Nov. 16, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - Sophia Milo hit .519, Kristin McClune hit .500 and Kekai Crabbe lead all players with 16 digs as the 25th-ranked Pepperdine women's volleyball team swept cross-town rival Loyola Marymount, 30-21, 30-24, 30-28, on Senior Night in Malibu, Calif.
The victory clinches the Waves (15-10, 11-3 West Coast Conference) second straight second-place finish in the conference and extends the team's current win streak to seven.
"We reached one of our goals tonight which was to go undefeated at home in conference," said head coach Nina Matthies. "After the first half of conference play we had to reevaluate our goals. We wanted to put ourselves in position to be a part of postseason play and I feel like we are doing that now. My team is playing well right now and it is not just one or two players making plays, it is a different person every time."
Pepperdine was paced by senior middle blocker Milo (Portland, Ore.) who recorded a match-high in kills with 16 and in blocks with seven. Sophomore Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) added 15 kills on .406 hitting and senior middle blocker McClune had two kills in her first start of the year.
LMU (17-12, 5-9 WCC) was limited to .185 hitting in the match as Cristianna Reneau posted a team-leading 10 kills but Heather Hughes was limited to minus .045 on 22 swings.
The Waves took control of game one early and following kills from McClune and Rubenstein led 11-7. Pepperdine used a season-high of 21 kills in the opening frame to hit .450 and were able to sideout on 19-of-21 attempts. The Lions hit .265 for the game but were never able to cut into a Waves' lead that reached seven before a 3-1 run to close the set gave the home team a nine-point victory.
Pepperdine continued to have the hot hand early in game two as it raced out to a 5-2 lead. But LMU would settle down and claw its way back into the game before a 5-0 stretch gave the visitors a four-point, 16-12 lead. A Milo kill was followed by a Milo and Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) block of Hughes and a Lumsden kill to tie the game at 16-all as the Lions called timeout. Out of the break, LMU scored four straight points, pushing its lead back to four forcing Matthies to call her final timeout of the game. Lumsden secured the ensuing point for the Waves who capitalized on a pair of Lion hitting errors and a pair of blocks to blow the game open with an 8-0 run en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Lions seemed poised to hand the Waves just their second game lost out of the intermission. LMU took a 5-4 lead and despite Pepperdine's efforts to keep the frame close, the Lions never allowed the Waves to take a lead and built a 20-15 lead. Rubenstein started the Waves final run at completing the sweep with a kill which was followed by a Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) and Milo block of Hughes and Rubenstein completed the 3-0 run with another kill to pull Pepperdine within two, 22-20. After a Lions' kill, Rubenstein went back to work and Milo followed suit, cutting the deficit to one, 23-22. The Waves served into the net to push the LMU lead back to two, 24-22, when Milo rattled off three kills and a solo block, along with a Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) kill, to make up a 5-0 run. The Waves never let the lead go and after LMU fought off consecutive match-point attempts, Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) sealed the deal.
Pepperdine will finish the regular season next week as it travels to UCLA on Monday and hosts Dayton on Wednesday.
"We are looking forward to facing UCLA," noted Matthies. "We are preparing for postseason play and facing the No. 6 team in the country will give us an idea of where we stand this late in the season."The two teams have developed a bit of a rivalry of late as the Waves have won three of the last four matches. First serve at Pauley Pavilion is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT, with the Dayton match slated for a 5 p.m. start two days later.