Oct 24- Pepperdine coach Nina Matthies picked up her 400th career victory as the Waves swept San Diego and LMU won a five-game thriller over Santa Clara in WCC volleyball action.
Pepperdine 3, San Diego 0
Senior Lyndsey Hache' and freshman Sophia Milo pounded out 13 kills each and hit over .500 percent, as the No. 5-ranked Pepperdine Waves (16-2, 6-0) danced to a 3-0 (30-17, 30-25, 30-24) victory against No. 16 San Diego on Friday night at Firestone Fieldhouse. With the win, 21-year head coach, Nina Matthies, clinched her 400th milestone in front of a home crowd.
The Waves are currently on a 14 game win streak with their last lost coming on Sept. 3 at USC. Furthermore, Pepperdine has won 34 consecutive West Coast Conference matches. With Santa Clara's loss tonight against LMU, Pepperdine remains the only undefeated team in WCC play.
"I am just happy that we got a good, solid win tonight," said Coach Matthies. "Numbers have never been important to me, so tonight was just another win. If anything, I'm thankful for all those kids and teams that earned the 400 wins with me."
In game one, Hache' took matters in her own hands as she tallied six kills and no errors. Pepperdine out-hit San Diego .243 to -.051 and controlled the blocks category, six to zero.
The second game found the Waves down 17-19 and after back-to-back Hache' attacks, Pepperdine tied the game up at 19 all. From that point, the threesome of Katie Wilkins, Milo, and Hache' controlled the tempo of the game as Pepperdine raced away with a 30-25 victory.
The third game appeared to be a reciprocal of the second, as the Waves once again found themselves down, 13-16. In what appeared to be an attack-a-thon, both teams traded kills until the Waves caught up at 20 even after sophomore Breegan Mulligan completed an ace. From that point on, Pepperdine never looked back and won the final series, 30-24.
Pepperdine out-hit the opponent .331 to .105 and out-blocked USD 10 to 4. The West Coast Conference's leading defender, libero Christina Hinds, registered 18 total digs on the night and Milo added eight total blocks (1-7), the second most in a match for any Waves' player this season.
For San Diego, Devon Forster paced her team with 13 kills.
LMU 3, Santa Clara 2
No. 17 Loyola Marymount (20-3, 5-1 WCC) handed No. 12 Santa Clara (14-7, 5-1 WCC) its first West Coast Conference loss of the season Friday evening in front of a packed house in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions won three straight games to remain undefeated at home, extending their Gersten Pavilion winning streak to 11-0. Four Lions posted double-figure kills in the five-game thriller (21-30, 28-30, 30-28, 30-24, 17-15).
Despite a strong start from junior Kelli Nerison, who posted two kills and three blocks in the first game, the Lions dropped game one 21-30. Senior Tiana Newsome contributed eight kills in game two alone, as LMU improved to a .340 team hitting percentage to out-hit the Broncos. Santa Clara hung on for the 28-30 game two win.
The Lions took over in game three, starting things off on block by Newsome and Dina DeBernardi. Freshman Sandy Krone added a block of her own to give the Lions the 3-1 lead. Santa Clara went on a run, taking a seven point lead at 11-18. But LMU battled back, winning six consecutive points to take the 22-21 lead. Two kills and an ace by senior Kealani Kimball gave LMU a three point lead at 25-22. Kimball sealed the game three win at 30-28 with her 15th kill of the match.
LMU was even stronger in game four, hitting .410 as a team. The Lions trailed Santa Clara 3-4, but were never behind again, running away with the 30-23 victory. Nerison added five game four kills.
After battling back to win two straight must-win games, LMU refused to lose the deciding game five, pushing the Broncos to a 17-15 decision. The Lions out-hit Santa Clara in every game but the first, and out-blocked the Broncos 19.0 to 10.0.
Kimball ended the match with 22 kills, 18 digs, and four blocks. Newsome added 17 kills and nine blocks. Newsome recorded her 300th career block assist and her 400th career total block in the victory. The senior already owns both blocking titles on LMU's all-time career leader rankings. Her two solo blocks also made her the second all-time LMU career leader in solo blocks. She needs four more solo blocks to add that blocking title to her resume.