THE FINAL JOURNEY: After a two-week break from competition, Seattle University will head to Northern California Thanksgiving Day in preparation for its final two matches of the 2011 season. The Redhawks will face Pacific Friday night, and then they will have a quick turnaround before taking on Saint Mary's Saturday afternoon.
LIVE STATS/AUDIO/VIDEO: Live stats will be available for both matches over the weekend. For the Pacific match, live audio will also be available, while live video will be offered for the match at Saint Mary's. Links to all online offerings are available from the volleyball schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
TIME CHANGE: The Saturday match against Saint Mary's was originally scheduled for 3 p.m., but that start time has recently been moved up to 2 p.m.
THE PORTLAND STATE MATCH: In the last home match of the 2011 season, Seattle University fell to Portland State, 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-17), Nov. 10 at the Connolly Center in Seattle. Playing the final home match of their collegiate careers, the Redhawk seniors led the way, with Cristin Richards collecting 12 kills and five digs, Megan Augustavo earning 23 assists and eight digs, and Jordan Keller extending her school record in career total blocks with five blocks to go along with four kills. Allie Hoskins led the backline with 11 defensive digs in the match.
THE SENIORS: Sometimes it is hard to come up with things to say about student-athletes on Senior Night. That was not the case with the three volleyball seniors who are playing the final matches in their collegiate careers. Moving from defensive specialist to setter this season, Megan Augustavo leads the team with 687 assists this season and is second on the squad with 179 digs. Jordan Keller will leave Seattle U as the all-time blocks leader, adding 72 total blocks to her total this year. Although she missed eight matches with an injury earlier this season, Cristin Richards still has a chance to break the career kills record with at least 18 kills in the last two contests of the year.
WHEN LOSING INDEPENDENCE IS GOOD: These will be the final two matches the Seattle U volleyball program will play as a Division I independent. The Redhawks join the Western Athletic Conference next season and will become eligible for NCAA Tournament play.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: The Tigers come into Friday's match with a 17-12 overall record, including a 10-5 record on its home court. Pacific finished the Big West schedule with an 8-8 league record, losing four of its last six conference matches. Offensively, Samantha Misa leads the team with 389 kills, averaging 3.78 kills per set, plus she is third on the squad with 297 digs. Jennifer Sanders is second on the team with 291 kills, plus she leads the way with a .340 hitting percentage and 86 total blocks. Hannah Clancy has been the team's setter throughout the year, collecting 1150 assists (11.17 assists/set), and she is second on the team with 342 defensive digs, just behind Rebekah Torres with 365 digs. Gabby Cowden leads the Tigers with 39 service aces to go along with 165 kills and 78 total blocks. This will be the first meeting all-time between Seattle U and Pacific.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S: The Gaels enter Saturday's contest with a 16-12 record, but Saint Mary's has won 10 of its last 12 matches, including wins over ranked opponents Pepperdine and San Diego. The Gaels have a 7-5 record on their home court so far this season. Lauren Corp has accumulated 330 kills, 30 service aces, 274 digs, and 48 total blocks this season. Missy White has been a consistent presence as the team's setter, earning 1,212 assists along with a team-high 42 service aces, 245 defensive digs, and 57 total blocks. At the net, Gabby Jolly leads the team with 126 total blocks to go along with 275 kills, while Natalie Loos has contributed 101 total blocks for the Gaels. Sarah Reams leads the team with 462 defensive digs, plus she is second on the squad with 35 service aces.
LAST MEETING VS. SAINT MARY'S: These teams first met Sept. 26, 2008, in Moraga, Calif., with Saint Mary's earning a 3-0 victory over Seattle U (25-17, 25-20, 25-17). Cristin Richards led the Redhawks with 16 kills, Jamie Mellies earned 31 assists, two service aces, and three total blocks, Emily Powell led the way at the net with four total blocks, and Emily Deleissegues paced the team from the backline with 14 digs, with Megan Augustavo contributing eight digs.
COACHING PURSUIT: With 99 career victories, Shannon Ellis is one win away from reaching the 100-win mark for her career. Ellis led the Redhawks to an 18-13 record during the 2010 season, the program's first winning record since making the transition to Division I.
ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Senior Cristin Richards continues to expand her volleyball resume, earning All-Tournament recognition at both the 2011 Seattle U Fall Volley and the UC Davis Aggie Invitational. At the Seattle U Fall Volley, Richards finished the weekend with 51 kills, averaging 4.64 kills per set. She made only eight attack errors in 113 attempts for a .381 hitting percentage, plus she collected 25 defensive digs. At the Aggie Invitational, Richards collected 53 kills, 23 defensive digs, a .315 hitting percentage, and five total blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Jaeckel was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Active Ankle Challenge, hosted by Oregon State over Labor Day weekend. In matches against Loyola Marymount, Cal State Bakersfield, and Oregon State, Jaeckel collected 34 kills and 17 defensive digs.
MILESTONE WATCH: Cristin Richards is coming closer to becoming Seattle U's all-time kills leader. She currently has 1,444 career kills, 17 kills behind the record currently held by Sarah Sommerman, who played at Seattle U from 2002 to 2005. Richards became the first Redhawk player to reach 4,000 career attack attempts, breaking the previous record of 3,973 held by Nikole Thompson. Richards is also in the career top ten lists for service aces (7th - 90), digs (10th - 797), block solos (6th - 18), block assists (8th - 199), total blocks (8th - 217), and sets played (7th - 391).