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LMU Takes Down Tar Heels 3-1

Sept. 2, 2006

Box Score

Los Angeles, Calif. - After dropping a close game one, Loyola Marymount volleyball came back to win three straight frames for the 3-1 (26-30, 30-24, 30-27, 30-28) win over North Carolina in the final match of the 2006 LMU-USC Hilton LAX Invitational. The Lions improve to 4-2, while the defending Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Champions fall to 1-5 on the young season.

Upperclassmen led the Lions to Saturday night's victory, with junior Christianna Reneau posting her first double-double of the season with a match-high 22 kills and 21 digs. Three Lions joined her in the double-double category, as Emily Day (12 kills, 15 digs), Heather Hughes (17 kills, 15 digs), and Ashley Dutro (31 assists, 15 digs) each posted big numbers as well.

Senior Cat Svorinich earned her first career start as a setter Saturday night, and rose to the occasion, tallying 29 assists and seven digs. She and Dutro helped the Lion offense hit a match-high .380 in the final frame.

In a match full of long rallies, the Lions out-dug North Carolina 91 to 78, while holding the Tar Heels to just a .197 hitting percentage.

Game one was even early, until the Tar Heels pulled away to take a 17-11 lead. Then trailing 27-22, the Lions rallied out of a timeout, winning three straight points on kills by Reneau and Sandy Krone. North Carolina hung on for the 30-26 win in the first frame, thanks to one of Noelle Dyk's six game one kills.

The Lions turned the tide in game two, going up by as many as five points early on a kill by Reneau that made the score 10-5. She later served the Lions to five straight points to help LMU pull away with the 24-17 advantage. Hughes and Motton notched back-to-back kills on a pair of hard-slugging plays that kept the Lions up 27-21. Day used one of her three service aces on the night to earn game point for the Lions, and LMU finished the second game off at 30-24.

Hughes had eight digs and six kills in the third game, and her serve led the Lions to an early 9-1 advantage. The Tar Heels came back within two at 23-21, but a pair of NC service errors and kills by Reneau, Megan Nash, and Day kept the Lions up at 26-24. The next point was all but over when the Lions were able to save a ball from the bench area and capitalize on another Day kill. That effort helped spark LMU to the 30-27 game three victory.

Game four was all Reneau, as two quick kills put the Lions up 13-8. Motton kept the lead at five with a pair of kills of her own. But North Carolina had its best hitting frame of the match as well, climbing back to tie the game as late as 25-25. Kills from Hughes and Reneau, who had seven in game four alone, gave LMU the 30-28 win it needed to secure the match.

Dyk finished with 17 kills for the Tar Heels. Stephanie Jansma and Brianna Eskola combined for 41 digs for North Carolina. Amy Beaver had a match-high seven blocks.LMU's Jania Motton finished with 12 kills and six blocks.

The Lions wrapped up their weekend tournament play 2-1, falling only to the 11th-ranked Lady Volunteers of Tennessee.

LMU remains at home to host Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, before welcoming UC Irvine, Nevada, and SMU for tournament play again next weekend. As with all home matches this season, the Lions will have free Gametracker, live video, and audio coverage on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

-GO LIONS-