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Lions and Toreros Advance in NCAA Tournament

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Lions and Toreros Advance to NCAA Second Round 

COMPLETE NCAA RECAPS – LMU LIONS | SAN DIEGO TOREROS 

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Both West Coast Conference programs competing in the 2015 NCAA Volleyball Championship advanced to the second round with convincing wins on Thursday. The Lions upended No. 13 Colorado State in four in Maples Pavilion, while the Toreros swept NAU in the Galen Center. 

Loyola Marymount and San Diego face stiff challenges in Friday’s second round with the Lions taking on No. 6 Stanford, while the Toreros face No. 1 USC. Both the Lions and Toreros will be seeking upsets on their respective opponents home arenas. 

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 3, NO. 13 COLORADO STATE 1
Palo Alto, Calif. – Beginning its third NCAA Tournament run in the last four years at Stanford, the Loyola Marymount women's volleyball team (23-8) advanced to the second round of play on Thursday night following a four-set victory over #13 Colorado State (26-4). The Lions defeated the Rams by scores of 25-20, 16-25, 25-19, 25-15, and will play #6 Stanford on Friday night at 7 pm PT.

Senior Amber Mirabello led the way for the Lions, collecting 12 kills on 23 swings with just five errors to hit .304. Senior Hannah Tedrow recorded 43 assists and an ace, as the Lions posted seven aces on the night. Junior Jamie Lea also collected double-digit kills, amassing 12 to accompany a pair of block assists. Mirabello not only led the way on the attack, she also posted three block assists to help LMU to seven team blocks.

Alex Reid led all players with 15 kills for Colorado State, hitting .464 in the losing effort. A solid blocking team, CSU managed 12 team blocks, including seven block assists from Alexandra Poletto.

The Lions led virtually the entire way in the first set, earning the 25-20 decision to open the match. Sarah Sponcil and Lea each had four kills as the Lions hit .300 as a team. The LMU serving game also showed well in the opener as Rachelle Suaava and Avery Bush each had an ace - including Bush's ace to push LMU to set-point at 24-20. 

It was all CSU in the second, as the Rams came out swinging en route to a .577 hitting percentage. Hanna and Reid each had four kills in the second, while Colorado State accumulated four team blocks, including two block assists apiece from Adrianna Culbert, Acacia Andrews and Poletto. 

Tied at 17-17, LMU took control of the swing set late, winning five straight points, including points on a kill from Sara Kovac and an ace from Bush, to take a 22-17 lead. Suaava, who had five kills in the period, finished a stellar third set by recording her final two kills of the period to hand LMU the 2-1 lead in the match by way of a 25-19 victory. The Lions hit .393 in the set while limiting CSU to just .069 hitting, highlighted by a pair of Lion blocks.

Despite hitting just .161 in the fourth, LMU ran away with the period and the victory after posting four aces and three blocks. Sponcil posted a pair of aces, while Tedrow highlighted the blocking effort with a block solo. Lea finished the match strong, posting four of her 12 match kills to go along with a block solo. LMU jumped out to an early 11-5 lead on a Tedrow ace before pushing forward to 16-8 on a kill from Suaava. Lea collected point 20 for LMU with a kill before a Colorado State service error handed LMU a match point chance at 24-15. The Lions wasted no time putting the match away, setting Mirabello for the final time and a kill.

The victory was the first NCAA Tournament victory for the Lions since defeating Cal State Northridge on December 5, 2003.

LMU will advance to play #6 Stanford on Friday. Friday's match, which will be played at Stanford's Maples Pavilion, is scheduled for a 7 pm first serve.  

SAN DIEGO 3, NORTHERN ARIZONA 0
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The University of San Diego women's volleyball team swept away Northern Arizona University, 3-0, Thursday evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Galen Center.

With the 25-15, 25-19, 26-24 win, the Toreros improve to 22-9 overall and will advance on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. against top-seeded USC.

Lisa Kramer led all players with 16 kills on 42 swings to hit for a .286 clip. Canace Finley was the second Torero in double figures, as she had 10 on 25 swings to hit for a .200 clip. Lauren Fuller also had a great match, as she recorded eight kills, and a career-high 20 digs. Hunter Jennings also had a great defensive match with 17 digs, while Addie Picha recorded eight blocks.

As a team, USD hit for a .165 clip, while the Lumberjacks (28-5) hit for a .078 clip. USD out blocked the Lumberjacks 18-14, and USD had 48 kills to NAU's 24. 

In the first set, USD raced out to an early 4-1 lead to grab some momentum. The Lumberjacks then responded with a 3-0 run to even things up at 4-all. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth a bit, and with the score knotted at 10-all, a Jayden Kennedy kill sparked a 5-1 San Diego run, giving USD a 15-11 lead. USD never looked back, as they then outscored NAU 10-4 over the remainder of the frame, to claim a 25-15 win.

In the second set, USD opened things up with an 8-1 run, forcing the Lumberjacks into a timeout. NAU didn't fade away, as they began to slowly chip away at the lead and pulled to within two at 18-16, but this is as close as they would get. A Canace Finley kill ignited an 8-3 Torero run down the stretch, to give USD a 25-19 win, and a two-sets-to-none lead, headed into the break.

In the third set, NAU grabbed the early momentum and took a 4-1 lead. The Lumberjacks then maintained a 2-4 point lead over a majority of the first half of the frame. USD never faded away, as they clawed its way back into the lead at 15-14 on a Lauren Fuller kill, to force the Lumberjacks into a timeout. Out of the break, USD and NAU began to trade point-for-point, until the Lumberjacks managed to take a 20-19 lead, which forced the Toreros into a timeout. After NAU grabbed the next two points, USD was forced into its final timeout. Northern Arizona then took set-point at 24-22, but USD never panicked, as they outscored he Lumberjacks 3-0 to complete the sweep.