Lions Stumble in Opener at UTSA Classic
LMU dropped a close four-set match to Texas A&M on Thursday.
Sep 5, 2013
The LMU women's volleyball team (2-2) stumbled out of the box on Thursday, hitting just .085 in the first set, en route to dropping a four-set match to Texas A&M (3-1) by scores of 25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23 at the UTSA Classic hosted by the University of Texas - San Antonio.
Junior Litara Keil led the Lions offensively with 18 kills on 45 swings with only five errors for a .289 clip. Sophomore Rachelle Suaava also impressed, collecting a career-best seven kills without an error on 11 attacks for an impressive .636 hitting percentage. Suaava also added three block solos to help LMU to eight total team blocks. Senior Kathleen Luft managed LMU's first double-double of the year on Thursday, teaming 11 kills with 13 digs. Setting the offense, sophomore Hannah Tedrow dished-out 38 assists to accompany five kills and nine digs to narrowly-miss a double-double. Betsi Metter also narrowly-missed a double-double, collecting a match-best 31 digs with seven assists. The 31 digs, three short of Metter's career high, were the most for the Lions since Metter posted 30 at then-No. 23 Pepperdine on October 25, 2012.
Angela Lowak and Shelby Sullivan proved to be the driving forces on the attack for TAMU, with Lowak posting a match-high 21 kills on 57 attacks. Though she finished 10 kills less than Lowak, Sullivan proved much more efficient, totaling the 11 kills on just 22 attacks with two errors for a .409 hitting percentage. Allie Sawatzy set the Aggie attack to a .210 match hitting percentage, dishing-out 41 assists and notching 12 digs for a double-double.
While the LMU attack came out a bit flat, Lowak came out swinging for TAMU to guide the Aggies to the first set victory, notching eight of her 21 kills in the opener. The Lions managed to play even to 10-10 early, but TAMU went on a four-point run from there en route to earning nine of the next 11 points to run away with the period.
The Lions rebounded nicely in the second to even the match score at one set apiece, getting seven kills on 11 errorless attacks from Keil. Luft pitched in four kills and two of her three match aces as LMU hit .237 compared to TAMU's .171. The Lions never trailed in the second.
After the 10-minute intermission, the two teams came out and battled over the final two sets. The third set once again saw Lowak lead the way for the Aggies, collecting five kills and guiding TAMU to a .238 clip. After falling behind by a count of 19-12 in the third, LMU attempted to make a run at the comeback, scratching to within two at 23-21, but back-to-back kills from Lowak and Sierra Patrick handed the Aggies the set.
The fourth proved to be the closest set of them all, as the two teams played to 11 tie scores and five lead changes. Having hammered home the set-winner in the third, Patrick picked up right where she left off, collecting eight more kills on 14 attacks to guide the Aggies to the match. Keil nearly matched her blow-for-blow for the Lions, recording seven kills on 15 swings, but it was not enough to force a fifth set. Even at 20 points apiece, TAMU managed to collect the next two points on a block and a kill from Sierra, forcing a Lion timeout. Facing match point at 24-22, Keil made things interesting by rising above the net and finding the floor to force a Texas A&M timeout. Needing a kill for the match, Sawatzy fed the hot hand of Patrick, who promptly delivered the match-winner.
LMU will return to action at the UTSA Classic on Friday when it meets host UTSA at 10 a.m. The Lions will then close their portion of play at 2:30 p.m. against Lamar.