{{ article.title }}

Lions Conclude WCC Schedule at Home vs. Santa Clara, Saint Mary's

Nov. 13, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA -

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

BRIEFLY...
After dropping a heartbreaker to No. 19 University of San Diego, 3-2, on the road on Thursday night and defeating University of San Francisco, 3-1, on Saturday, LMU will return home to close the WCC schedule this week against Santa Clara and Saint Mary's. Thursday's match between the Lions and Broncos is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Saturday's "Senior Day" match against the Gaels 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 and Lions' Audio Network, 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.

A LOOK AT THE LIONS...
LMU is coming off a 1-1 week in which it dropped a heartbreaker on the road, 3-2, to then No. 19 USD on Thursday night and beat USF, 3-1, on Saturday. Junior Emily Day collected a match-high 26 kills and added 10 digs to record a double-double in LMU's 26-30, 29-31, 30-22, 30-21, 13-15 loss to USD. In addition, Day and freshman Becky Stehling each established career-highs in block assists with seven and eight, respectively. Senior Heather Hughes provided much of the remaining offensive output for the Lions, tallying a double-double with 24 kills and a season-high 21 digs. Fellow senior Christianna Reneau added seven kills and 22 digs in the loss, while freshman Whitney Leonard collected a career-high 33 digs. Day was at it again in the victory on Saturday, recording another double-double with a match-high 27 kills and 16 digs while hitting .400 (27-for-55). Loyola Marymount defeated San Francisco by scores of 26-30, 30-23, 30-21, 30-27. Reneau and Renee Horton also collected double-doubles in the victory, with Reneau tallying a season-high tying 19 kills and 15 digs and Horton collecting 55 assists and 12 digs. Hughes had 11 kills, six assists, a season-high four aces, eight digs and two blocks in the win.

HUGHES RANKS AMONGST NATIONAL LEADERS IN KILLS PER GAME...
LMU senior Heather Hughes ranks ninth in the nation in kills per game this week after leading the nation in that category from September 9 through November 4. Through 25 matches and 94 games played, Hughes has collected 495 kills to the tune of a 5.27 kills per game average, just a shade behind Houston's Justine Farmer and the top spot of 5.58. Entering the week, Hughes sits at 1,634 career kills and 1,224 digs. In addition, with six aces this past week, Hughes has now collected 155 aces in her career, placing her just two behind Kim Blankinship (1993-96) and the top spot in the LMU record books at 157.

SENIORS IN THE SPOTLIGHT...
Sunday's "Senior Day" match against Saint Mary's will be the final home match at Gersten Pavilion for LMU's four senior players. Ashley Dutro (Sunnyvale, Calif.), Christianna Reneau (Corona, Calif.), Jania Motton (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) will all be honored prior to the match against the Gaels on Sunday. The pre-game ceremony is slated to begin at 12:50 p.m., followed immediately by the start of the match at approximately 1:00 p.m.

BREAKING THE BRONCOS...
Santa Clara currently sits atop the West Coast Conference standings with a record of 10-2 and an overall mark of 18-10. The Broncos lost their only match of the week last week, falling 3-2 (17-30, 30-26, 21-30, 30-25, 10-15) to Saint Mary's in WCC action on Friday night. Junior Brittany Lowe and senior Crystal Matich each compiled a double-double, with Lowe leading the match with 24 kills and 17 digs, while Matich dished out a match-high 63 assists and registered 13 digs. Freshman Krista Kelley chipped in with 16 kills and sophomore Lindsy Evans added 12 kills. Meanwhile, libero Caroline Walters recorded 16 digs to extend her WCC and Santa Clara digs record to 1,885 in her career. The Broncos currently rank 12th in assists per game in the NCAA Division I at 15.55, which is good for first in the WCC. In addition, Santa Clara ranks 15th in kills per game (16.74) and 70th in aces per game (1.84)--both tops in the WCC. Individually, Matich ranks 12th in the nation and first in the WCC in assists per game at 13.35. Kelley leads the Broncos with 4.32 kills per game, placing her 79th in the nation and fourth in the WCC.

SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S...
Saint Mary's is currently tied for fourth place in the West Coast Conference with a 6-6 record and an overall mark of 14-10. The Gaels will face Pepperdine on Thursday before coming to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday afternoon for "Senior Day." Saint Mary's defeated WCC leader Santa Clara, 3-2 (17-30, 30-26, 21-30, 30-25, 10-15) on Friday in its only match last week. Five Gaels recorded double-digit kills, with junior Taylor Groess posting a team-high 15 kills. The Gaels out-blocked the Broncos 21-8 in the match, as Brittany Barker recorded a double-double with 10 blocks and 10 kills, and Lauren Jaeckel recorded nine blocks and 14 kills. Saint Mary's currently ranks first in the WCC, and 21st in the NCAA Division I, in blocks per game at 3.08 and second in the WCC (78th in NCAA Division I) with 1.81 aces per game. Individually, Megan York ranks second in the WCC and 49th in the NCAA Division I with 4.53 kills per game. Megan Burton and Shannon Lowell rank 50th and 51st in the nation with 1.35 blocks per game apiece. Those figures place them second and third in the WCC, respectively.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHATTER...
USD sophomore Amy DeGroot helped lead the Toreros to back-to-back 3-2 wins over Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine this past week to claim WCC Player of the Week honors. For the week, the Frenchtown, Mont. native recorded a team-best 41 kills, 25 digs and five blocks. In the match against Loyola Marymount, DeGroot recorded a double-double with 16 kills and 17 digs. In Saturday's win over Pepperdine, she recorded a team-leading 25 kills, had eight digs and hit for a .339 clip. On the season, DeGroot leads the team with 409 kills and is second in digs with 217. Gonzaga posted a 3-0 sweep of Portland in its only match of last week on Saturday and Pepperdine posted a 1-1 weekend with a 3-2 victory over San Francisco on Thursday and a heartbreaking loss to then #19 San Diego on Saturday. Saint Mary's posted a big win on Friday with a thrilling 3-2 defeat of conference leader, Santa Clara, while the Dons dropped two hard-fought matches to Pepperdine on Thursday and LMU on Saturday.

RENEAU JOINS 1,000 KILL CLUB...
In the November 3 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. 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.

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.