Oct. 20, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Loyola Marymount volleyball (11-9 overall, 3-4 in WCC) dropped a Saturday afternoon decision 3-0 (30-25, 30-22, 30-24) to Santa Clara (14-9 overall, 6-1 in WCC) in WCC play on Saturday afternoon at Santa Clara's Leavey Center.
LMU came out of the gate strong, opening up an early 7-2 lead in the first game before senior Christianna Reneau extended the Lion lead to 11-4 with one of her three kills in the frame. After trailing 20-14, Santa Clara battled back to record 12 of the next 13 points and take a 26-21 advantage. Loyola Maryount managed to cut the lead to 29-25 before a bad set by freshman Renee Horton resulted in the 30-25 Bronco victory in game one.
Santa Clara carried momentum into game two, quickly jumping out to a 7-1 lead before LMU fought back to narrow the deficit to 10-9 on a kill by junior Erin Downey. Downey, a native of San Jose, Calif., finished the match with a team-best .526 hitting percentage (10 for 19). The Lions would not trail by fewer than two points the rest of they way, as the Broncos cruised to a 30-22 game-two victory.
Led by Lindsy Evans, who hit .600 (7 for 10) in the game, the Broncos took a 9-1 lead to start game three. With two kills and a service ace, Heather Hughes brought LMU back within four at 10-6 before Santa Clara rattled-off four straight points to regain a comfortable 14-6 lead. Once again, Loyola Marymount fought back, posting four straight points to cut the Bronco lead to 21-16 and force Santa Clara to call a timeout. The Broncos responded well out of the break, extending their lead to 27-19 on one of Evans' nine match kills. Facing match point at 29-21, LMU managed to collect three points before Downey was called for a bad set that gave Santa Clara the 30-24 game three victory and the three-game sweep of the Lions.
Hughes, the current national kills per game leader, led the Lions with 12 kills in the match, while adding seven digs in the losing effort. Junior Emily Day collected her third straight double-double, finishing with 11 kills and a match-high tying 11 digs.
Santa Clara's Brittany Lowe managed a double-double in the victory, leading all players with 17 kills while matching Day's mark of 11 digs. Senior setter Crystal Matich had an outstanding day in the victory, collecting a match-high 50 assists and hitting .667 (6 for 9) while tallying six digs on the defensive end. Senior Caroline Walters tallied a match-high 13 digs for the Broncos.
Loyola Marymount will return to action on Saturday when it hosts Pepperdine in a West Coast Conference showdown starting at 7:00 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.