Showdown Of WCC Leaders As Volleyball Visits #5 USD, #13 BYU

photo by Keith Sanpei (keithsampeiphoto.com)
photo by Keith Sanpei (keithsampeiphoto.com)

Stockton, Calif. -  The Pacific volleyball team hits the road for West Coast Conference matches against No. 5 San Diego and No. 13 BYU this week in showdowns among the top three in the conference standings.

The Tigers face San Diego on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Jenny Craig Pavilion in a battle for first place in the conference standings. San Diego, ranked No. 5 in the AVCA Top 25 this week, are 4-0 in WCC play and 13-2 overall. The Tigers are a half-game back in the standings at 4-1 in WCC action, at 10-7 overall.

BYU sits in third, at 3-1 in WCC matches, and 14-2 overall. The Cougars are ranked No. 13 in this week's AVCA Top 25. The Tigers and Cougars meet on Saturday at noon Pacific Time, (1 p.m. Mountain).

Both matches will be broadcast on TheW.tv, the West Coast Conference online streaming service.

Pacific is going for win number 225 in program history over a ranked opponent. The Tigers are 224-168 (.571) against ranked teams dating back to the start of the 1982 season, the birth of the AVCA Top 25 poll.  The Tigers will hope the fourth time is a charm, as three of Pacific's seven losses this season have come to ranked teams: No. 8 UCLA, No. 15 Hawai'i and No. 12 Stanford.

The Tigers are 2-1 in true road matches this season, with wins at Auburn and Santa Clara.

Pacific is coming off a 3-2 win over Loyola Marymount, in which Lexi Elman posted a season-high 26 kills in the Tigers win over LMU, three off her career best of 29, set last year vs San Francisco. It was her 11th career match with 20 or more kills and with 10 digs in the contest, Elman posted her 12th double-double of the season and 41st of her career.

Lauren Cline stepped up for a career-highs in kills in back-to-back games. She tallied eight kills on 13 swings off the bench against Pepperdine, hitting  .538 (8-1-13).
In a start against Loyola Marymount, she tallied nine kills while hitting .316.


PACIFIC NOTES
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4 FOR 5
Pacific remained undefeated in five-set matches this year, at 4-0, with a 3-2 win over Loyola Marymount last Saturday.
 
MIDDLE HITTING
Middle blockers Lauren Cline and Ashlyn Fleming were the Tigers best offense vs the Waves, with 20 kills and a .471 percentage combined. Fleming led the Tigers with 12 killls on 21 swings, hitting .429.

BLISTERING BAPTISTA
Emily Baptista has 85 kills in her last six matches, hitting .299 in that span.
She set new career high in kills twice:
- A then career-high 18 kills against Portland (Sept. 22), while hitting .385.
- 20 kills in a five-set win over Santa Clara (Sept. 27), while hitting .333.

WE CAN DIG IT
Lexi Elman posted a season-high 22 digs in the Tigers win at Santa Clara, while Katrin Gotterba added 21 and Emily Baptista tied her career high with 12. Maycie LaBass added eight digs as Pacific posted 72 in the five-set win.

LEXI LIGHTS UP GONZAGA
Lexi Elman just missed a career-best hitting percentage against Gonzaga, as she slugged .556 for the match with 16 kills on 27 attempts with just one error. She set her career best of .565 last season against South Dakota State (15 kills on 23 attempts with two errors).

FELDSHER FIRING
Janie Feldsher tallied a career-high 13 kills against Portland, hitting .619 (13-0-21)
She also added three blocks.
Feldsher made her first career start against West Virginia (Sept. 12)
In five matches as a starter, she's averaging 1.6 kills per set and hitting .382 (27-6-55)