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Lions Shock No. 6 Stanford and BYU Advances in NCAAs

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Loyola Marymount showcased its best volleyball of the season and swept No. 6 Stanford on its home court to advance to the NCAA Sweet-16. BYU opened first round play with a four-set win against Ohio, while San Diego fell to No. 1 USC and Santa Clara also ended its season in a four set decision to Michigan. 

The day belonged to the Lions (24-8) with a second straight upset in Maples Pavilion. LMU opened the tournament with a 3-1 win against No. 13 Colorado State and proved it was no fluke with a stunning sweep against the Cardinal (23-7) who bows out shy of the regional round for just the third time in the last 15 seasons. 

This is the second Pac-12 opponent the Lions have defeated via on the road this season (UCLA) and it marks the first win in program history against Stanford (1-3, 1-2 NCAA Tournament).

Loyola Marymount will square off against No. 9 Kansas Friday, December 11 in a familiar venue: San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion. The winner will advance to the regional final (Elite Eight). 

No. BYU will host Western Kentucky Saturday, December 5 in a 6:00 p.m. PT match from the Smith Fieldhouse with the winner advancing to the Sweet-16.

NO. 13 BYU 3, OHIO 1 (First Round)
PROVO, Utah— BYU, the No. 13 seeded team in the NCAA tournament, won a hard-fought battle against Ohio in four sets (19-25, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24) Friday night to advance to the second round of the tournament. 

BYU will face Western Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. MST at the Smith Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio. 

"What a great volleyball match, with a great crowd and great energy," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "I can't say enough about Ohio's team and its coaching staff. They played a fantastic match. We're excited to be advancing, but what a great game." 

Amy Boswell had 18 kills, tying her career high, while adding four blocks. Alexa Gray led the Cougars with 21 kills, eight digs and a four blocks. Ciara Parker collected 18 digs in the winning efforts of the Cougars. Cosy Burnett contributed six kills and Lacy Haddock ended the night with seven. The Cougars also finished with a .250 team hitting percentage on the night.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – The LMU volleyball team (24-8) swept #6 Stanford (23-7) on the road by scores of 28-26, 25-16, 25-23 on Friday night to advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Sarah Sponcil led the way for the Lions, collecting 15 kills on 27 swings with just three errors to hit .444. Sponcil added two aces, two block assists and 10 digs for a double-double.

With the victory, LMU advances to the San Diego regional, and will play #9 Kansas on December 11.

NOTE: A full version of this story will be posted separately.

NO. 1 USC 3, SAN DIEGO 0 (Round Two)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The University of San Diego women’s volleyball team saw its season come to an end with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded USC in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Galen Center.

With the 20-25, 23-25, 13-25 loss, the Toreros conclude the season with a 22-10 overall record. With the win, the Women of Troy improve to 32-2 overall and will advance on to the NCAA Regional in San Diego next week.

Lauren Fuller paced the USD offense with a career-high 13 kills on 35 swings to hit for a .286 clip. Hunter Jennings led the USD defense with 14 digs, while Addie Picha recorded a team-best three blocks. Lisa Kramer chipped in nine kills, and Canace Finley finished her career with eight kills.

As a team, USD hit for a .214 clip, while USC hit for a .396 clip. USD recorded 40 kills, compared to USC’s 51. The Trojans out blocked the Toreros 10.0-3.0

For the Women of Troy, Samantha Bricio led the way with a match-best 21 kills on 39 swings to hit for a .462 clip. Alicia Ogoms was the only other Trojan in double digit kills, as se had 11 on 20 swings and hit for a .500 clip. 

LOS ANGELES – Santa Clara volleyball, making its third postseason appearance in four years, fell to Michigan 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night at the John Wooden Center. The Broncos took the first set 25-20 but Michigan came back with three-straight set wins of 25-17, 25-17, and 25-20.

Nikki Hess led Santa Clara (22-9) with 15 kills and added nine digs. Sabrina Clayton had 11 kills and seven digs while Danielle Rottman led the Broncos with 29 digs and Kirsten Mead topped the team with 36 assists.

"I thought out team played really well tonight," Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace said. "We played great defense but we struggled to score. It was hard for our girls to break through. Michigan is a good team but I liked our fight."

Michigan (20-12) was led by 13 kills from Claire Kieffer-Wright. Kelly Murphy added 12 kills and Jenna Lerg has a team-high 25 digs. Carly Warner had 38 assists.

"This was a really good season for us," Wallace said. "We have five girls recognized by the West Coast Conference and we came together and fought all year. I couldn't be more proud of these girls and their development toward being a really good team. This group is going to take away a bond and as a coach that's really special."