Gonzaga defeated the Portland Pilots in the Martin Centre on Saturday, with a final score of 3-0.

In a match statistically dominated by the Bulldogs, the Pilots kept it close in all three sets.

The Zags had more kills, assists, and blocks, and had a higher attack percentage than Portland. The only category they had lower numbers than Portland was in errors.

Senior outside hitter McKayla Ferris was out last week with food poisoning when the team played San Diego, but she came out with a vengeance Saturday and made 19 kills. It was one of her better games, and she said she was happy to be back out on the court with her team.

“I definitely came off last weekend feeling very disappointed in myself because we work so hard to be successful, so I just had that extra push,” she said.

Digs galore

Coming into the match, the Zags have historically had a large amount of digs against Portland so it was only fitting they would have a season-high of 57 in three sets.

Senior libero Morgan Douglass started her third consecutive match and paced the team with 18 digs, a season high.

The team implemented a new defense prior to the match against the Pilots and Douglass credited the changes as a reason for the high amount of digs.

“We made a few adjustments to our defense this week and I think that was one of our main focuses and we put it to use in this game,” she said.

Head coach Diane Nelson also recognized the new defense.

“We made some adjustments on our defense, both personnel and positioning and gave some responsibility to other people where we have been noticing weaknesses,” she said.

Searching for consistency

For stretches throughout the match, the Zags took sole control of the game, only to let Portland storm back.

“In the first set, we got out on them and then we got too comfortable and let them back in,” Douglass said.

Consistency has been a focus for GU throughout the season, and complacency has been mentioned as a factor.

“Any athlete will admit that they are a victim of complacency and it is something we have been working on all season,” Ferris said. 

Every game takes focus, but Nelson said she wants to her team to realize consistency is the hardest thing to practice, but also one of the most important things to learn.

“It is a sign of a mature team and I think our team is on their way every time we get out and compete, we understand it better and I think our leadership gets better and we respond better to each other,” Nelson said.

Up next: The Bulldogs hit the road as they travel to San Francisco to face the Dons next Thursday. They follow up with another match on Saturday against Santa Clara.

Follow the writer on Twitter for live updates on the Gonzaga volleyball team: @JustinReed99

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