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LOOKING BACK: Lions Post 17th-Straight Winning Season

June 19, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format

BRIEFLY...
In his 17th season at the helm of the Loyola Marymount volleyball program, Head Coach Steve Stratos led the Lions to a 17th-straight winning season. Stratos and the Lions closed the campaign with 19 victories for the second consecutive season, finishing 19-12 in 2007.

FOLLOWWW THE LIONS...
It was easy for Lion fans to follow the team in 2007, as all LMU home matches were carried free of charge on Lions' All-Access, which included live Gametracker, audio, and video webcasts. Gametracker and audio were also available for most road contests.

PAIR OF JUNIORS NAMED ALL-WCC...
A pair of LMU juniors was honored as part of the All-WCC selections. Heather Hughes was a first-team selection, while Christianna Reneau received honorable mention recognition. Hughes, a two-time WCC Player of the Week, was the conference's Player of the Month for September. She finished the conference season averaging 3.94 kills per game (8th in the WCC) and 3.00 digs per game (11th). Hughes led the WCC in statistical double-doubles for much of the season, totaling 19 in the Lions' 29 matches. The selction marks Hughes' third straight season of All-WCC recognition. She was a first-team pick last year and a honorable mention selection as a rookie. Reneau was among the conference's top-5 in kills per game, averaging 4.08 in league action. She also ranked in the top-15 in digs per game, with 2.87. Reneau posted double-digit kills in 26 of the Lions' 29 matches this season, currently the highest percentage on the Lions' squad. The honorable mention recognition is her first selection from the WCC. Reneau was an All-WAC pick for Fresno State as a freshman. The pair led LMU to some big WCC wins, including a 3-0 sweep of then-12th-ranked Santa Clara and 3-0 sweep of cross-town rival Pepperdine.

KRONE NAMED LMU FEMALE STRENGTH ATHLETE OF YEAR...
Volleyball's Sandy Krone took home special honors at the annual Iggy Awards, held in April. Krone was named LMU's Female Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year, as awarded by Strength Coach Rick Stassi for her efforts in the weight room.

RENEAU KNOWS BIG NUMBERS...
Despite the Lions' late-season struggles, junior outside hitter Christianna Reneau continued to put up big numbers in the kill column. Reneau tallied double-digit kills in the Lions' last 10 straight matches. She has posted 10 or more kills in 28 of the Lions' 31 matches this season, the highest percentage on the Lions' squad.

SENIOR SANDY STEPS UP...
Senior Sandy Krone was a consistent go-to player for the Lions, especially late this season. The middle blocker started a stretch in late October where she put up double-digit kills in four straight matches. She finished WCC play ranking in the top-8 in hitting percentage, hitting at a .299 clip.

HUGHES REACHES ALL-TIME LEADER CLUB IN KILLS & DIGS...
Only a junior, Heather Hughes already ranks seventh all-time at LMU in career kills with 1,139. But by the end of the season, she had entered another exclusive club: she is one of just five Lions all-time to rank in the top-10 on both the career kills and career digs list, a tribute to those with outstanding all-around skills. Hughes' 920 career digs ranked her eighth all-time on that list, and placed her in the company of former standouts Leslie Wolford (1985-88), Kim Blankinship (1993-96), Deanna Doolittle (1990-93), and Kealani Kimball (2000-03).

STRATOS COACHES 500th CAREER MATCH...
The Thursday, October 26 match at Gonzaga was LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos' 500th career match. Stratos took the reigns of the LMU program in 1990 and has tallied a career record of 343-165.

DAY NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK...
Loyola Marymount's Emily Day was named the WCC Player of the Week in the final week of regular season action. Day helped LMU finish the 2006 season with a 2-0 week. The Lions' outside hitter put up some big numbers as she led LMU to two non-conference wins. Day averaged 5.43 kills and 4.29 digs per game, while hitting at a .364 clip. She posted two statistical double-doubles, with 23 kills and 15 digs against Cal State Northridge Tuesday, and 15 kills and 15 digs in the 3-0 sweep of Dayton on Saturday. The sophomore's selection marks the third week this season a Lion was named WCC Player of the Week. Junior Heather Hughes earned the Lions' two other selections earlier in the season. It is Day's second career selection.

LMU IN THE NATIONAL STATS...
The Lions finished the 2007 campaign ranking among the nation's top teams in several areas, including 20th in kills per game (16.53). Leading that charge was Heather Hughes, who's 4.09 kills per game ranked her 91st in the nation individually. The Lions' junior also ranked 54th in service aces per game (.50).

HUGHES GETS SECOND WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOD...
For the second time this season, Heather Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week on October 23. Hughes led the Lions to their first 3-0 sweep of Pepperdine since 1995. The LMU junior posted 23 kills and 11 digs for her league-leading 15th double-double of the season. The victory came in front of over 1,000 fans and was the Lions' 200th WCC win in program history. Hughes was last named WCC Player of the Week September 11, 2006. This second selection marks her fourth career selection.

HUGHES PASSES 1,000 CAREER KILLS...
Junior Heather Hughes joined an exclusive group when she passed the 1,000 career kill milestone against San Francisco on October 14. Hughes, had seven kills in the first game without an error. She became just the ninth Lion all-time to reach the milestone.

SEPTEMBER STREAKING...
The Lions' September winning steak of 10 straight victories was the program's longest winning streak since the LMU record of 16 was set back in 1996. That season, the Lions won 16 straight en route to the NCAA Championship's Sweet Sixteen.

HUGHES NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH...
Heather Hughes led the Lions to a 12-2 record in September, including a perfect 2-0 start to WCC action. For her efforts, the WCC named her its first Player of the Month of the 2006 season. Hughes tallied 218 kills (4.45/gm), 164 digs (3.35/gm), 56 assists (1.14/gm), and 38 service aces (.78/gm). She totaled 267.5 points during the month of September. Her service ace mark ranked her as high as sixth in the nation in aces during the month. Hughes lead the WCC in double-doubles, posting 11 through September 30th. She also ranked in the WCC's top-6 in both kills and digs. Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week (9/11), the LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic MVP, and the Miami Hurricane Invitational MVP.

NOT SO NEUTRAL...
With neutral court wins over Jacksonville and Florida A&M in Miami September 15-16, the Lions extended their streak of neutral court victories. Dating back to 2005, the Lions have accumulated a 8-0 record on neutral courts.

HUGHES NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK...
LMU's Heather Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week for the week of September 11th. Hughes led the Lions to a 4-0 week and the 2006 LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic title. The Lions' junior took home the Classic's MVP award after her all-around play led LMU to the championship. The Lions defeated all three opponents (UC Irvine, SMU, and Nevada) in tournament play, dropping only one game all weekend. LMU also swept Cal State Fullerton Tuesday night in Gersten Pavilion. On the week, Hughes finished with 61 kills (4.69 per game) and 50 digs (3.85 per game), while hitting .343. Even more impressive was her tough serving, as Hughes tallied 12 aces in the Lions' four matches (13 games). The Fallbrook, Calif. native becomes the first Lion of the 2006 season to earn the weekly WCC selection. It was her third career selection.

GREAT SCHEDULING...
The Lions once again compiled a challenging schedule for the 2006 season. LMU played seven matches against teams ranked in the 2006 AVCA preseason top-25 poll. The WCC coaches picked the Lions to finish fifth in conference action.

THE STATS ON STRAT...
Coming off three consecutive NCAA postseason appearances, Head Coach Steve Stratos led the Lions to a 17th straight winning season. In his time at LMU, Stratos has led the Lions to nine 20-win seasons and 11 postseason appearances. Stratos concluded the 2006 season with a career record of 343-165, the most victories in LMU volleyball history and second among current WCC coaches. In league action, he owns a mark of 162-76, good for a .681 winning percentage. Posting 162 career conference victories, Stratos again ranks second among current WCC coaches. During the 2004, Stratos reached the 300-win milestone with a 3-0 win over the University of Portland in Gersten Pavilion. Among Division I active coaches, Stratos began 2006 ranking 37th by winning percentage (.679) and 58th by victories (324).

-GO LIONS-