Oct. 13, 2007
LOS ANGELES - On an afternoon that saw the Lions honor greatness, Loyola Marymount volleyball had moments of greatness itself against 17th-ranked San Diego (14-5, 4-1 WCC) in the West Coast Conference match-up. But inconsistency hurt the Lions (10-8, 2-3 WCC) in the end as they fell 3-1 (34-32, 30-19, 24-30, 30-23) in Gersten Pavilion.
Before the match, LMU volleyball retired Sarah Noriega's (1994-97) jersey No.16. The All-American Noriega led the Lions to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1996, before going on to a career with USA Volleyball.
And though the current Lions showed moments of greatness themselves, they couldn't stay hot against the 17th-ranked Toreros. LMU hit .341 in the third game, which the Lions won 30-24, but were as cool as .000 as a squad in game two. The Toreros out-blocked the Lions 16 to seven.
Junior Emily Day (17 kills, 13 digs), Christianna Reneau (16 kills, 17 digs), and Renee Horton (49 assists, 11 digs) each posted double-doubles for the Lions. Day added five blocks, while Reneau had two aces.
Laurel Abrahamson led the Toreros with 21 kills and six blocks on a .500 hitting percentage.
Trailing by as many as nine in game one, the Lions battled back, led by senior Heather Hughes. Hughes recorded nine kills to help the Lions tie things at 24. It took extra points for San Diego to close things out at 34-32.
San Diego took a 2-0 lead heading into the break after holding the Lions to a team hitting percentage of .000 for the second game. Laurel Abrahamson had six kills in game two as USD won 30-19.
The Lions came out of the break fighting and had a six-point lead at 18-12. A kill by junior Erin Downey later put the Lions up 27-18. LMU made it a 2-1 match with the 30-24 win in game three, as the Lions warmed their team hitting percentage up to .341.
Game four saw San Diego take an early 12-6 lead, until the Lions pulled back within two at 13-11 thanks in part to a pair of blocks by Downey and Day. But San Diego rallied late, and despite hitting just .174, won the final frame 30-23 to secure the match.
San Diego had six service aces, but also 12 errors.
Hughes, the national kill leader, finished with 17 kills, nine digs, and four assists for the Lions.
The Lions return to the road next week to take on Saint Mary's and Santa Clara, as WCC play continues. Both matches will be carried on Gametracker at LMULions.com.
OTHER LMU VOLLEYBALL NOTES:
-The Lions raised approximately $2,700 from Thursday night's Dig for the Cure effort. Thanks to all those who contributed to this national effort for Susan G. Komen For The Cure.-