Oct. 26, 2006
Spokane, Wash. - Loyola Marymount Head Coach Steve Stratos coached his 500th career match Thursday night at Gonzaga, but his Lions came up on the wrong end of the 3-2 (26-30, 30-26, 22-30, 30-24, 16-14) West Coast Conference battle. LMU, who entered the week in a four-way tie for second place, fell to 4-4 in league action.
Overall, LMU moved to 16-7. Gonzaga improved to 17-6 and 2-6 in WCC play. The win was the second straight five-game victory for the Bulldogs, who just topped Saint Mary's 3-2 on the road last Saturday.
Thursday's match marked the 500th career match for Stratos, who is in his 17th season at the helm of the LMU program. Stratos celebrated his 300th victory last season. Among Division I active coaches, Stratos entered the season ranking 37th by winning percentage (.679) and 58th by victories (324).
The Lions fell victim to poor team hitting, posting just a .154 clip on the night. Four Lions - Christianna Reneau, Jania Motton, Sandy Krone, and Heather Hughes - registered double-digit kills, but no one could eclipse the .300 mark.
Gonzaga out-blocked LMU 22.5 to 7, led by Elaina Renius' 10 blocks.
Entering game four with a 2-1 lead, the Lions looked to seal the match victory in four games. But Gonzaga led the entire frame, fighting to send the match to a decisive game five, where the Bulldogs needed extra points to top the Lions 3-2.
The Lions are now 0-3 in matches that go the full five games. With Thursday's match marking just the third five-gamer of the season for LMU, several players hit new statistical highs.
Setter Ashley Dutro led the Lions, tallying 66 assists and 17 digs, both LMU career-highs for the junior transfer.
Freshman Megan Nash posted a career-high 19 digs, while Reneau's 25 kills equaled her career-high as well.
Senior Sandy Krone also set a new career-high with 16 kills. She added 16 digs for her first double-double of the season.
Motton added a season-high 15 kills as well.
The Lions will look to rebound Saturday against Portland in the 1:00 p.m. WCC match-up. Fans can follow the action as it happens by logging on to the Portland audio webcast at www.portlandpilots.com/broadcast/.