Oct. 19, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - It was not the night to be wearing blue and orange, as Loyola Marymount volleyball swept cross-town rival Pepperdine 3-0 (32-30, 30-28, 30-27) in West Coast Conference volleyball action Thursday. With the win, the Lions (16-6) and Waves (8-10) both moved to 4-3 in WCC play, as the first half of conference action came to a close.
For LMU, it was the first 3-0 sweep of Pepperdine since November 4, 1995. The victory kept Pepperdine winless on the road this season. The Waves were ranked in the nation's top-25 as recently as two weeks ago.
LMU junior Heather Hughes posted a match-high 23 kills. The WCC leader in statistical double-doubles, she tallied another one tonight with 11 digs. The impressive numbers came on a night where she moved to a new position, playing outside hitter instead of her usual opposite.
Also impressive Thursday was the defense of sophomore Lauren Kirk, who brought up a team-high 12 digs.
Senior Sandy Krone hit .421 with nine kills, nine digs, and three service aces.
Junior Jania Motton was impressive in the middle, tallying seven blocks and five kills.
Game one was a back-and-forth thriller, as the Lions trailed by as many as five and led by as many as five before the Waves evened it up again at 24-24. The score was then tied at every point to 30 until LMU final won two straight points on a kill by Christianna Reneau and a block by Reneau and Motton.
Game two remained close throughout, as both teams improved their hitting percentages. A kill by Hughes gave the Lions the 24-22 lead and forced Pepperdine to use a timeout. The Waves returned to win three straight points. LMU hung on to edge Pepperdine 30-28 on a solo block by Motton.
The third frame was tied at 11-11 before LMU took control for the rest of the match. Back-to-back kills by Hughes got the rally going, and she put up five more before the game was over to finish with 23 in the three games.
One dig shy of a double-double herself, LMU setter Ashley Dutro had 42 assists and nine digs.
Pepperdine was led by Sophia Milo, who had 11 kills (.368) and four block assists.
The LMU victory evens things in the WCC standings, as Pepperdine and LMU both sit a 4-3 at the midway point of conference play. First place and 22nd-ranked San Diego (6-0) and second place Santa Clara (4-2) play Saturday afternoon.
The two teams observed a moment of silence prior to tonight's match in memory of LMU volleyball alumna Kim Blankinship (1993-96), who passed away Monday. Blankinship will be inducted into the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame with the Class of 2007 in January. The Torrance, Calif. native was in a Lion uniform the last time the Lions swept the Waves 3-0.
The Lions will hit the road next weekend for the Northwest swing, playing at Gonzaga Thursday and Portland Saturday.