{{ article.title }}

Bay Area Trip Ahead for LMU

Nov. 7, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

BRIEFLY...
Loyola Marymount volleyball heads to Northern California this week to face San Francisco (20-7, 4-6 WCC) Thursday and Saint Mary's (9-12, 4-6 WCC) Saturday, as two of three remaining West Coast Conference match-ups. Currently, the Lions (17-9, 5-6 WCC) sit in fourth place, just a half a match ahead of this weekend's two opponents.

FOLLOWWW THE LIONS...
Fans who can't make the Nor Cal swing with the Lions can follow all of the action on Gametracker at www.LMULions.com.

THIS WEEK'S MATCH-UP...
LMU LIONS: The Lions had a rollercoaster week to start November, pushing a pair of top-20 teams to the full five frames, only to fall in heartbreaking fashion. LMU took a 2-1 lead on then-15th-ranked San Diego, but could not close out the final points in game four to seal the deal. It was more of the same Saturday against then-20th-ranked Santa Clara, as the Lions impressed fans by taking a 2-0 lead on the Broncos. Top-20 Santa Clara rebounded to win three straight games to hold off the LMU charge for the Lions' second 3-2 loss of the week. Junior Christianna Reneau led the Lions on the week, posting 41 kills and 19 digs. With three WCC matches left in league action (USF, SMC, PEP), the Lions currently sit in fourth place in the standings. LMU is two matches behind third place No. 22 Santa Clara and a half a match ahead of fourth place San Francisco and Saint Mary's. The Lions dropped the earlier match-ups with San Francisco (3-1) and Saint Mary's (3-2) in Gersten Pavilion in October.

SAN FRANCISCO: USF secured a crucial WCC victory last Saturday night when it posted a 3-0 sweep of Bay Area rival Saint Mary's. The win was the 20th of the season for the Dons, marking just the second time in school history the Dons have collected 20 victories in a season, and the second since USF head coach Jeff Nelson arrived on the Hilltop for the 2003 season, when the Dons posted 23 victories en route to the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

SAINT MARY'S: Saint Mary's faced San Francisco in its lone match of the week and fell 3-0 to fall to 4-6 in conference play, even with the Dons in fifth place. Christina Kirk led the Gaels, posting 13 kills and hitting at a .423 clip.

ROLLERCOASTER RIDING...
An overall impressive week for LMU ultimately left the Lions disappointed. Last week, LMU pushed a pair of top-20 teams to five games, but fell in both of them. The two 3-2 losses left the Lions 0-5 on the season when the match lasts the full five frames, meaning five of the Lions' nine losses on the season have come in five games. The Lions have not dropped a 3-0 match since August the opening weekend of the season at the Arizona State tournament. LMU is the only team in the WCC to survive September, October, and November without suffering a sweep.

SENIOR SANDY STEPS UP...
Senior Sandy Krone is determined to go out with a bang. The Lions' middle blocker has posted her two double-doubles of the season in the Lions' last four matches. During that span, Krone has tallied 54 kills, 49 digs, and a team-high 16 blocks.

STRATOS COACHES 500th CAREER MATCH...
The Thursday, October 26 match at Gonzaga was LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos' 500th career match. Stratos took the reigns of the LMU program in 1990 and has tallied a career record of 341-162.

HUGHES GETS SECOND WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOD...
For the second time this season, Heather Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week, on October 23. Hughes led the Lions to their first 3-0 sweep of Pepperdine since 1995 in LMU's only match of the week last Thursday. The LMU junior posted 23 kills and 11 digs for her league-leading 15th double-double of the season. The victory came in front of over 1,000 fans and was the Lions' 200th WCC win in program history. Hughes was last named WCC Player of the Week September 11, 2006. This second selection marks her fourth career selection.

LMU IN THE NATIONAL STATS...
The Lions have two top-30 rankings in the current NCAA stat categories. As a team, LMU ranks 17th in kills (16.58/game) and 29th in assists (14.97/game).

HUGHES PASSES 1,000 CAREER KILLS...
Junior Heather Hughes joined an exclusive group when she passed the 1,000 career kill milestone against San Francisco on Saturday, October 14. Hughes, had seven kills in the first game without an error. She became just the ninth Lion all-time to reach the milestone.

SEPTEMBER STREAKING...
The Lions' September winning steak of 10 straight victories was the program's longest winning streak since the LMU record of 16 was set back in 1996. That season, the Lions won 16 straight en route to the NCAA Championship's Sweet Sixteen.

HUGHES NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH...
Heather Hughes led the Lions to a 12-2 record in September, including a perfect 2-0 start to WCC action. For her efforts, the WCC named her its first Player of the Month of the 2006 season. Hughes tallied 218 kills (4.45/gm), 164 digs (3.35/gm), 56 assists (1.14/gm), and 38 service aces (.78/gm). She totaled 267.5 points during the month of September. Her service ace mark ranked her as high as sixth in the nation in aces during the month. Hughes lead the WCC in double-doubles, posting 11 through September 30th. She also ranked in the WCC's top-6 in both kills and digs. Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week (9/11), the LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic MVP, and the Miami Hurricane Invitational MVP.

NOT SO NEUTRAL...
With neutral court wins over Jacksonville and Florida A&M in Miami September 15-16, the Lions extended their streak of neutral court victories. Dating back to 2005, the Lions have accumulated a 8-0 record on neutral courts.

HUGHES NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK...
LMU's Heather Hughes was named the WCC Player of the Week for the week of September 11th. Hughes led the Lions to a 4-0 week and the 2006 LMU Four Points Sheraton-LAX Classic title. The Lions' junior took home the Classic's MVP award after her all-around play led LMU to the championship. The Lions defeated all three opponents (UC Irvine, SMU, and Nevada) in tournament play, dropping only one game all weekend. LMU also swept Cal State Fullerton Tuesday night in Gersten Pavilion. On the week, Hughes finished with 61 kills (4.69 per game) and 50 digs (3.85 per game), while hitting .343. Even more impressive was her tough serving, as Hughes tallied 12 aces in the Lions' four matches (13 games). The Fallbrook, Calif. native becomes the first Lion of the 2006 season to earn the weekly WCC selection. It was her third career selection.

WCC SENDS FIVE TO 2005 NCAA TOURNAMENT...
Led by Head Coach Steve Stratos, the Lions were one of five West Coast Conference programs to make the postseason in 2005, as LMU joined Santa Clara, San Diego, Pepperdine, and Saint Mary's in the NCAA tournament. For the second time in three seasons, the WCC led all conferences in percentage of teams to qualify for the tournament, sending 62.5 percent of its programs to the postseason. The Big 12 Conference leads all leagues in number of participating teams, with seven teams selected. The WCC finished the 2005 season ranked fourth in the final volleyball conference RPI rankings. This 2006 season, six of the eight WCC teams have earned votes in the AVCA top-25 coaches' poll.

GREAT SCHEDULING...
The Lions have once again compiled a challenging schedule for the 2006 season. LMU will play seven matches against teams ranked in the 2006 AVCA preseason top-25 poll. The WCC coaches picked the Lions to finish fifth in conference action.

THE STATS ON STRAT...
In 2005, Head Coach Steve Stratos led the Lions to a third-straight NCAA postseason in his 16th campaign at the helm of the program with a 16th straight winning season. In his time at LMU, Stratos has led the Lions to nine 20-win seasons and 11 postseason appearances. Stratos entered the 2006 season with a career record of 324-153, the most victories in LMU volleyball history and second among current WCC coaches. In league action, he owns a mark of 157-67, good for a .701 winning percentage. Posting 157 career conference victories, Stratos again ranks second among current WCC coaches. During the 2004, Stratos reached the 300-win milestone with a 3-0 win over the University of Portland in Gersten Pavilion. Among Division I active coaches, Stratos began 2006 ranking 37th by winning percentage (.679) and 58th by victories (324).

-GO LIONS-