Lions Fall in Five-Set Championship
LMU dropped a five-set match to host Northern Arizona University on Saturday night.
Playing in its second five-set match of the day, the LMU women’s volleyball team (3-2) dropped the Championship Match of the Lumberjack Classic to host Northern Arizona University (5-1) on Saturday night from the Rolle Activity Center.
The Lions dropped the match by scores of 21-25, 28-26, 25-22, 22-25, 16-14.
Suaava led the Lions with 19 kills on 35 attacks while hitting .371. The senior also served up an ace and contributed six block assists to help LMU to nine total team blocks. Sponcil chipped in 17 kills and 17 digs for her fifth double-double in as many matches this year, but it was not enough as Northern Arizona posted a .244 hitting percentage and collected 14 team blocks.
Setter Hannah Tedrow turned in 60 assists for the second straight match, adding two of LMU’s five aces to go along with three block assists.
Janae Vander Ploeg led all players with 26 kills on 72 attacks, narrowly missing a double-double after finishing with nine digs. Lauren Jacobsen added 21 kills of her own while hitting .308 (21-5/52) in the victory. Payton Bock played a stellar match at the net, notching eight block assists and one block solo.
LMU hit .344 en route to taking the first set, 25-21. Sponcil collected six kills on 11 swings, while Jamie Lea added five of her own to help LMU to victory. The Lions also registered three blocks. The two teams were tied at 19-19 in the opener, but LMU rattled off four straight points to take a 23-19 lead en route to eventually taking the set on a Sponcil kill.
The Lions seemingly had the second set locked up after playing to a 22-16 advantage on a kill from Amber Mirabello. Needing just three points for victory, LMU stumbled and allowed NAU to draw back even at 24-24 after erasing two consecutive set-point chances. The two teams traded points to 26-26, but Jacobsen picked up a kill in front of a block from Addy Lofstedt and Brittni Dorsey to finalize the comeback.
NAU held LMU to just a .028 hitting percentage in the third set en route to taking a 2-1 match score lead into the fourth. The Lions once again hit for a low percentage at .178 in the fourth, but seven kills from Suaava and six more from Lindsay Carr proved enough for LMU to force a fifth and decisive set. It was another close set in the fourth as the two squads played to eight tie scores and five lead changes. Knotted at 18, LMU won a pair of points on kills from Suaava and Carr, but NAU continued to battle and stay within a point to 23-22. Bock missed on a serve to hand LMU its 24th point before Vander Ploeg committed an attack error to send the match to five.
A Carr kill in the race to 15 points handed LMU a 7-5 early lead in the finale, but as they did throughout the match, the two teams eventually played even down the stretch, finding themselves tied at every point from 10 to 14. Jacobsen won the 15th point for NAU, handing them the second match-point opportunity that was eventually won on an attack into the net from Carr.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it welcomes Long Beach State to Gersten Pavilion at 7 pm to start a home tournament that will also feature matches against Oakland, Stony Brook and Central Arkansas.
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