Gonzaga defeated Portland in five sets (11-25, 25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 15-9) on Saturday in Portland to reach another milestone in its West Coast Conference volleyball season.
Gonzaga’s league record of 7-2 marks the most wins for the Bulldogs at the halfway mark in any WCC season.
Six of those league wins came in five sets with the first five coming during the first five matches of WCC play.
Knapp led the team with 15 kills and a .448 attack percentage while Rudel added 10 on 22 swings. Both players are freshmen.
Washington State was swept 25-22, 25-18, 25-14 by defending national champion and second-ranked Stanford (17-2, 10-0 Pac-12) in Stanford, California.
Taylor Mims led the Cougars (13-9, 2-8) with 18 kills (.286) and had five digs, one block and WSU’s lone ace.
Casey Schoenlein added eight kills and one block. Penny Tusa had 13 assists and led the Cougars with nine digs.
Eastern Washington pushed Sacramento State to five sets before falling 3-2 in a Big Sky volleyball match at Cheney.
Sacramento State (19-7, 10-0 Big Sky) won the fifth set 15-11 after the Eagles (6-13, 3-7) took an early 6-3 lead.
EWU had four players garner double-doubles in the loss. Megan LaFond earned her first career double-double with a career-high 17 kills and 22 digs for EWU.
Idaho dropped its second consecutive home match to one of the better teams in the Big Sky Conference, losing in three sets to Portland State.
Kaela Straw led Idaho (12-9, 7-3 Big Sky) with 10 kills and DeVonne Ryter had six kills with a .545 attack percentage.
Portland State improved to 17-5, 8-2.
On Thursday, the Vandals lost at home for the first time this season, falling to Sacramento State.
Corinne Bell led the way as Whitworth rallied to defeat Willamette in four sets in Salem, Oregon.
The Pirates rallied for a 21-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 win to improve to 12-8 overall and 9-3 in the NWC. The host Bearcats fell to 7-13, 4-8.
Bell was in on six of Whitworth’s 10 team blocks. The 10 blocks is the second-highest total of the season for the Pirates.
Ellie Walker’s first goal of the season gave Portland a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga in Portland.
Walker found the back of the net in the 77th minute, kicking in a loose ball in the box. She struck a shot low to the far post that slid across the wet pitch. In rainy and windy conditions, the Pilots (5-10-1, 2-4-0 West Coast Conference) improved to 13-0-0 all-time at home against GU.
The Zags (10-5-1, 2-4-0 WCC) outshot Portland, 19-14, with a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. McKenna Ferrera and India Jencks both took four shots for the Bulldogs. Ferrera placed two shots on frame. Callie Best had a shot hit the crossbar in the 88th minute.
Sophia Viviano had a great look in the 90th minute, but Rachel Lusby made a diving save for Portland. Lusby finished with six saves, while Isabel Jones made four saves for Gonzaga.
Whitworth (10-4-1, 9-1-1 NWC) controlled play throughout the match and defeated George Fox (6-6-2, 4-5-2) 2-0 in Spokane.
Leah Corra and Michele Whan scored for the Pirates.
Emily Carrell scored in the 76th minute to lift Community Colleges of Spokane to a 1-1 tie with visiting Columbia Basin.
Walla Walla defeated North Idaho 5-1 in another NWAC match.
Daniel Alvarez scored late in the first half and the Whitworth Pirates (8-6-1, 6-3-1 NWC) went on to defeat Puget Sound (7-5-1, 5-4-1) 1-0 in Spokane.
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