Sep 24-Three WCC volleyball teams took the court Wednesday night as LMU remained unbeaten at home with a 3-0 (30-18, 30-20, 30-25) win over San Diego State. In other WCC action, Gonzaga fell to Eastern Washington 3-0 (30-22, 30-18, 30-15), while Saint Mary's was tripped up by Sacramento State 3-1 (30-28, 28-30, 30-24, 32-30).
LMU 3, San Diego State 0
No. 24 LMU extended their home winning streak to 7-0, defeating San Diego State University in three games tonight (30-18, 30-20, 30-25) in Gersten Pavilion. The home streak currently leads all West Coast Conference teams, four of which are currently ranked in the nation's top 25.
The Lions (12-2) came out strong in game one, leading by as many as seven at 14-7. Sophomore Dina DeBernardi led the way with five kills, hitting .714. As a team, LMU hit .344 and outblocked the Aztecs 3.0-1.0 in the first game. Though SDSU (8-6) battled back within four, a DeBernardi kill and a block by Sandy Krone and Kelli Nerison made the score 24-14. The Lions won game point on a kill by senior Kealani Kimball, good for the 30-18 game one victory.
Two Kimball aces set the tone early in game two, as the Lions jumped to a 17-7 lead. DeBernardi's seventh kill of the night forced an Aztec timeout at 19-7. Two Krone kills gave the Lions a 12 point lead at 23-11. Krone led all Lions in game two with six kills. LMU outhit SDSU again, hitting .375 compared to the Aztecs' .133. The Lions earned game point on a kill by Nicole Oehlman and went on to win game two 30-19.
In game three, a kill by Nerison tied the game at 5-5. The game was tied a total of ten times before the Lions pulled away on a Nerison kill and block in back-to-back points. Kimball went on a 3-0 run of her own, posting three consecutive kills to give LMU the 17-13 lead. The Lions' co-captain ended the match with 13 kills and three service aces. A DeBernardi kill gave LMU the game three and match victory at 30-25. DeBernardi also recorded 13 kills and hit .522 on the evening.
Tonight's win gives head coach Steve Stratos his 274th career victory. Stratos, who is in his 14th season at the helm of the LMU program, will seek his 275th victory Friday evening against Dayton in San Diego. The Lions face Dayton at 5:00 p.m. before matching up with Fairfield at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Eastern Washington 3, Gonzaga 0
Three Eastern Washington University (8-6) players combined for 42 kills on Wednesday night as the Eagles downed Gonzaga University (3-11) for the 13th straight time with a 3-0 win in Cheney. EWU won the match 30-22, 30-18, 30-15 in the only meeting of the season between the two Spokane area schools.
Gonzaga could only manage 30 team kills on Wednesday night as Christina Davis led the Bulldogs with 11 kills on 20 attacks. Gonzaga combined for 15 kills and a .297 attack percentage in the game one loss before combining for only 15 kills for the remainder of the match. Abby Cullen was second on the Bulldogs squad with 8 kills and five blocks, two of them solo.
Eastern Washington was paced by Megan Kitterman's 19 kills as the Eagles pounded out 57 kills during the win. Keva Sonderen added 12 kills and Lindsay Page chipped in 11 kills to round out the Eagles reaching double-digit kills. Jessie Wright and Courtney Bush split the setting duties for EWU with each player passing out over 20 assists.
Gonzaga will take off the weekend before opening West Coast Conference play at home next weekend against San Diego and Santa Clara. Both matches will start at 7 p.m. in the Martin Centre.
Sacramento State 3, Saint Mary's 1
The Saint Mary's women's volleyball team was defeated this evening by a very tough Sacramento State Hornet squad by the final score of 3-1. Game scores for the Hornets victory over the Gaels were 28-30, 30-28, 24-30, and 30-32. With the loss the Gaels fall to 9-4 on the season while the Hornets improved to 8-6.
Though the Gaels played hard all night, the team couldn't overcome the defense of the Hornets. Sacramento State had two players finish with 20 or more digs on the evening. After losing game one, the Gaels stormed back to take game two. Unfortunately, the Hornets eventually put the Gaels away in games three and four despite countless comebacks from Saint Mary's.
Leading the way for the Gaels were Jill Parmele and Kaui Salzman. Parmele totaled a match-high 24 kills and 18 digs while Salzman contributed 15 kills and 17 digs on the match.
Also providing solid support were Cassandra Kolkka and Mandy Bible. Kolkka finished with a match-high 24 digs. Bible finished with another double-double in assists and digs as she posted 62 assists and 12 digs against the Hornets. Lindsay Hardy also played well for the Gaels by finishing with 17 digs.
Saint Mary's will next take the court this weekend when they travel to Fort Worth, TX to partake in the 2003 TCU Molten Invitational from Friday, September 26 to Saturday, September 27. The Gaels first match will be against St. Francis on Friday at 9:30 PM.