Nov. 17, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - Saint Mary's women's volleyball was defeated 30-26, 30-23, 27-30, 30-25 by the Loyola Marymount Lions in their last match of 2007 West Coast Conference play. The Gaels finish WCC action with a 6-8 record, while the Lions improved to 8-6. Three Saint Mary's players recorded double-digits in kills, with Megan York and Shannon Lowell posting 16 apiece, and Taylor Groess adding 15. LMU was led by Emily Day throughout the match, as she added 21 kills for the Lions.
The Gaels converted on three blocks to start game one, taking a 6-3 lead over Loyola Marymount. Junior Taylor Groess picked up a solo against LMU's Hughes, as the Gaels kept the advantage at 9-6. Sophomore Lauren Jaeckel clamped on an outside attempt by a Lion hitter, as the Gaels continued to frustrate the Lion's offense with their blocking. Loyola Marymount recorded an ace to tie the game at 12 apiece, but a serving error and a SMC ace would give the Gaels back the lead.
Middle blocker Brittany Barker picked up her first solo of the game, pushing Saint Mary's to a 19-15 lead over the Lions. LMU would charge back behind the attacking of Reneau, as the Lions would tie the game at 20 apiece. From that point on both teams would trade points back and forth, with neither team leading by more than two points. With the Lions up 27-25 Saint Mary's took their second timeout of the game to slow things down, but LMU would respond with two straight points. Megan York tallied a block to stop the Lion's run, but LMU scored on their next attempt to record a 30-26 win over the Gaels.
Although Saint Mary's out blocked the Lions (7-5), the Gaels posted a .054 hitting percentage to LMU's .128. Megan York recorded five kills in the match, while Shannon Lowell added three. The Lions were led by Emily Day, posting six kills, four digs, and three blocks in the game.
The momentum was in the Lions hands at the start of game two, as they took a 9-5 lead over the Gaels. LMU scored three consecutive points to pick-up a 12-5 advantage, but a Lowell kill would stop the run. Back-to-back blocks and a kills by the Gaels closed the Lions lead to three, at 12-9. The Lions answered back, as they went on a 5-1 run to improve their lead to 17-10. Everything continued to go the Lions way, as they went on to defeat the Gaels 30-22.
Lowell, Groess, and Kamana'o each posted three kills in the game, while the Lions were led by Reneau with six kills.
The Gaels would come to play in game three, taking a 12-9 lead over the Lions. Megan York recorded a kill on a well placed shot, while Taylor Groess added a block to the Gael's count. Saint Mary's continued to keep the pressure on LMU, as they took the lead late in game three, 28-25. A Lowell kill gave the Gaels 29, but the Lion's Reneau responded with a kill down the line. York finished the set with a kill off the block and down the line, as the Gaels won their first set of the match 30-27.
Groess exploded in game three for the Gaels, as she posted seven kills in the game and improved her hitting percentage to .276 in the match. Lowell chipped in six kills in the game, while Saint Mary's picked up 25 digs as a team.
Neither team was willing to back down in game four. Both teams led throughout the first ten points, with no advantage extending more than two points. Freshman Kapua Kamana'o came up with a huge solo block for the Gaels, as they took an 11-10 lead over the Lions. The Lions put together consecutive points to take back the advantage, and push the lead to 18-15. Loyola Marymount would not relinquish the lead, defeating Saint Mary's 30-25.
The Gaels finish the 2007 regular season next weekend, as they participate in the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, CA. Saint Mary's will first face the Cincinnati Bearcats on November 23 at 5:00 PM. On November 24 the Gaels will face the winner of Pacific and Fresno State at a time to be determined.