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Lions Welcome Pepperdine in West Coast Conference Showdown

Oct. 26, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK
Saturday, October 27
LMU vs. Pepperdine at 7:00 p.m.

BRIEFLY...
After splitting two road matches against West Coast Conference opponents Saint Mary's and Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount volleyball will return home this week to take on Pepperdine in a Saturday night match at Gersten Pavilion. The match between the Lions and Waves is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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. Saturday's WCC match against Pepperdine will be carried on both Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network, with links found on the volleyball schedule page.

LIONSFUND ONLINE AUCTION...
Own a piece of LMU Volleyball history through the LionsFund Online Auction. LionsFund Online Auction is now featuring the complete LMU Volleyball authentic team package. The package includes an official adidas® crimson warm-up jacket and sweatpants, the #3 2005 game-used home white official game jersey, and the #1 2006 game-used road navy official game jersey. Go Online at: www.lmulions.cstvauctions.com and bid to get your piece of LMU Volleyball history.

A LOOK AT THE LIONS...
LMU is coming off a 1-1 week in which it split two road matches against Saint Mary's and Santa Clara. The Lions swept Saint Mary's in Thursday's match before falling 3-0 to Santa Clara in Saturday afternoon's affair. Freshman Renee Horton tallied a match-high 42 assists for the Lions in the victory over Saint Mary's, while junior Emily Day (18 kills, 16 digs) and senior Heather Hughes (16 kills, 13 digs) each collected double-doubles in the sweep. Hughes and Day were at it again in the loss to Santa Clara, posting 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

HUGHES LEADS NATION IN KILLS PER GAME...
LMU senior Heather Hughes leads the nation in kills per game, an honor she has held since the week of September 9. Through 20 matches and 74 games played, Hughes has collected 419 kills to the tune of a 5.66 kills per game average. In addition, the Fallbrook, Calif. native is quickly climbing the LMU record books in various categories. Entering the match against Pepperdine, Hughes (1,558) sits just five kills behind Leslie Wohlford (1985-88) and the number two spot in the books at 1,563. Hughes' 4.64 kills per game average places her third on the list behind Sarah Noriega (1994-97) at 4.71, and her 1,158 digs are just three behind Kim Blankinship's (1993-96) second-place mark of 1,161.

CATCHING THE WAVES...
Pepperdine finds itself sitting in third place in the West Coast Conference with a record of 4-3 and an overall mark of 12-7. The Waves held a share of first place in last week's standings, but went on to lose both of their matches to Santa Clara and Saint Mary's. Pepperdine dropped the Thursday decision, 3-1, to Santa Clara by scores of 30-28, 24-30, 23-30 and 28-30. The Waves went on to drop a five-game match to Saint Mary's on Saturday, 23-30, 30-23, 30-24, 24-30 and 15-17. Junior Cassi Chamberlain had a season-high-tying 12 kills, Kayla Walker added 11 more, while Lecca Roberts and Julie Rubenstein chipped in 10 kills apiece in the loss to Santa Clara. Sophomore Kiah Fiers had 59 assists and a career-high 23 digs in Saturday's loss to Saint Mary's. Pepperdine has had to play the last five matches without the team's second-leading hitter, Rachel Lumsden, who is out with a knee injury. The Waves are 2-3 without Lumsden. Pepperdine currently ranks 12th in hitting percentage (.277), 29th in assists per game (15.00) and 29th in kills per game (16.29) in the NCAA Division I. Individually, Fiers ranks 24th in the Nation and second in the WCC in assists per game at 12.75. Senior Roberts is the leading hitter on a Pepperdine team that places first in the WCC in hitting percentage, posting a .381 mark, which is good for, 27th in the Nation and second in the conference.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHATTER...
Santa Clara's Krista Kelley became the first Bronco this season to join the 20-20 Club, helping the team to a 3-1 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday, en route to being named WCC Player of the Week. Kelley tallied a personal-best and match-high 27 kills and 21 digs against the Waves before collecting 14 kills in Saturday's 3-0 sweep of LMU. Kelley led the Broncos for the week with 5.86 kills and 4.00 digs per game. San Diego, who shares the top spot at 6-1 in the WCC standings with Santa Clara, moved up to No. 12 in the polls after posting wins over Portland and Gonzaga. Portland, still winless in the WCC, also fell to San Francisco on Saturday and has now been swept in six straight matches. Despite the loss to San Diego, Gonzaga was able to earn a split on the week, winning a thrilling five-game road match over San Francisco on Thursday.

AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS...
Catch Emily Day and Heather Hughes in this month's 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 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.