Pacific Sweeps The Season Series With Gonzaga With A 3-1 Win In Spokane
Playing their final match of the WCC season, University of the Pacific women's volleyball team picked up their second road victory in as many matches after downing Gonzaga, 3-1, on Saturday, Nov. 23. The win put the Tigers into a tie for sixth place in the WCC with a final record of 7-11 while moving their overall record to 14-15. The Zags finished their season 11-16 overall and 7-11 in WCC play as well.
Set scores for the match were: 25-17, 25-21, 16-25, 25-21.
After a season in which the Tigers appeared snakebitten on the road, Pacific saved the best for last as the team grabbed its second-straight road victory to come home from their travels with a pair of wins. The wins closed out Pacific's inaugural season in the WCC with wins in three of their last for contests and set the stage for their second season when the youth of the team comes back one year wiser.
Despite the young Tigers finding their way, it was the veterans that came up the biggest on the day for Pacific as senior Megan Birch led the way with a match-best 16 kills on .448 hitting. Right behind her was junior Gillian Howard with 10 kills while adding a team-best five blocks. Sophomore Kat Schulz continued her bid for player of the week honors as she added 14 kills on .323 hitting while just missing the double-double after adding nine digs.
For Pacific, quick starts and big finishes proved to be the difference on the day in all four sets played with the Tigers taking the advantage in three of the four. Opening the match, the Tigers and Zags played even for much of the frame before Pacific broke the set open with an 8-0 run engineered by the serve of sophomore Mia Feiner. In addition to Feiner's serve, it was sophomore Anne-Sophie Bauer that kicked started the run with a solo block and a pair of kills. The block was one of a set-best six for Pacific overall. In the end, the Tigers ran away with the set posting a 10-2 run to close out the win.
Up one set, the second set played out in a similar fashion to the first as the Tigers jumped out to a quick four point lead only to have the Bulldogs come back and take the lead late at 18-16. Down two points, Pacific again looked to the pins, but this time to Birch who pounded down back-to-back kills and Schulz who added the finishing touches to a 5-0 run that put the Tigers back in control of the set. Schulz's kill was the first of three to end the set and one of a set-best six in 12 attacks.
Leading comfortably, the Tigers were able to put aside an offensive onslaught by the Bulldogs in the third set when Gonzaga posted a nearly flawless attack. Hitting .522 and posting six blocks, the Zags ran away with set. Despite the loss in the third, the Tigers would not be denied as Pacific righted the ship in the fourth frame to take the match. Reestablishing the pins and the block in the middle, the Tigers again ran out to a quick lead that cushioned a late charge by the Zags. Tied at 16-16, Pacific again rolled off four consecutive points through a pair of kills in the middle and a pair of errors from the Zag attack. In the end, the Zags would close to within one at 21-20, but that would be as close as they would get after Birch put the comeback attempt with a pair of kills from the left side.
With the completion of the WCC season the Tigers have just one final match in the 2013 season which comes against UTEP at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The match will feature a senior ceremony for Birch prior to the contest to honor the four-year senior for her play at Pacific.