Lions Open WCC Play with Sweep of San Francisco
LMU hit a stellar .356, served up six aces and recorded eight team blocks in the win.
Sept. 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Senior Felicia Arriola had a tremendous match for the Lions, notching a match and season-best 14 kills on 25 swings for a .480 hitting percentage. Senior Kathleen Luft also hit for a high clip, posting 12 kills with just two errors on 25 swings for a .400 mark. The duo was joined by junior Litara Keil with 12 kills on 19 attacks for a .526 clip. Sophomore Hannah Tedrow and junior Ashley Maxfeldt set the offense to the stellar hitting percentage, dishing-out 24 and 18 assists, respectively. Rarely outshined, senior Betsi Metter once again led all players with 10 digs while also serving up three more aces. LMU's all-time digs leader is now 13 aces short of sole possession of the LMU career record. Junior Amber Mirabello led the way on the block, notching five block assists.
Katarina Pilepic paced the Don attack with 12 kills on 28 swings. Valentina Zaloznik managed eight kills and three block assists as USF totaled six team blocks.
LMU came out swinging in the first set, racing to a 9-2 lead and burning the first of two USF timeouts. A pair of Metter aces and two blocks highlighted the run for the Lions, while the offense hit for a .314 clip over the course of the set. The Dons managed to crawl back into contention after the break, cutting the lead to two at 12-10 before eventually getting back to even at 13 on a rare attacking error from Luft. The two teams traded blows down the stretch, finding themselves knotted at 21 before kills from Keil and Luft, who matched Arriola for a set-high five kills on nine swings, pushed LMU to a 23-21 lead and forced the final Don timeout. USF won the first point out of the break, but LMU closed the set behind a USF attack error and a kill from Mirabello.
The Lions once again came out strong in the second set, hitting for a .484 clip behind five kills on seven swings from Keil. The native of Long Beach, Calif. also managed two block assists as LMU collected three blocks as a team. Luft and Arriola continued a stellar match in the second, both posting four kills to help push LMU to the convincing victory. A kill from Luft pushed LMU to a 9-4 early advantage before back-to-back kills from Mirabello and Arriola forced the first USF timeout of the set at 18-13. LMU cruised from there, stretching the lead to 21-15 on kills from Rachelle Suaava and Keil to force USF seventh-year head coach Gilad Doron into his final timeout. Consecutive kills from Arriola pushed LMU to set point at 24-16 before Tedrow elected for the kill over the assist, turning and finding the floor on a pass from Arriola.
LMU needed a comeback in the third set to record the sweep, but strong serving down the stretch from sophomore Avery Bush gave LMU the chance it needed. Trailing 22-20, Bush dropped back to serve and executed her serves with precision, leading to five straight unanswered points to take the match. Arriola finished the night strong, collecting five of her match-best 14 kills in the finale, including three with Bush at the service line in the final moments.
LMU will look to stretch its winning streak to four matches on Saturday when it welcomes Santa Clara to Gersten Pavilion at Noon.