Sept. 1, 2007
LOS ANGELES - For the first time since 2001, the volleyball match-up between Loyola Marymount University and UC Santa Barbara (2-3) lasted just three games. The Lions (3-2) swept the Gauchos 3-0 (30-28, 30-22, 32-30) in their second match at the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic Saturday afternoon.
Over the years, the Lions and Gauchos have enjoyed a storied volleyball rivalry, splitting the annual series 3-3 over the last six seasons. All of those matches have gone at least four games and last year the Gauchos took the 3-2 decision.
But Saturday was a different story, as senior Heather Hughes was once again the catalyst for LMU. She hit .380 on the match, tallying 23 kills and 11 digs in the three games to lead the Lions to their second straight 3-0 win.
Freshman setter Renee Horton had her offense hitting .324 as a team, including a match-high .528 in game two. She finished with 52 assists and six kills.
UC Santa Barbara led just four times the entire match, twice in game one and twice in game three. The Lions trailed by as many as four at 17-13 in game one, before rallying behind the play of Hughes and the tough serving of Horton. LMU tied things at 19-19 and went on to win the first frame 30-28.
LMU was unstoppable behind the .528 team hitting percentage in the second game. The Lions opened with a 5-0 run and never trailed en route to the 30-22 win.
The Gauchos fought back in game three, even getting to game point at 29-27. But Horton once again served the Lions back into the game, and Hughes tied things at 29 with her 22nd kill of the afternoon. LMU closed it out at 32-30 for the first sweep of UCSB since 2001.
Freshman libero Whitney Leonard added 20 kills.
The Lions will face UNLV (4-1), the tournament's other undefeated team, tonight at 7:00 p.m. for the Classic title.