Nov. 1, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA - LMU (12-10, 4-5 in WCC) defeated Gonzaga (16-10, 4-6 in WCC) 3-2 by scores of 27-30, 31-29, 27-30, 30-22 and 15-13 to snap a two-match skid. Seniors Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes led all hitters with 19 kills in the match, which is a season-high for Reneau. Hughes posted a triple-double on the night, adding 11 assists and 11 digs. Reneau and junior Emily Day recorded double-doubles with Reneau adding 14 digs and Day collecting 18 kills and 15 digs. In addition, Reneau now has accumulated 993 kills in her career at LMU and needs only seven to reach 1,000.
Hughes led all hitters with seven kills in game one, but LMU never led in the frame, before dropping game one, 30-27. Gonzaga managed to hit .293 in the game, with Becky Jones' five kills and .556 hitting percentage leading the way. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 advantage before extending the lead to 14-10 on a Layne Brosky kill. LMU would rally to 21-19 on a Hughes kill before one of Day's five kills in the game made it 26-25. A Day attack error ran the frame to game point at 29-26 in game one before LMU took a timeout. The Lions battled to win the next point before a Hughes attack error gave Gonzaga the 30-27 game-one victory.
Once again it was Hughes who led all hitters in the game with seven kills, including one to give LMU a one-point advantage at 14-13 in game two. Erin Downey picked up a block solo to hand the Lions a 19-18 advantage. With the game knotted at 20-20, Gonzaga got hot and scored six of the next seven points to force a Loyola Marymount timeout at 26-21. A Day kill ended the streak after the timeout, and LMU went on a six-point run of its own to force a Gonzaga timeout at 27-26. The stellar performance continued after breaking the huddle, with Reneau earning a block solo to knot the game at 27. Gonzaga refused to surrender, putting the Lions on the ropes at 29-28 before LMU recorded the next three points, highlighted by senior Jania Motton's game-winner at 31-29 to even the match score at 1-1.
Back-to-back kills by Reneau made it 4-1 in favor of LMU in game three and a Motton kill extended the lead to 8-4. Day turned in her only ace of the match to run the score to 11-7 and freshman Becky Stehling recorded a block solo to force a Gonzaga timeout one point later. The Lions went on to take a 16-9 lead before the Bulldogs battled back to 23-22 on a Downey attack error, and took a 28-27 lead on a Brosky kill. Gonzaga recorded a team block to run the score to game point at 29-27 and force an LMU timeout. The Bulldogs went on to record the next point after the timeout, taking game three by a count of 30-27.
A Briawna Mueller kill forced an LMU timeout at 9-7 in game four. A block by Motton and Day knotted the game at 12-12 before Motton recorded one of her 10 match kills to give LMU the 13-12 advantage. LMU kept momentum, extending its lead to 15-12 before the Bulldogs elected to take a timeout. Gonzaga responded well off the break, cutting the deficit to 16-15 on a Michelle Boevers kill and earning the stalemate at 17-17. Day pushed the Lions to the 20-point mark, recording one of her 18 kills in the match. Reneau followed with a kill of her own, forcing the Bulldogs to call a timeout at 22-17. Stehling made it 26-21 with a kill and freshman Renee Horton recorded a block to run the advantage to six points. After a Bulldog attack error pushed the frame to game point, LMU evened the match at 2-2 with the 30-22 victory.
The Lions improved to 3-1 in five-game matches this season with the 15-13 game-five victory. Gonzaga was first to five points in the first-to-15 game five, taking an early 5-3 lead. The Lions battled back to even at 6-6 and 7-7 before Gonzaga rattled-off two straight points to force a Lion timeout at 9-7. Reneau added her 18th kill of the night to knot the game at 10-10 before back-to-back attack errors gave LMU the two-point advantage. Reneau and the Lions kept the pressure on the Bulldogs, taking a 13-11 lead before an attack error and a Becky Jones kill knotted the frame at 13 points apiece. After a long break in which the officials discussed and questioned Gonzaga's serving order, Day recorded back-to-back kills to give LMU the 15-13 game-five victory.
Horton recorded a match-high 64 assists for LMU while Gonzaga's Heather Dunn collected 54 in her own right. Stehling led all hitters with a career-best .600 percentage (10-for-15), while Jones paced the Bulldogs at .297 (17-for-37). Freshman Whitney Leonard matched a career-high with a match-high 24 digs while Alecia Douglas added 20 for Gonzaga. Boevers collected a team-best 18 kills for the Bulldogs in the loss.
The Lions will continue WCC action this weekend when they host Portland University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in Gersten Pavilion.