Portland Beats #7 San Diego for First Time Since 1987

  0 Braden Keith | November 11th, 2016 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Match Stats

Last year, 4 teams from a loaded West Coast Conference qualified for the NCAA tournament in women’s volleyball. With a big win on Thursday, the Portland Pilots sit in 4th place in the conference, and are making a strong case that the NCAA selection committee should again look favorably upon the conference

After beating top-10 opponent BYU earlier in the year, Portland defeated #5 San Diego on Thursday for their 4th win in 5 games. They pulled off the upset despite being dominated offensively by San Diego. USD had significantly more kills (75-52), a higher hitting percentage (.269-.173), more digs (74-56), and more team blocks (8-7) than did the visitors  from the north. Portland did come up with 8 service aces (and USD a whopping 10 service errors), but when Portland was hot, they were hot. In the first two sets, they hit .275 and .414, respectively, before falling to .091 and .000 in 3 and 4 after San Diego made some half-time adjustments.

In the final set, however, neither team hit particularly well, and Portland had just enough left to take the win.

Reghan Pukis led the victors with 12 kills on .068 hitting, while Hannah Troutman joined her in double figures with 11 kills on .098 hitting. Troutman also chipped in 12 digs.

San Diego’s Lisa Kramer did her best in a losing effort, recording a season-high 27 kils on .396 hitting.

This is only the second time in Portland history that they have defeated the Torreros, with the last time coming in 1987. They’ll have another crack at BYU on Saturday afternoon in Provo, where another win could cement their invite for December, and a loss leaves the NCAA selection committee with an interesting decision to make.

As for San Diego, a season-split with BYU plus early wins over UCLA, Colorado, and Stanford had them confident about a national seed come tournament time, and while they’re still likely in that category barring further losses, this loss does give the selection committee a reason to pause.

Press Releases

Courtesy Portland Athletics:

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Portland’s epic season continued as the Pilots took an early lead before upending the No. 7 San Diego Toreros in five sets in a West Coast Conference volleyball match played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Thursday night. The seventh ranked Toreros are the highest ranked opponent the Pilots have ever defeated, and its San Diego’s first loss at home this season.

The Pilots, who have now defeated two ranked opponents this fall, won the first two sets 27-25 and 25-20. USD bounced back to take the next two 25-16 and 25-20, and Portland clinched the fifth and deciding set 15-13.

Tied up at 7-7 to start the first set, the Toreros (21-4, 12-2) scored two straight to take the slim lead. Portland’s (15-11, 8-6 WCC) Reghan Pukis then registered two kills to spark a four-point run, handing the Pilots the advantage. San Diego closed the gap and evened the set at 20-20, but Hannah Troutman continued the momentum for the Pilots with a kill to bring Portland close to winning set. It would then go to extra points before Katie Sullivan and Brittney Markwith recorded crucial kills to help the Pilots hold on to win 27-25.

The Pilots then took control of the match by winning the second set. USD led early, but kills from Troutman and Sarah Savoca evened the score. Portland would then surge head with kills from Savoca and Sullivan, but the top-10 Toreros recovered to the level the score. Sullivan then pushed the Pilots’ lead to 21-19, and moments later the senior would help give Portland the 2-0 lead with another kill.

San Diego rebounded to take the next two sets, setting up the dramatic finish.

The fifth set began evenly with the scored tied 5-5. It remained tied minutes later, with the help of a solo block from Markwith and a kill by Savoca. The Toreros then appeared on the verge of completing the comeback victory, claiming a 12-10 lead. But the Pilots refused to falter, and soon it was match point at 14-13 after Sullivan, Troutman and Pukis recorded key kills. The Pilots then stunned their hosts with the 15-13 win.

Pukis led the Pilots with 12 kills and Troutman recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs. Gajda and Emma Scanlan also had double digit digs for the match with 16 and 10, respectively. Thompson recorded 45 total assists.

This is just the second win for the Pilots ever in San Diego, with the first coming back in 1987. Portland has also now won two out of their last three matches against the Toreros.

The Pilots will continue their road weekend on Saturday, facing No. 12 BYU at 12 p.m. (Pacific) in the Smith Fieldhouse. Portland defeated the then-No. 11 Cougars in five sets earlier this season at the Chiles Center.

Courtesy USD Athletics:

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Despite senior opposite Lisa Kramer‘s season-high 27 kills, the seventh-ranked University of San Diego women’s volleyball team was upset by the University of Portland, 3-2, Thursday evening in a West Coast Conference match inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the 25-27, 20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 13-15 loss, the Toreros fall to 21-4 overall, move to 12-2 in the WCC, and are now tied with BYU for first place in the WCC standings. With the win, the Pilots improve to 15-1 overall and move to 9-6 in the WCC.

Kramer recorded her match-best 27 kills on 48 swings, while committing eight errors to hit for a .396 clip. Jayden Kennedy was the second of four Toreros in double digit kills, as she had 15, while hitting .314. Thana Fayad recorded 12 kills, and had 14 digs to post a double-double, while Lauren Fuller recorded 10 kills. Kristen Gengenbacher also recorded a double-double, as she had 30 assists and 12 digs, while Hunter Jennings recorded 19 digs.

As a team, USD hit for a .269 clip, while the Pilots hit .173. San Diego recorded 75 kills to Portland’s 52, and USD out dug the Pilots 74-56.

For the Pilots, Reghan Pukis led the offense with 12 kills, while Hannah Troutman had 11 kills. Cali Thompson recorded a match-best 45 assists, while Monica Gajda recorded a team-best 16 digs.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday, as they host Gonzaga University in a 12 p.m. WCC match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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