Sept. 13, 2007
STOCKTON, Calif. - In a back-and-forth match, it was the Tigers that ended up on top, as Pacific defeated Loyola Marymount volleyball 3-1 (23-30, 30-25, 30-27, 30-26) in opening night action at the Asics Tournament. LMU (6-5) won the first game, but Pacific (5-2) rallied behind a rowdy home opener crowd for the comeback victory.
Despite recording eight service aces on the night, including three by Emily Day, serving proved to be the Lions' demise, as they finished with 16 service errors.
The Lions played a streaky game one, taking an early 5-1 lead but letting the Tigers back in it when they tied it at 15-15. The Lions pulled away again and took a 20-17 lead on a solo block by senior Jania Motton. Fellow senior Heather Hughes put the game away with her eighth kill of the night for the 30-23 win. The Lions out-hit Pacific .333 to .150 in game one.
LMU had an early advantage again in the second set, but Pacific rallied behind its big blocking to take a 22-16 lead. Freshman Renee Horton served the Lions back within two points at 22-20, forcing the Tigers to use their second timeout. But it was another solo block that earned Pacific the second game at 30-25.
With the match score tied 1-1, both teams went to the intermission hitting .321.
Despite back-to-back kills by Hughes early in game three, the Tigers took a 15-13 lead by the media timeout. Pacific extended the lead to five points at 18-13, before the Lions battled back to tie it at 19-19 on a kill by Christianna Reneau. The Tigers won five of the next six points though, to force an LMU timeout. Pacific earned game point at 29-24, but the Lions' fought off three straight attempts behind the serving of Hughes. Pacific then called a timeout and won the next point to take game three 30-27.
The Tigers came out strong in game four, taking a 14-8 lead thanks in part to two early service errors. Pacific held on to the lead the entire frame, although the Lions did not go without a fight. A block by Day and Lindsay Banas kept LMU within two at 28-26. But the Tigers took the next two points to close the match with a 30-26 win in game four.
Hughes led all players with 22 kills, and Day (14 kills, 12 digs) and Reneau (11 kills, 12 digs) each had double-doubles for the Lions.
Libero Whitney Leonard had 22 digs.
Pacific's Alexa Anderson had 19 kills and 10 digs.
The Lions return to the Alex G. Spanos Center Friday night to take on the Oregon State Beavers at 7:00 p.m. as play continues at the Asics Tournament in Stockton, Calif. Lion fans can follow the action live on both Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network at LMULions.com.