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Lions Continue Homestand, Host Gonzaga Thursday, Portland Saturday

Oct. 31, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA -

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THIS WEEK
Thursday, November 1
LMU vs. Gonzaga at 7:00 p.m.Saturday, November 3
LMU vs. Portland at 1:00 p.m.

BRIEFLY...
After being swept by WCC foe Pepperdine on Saturday, LMU will continue on this three-game homestand as it hosts Gonzaga on Thursday and Portland on Saturday. Thursday's match between the Lions and Bulldogs is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Saturday's match against the Pilots is slated for 1 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. Both of this week's WCC matches against Gonzaga and Portland will be carried on 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 0-1 week in which it lost the only match of the week to Pepperdine on Saturday night at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions lost the match by scores of 33-31, 30-28 and 31-29. The close match saw 30 different tie scores, with 29 of those 30 coming in the first two games. Junior Emily Day (11 kills and 17 digs) and senior Heather Hughes (14 kills and 16 digs) each collected double-doubles for the Lions in the match. Hughes' 14 kills were a match-high, while Day's 17 digs were tops in that category. Freshman Renee Horton collected a team-best 22 assists in the loss. With the loss, the Lions have now dropped two straight matches and have not won a game over that span.

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 21 matches and 77 games played, Hughes has collected 433 kills to the tune of a 5.62 kills per game average. In addition, the Fallbrook, Calif. native made her mark in the LMU record books last week, passing Leslie Wohlford (1,563 kills from 1985-88) and Kim Blankinship (1,161 digs from 1993-96) to claim second place in kills and digs. Entering the week, Hughes sits at 1,572 career kills and 1,174 career digs.

CAGING THE BULLDOGS...
Gonzaga currently finds itself tied for fifth place in the West Coast Conference with a record of 4-5 and an overall mark of 16-9. The Bulldogs split two matches last week, being swept by Santa Clara on Thursday before snapping a two-match skid by defeating Saint Mary's on Saturday. Gonzaga, who was held to 34 kills in the loss to Santa Clara, was led by sophomore Michelle Boevers and junior Elaina Renius with 12 and eight kills, respectively. Senior Heather Dunn dished out a season-high 27 assists for the Bulldogs as GU connected for a .215 attacking percentage in the match. Gonzaga had three players finish in double-digit kills in the victory over Saint Mary's, including senior Becky Jones who collected her 42nd career double-double with a 14 kill, 15 dig performance in the Zag win. Boevers led the Bulldog squad with 17 kills, while Renius added 13 kills and a smoking .500 hitting percentage. The Bulldogs currently rank 31st in blocks per game in the NCAA Division I at 2.95, which is good for second in the WCC. Gonzaga has held opponents to a WCC-best .180 overall hitting percentage this season. Individually, Briawna Mueller ranks 30th in the nation and first in the WCC in blocks per game at 1.44. Dunn places 57th in the NCAA Division I with 12.21 assists per game, a mark that is good for third in the WCC.

SCOUTING PORTLAND...
Portland is currently in last place in the West Coast Conference and is winless in WCC competition, toting a 0-9 record and an overall mark of 7-16. The Pilots will face-off against Pepperdine on Thursday before coming to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Portland dropped its Thursday match, 3-1, to Saint Mary's by scores of 30-26, 17-30, 23-30 and 20-30. The victory in game one was the Pilots' first since September 29 at Saint Mary's (30-28 game-two win). The Pilots went on to be swept by Santa Clara on Saturday, 24-30, 23-30 and 24-30. Freshman Jessica Clemens recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs, and junior Ashley Grayson had a team-high 15 kills in the loss to Saint Mary's. Clemens led the Pilots once again on Saturday, finishing with 10 kills and 12 digs, while senior Kara Pein had 27 assists and 16 digs in the loss. Portland currently ranks last in the WCC in all categories except services aces, where it ranks sixth at 1.54 per game. In conference matches alone, the Pilots rank last in all categories except blocks (fifth with 2.30 per game) and service aces (fifth with 1.20 per game). Individually, Grayson ranks eighth in the WCC with a .303 hitting percentage and eighth in conference matches alone at .278. In addition, Grayson places 14th in conference match kills with 3.07 kills per game. Clemens ranks third in service aces in the conference at 0.40 per game.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHATTER...
Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala powered USF to a 3-0 sweep of then No. 12 San Diego en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors. Mandala hammered a match-high 18 kills on .300 hitting to go along with five digs and four blocks against the Toreros. Four WCC volleyball teams were in action last Thursday night, with Saint Mary's and Santa Clara each posting wins in the Northwest. The Gaels topped Portland, 3-1, while the Broncos earned a 3-0 sweep at Gonzaga. All eight WCC volleyball teams hit the court in a busy day of conference play on Saturday. San Francisco knocked off then No.12 San Diego at home, 3-0, while Gonzaga notched a 3-1 victory over visiting Saint Mary's in Spokane. Pepperdine swept Loyola Marymount on the road, and Santa Clara posted a 3-0 win at Portland to round out the action.

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. 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. 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 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.