Lions Can't Hold-Off Arizona State, Drop Match 3-1
LMU took the first set and led late in the second and third before being knocked-off by Arizona State.
Sept. 1, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU women's volleyball team (4-2) could not hold off Arizona State (6-0), dropping the final three sets of a hard-fought four-set match on Saturday afternoon in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions took the first set, 27-25, but blew late-set leads in the second and third en route to dropping the final three by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 25-18.
Macey Gardner led the Sun Devil offense, collecting 22 kills on 51 swings to accompany 11 digs for a double-double. Arizona State blocked well on Saturday, totaling 12 team blocks, including 10 block assists from Alexis Pinson. Allison Palmer nearly notched a double-double from the setter position, matching a match-best 46 assists with nine digs.
Junior Kathleen Luft led the Lion attack, notching 18 kills and 14 digs for her first double-double of the year. Felicia Arriola also managed a double-double, coupling 11 kills and 13 digs. LMU hit just .140 as a team behind 42 assists from freshman Hannah Tedrow, hitting above .200 in the first set only.
LMU took the opener behind five kills apiece from Luft and Litara Keil. Luft also served-up an ace, joining Taylor Scioscia and Betsi Metter to total three in the set for LMU. Gardner came out swinging for Arizona State, collecting nine of her 22 kills in the set to ensure that LMU did not run away with the period. The two teams traded blows throughout, playing to 12 tie scores and five lead changes in the first. Facing set-point at 24-23, LMU benefitted from a Sun Devil attack error and a Keil kill to earn its first set-point advantage and force an ASU timeout. After an Erica Wilson kill broke the set-point opportunity, LMU fed Luft for a pair of kills to take the early 1-0 match lead.
LMU led nearly the entire way in the second set, but a late onslaught from Arizona State saw the Sun Devils steal the set and match momentum. Luft had eight kills as LMU opened up a 16-11 advantage. The lead continued to 20-15 on a Wilson attack error, but Arizona State managed to scratch back within one at 22-21. Even at 23, Caitlin DeWitt committed a pair of attack errors as Arizona State rallied for the victory.
Following nearly the same script, LMU lost a healthy lead in the third set as Arizona State refused to surrender. Arriola had four kills, but LMU hit just .032 in the loss. Wilson guided Arizona State to the comeback, posting seven kills. LMU jumped out to an early 14-6 lead on a Wilson attack error, but the Sun Devils responded to score 11 of the next 15 points to cut the deficit to one at 18-17. The rally continued from there as Gardner capped a string of three straight kills to hand Arizona State a 19-18 advantage. The Lions managed to reclaim the lead at 20-19, but Wilson took control of the set from there, posting three kills down the stretch to hand ASU the 25-21 victory.
Carrying momentum, Arizona State hit .429 in the final set en route to taking the match. LMU got off to a slow start, exhausting both of its timeouts by the time the score showed 13-7. Luft and Arriola each collected four kills, helping LMU to stay relatively close and force a timeout at 17-13, but five kills apiece from Nora Tuioti-Mariner, Gardner and Wilson proved too much for the Lions.
LMU will return to action on September 7 when it hits the road for the first time this season, traveling to High Point, N.C. to participate in the High Point University Invitational. The Lions will play Virginia Tech, High Point and George Mason over the weekend.