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Across the Net with Felix Van Kann

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Hello LMU tennis fans!

Sorry for the delay, it has been a busy week for everyone at LMU. Regionals took place last weekend at Irvine and the Lions were able to get some good wins over tough opponents. Nick Northcott and Busta both made it to the second round, while Nick "that horse" Bjerke made it to the round of 16 in singles. The best result though, the Lions achieved in doubles: while Dan Simko and Nick Northcott lost their second round match, our Number 1 doubles reached the semi- finale! Congrats to Nick Bjerke and Busta! That's a really good effort and makes us all feel better about the next season's doubles points.

I finally returned to the courts last week. In an intensive 15- minute session Robin Kiyabu and I got into a hard battle for the contest of the most unfit tennis player of all time. I probably won because I was already sore the next day. It's a long way back but it's getting better quickly I hope.

Next week the boys will play the So Cal Intercollegiates at UCLA which will be the last tournament in the Fall Semester. I probably won't be able to play yet but for sure we'll get some good results! Until then we'll get ready for Halloween on Wednesday. Daniel Simko will be back with the Blog next week to tell you some stories about all of that. Let's go, Lions!!

Sincerely,

Felix

The Week That Was in Lion Sports

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This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Monday allowing for a quick glance for the week that was in Lion Sports. 

The open to the 2012-13 LMU men's basketball season comes at a perfect time tomorrow with midterms mostly finished and the student body at the peak of their excitement in between two Halloween weekends. But let's talk about what has already happened in the wide world of LMU sports.

Lion water polo got back on track this week when the 11th ranked men's team won both of its WWPA matches to improve to 9-2 in conference play. Friday, LMU scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds left to beat #16 UC Davis on the road. Saturday, the Lions won again on the road when they took down #19 Santa Clara 12-7.

Volleyball had a strong week as well, which began Thursday in Malibu when they took #23 Pepperdine to a fifth set before losing a close one. Pepperdine needed 32 points to win the first set and 28 to win the second set before LMU took back the third and fourth sets, which led to a close loss in the final deciding set. At home Saturday, the Lions took care of business against Gonzaga when they won 3-0 in a quick and efficient sweep.

After a strong season of races, the Lion cross country teams both took 5th place at the WCC Championship meet in Portland, Ore. Leading the men was junior Weston Strum who finished seventh overall while the women's race saw senior Sharee Shea take third overall. The Lions will compete at the NCAA West Regionals in Seattle starting on November 9.

Men's soccer had their bye week the previous week and after 12 days without a match, the team came out slow on the road against WCC leader San Diego when they fell 2-0 on Wednesday. Sunday, the Lions ended a four-match losing streak when they drew a tie against San Francisco at home. This gave the Lions their fifth point and keeps them at sixth place in the conference.

The women's soccer team also saw a streak end but unfortunately this was not a good thing. After winning three games in a row, the Lions had a tough stay in the Northwest, losing to Gonzaga 2-0 on Friday and losing to Portland 2-0 on Sunday. Remaining with nine points, the women are now tied for fifth place in the WCC.

Continuing its start to the season, the swim team had another strong showing at the Malibu Invitational over the weekend. The LMU women won two of the three distance events and won 11 out of the 14 sprint and mid-distance events.

The LMU men's golf team wrapped up their fall season last week at the Bill Cullum Invitational at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, Calif. After three rounds of play, the Lions finished the tournament in ninth place.

The Dugout

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Since this is softball's first time blogging I would like to start this off by stating that we are not your average softball team. I think that we are actually completely opposite from average in every way possible. There is never a dull moment in our dugout. The personalities on our team allow for constant laughter wherever we go. I must say that our number one goal is to have fun and we accomplish that every day. I don't think that the freshman knew what they were getting themselves into but they seemed to have fit right in with our family. The year has started off great with our few fall games that we played. Everyone seems to play extremely well with each other! We are so excited for our season to start up in the spring. Our biggest accomplishment this year so far has been winning Midnight Madness for the second year in a row! We can thank one of our senior pitchers, Dana Waldusky, for helping us out with that one. One of our songs performed was "gangnam style" and Dana dressed up to look exactly like the guy in the music video. If you do not know what this is I suggest to google it to get a feel and a good laugh. Be sure to keep reading our blog posts as the weeks go on! You'll be sure to get the inside scoop about what goes on in the dugout. 
Check out a picture of us from Midnight Madness!! View image

I'm sitting on a plane and staring out the window, thinking to myself how beautiful life is. We are flying over Spokane, Washington and I'm looking out the tiny window at all of the trees.  If you have ever flown over the state of Washington, you know there are millions.  Well, the trees remind me of our women's volleyball team.  14 girls, 14 very different lives, 14 different talents that come together to form one goal...  14 girls that share one common bond... to play for the letters on our chest. 

Just like a plane, how important are the wings?  Very important obviously...our coaching staff  are our form of wings.  They provide us with everything we need to know.  We are not just a team at LMU we are a family....the things we have been through, the things we overcome bring us closer and closer every day.  As I sit on this cold, overcast flight, my thoughts of this upcoming weekend run through my head.  We play Gonzaga first.  Then, Saturday, we play Portland.

It is now Friday morning around 10:45 A.M. and here I am back on a plane flying to Portland, Oregon.  Last night was great! We swept the Gonzaga Bulldogs in three games!  Our team rocked it!  Now we get to add another "W" to our record.  Patiently awaiting a long easy day ahead, we fly to Portland. We have practice later this evening as we prepare for tomorrow's match against Portland. The LMU Lions are on the prowl and cannot wait to play Portland on Saturday.  I'm going to take a nap now. Don't worry... I'll keep you updated tomorrow.

Final update: It is now Saturday around 6:45 P.M.  Today has been amazing! First, we swept the Portland Pilots in three!  We spent some free time after the game eating lunch and going shopping.  We were jumping out of corners yelling the "happy birthday" song to our coach, Tom.  It was so much fun.  It is pouring down rain in Portland as we drive to the airport. Excited from the weekend, the LMU Lions are eager to get back home to LA!

The Week That Was in Lion Sports

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This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Monday allowing for a quick glance for the week that was in Lion Sports. 

Friday, one of the biggest nights every year in Lion Athletics occurred when LMU held its annual Madness at Midnight event. The night got fans excited for the upcoming basketball season, introducing everyone to the players of both the men's and women's teams. Players from both teams competed in a free throw contest, a three-point contest, as well as a dunk contest for some of the men. Along with showcasing the basketball talent, Madness was also an opportunity for the student body to see all of the school's Division I sports teams on display through dance competitions, which the softball team won. The night included food trucks and giveaways for students as well.

The women's soccer team had a huge weekend, earning six points through two conference victories. On Friday in Malibu, LMU destroyed then ranked #15 Pepperdine 3-0 getting all three goals in the first eleven minutes of play. Then at home Sunday, the Lions defeated San Francisco 1-0 after scoring 11 seconds into the first overtime period.

LMU Volleyball had an impressive weekend, also getting two much-needed wins. In the Northwest for the weekend, the Lions improved to 5-1 on the road this season as they swept Gonzaga Thursday and beat Portland in straight sets as well on Saturday.

An injury-filled men's water polo team continued to sink over the weekend, losing to two conference rivals. The #9 Lions had been on a roll with a seven-game winning streak before a series of setbacks led the Lions to drop matches to #1 USC a week ago and to #10 Long Beach St. and to #11 UC San Diego over the weekend.

In the final race before the WCC Championships, the men's and women's cross country teams sent four runners a piece to tune up at the Titan Invitational in Fullerton. The Lions did not have enough runners for the teams to place but will be in full force at the conference championship meet in Portland next weekend.

The men's tennis team competed at the ITA Regional tournament in Irvine over the weekend. Four Lions competed in singles and doubles events with the #7 seeded duo of Nicholas Bjerke and Sebastian Bustamante still alive in the doubles semifinals. In singles, Bjerke also advanced to the round of 16.

The women's tennis team was in San Diego for their ITA Regional tournament. April Bisharat and Reka Rohonyl both advanced to the round of 32 in singles competition while Kristine Kouyoumjian made it to the semifinals in the consolation bracket before the final two rounds were rained out.

The men's golf team went abroad last week for the Cabo Collegiate tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What was meant to be a three round event turned into only 18 holes of competition as day two could not be finished and day three never began due to rainy conditions. Tyler Torano's 72 was good for a tie for second place in the tournament with his back nine score of 33 good for the best nine-hole score in the event. The team finished in ninth place. 

The Week That Was in Lion Sports

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This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Monday allowing for a quick glance for the week that was in Lion Sports. 

Two weeks away from the WCC Championships, the LMU cross country teams continued to look fast over the weekend. Amongst a strong field at the Chile Pepper Festival race in Fayetteville, Ark., the women's team finished in fifth place and the men's team received fourth place.

After seven consecutive wins, the ninth-ranked men's water polo team was put to the test Saturday against #1 USC. The big home crowd helped the Lions to a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period but the talent and depth of the visiting Trojans proved too much to handle as the Lions eventually lost 13-6.

The volleyball team got back on track Thursday with a win in straight sets over visiting Santa Clara. After six straight home matches, the Lions then started their stretch of two weeks of road games. On Saturday, LMU fell to #13 San Diego in three games. The weekend split sent LMU to 2-5 in the WCC.

Considering they played against a team that had not lost the previous eight games in #18 Santa Clara, the women's soccer team performed quite well over the weekend. On the road against the Broncos, LMU barely lost 1-0 as a late goal held up for the home team despite more shots on goal and corner kicks by the Lions. Then at home Sunday, the team picked up its first conference win against Saint Mary's in an offense-heavy 3-2 match.

Continuing to struggle, the men's soccer team lost another pair of games during the week. After jumping to an early lead Wednesday against visiting San Diego, the Lions could not hang on and eventually lost 2-1 in the two overtime periods. At San Francisco on Friday, some defensive mishaps led to two USF goals, sending the Lions to an unexpected 1-4-1 start in WCC play. The Lions will receive a much needed bye week now before returning to play in San Diego on October 24.

The women's tennis team played well on the road when they traveled to Tennessee last week for the Memphis Invitational. On Friday, all six Lions won their singles matches against opponents from UT Martin but lost 1-2 in doubles matches against the University of Memphis. Saturday, LMU went 2-4 in singles matches against Memphis and swept Drake in three doubles matches.  And on Sunday, the Lions went 5-1 in singles matches against Drake to wrap up a successful weekend.

In their first competitions of the year, the women's swim team came out to a fast start as they earned a share of first place in the PCSC Relays Saturday and dominated the PCSC Pentathlon Sunday, which were both held at Biola University in La Mirada. Calif. 

What is Autumn Day?

It was another heavy week for most of the Lions.  It's still Midterm time at LMU and there is not much time for anything other than practice, studying and sleeping (or studying and double-sleeping for those among us who have mono).  Still, Othar, Jack, Dan and Nick Northcott traveled to the pre-regionals at UC Irvine on the weekend to represent the Lions and got some good wins to boost their confidences for the upcoming regionals.

We had no school today thanks to something called Autumn Day. If anyone knows what that actually is, please let us know. That leads me to another holiday we, as mostly international students, can't really relate to. Even though it is still a long time to go, Americans start to get crazy about Halloween, while we truly ask ourselves what the hell it is that makes Americans excited about wearing a costume and scaring each other. It's funny though. Yesterday, when I went to Ralphs with my amazing new high-tech bike at night, on my mind: only the innocent question if I'll take low fat or 2% fat milk, I was suddenly surprised by a ginormous plastic dragon that was sitting in a garden and frankly scared me as hell. It looked pretty real and it was dark, so nothing to be ashamed of!

I'm writing this text over the ongoing annoying noise of the fire alarm (Go Lions!), just to get you informed by time and now it's time for me to take another mono-nap. I hope everyone is doing fine and that you're excited for Daniel Simko's Blog next week, who, as I can proudly declare, fully recovered from his relentless pursuit with the fly on his computer screen (read last week's blog, if you wonder what I'm talking about).

Good morning and good night,

Felix van Kann 

The Week That Was in Lion Sports - October 9

This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Monday allowing for a quick glance for the week that was in Lion Sports.

The ninth-ranked LMU men's water polo team won all four games at the Claremont Convergence tournament last weekend, extending its winning streak to a season-best of seven games. The tournament was a brief break from the tough schedule of ranked teams the Lions have been playing and was also a way to build confidence and momentum heading into a match with #1 USC at home this Saturday.

The men's soccer team split its first home weekend of conference games. Friday, the Lions defeated Gonzaga University 2-1 (2OT), giving the team three points and its first conference win. Against the University of Portland on Sunday, the Lions got out to an early lead but the visiting Pilots kept plugging away before coming away with a 2-1 win.

After a successful fall preseason, the women's soccer team opened up WCC play at home against the University of San Diego on Sunday. The Lions dominated the shot count at 15-5 but the only shot that mattered was San Diego's goal in the 64th minute, which led to a 1-0 loss to the visiting Toreros.

Last week, the volleyball team continued its theme of getting hot early but failing to finish. Thursday, the Lions came out firing against visiting #16 BYU. But after winning the first two sets, BYU came out of the locker room determined, fighting back to win the next three sets and leaving with the victory. Saturday, LMU hosted Saint Mary's, a team the Lions defeated 3-0 in Moraga two weeks prior. However, the Lions could not do it again as the visiting Gaels won the match in four sets, dropping the Lions to a disappointing 1-4 conference record.

Both cross country teams continued their strong showings and fast finishes over the weekend. At the 20th annual UC San Diego Triton Invitational, the women got their second team victory of the season, while the men received an impressive second place finish.

The women's tennis team had a very successful opening weekend as they competed at the Cal State Fullerton Fall Intercollegiate tournament for their first event of the fall. LMU sophomore Tory Parravi won the tournament for the top flight singles competition, with other Lions playing well also.

Midterms and Tournaments

Greetings LMU tennis fans,

It was midterms this week at LMU and a lot of studying has taken place. On Wednesday night I realized I had been studying too much when a fly landed on my screen and I made the error of trying to scare it with my mouse. It was at this moment, I realized my night was done. On the tennis front, Sebastian and Nicholas traveled to Tulsa this week to compete in the All Americans. It was a great chance for them to play against the best college players across the country and I'm sure the experience will help them a lot for the upcoming season. This week end Nick Northcott, Othar, Jack and I are playing the pre regional's down at Irvine. Each day we are guaranteed at least two matches, which will give us a chance to work on our games.  Today as a team we went 5-1, which was a pleasing result, and gives us confidence going into the last 2 days. Unfortunately I managed to make the same mistake as my good friend Felix (the cat) did a few weeks back. I was late to arrive at the bus after missing my alarm. I am looking forward to the run that awaits me, but hey such is life. Felix (the cat) will be sure to give everyone a "pur"fect run down of how the week end finished up. Go Lions Rawwwwwwrrrr

Until next time.

Daniel

Former LMU cheerleader Kristen Cirillo returns to her alma mater in 2012 as the Head Coach of the Lions' cheer squad.

Cirillo cheered for LMU from 2007-11 and served as a team captain from 2010-11. During her time in a Lion uniform, Cirillo led LMU to back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the Small Co-Ed Division at the USA Collegiate Nationals (2009 and 2010), and a second place finish in the Stunt College Division at the 2011 USA Collegiate Nationals. She was also a two-time Iggy Awards Athlete of the Year nominee.

Currently also a member of the L.A. Clippers Fan Patrol, Cirillo was the head cheer coach at Crozier Middle School from 2009-11 and served as a camp instructor and judge for the Universal Cheer Association (UCA) from 2009-11.

Cirillo graduated from LMU in 2011 with a degree in business administration - marketing and management.

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