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The Gaels host Loyola Marymount on Thursday and Portland on Monday.
The Gaels host Loyola Marymount on Thursday and Portland on Monday.
VB | Saint Mary's Opens West Coast Conference Slate
Release: Wednesday 09/18/2012 
by SMC Athletics
MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team (5-6) begins West Coast Conference action this week. On Friday night, the Gaels host Loyola Marymount (8-4) at 7:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels return to the court on Monday night when they host Portland (6-8) at 7:00 p.m. in Moraga.

The Gaels' non-conference schedule ranked highly challenging, with five matches against ranked opponents and 10-of-11 matches played away from McKeon Pavilion.

Saint Mary's started the year in Hawai'i, dropping matches to No. 6 Stanford and No. 8 Hawai'i. The Gaels ended the Invitational with a win over Albany.

The Gaels earned three sweeps at the Sacramento State Invitational, defeating Morgan State, Boise State and Sac State.

SMC played two matches in Manhattan, Kansas, losing to No. 22 Kansas State and sweeping Utah State.

The Gaels enter WCC action having played three Pac-12 opponents. The Gaels played well in a loss at No. 9 Oregon and won sets in losses to California and a second match-up with No. 7 Stanford.

Kristina Graven leads the Gaels with 3.33 kills per set while Gabby Jolly adds 3.29 kills per set and a team-high 1.26 blocks per set. Lauren Corp is averaging 2.56 kills per set and Jordan Shaw is averaging 3.65 kills per set since September 6 (returned to OH after playing six matches at libero).

Dalas Dodd leads SMC with 16 aces to go along with 11.78 assists per set.

In the SMC career record book, Corp is up to 1,081 kills, which ranks 7th in school history. She is just 32 shy of sixth place and 50 short of the top-5.

Saint Mary's is 17-33 all-time against Loyola Marymount. SMC had won six straight matches against LMU before losing twice to the Lions last year.

The Lions are coming off a tournament in Notre Dame. The Lions lost to Kansas, but defeated Notre Dame and Xavier.

LMU is led by Kathleen Luft with 4.11 kills per set while Litara Keil adds 3.00 kills per set and a team high 1.11 blocks per set. As a team, the Lions hit at a .241 clip and hold opponents to a .162 average.

Saint Mary's leads the all-time series with Portland 30-20, having won the last 10 meetings, dating back to November of 2006. Additionally, the Gaels have won the last 20 of 21 meetings against the Pilots. Although the Gaels won both matches against UP last season, both matches were competitive, with the Gaels winning in four sets in McKeon and five sets in Portland.

The Pilots are led by Autumn Wedan with 3.17 kills per set while Ariel Usher addes 3.00 kills per set. Rachel Femling has a team-high 0.93 blocks per set and Jacky Rodriguez has a team-high 3.17 digs per set.