Nov. 15, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA - LMU hit an impressive .325 (50-for-114) en route to sweeping WCC-leader Santa Clara by scores of 30-28, 30-24, 30-21 on Thursday night in Gersten Pavilion. Senior Christianna Reneau led the way with a double-double of a match-high 16 kills and 11 digs and connected at a team-best .425 clip, while fellow senior Heather Hughes recorded career service ace number 157 in game three to match Kim Blankinship (1993-96) and the LMU All-Time record in that category.
Hughes added 15 kills and nine digs in the victory, while Emily Day posted 13 kills and six digs while hitting .423 over the three-game span. Freshman setter Renee Horton dished-out a match-high 42 assists and Whitney Leonard led all players with 12 digs. The Lions collected 14 block assists and four block solos in the victory.
Brittany Lowe and Krista Kelley collected a team-best 14 kills for the Broncos. Kelley added a team-high 10 digs to record a double-double. Crystal Matich connected at a team-high .444 clip, resulting in five kills on nine swings, while also recording 38 assists.
LMU came out roaring in game one, fueled by Hughes and Reneau who collected five kills apiece in the 30-28 game-one victory. The Lions hit .231 over the span, led by Reneau's .556 mark (five-for-nine) in the game. A kill by Hughes and a Santa Clara attack error gave LMU a 6-3 advantage early in the frame. The Broncos battled back to take a 13-11 lead around the midway point in the game on a Lindsy Evans kill before a bad set by Matich evened the score at 13-13 just a few points later. LMU was first to 15 as an attack error made it 15-13 before the Lions extended the lead to 18-16 on one of 11 Santa Clara service errors in the match. The two teams fought to stalemates at 19, 20 and 21 before the Lions took a 26-23 advantage on another Bronco attack error. After moving to game point on a Hughes kill, a Reneau kill capped the victory at 30-28.
The Lions maintained momentum in game two, posting a .341 hitting percentage on 41 swings to the tune of 17 kills. Reneau once again led all Lions with six kills in the frame, followed by Day and Hughes with five each. Santa Clara's Lowe led all hitters with eight tallies in the frame. Great defense highlighted the LMU game-two victory as the Lions won critical rallies over the span. A Day block gave LMU a 6-4 advantage before a Lowe kill and service ace knotted the game at 7-7 just a few points later. Reneau put-away a kill at 13-9 to force a Santa Clara timeout before Hughes collected the first of her two historic service aces after the break. Reneau made it 16-12 with another one of her kills before Santa Clara battled back to 17-15 en route to taking a 20-19 lead on a Kelley kill. Back-to-back Reneau tallies captured the lead once again for the Lions at 21-20 as LMU extended that advantage to 23-20 over the next few serves. Refusing to surrender, the Broncos scratched back to 24-23, but LMU caught fire from there, sparked by back-to-back Day kills to force a Santa Clara timeout at 27-23. Lowe connected on the first play off the break, making it 27-24 before LMU rattled off three straight points, capped by a Lowe attack error, to take the 30-24 game-two victory.
LMU completed the sweep of the Broncos with a 30-21 game-three victory. Led by Day, Hughes and Reneau, who finished with marks of .667 (six-for-nine), .444 (five-for-nine) and .400 (five-for-10), the Lions hit a blistering .412 (17-for-34) in the frame. Horton served-up 15 of the 17 assists over the span, while Leonard and Erin Downey each collected one. The two teams battled to a 4-4 tie early in the game before one of Day's two block solos on the night made it 12-8 in favor of LMU. Day pushed LMU to the 15-point plateau with a kill before Hughes' record-setting service ace forced a Santa Clara timeout at 20-13. Maintaining momentum after the break, the Lions extended the advantage to 25-18 on another Day kill. A red card was issued to the Bronco bench that made it 27-19 before Santa Clara burned its final timeout. A Bronco team block resulted in their final point of the match at 27-21 before kills by Hughes and Reneau made it match point for the Lions. With Hughes serving for the win, Santa Clara committed an attack error to hand LMU the 30-21 game-three victory and the three-game sweep.
The Lions will return to action this Saturday when they host Saint Mary's in the "Senior Day" match at 1 p.m. LMU seniors Ashley Dutro, Jania Motton, Reneau and Hughes will all be honored before the match on Saturday.