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Lions Close Regular Season With Holiday Week Pair

Nov. 20, 2006

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BRIEFLY...
Loyola Marymount volleyball closes the regular season this holiday week, hosting Cal State Northridge Tuesday and the University of Dayton Saturday night. Both matches will be a part of a doubleheader with LMU women's basketball, with volleyball following basketball action both nights. The Lions will look to finish the regular season with 19 wins for the second straight year.

FOLLOWWW THE LIONS...
For those who can't make it to Gersten Pavilion this holiday week, Lions' All-Access will bring you all of the action as it happens. Fans can follow along on Gametracker and live audio and video broadcasts, all free of charge at www.LMULions.com.

THIS WEEK'S MATCH-UP...
LMU LIONS: The Lions need two victories this week to finish with 19 wins for the second straight season. Last week saw LMU close out the West Coast Conference season with a loss at crosstown rival Pepperdine, placing the Lions in sixth place in the final WCC standings.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE MATADORS: With a 3-0 sweep of UC Irvine last weekend, Cal State Northridge and UCI finished in a tie for fourth place in the Big West standings. Tuesday's match up with the Lions will close the regular season for the Matadors.

DAYTON FLYERS: A 3-1 loss at the hands of Saint Louis Saturday ended the Flyers' streak of three-straight Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. Despite not getting the A-10's automatic bid to the postseason, several Flyers earned A-10 awards. Faye Barhorst was named Player of the Year, while Erin Schroeder was named Setter of the Year. Both joined Jamie-Lee Richards on the all-conference first-team.

LAST MEETINGS...
The last time the Lions and Matadors met on September 20, 2005, LMU won 3-0 on the road to improve to 10-1. Heather Hughes led the way for the Lions in the match, posting double-double numbers with 10 kills and 12 digs while hitting .409. LMU and Dayton last clashed on September 26, 2003, as part of the USD Tournament in San Diego. The Lions won the five-game thriller 3-2 for Head Coach Steve Stratos' 275th career victory. Then-senior Kealani Kimball, who has since had her LMU jersey number 18 retired, led the Lions to the win over Dayton with 25 kills.

RENEAU KNOWS BIG NUMBERS...
Despite the Lions' late-season struggles, junior outside hitter Christianna Reneau has continued to put up big numbers in the kill column. Reneau has tallied double-digit kills in the Lions' last eight straight matches. She has posted 10 or more kills in 26 of the Lions' 29 matches this season, currently the highest percentage on the Lions' squad.

SENIOR SANDY STEPS UP...
Senior Sandy Krone has been a consistent go-to player for the Lions, especially late this season. The middle blocker started a stretch in late October where she put up double-digit kills in four straight matches. She finished WCC play ranking in the top-8 in hitting percentage, hitting at a .299 clip.

HUGHES APPROACHES ALL-TIME LEADER CLUB IN KILLS & DIGS...
Only a junior, Heather Hughes already ranks seventh all-time at LMU in career kills with 1,119. But she is poised to enter another exclusive club: just four Lions all-time rank in the top-10 on both the career kills and career digs list, a tribute to those with outstanding all-around skills. Hughes needs just 11 more digs to reach 900 career digs, which would place her in the company of former standouts Leslie Wolford (1985-88), Kim Blankinship (1993-96), Deanna Doolittle (1990-93), and Kealani Kimball (2000-03).

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 341-165.

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...
This week, LMU ranks 21st in the nation as a team with 16.5 kills per 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 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-