Sept. 1, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - In a match that looked like it could go all night, Loyola Marymount volleyball fell in its season opener 3-1 (14-30, 31-29, 30-27, 30-25) to 11th-ranked Tennessee in the first match of the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational. The Lions (2-2) surged to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to a 30-14 first frame, but could not hang on against the Lady Vols (4-0).
The Lions never let up in the four-game battle, keeping the score tied late in each of the final three frames. LMU ended up outscoring the Lady Vols 111-105, thanks to the hot 30-14 start in game one.
Sophomore Emily Day notched a match-high 17 kills. When paired with her 12 digs, it gave the Lions' outside hitter her fourth statistical double-double in LMU's four matches.
Junior Heather Hughes was one dig shy of joining Day in the double-double category, recording 16 kills and nine digs. Hughes added five service aces.
LMU hit .438 as a team in the first game and posted two five-point rallies to hold off Tennessee. The Lions' lead only grew as the game progressed, with LMU taking the frame 30-14.
Hughes posted six of her 16 kills in game two alone, but UT's Chelsea Noble and Joselyn Johnson gave the Lady Vols the 31-29 win with a game-ending block.
The Lady Vols hit .371 in game three, but the Lions hung with them, tying the game at 24 on a service ace by Krone. UT's Sarah Blum put down one of her team-high 16 kills to secure the 30-27 game three win.
Both teams were hitting an even .212 after the third frame, but the Lions tapered off to hit just .018 in game four. Despite the low average, LMU was able to hang until the end, as the game saw 12 lead changes. Freshman Megan Nash came on strong in game four, recording one of her five kills to keep LMU within one at 25-24. Behind her serve, the Lions would tie the score again at 25-25, before the Lady Vols rallied off five straight points to secure the match.
In addition to her 16 kills, UT's Blum had nine blocks.
The LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational continues Saturday in Gersten Pavilion, with LMU and Fresno State starting the day with an 11:00 a.m. match-up. The 11th-ranked Lady Vols and North Carolina will follow with a match at 1:00 p.m. The Lions will then battle the Tar Heels in the 7:00 p.m. set. All matches will have Gametracker and video streaming available at www.LMULions.com. Audio broadcasts will also be carried on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com for the two LMU matches.