Nov. 17, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA - LMU (16-11, 8-6 WCC) defeated Saint Mary's (14-12, 6-8 WCC) 3-1 by scores of 30-26, 30-23, 27-30, 30-25 on Saturday afternoon on "Senior Day" in Gersten Pavilion. Emily Day collected a match-high 21 kills, including her 1,000th career tally in the third game of the match. Day added a season-high 18 digs to record a double-double in the victory. She becomes just the 11th player in LMU history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau, joining teammates Heather Hughes and Christianna Reneau.
Seniors Hughes, Reneau, Jania Motton and Ashley Dutro were all honored prior to the match against the Gaels. Reneau finished with 17 kills and six digs, while freshman setter Renee Horton recorded a double-double with a match-best 52 assists and 12 digs. Whitney Leonard collected a match-high 26 digs in the win. Shannon Lowell and Megan York each collected 16 kills to lead the Gaels offensively. York recorded a double-double by adding 17 digs, while Taylor Groess added 15 kills for Saint Mary's. Nikki Gonzalez led the team with 20 digs in the match and Kapua Kamana'o recorded a team-high 45 assists.
Day collected a game-high six kills in game one and Reneau added four of her own as LMU earned a 30-26 victory in the frame. The Lions held Saint Mary's to a hitting percentage of .054 in the game, but they trailed early, as a Day attack error made the score 6-2 in favor of the Gaels. LMU would roar back to within two at 12-10 on a Day kill before knotting the frame at 20-20 on a Reneau kill that forced a Saint Mary's timeout. The two teams battled back-and-forth to stalemates at 24 and 25 before LMU rattled-off four straight points, capped by a Day kill and a Gael attack error to make it game-point at 29-25. LMU took the game two plays later when Becky Stehling connected on one of her two kills in the frame.
Reneau led all hitters in game two with six kills and a .556 hitting percentage in the frame, while LMU held the Gaels to just 12 kills at .159. Day and Leonard each collected seven digs in the frame, while Horton recorded four kills. The Lions as a team hit .250 over the span. LMU jumped-out to a 10-5 lead on an Erin Downey kill before extending the advantage to 17-10 on a Day tally. A York service error made it 20-13 in favor of the Lions en route to a 25-17 LMU lead on a Hughes kill. Kamana'o collected a kill late in the match to run the score to 27-22, but the Lions quickly made it game point at 29-22 on a Saint Mary's attack error. Reneau finished the game off for the Lions just two plays later with a kill from Horton.
Saint Mary's took game three by a count of 30-27, fueled by Groess' game-high seven kills. Day led all LMU hitters with five kills in the frame, including her 1,000th career kill to make the score 3-1 in favor of LMU. The Lion lead would not last long, as a Lowell kill gave the Gaels a 7-5 lead just a few plays later. LMU would even the score at 9-9 on a Saint Mary's attack error before the Gaels recorded three straight points to take a 12-9 advantage. The two teams battled to deadlocks at 15, 18 and 22 before Groess gave the Gaels a 24-22 advantage with a kill. Once again the Lions evened the game at 24-24, but a bad set by Horton ran the tally to 28-25 to force a LMU timeout. After the break, the Gaels made it match point at 29-26 on another Lowell kill before taking the game two plays later on a kill by York.
Day once again led all Lions with six kills in game four. York collected a game-high seven kills for the Gaels, but it was not enough as the Lions completed the four-game victory with a 30-25 game-four win. Horton dished-out 13 assists in the frame, including one to Reneau to give LMU an early 9-6 advantage. The two teams battled to a tie at 12-12 before LMU took an 18-15 lead on a Hughes kill to force a Saint Mary's timeout. The Gaels played well after the break, knotting the game at 19-19 on a York kill. LMU regained the lead at 24-20 on a Day kill that forced another Saint Mary's timeout. The stoppage did little to slow the roaring Lions, as LMU raced to a 29-23 advantage on another Hughes tally. Saint Mary's managed to collect the next two points before Reneau sealed the victory with her 17th kill of the match.
The Lions will return to action this Tuesday and Wednesday when they travel to Hawai'i to take on the University of Hawai'i in their final regular season matches. Both matches are slated for 10:00 p.m. starts.