the third set after kills by Grochmal and Adelhelm and then a block by the duo. The lead grew to six points at 16-10. Gonzaga roared back, however, tying the set at 20-20. It stayed tied the rest of the way and Gonzaga actually had a set point at 26-25. But the Waves scored the last three points of the match on a kill by Hill, a service ace by Robinson and a Bulldog attack error. The Waves had a .255-.200 hitting edge in the third set.
The Waves continue their Northwest road swing on Saturday (Oct. 10) at Portland for a 1 p.m. match.