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Cal State Fullerton, WCC Rival Pepperdine Up Next for Lions

Sept. 25, 2007

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BRIEFLY...
After 10 days off from competition, Loyola Marymount volleyball returns to action this week on the road. The Lions will take on cross-town foes Cal State Fullerton and Pepperdine. LMU will play the Titans in the Tuesday match, before opening West Coast Conference play at Pepperdine Saturday night.

FOLLOWWW THE LIONS...
It's easy to follow the Lions throughout the 2007 season! Just log on to LMULions.com for all the latest Lion volleyball coverage. Both of this week's LMU matches will be carried live on the Lions' Audio Network and Gametracker, with links found on the volleyball schedule page. Click on the current match on the schedule and the links will appear in the window on the right.

A LOOK AT THE LIONS...
Without a match last week, the Lions are well-rested for their two cross-town match-ups Tuesday and Saturday. This week's opponents are familiar ones for the Lions, as LMU has taken on the Titans and the Waves a combined 74 times over the years. LMU was earning votes in the CSTV/AVCA Top-25 poll prior to the 1-1 split at the Pacific Asics Tournament. Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes were named to the all-tournament team after leading the Lions against Pacific and Oregon State. Hughes continued her offensive tear and still leads the nation in kills per game, averaging 5.72. Reneau tallied a career-high 33 digs against the Beavers in the Lions' last match.

TITAN TALK...
Cal State Fullerton and the Big West have already started conference play, and the Titans are 2-0 for just the second time in school history. The program record 3-0 conference play start was set by the 2005 Titan squad. The most recent Big West victory for Cal State Fullerton came on Saturday, when the Titans topped Pacific 3-1. Like the Lions, the Titans are 7-5 on the season.

THE SURF REPORT...
The 8-4 Waves are receiving votes in the current CSTV/AVCA Top-25 poll after going 3-0 with victories over Akron, Marshall, and West Virginia at the Blue/Green Classic at Huntington and Charleston, W. Va. two weekends ago. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden led Pepperdine at the tournament and earned WCC Player of the Week honors after earning the title of MVP. She averaged 3.7 kills, 0.50 service aces, 3.6 digs, and 0.6 blocks per game over the weekend. Like the Lions, the Waves are coming off 10 days of rest heading into this week's match-ups.

HUGHES LEADS NATION IN KILLS PER GAME...
LMU senior Heather Hughes currently leads the nation in kills per game. Through the Lions' 12 matches, Hughes is averaging 5.72 kills per game. In addition to leading the nation in kills, Hughes leads the WCC in statistical double-doubles, with nine in the Lions' 12 matches.

AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS...
Catch Emily Day and Heather Hughes in the October issue of the nationwide publication, Volleyball Magazine (www.volleyballmag.com). In the issue, Day and Hughes are featured for their record-breaking summer AVP run, where they became the lowest-seeded pair to ever advance to an AVP main draw. Once qualifying for the main draw, the Lion duo faced 2004 Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in the first round.

RENEAU, HUGHES NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT SQUAD...
Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes were named to the Asics Tournament's All-Tournament Team. Against Pacific and Oregon State, Reneau averaged an impressive 5.00 digs per game with 45 total over the nine games played. She added 27 kills, four service aces, and three block assists. Reneau tallied a career-high 33 digs Friday night against the Beavers. While Reneau was busy on the defensive end, Hughes was racking up kills, averaging 5.44 per game in the two matches. The national leader in kills per game, Hughes finished with 49 total. She added 19 digs, two block assists, and one ace. It was Hughes' fourth all-tournament selection in four weekends. The Lions were named runners-up after going 1-1.

HUGHES JOINS EXCLUSIVE 1000/1000 CLUB...
Earlier this season, Heather Hughes became just the fifth player in LMU volleyball history to pass the 1,000 milestone in both career kills and career digs. The senior passed the kill mark last season, but recorded career dig No. 1000 with her first dig at UC Irvine on September 4. Hughes joins Deanna Doolittle (1990-93), Kim Blankinship (1993-96), Leslie Wohlford (1985-88), and Kealani Kimball (2000-03) in the 1,000 kill/1,000 dig club.

RENEAU, HUGHES NAMED LMU INVITE ALL-TOURNAMENT...
Seniors Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes were honored for their play at the LMU Hilton LAX Invitational when they were named all-tournament selections. Reneau averaged 3.17 kills and 3.92 digs per game, while hitting .357 on the weekend. Hughes added 4.67 kills and 3.17 digs over the three matches.

HORTON, HUGHES NAMED ALL-TOURNEY...
Heather Hughes and Renee Horton were named to the all-tournament team following the LMU Four Points Sheraton Classic title tilt. Hughes' numbers on the weekend really turned heads as she averaged 7.80 kills and 4.60 digs per game while hitting .462 over the course of the tournament. She tallied a career-high 31 kills en route to a statistical triple-double with 10 assists and 15 digs in the four-game match Saturday night. Horton also had an impressive weekend with 148 assists, 20 kills, 20 digs, and a team-high four aces. She was just two digs shy of her own triple-double against UNLV.

HUGHES NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK...
The honors continued for Heather Hughes, as the senior was named Collegiate Volleyball Update's National Player of the Week on Sept. 4. The selection marks the first such honor for a Lion since Olympian Sarah Noriega (1994-97) was awarded the national player of the week distinction in 1997. Hughes earned the title of WCC Player of the Week after leading the Lions to a 2-1 run in the tournament, featuring 3-0 wins over UCSB and Northwestern. Over the Lions' 10 games played, Hughes had 78 kills, averaging 7.80 kills per game while hitting .405 on the weekend. She added 46 digs, 12 assists, eight blocks, and two service aces. In the tournament title match against the Rebels, Hughes tallied a triple-double with a career-high 31 kills, along with 10 assists, and 15 digs. The WCC Player of the Week selection was the first of the young 2007 season for the Lions, and the fourth career selection for the senior Hughes.

HUGHES NAMED USC ALL-TOURNEY...
Senior Heather Hughes tallied 52 kills in 10 games against some of the nation's top competition at the USC Trojan Invitational. For her efforts, Hughes took home an all-tournament selection. In addition to her 5.20 kills per game, Hughes added 33 digs and five service aces.

THE STATS ON STRAT...
LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos has posted 17 winning seasons in his 17 years at the helm of the Lion volleyball program. Stratos entered his 18th season with a career mark of 343-165, which ranks him among the nation's top-50 active Division I coaches in winning percentage.

-GO LIONS-