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Lions visit No. 19 USD Thursday, USF Saturday

Nov. 6, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA -

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THIS WEEK
Thursday, November 8
LMU at No. 19 University of San Diego at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 10
LMU at University of San Francisco at 1:00 p.m.

BRIEFLY...
Having defeated Gonzaga in a close 3-2 match last Thursday and sweeping Portland on Saturday, LMU carries momentum into this week's important WCC road matches against No. 19 USD and a struggling USF squad who has lost two straight matches. Thursday's match between the Lions and Toreros is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Saturday's match against the Dons 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 will be carried live on Gametracker, with links found on the volleyball schedule page. Just click on the current match on the schedule and the links will appear in the window on the right. Thursday's match will also be broadcast on Lions' Audio Network.

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 2-0 week in which it defeated Gonzaga, 3-2, on Thursday night and swept Portland on Saturday in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions beat the Bulldogs by scores of 27-30, 31-29, 27-30, 30-22 and 15-13 to snap a two-match skid. Seniors Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes led all hitters with 19 kills in the match, which was a season-high for Reneau. Hughes posted a triple-double on the night, adding 11 assists and 11 digs. Reneau and junior Emily Day recorded double-doubles with Reneau adding 14 digs and Day collecting 18 kills and 15 digs. Renee Horton recorded a match-high 64 assists for LMU, while Becky Stehling led all hitters with a career-best .600 hitting percentage (10-for-15) on the night. Freshman Whitney Leonard also matched a career-high with a match-high 24 digs in the victory. LMU swept Portland in impressive fashion by scores of 30-12, 30-20 and 30-22 on Saturday. The Lions hit .333 overall in the match, led by senior Jania Motton's .625 (10 for 16) mark. Reneau collected a match-high 13 kills while hitting .417 on the day, including her 1,000th career kill for the game-winner in game one. Reneau became just the 10th player in LMU history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau, joining teammate Hughes at 1,599 career kills.

HUGHES RANKS AMONGST NATIONAL LEADERS IN KILLS PER GAME...
LMU senior Heather Hughes ranks fourth in the nation in kills per game this week after leading the nation in that category since the week of September 9. Through 23 matches and 85 games played, Hughes has collected 460 kills to the tune of a 5.41 kills per game average, just a shade behind Houston's Justine Farmer and the top spot of 5.67. Entering the week, Hughes sits at 1,599 career kills and 1,195 digs.

RENEAU JOINS 1,000 KILL CLUB...
In Saturday's sweep of Portland, Christianna Reneau became just the 10th player in LMU history to collect 1,000 career kills. The senior recorded career kill No. 1,000 with her seventh kill of the match, the game-winner in game one, against the Pilots on November 3. Reneau joins fellow teammate Heather Hughes (2004-current), Kristen Gallup (1992-02), Kealani Kimball (2000-03), Dina DeBernardi (2001-05), Deanna Doolittle (1990-93), Kim Blankinship (1993-96), Sarah Noriega (1994-97), Leslie Wohlford (1985-88) and Sarah McFarland (1997-00) in the 1,000-kill club.

TORERO TALK...
The University of San Diego women's volleyball team fell four spots to No. 19 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll. This marks the 12th consecutive week USD has appeared in the top-25. USD currently finds itself tied for second place in the West Coast Conference with a record of 7-3 and an overall mark of 17-7. The Toreros split a pair of matches this past week, as they swept Saint Mary's in Moraga, CA before falling to Santa Clara 3-1 on Saturday. In Thursday's sweep, Amy DeGroot recorded 10 digs to go along with her match-best 15 kills to record her team-best 12th double-double of the season. Senior outside hitter Erin Wiskar was the second USD player to record a double-double as she had 10 digs and added 10 kills and junior setter Jessica Nyrop also recorded a double-double with a match-best 43 assists and 11 digs, while helping direct the USD offense to a .291 attack percentage. In Saturday's loss to Santa Clara, DeGroot and Abrahamson led the team offensively with 12 kills each, with Abrahamson posting a .246 attack percentage. DeGroot also added 12 digs to post her 13th double-double of the season. Nyrop recorded 45 assists in helping direct the USD offense to a .169 team attack percentage. The Toreros currently rank 16th in assists per game in the NCAA Division I at 15.39, which is good for second in the WCC. In addition, USD ranks 20th in kills per game (16.49) and 40th in hitting percentage (.248). USD has held opponents to a WCC-best .181 overall hitting percentage this season. Individually, Abrahamson ranks 13th in the nation and first in the WCC in hitting percentage at .397. Andrea Csaszi ranks first in the WCC with 4.91 digs per game, good for 86th in the NCAA Division I.

SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO...
The University of San Francisco is currently in sixth place in the West Coast Conference with a 4-6 record and an overall mark of 15-11. The Dons will face-off against Pepperdine on Thursday before hosting the Lions on Saturday afternoon. USF has dropped two straight matches after going winless this past week. The Dons dropped their Thursday match, 3-1, to Santa Clara by scores of 30-16, 17-30, 30-21 and 30-26. USF went on to lose to Saint Mary's on Saturday, 33-31, 24-30, 30-21 and 35-33. In the loss to Santa Clara, junior outside hitter Addie Webster tallied a team-high 15 kills on .343 hitting with seven digs. Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala added 11 kills on .400 hitting despite receiving just 20 sets for the match. Junior setter Darcy Carroll dished out 27 assists, while sophomore libero Haley Carroll tallied a team-high 17 digs with a pair of aces. Senior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg led the way for San Francisco with 20 kills and six digs, while Mandala added 15 in the loss to Saint Mary's. Junior middle blocker Alix Gombos added 12 kills on .391 attacking with four blocks and Webster finished with a double-double at 11 kills and 14 digs. San Francisco currently ranks third in the WCC, and 69th in the NCAA Division I, in blocks per game at 2.69 and second in the WCC (87th in NCAA Division I) with 17.33 digs per game. Additionally, the Dons rank 57th in assists per game at 14.51 and 59th in kills per game at 15.75. Individually, Gombos ranks fourth in the WCC and 86th in the NCAA Division I with 1.25 blocks per game. Carroll places second in the WCC with 4.75 digs per game, good for 103rd in the Nation.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHATTER...
Santa Clara senior libero Caroline Walters was named the WCC Player of the Week after shattering the Santa Clara and WCC all-time digs record this weekend. The Los Gatos, Calif., native tallied 34 digs this weekend and made integral plays to help SCU to a 2-0 week with back-to-back victories over San Francisco and then-No. 15 San Diego. All eight WCC teams were in action last Thursday night, with San Diego and Pepperdine sweeping Saint Mary's and Portland, respectively. Santa Clara picked up a 3-1 victory over San Francisco and LMU defeated Gonzaga, 3-2. Pepperdine made it a perfect week, sweeping Gonzaga on Saturday, while LMU swept Portland and Santa Clara knocked-off San Diego, 3-1. Saint Mary's defeated San Francisco by a count of 3-1 to close WCC play last week.

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.