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Saturday, October 29, 2005 (3:00)
#1 Sunbirds sweep #3 California Baptist

Box score (30-16, 30-17, 30-13)

Fresno - The long-awaited, much-anticipated, showdown between the 2003 and 2004 NAIA National Champions, never materialized.

The Sunbirds, the 2003 champions and top-ranked this year, raced out to a 25-7 lead in Game 1, and romped to a 30-16, 30-17, 30-13 Golden State Athletic Conference sweep of the defending NAIA Champion California Baptist University Lancers.

The match was played before a crowd of 512 in the Special Events Center and lasted only 62 minutes.

For the short-handed Lancers, without starters Yajaira Prado (outside hitter- foot) and Linsey Smolskis (libero- shoulder), things got worse early in Game 2. With the Lancers hanging tough at 9-7, Angela Willis landed awkwardly at the net. She left the match with an undisclosed ankle or foot injury and did not return.

The Sunbirds went on an 11-4 run and the rout was on.

After a 1-0 Lancers lead and a couple of ties early in Game 3, it was more of the same.

"We are in a pretty good spot now," said FPU senior outside hitter Lira Xavier. "We never want anyone to get hurt. We want them to have everybody when we beat them. I hope she (Willis) is back soon and that we get to play them again."

Xavier and freshman Thais Julio led FPU with 11 kills each. Xavier hit a sparkling .714 (11 kills, 1 error on 14 swings) and Julio was not far behind at .529 (11-2-17). As a team the Sunbirds out-hit the Lancers .416 (42-10-77) to .012 (26-25-86).

Julio and Samantha Weatherly lead all back row players with eight digs a-piece.

The Sunbirds chalked up nine service aces and forcing the Lancers out of system numerous other times.

Verania Willis, lead the Lancers, now 23-3 overall and 15-2 in GSAC play, with 11 kills.

"I was real pleased with the way we stayed focused," said FPU head coach Dennis Janzen. "I thought we might have let up a bit at the end of Game 1 (when the Lancers fought off five game-points), but we were strong the rest of the way. Lira was terrific. She always plays well in the big matches."

The Sunbirds, now 26-0 overall and 16-0 in the GSAC, will play the next three matches on the road before wrapping up the regular season with a pair of home matches.

Tuesday the Sunbirds will be in Costa Mesa to face Vanguard, then head for Santa Barbara (Westmont) on Saturday. Tuesday, November 8, FPU takes a break from GSAC play with a quick trip up Highway 99 to Turlock to face Cal State Stanislaus.

FPU returns home to host Point Loma Nazarene (Friday, Nov. 11) and San Diego Christian (Saturday, Nov. 12). The NAIA Region 2 playoffs begin Tuesday, November 15.

Livestats - Volleyball from the Special Events Center

Updated Records
#3 California Baptist: 23-3, 15-2 GSAC (Second)
#1 Fresno Pacific: 26-0, 16-0 GSAC (First)

Updated Series Record
FPU leads the all-time series with the Lancers 45-13... FPU has won the last two contests and 13 of the last 14.

Game Preview Notes
*
Today's game features the last two NAIA National Champions and may be a preview of the 2005 championship... the visiting Lancers are the defending 2004 champs while the Sunbirds won it all in 2003.
The Lancers
* The Lancers only losses came in their first match of the season, here in the Special Events Center against Cornerstone (Michigan) in the opening match of the Sunbird Invitational and to the Sunbirds in Riverside on September 24th (30-25, 30-26, 30-15).
* The Lancer rely on Verania Willis (5.76 k/g, @.382), sister Anglea Willis (3.25 k/g @ .365), Yudelka Bonilla (2.04 k/g @ .269) and Lindsey Siefken (2.61 k/g @ .274). All-America Yajaira Prado (3.79 k/g @.241) has missed the last four contests with a foot injury. Setter Kayla Van Duyn directs the Lancers offense and is averaging 13.68 assists, 1.96 digs and 0.38 blocks per game.
The Sunbirds
* FPU leads the GSAC in attack efficiency (.336) 67 points better than the #2 Lancers (.269).
* The Sunbirds balanced attack features Thais Julio (4.84 k/g @ .297), Brittany Pierce (3.68 k/g @ .331), Marin Shilling (3.45 k/g @ .382) Lorena Zuleta (3.14 k/g @ .437) and Lira Xavier (2.31 k/g @ .293).
* Middle blockers Zuleta (1.14 b/g) and Shilling (1.10 b/g) are a dominant force at the net.
* Setter Shu Liu directs the versatile offense... she is averaging (14.17 assists, 2.45 digs, 1.73 kills and o.96 blocks per game.
* FPU's 25-0 start is the 5th-best in team history following a 36-0 start in 2002. The others are 30-0 (2004), and 26-0 (1998, 2003).
* The Sunbirds have won their last 49 matches at home in the Special Events Center. The streak does not include exhibitions matches (a 3-0 win over Fresno State earlier this season and a 3-1 loss to the Sichuan Club of China in 2004).

FPU VOLLEYBALL
BEST/WORST SEASON STARTS
Best Start
Worst Start
2002
36-0
1999
0-15
2004
30-0
1990
0-5
1998
26-0
2000
0-5
2003
26-0
1983
0-3
1997
13-0
1985
0-1
2001
5-0
1987
0-1
1994
4-0
1991
0-1
1995
4-0
1992
0-1
1988, 96
3-0
1993
0-1
FPU 2005 record: 25-0

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Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

2005 FPU vs.
W-L
Rec
BELLEVUE, NE
OREGON TECH
CORNERSTONE, MI
NOTRE DAME
FRESNO STATE
Texas Wesleyan
Holy Names
Redlands
Lindsey Wilson, KY
@ Biola *
ALUMNI
@ Hope International *
CONCORDIA *
AZUSA PACIFIC *
@ Californnia Baptist *
CSU BAKERSFIELD
@ The Master's *
WESTMONT *
@ CSU Bakersfield
@ San Diego Christian *
@ Pt Loma Nazarene *
BIOLA *
THE MASTER'S *
VANGUARD *
HOPE INTERNATIONAL *
@ Concordia *
@ Azusa Pacific *
CALIFORNIA BAPTIST *
@ Vanguard
@ Westmont *
@ CSU Stanislaus
PT LOMA NAZARENE *
SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN *
NAIA Region 2 Championship
MENLO
PT LOMA NAZARENE
CALIFORNIA BAPTIST
NAIA National Championship
#17Albertson, Idaho
#16 Lee, Tennessee
#9 Houston Baptist, Texas
#8 Gerorgetown, Kentucky
#2 California Baptist
Bold CAPS = Home contests
* Golden State Athletic Confernece match

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