Aug. 24, 2012
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The LMU volleyball team (1-0) proved itself ready for the 2012 season, recording a sweep of Connecticut (0-1) to open the year as part of the DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside Invitational being hosted by the Lions in Gersten Pavilion over the weekend. The Lions, who improved to 14-2 in season-openers over the last 16 seasons, took the match by scores of 25-16, 25-14, 25-16.
Sophomore Litara Keil
, an All-Freshman team selection a year ago, picked up where she left off, posting a match-high tying 11 kills on 17 attacks for a .471 hitting percentage. The native of Long Beach, Calif. also managed a pair of block assists on Friday night. Freshman Hannah Tedrow
took the reins at setter, dishing out 35 assists to guide LMU to the stellar clip. Freshman Amber Mirabello
also shined in her debut, matching Keil with 11 kills on 24 swings with only two errors for a strong .375 hitting percentage.
Junior Betsi Metter, who took home 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, tallied a match-best 20 digs to accompany a pair of service aces. The 20 digs matched the ninth-best mark for a three-set match in LMU history, equaling her 20 at Pepperdine on November 10 of last year. The Lions served-up seven aces, including a pair from Metter, Ashley Maxfeldt and Kathleen Luft. Luft, a transfer from Georgia, was impressive in her debut with LMU, collecting eight kills and a pair of block assists.
LMU and UConn battled even to 10 points in the first set, as LMU service errors allowed the Huskies to stay close despite LMU eventually hitting .438 in the period. The Lions served-up seven of their 15 match service errors in the opening set, but four kills apiece from Keil, Mirabello and Felicia Arriola pushed LMU to the victory. With Metter at the service area, LMU pulled away from the Huskies, running-off six unanswered points to claim a healthy 16-10 advantage. The Lions never looked back from there, earning the first set on a kill from senior Kenna Crouse.
As impressive as the .438 hitting percentage was in the first, LMU bested the mark with a .457 clip in the second en route to a lopsided 25-14 victory. After posting four kills on as many attacks in the first, Keil responded with six more on just seven swings in the second. LMU never trailed in the set, jumping out to an early 10-3 advantage on a Keil kill. Luft found the floor for one of her three kills to push the Lions to a 15-8 lead before LMU eventually claimed the set on kills from Luft and Crouse.
LMU completed the sweep in the third, cooling off on the attack with a .088 percentage, but increasing the heat from the service area with five aces. Luft and Maxfeldt each served-up a pair for LMU, while the Lions forced UConn into a -.200 hitting percentage that saw only two Connecticut kills. The bulk of the Huskie points came on the block, as Erika Thomas posted four of her five block assists in the final period. LMU once again dominated from the beginning, trading the first points with UConn before eventually opening up a 12-2 lead to force a timeout. A pair of Maxfeldt aces pushed LMU to 21-9 as LMU cruised to the 25-16 victory and the sweep on a UConn attacking error from Mattison Quayle.
LMU will return to action tomorrow at 12 p.m. when it hosts Iona College in the second match of the day. Action from the DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside Invitational continues tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. when UC Santa Barbara and UConn meet in Gersten Pavilion. UC Santa Barbara defeated Iona College in four sets earlier today, as the Gauchos and Lions are each 1-0 to start 2012.
- GO LIONS -