Oct. 11, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Playing at home for the first time in over a month, Loyola Marymount volleyball halted the hot play of West Coast Conference foe San Francisco, topping the Dons 3-1 (30-22, 25-30, 30-25, 30-24) in WCC action Thursday. LMU improved to 10-7 on the season and 2-2 in conference play, while San Francisco, who had entered the match winning four of its last five, fell to 13-7 and 2-2.
The Lions, who participated in the Dig for the Cure effort Thursday night, finished with 66 digs, including a career-high 24 from freshman libero Whitney Leonard. Watch for the Dig for the Cure fundraising total to be announced this weekend at LMULions.com.
The Lions held San Francisco to just a .189 team hitting percentage en route to the 30-22 victory in game one. USF took its first timeout after the Lions pulled ahead 17-13. But the break only added fuel to LMU's fire, as the Lions continued to roll to a 24-15 advantage. Led by Christianna Reneau, who hit 4-for-4 on the frame, the Lions closed it out 30-22 to go up 1-0.
San Francisco came out looking to even things in game two and had a six point lead halfway through the frame at 16-10. A pair of kills by Renee Horton kept the Lions within four at 19-15. Horton then served the Lions back in the game, forcing a USF timeout when LMU tied the score at 20. On a roll, Emily Day posted three straight kills as the Lions went up 22-20, but San Francisco battled back and eventually went up 25-22. Day and Erin Downey teamed up on a block to make it 25-23. But USF went on to win 30-25 to head to the break with the match tied 1-1.
LMU volleyball took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 30-25 win in the third game. National kill leader Heather Hughes had seven kills in the set to lead the Lions, despite the team hitting just .175.
Game four saw senior Ashley Dutro make her first appearance of the season after being sidelined with an ankle injury since opening day. Dutro had injured her ankle during the warm-up period of the Lions' first match of the season. Though the Lions trailed 12-10 in the frame, Dutro served the Lions to six straight points that featured kills by Day and Downey. Soon, LMU was up 21-15. A kill by senior Jania Motton made it 23-20 LMU, and USF took a timeout trailing by four at 24-20. Motton and Horton combined on a block that put the Lions up five at 25-20. Day's 13th and 14th kills of the night gave the Lions game point and then the match after a 30-24 win.
It was a huge blocking night for the Lions, as LMU out-blocked USF 16 to 12. Downey led all players and finished with a career-high nine blocks and eight kills. Day and Motton each added six blocks of their own.
Hughes led all players with 18 kills and made it a double-double with 13 digs.
Haley Carroll had a match-high 30 digs to lead San Francisco.
The Lions next host 17th-ranked San Diego this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. LMU Athletics will retire the jersey of Lion great Sarah Noriega prior to the WCC match-up, so come early and be a part of LMU history in Gersten Pavilion.
The match will also be carried on Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network at LMULions.com.