Sept. 21, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The LMU volleyball team (7-6) earned its first road victory of the season on Tuesday by traveling to Cal State Northridge (6-8) and defeating the Matadors in four sets by scores of 25-21, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23. A close match throughout, the two teams played to 33 combined tie scores and saw 11 lead changes.
The Lions hit .333 as a team in the victory, led by the dynamic duo of Felicia Arriola and Jasmine Rankins. Arriola amassed 15 kills with just three errors on 38 swings for a .316 percentage, while Rankins added 14 kills on 35 attacks. Freshman Alyse Hensley hit an efficient .368, collecting eight kills and committing just one error on 19 swings. Setter Olivia Bailey dished-out 47 assists and collected four kills of her own in the victory. Rankins and freshman Betsi Metter, who sit first and second in the WCC for aces, respectively, each collected a pair for the Lions on Tuesday. For the second consecutive match, the LMU block proved effective as the Lions teamed for 13 blocks on the night. Hensley had a block solo and five block assists, while senior Becky Stehling teamed her six block assists with nine kills.
Mahina Haina led all players with 19 kills for Cal State Northridge, while her teammate Natalie Allen managed 13 kills of her own in the loss. Sam Orlandini passed-out 50 helpers to guide Northridge to a .236 hitting percentage.
Despite the close 25-21 score, LMU never trailed in the first set. Arriola, who garnered Tournament MVP recognition last weekend at the Utah State Invitational, came out sizzling en route to six kills in the first set alone. Rankins added three kills on just six attacks and a service ace to help ensure the Lion victory.
The two teams found themselves locked in a seesaw battle in the second set, as they played to 14 tie scores and six lead changes. Haina led all players with eight kills in the period, guiding CSUN to the narrow 27-25 victory. Rankins had four kills, while Bailey was a perfect three-for-three in attacks, but the Lion effort proved not enough in the second set.
LMU got revenge in the third set, earning another close 25-21 victory. A balanced Lion attack, led by three Rankins kills, resulted in a .320 hitting percentage. Northridge hit just .108 in the set, but seven Lion service errors allowed the Matadors to stay close. LMU and CSUN played to five lead changes and 17 tie scores in the period, with the last coming at 19-19. The Lions went on a four-point swing from that spot to take a 23-19 lead en route to earning the set on a Megan Nash kill.
Both teams came out swinging in the fourth and final period, but it was LMU that won the set after out-hitting CSUN, .486-.367. Arriola finished strong with five kills in the fourth, while Hensley, Stehling and Rankins each pitched-in four for the Lions. Monica McFarland and Haina gave it an honest effort for the Matadors, collecting five and four kills, respectively. LMU led the entire way in the final period, but that is not to say that CSUN was far behind. The Matadors trailed by just one point on nine different occasions in the final period, but could not even the score in any of those instances. The Lions led by as many as five points at 18-13, but Northridge battled to within one point at 19-18. Fortunately for LMU, the Lions took a two-point advantage on the next play and proceeded to trade blows with the Matadors the rest of the way, maintaining the two-point cushion and earning the victory on a Stehling kill.
The Lions return to action on Friday when they host No. 23 Long Beach State in LMU's home-opener. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.