Lions Drop Hard-Fought Five-Setter to San Francisco

Sophomore Litara Keil capped a stellar week by posting a career-best 24 kills while hitting .500 on Saturday.

Sept. 22, 2012

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU women's volleyball team (9-5, 1-1 WCC) dropped a heartbreaking five-set match to San Francisco (10-5, 1-1 WCC) at home on Saturday by scores of 21-25, 25-29, 25-29, 12-25, 15-12. The Lions won the first and fourth sets, but could not win a hard-fought fifth and deciding period.

Sophomore Litara Keil was unbelievable for LMU on Saturday afternoon, notching a career-best 24 kills and hitting .500 over the course of the five sets. Keil added a service ace and five block assists for a total of 27.5 points in the loss. Junior Kathleen Luft contributed 18 kills and one of eight LMU aces, while Betsi Metter also served-up three.

For the week, Keil led LMU to a 1-1 record, posting 36 kills at a rate of 4.50 per set and hitting .569 (36-3/58). The native of Long Beach, Calif. added three aces and 12 digs, narrowly-missing a double-double on Thursday at Saint Mary's when she teamed 12 kills with nine digs. Always a threat on the block, Keil posted eight block assists at a rate of 1.00 block per set.

Ester de Vries led the Don attack with 19 kills on 51 swings. USF, which hit .268 in the match, received 50 assists from Leanna Ludes. LMU's setting duo of Hannah Tedrow and Ashley Maxfeldt set the Lions to a .266 hitting percentage, including a .412 clip in the fourth.

LMU took the opening set by a count of 25-21 behind six kills on 10 swings from Keil. Despite the Lions getting out-hit and out-blocked in the period, LMU did manage to serve-up three aces, including one apiece from Luft, Taylor Scioscia and Metter, en route to the victory. The two teams played fairly even throughout the first, clawing to five tie scores and four lead changes. Tied at 13, LMU scored four of the next five points to earn a 17-14 advantage and force a USF timeout. The lead stretched to 21-16 on Scioscia's service ace, forcing the second Don breather of the set. That break did the visitors well as a kill from Zaloznik and a pair of LMU attack errors ran the tally to 22-20 and forced a Lion timeout. Senior Kenna Crouse took control of the set from there, finding the floor for two of LMU's final three points - including the final point of the period.



USF got back to even in the match score with a 25-19 victory in the second set. De Vries led the charge for the Dons, posting five kills on nine swings with a block solo to help guide USF to a .394 hitting percentage. Zaloznik also pitched-in five kills, while Jocelyn Levig managed a pair of service aces. LMU stayed close with San Francisco early, but four straight Don points broke a 10-10 stalemate and forced a Lion timeout at 14-10. Things continued to go well for the Dons down the stretch, pushing the lead to 18-14 and forcing the final Lion timeout, but LMU did manage to scratch back within two at 20-18 on a Felicia Arriola kill. Unfortunately that would be as close as LMU would come as the Dons eventually won the set on a kill from Anja Segota and a Luft attack error.

The Dons hit their way to a 25-19 third-set victory, connecting for a stellar .469 clip behind eight kills from Levig. Levig also recorded a block solo, helping USF to two blocks in the period. LMU, which hit .214, never led in the set, but did receive six kills on 10 swings and an ace from Keil to keep things close. After reaching 15 points on a Lion attack error, USF received a block from Ludes and Zaloznik to push the lead to 20-13. After Levig and Zaloznik teamed for a block and USF's 24th point, Zaloznik found the floor for the set-winner.

The Lions came out swinging in the fourth set, hitting for a stellar .412 percentage behind eight kills on 12 swings from Keil. Tedrow and Metter each contributed a service ace as LMU cruised to a 25-12 victory to even the match score and force a fifth and decisive set. LMU held USF to a negative percentage at -.034 in the period, highlighted by five LMU blocks, including three block assists apiece from Rachelle Suaava and Tedrow. This time it was LMU who would never trail in the set, jumping out to a lopsided 17-10 lead on a Keil kill before eventually taking the set on back-to-back blocks from Suaava and Tedrow.

Fittingly, the tight match came down to a hard-fought fifth set, as USF edged the Lions by a count of 15-12. The Lions out-hit USF, .250-.207, but could not take the set and the match. De Vries was stellar for the Dons in the deciding period, recording six of her 19 match kills. LMU got off to a good start, taking an early 3-0 lead, but USF battled back to even with three straight points of its own. The Dons kept the momentum from there, earning a 10-7 lead on a Zaloznik kill to force a Lion timeout. Back-to-back kills from de Vries pushed the match to match-point before Zaloznik put the finishing touches on the victory with her 12th kill of the day.

LMU will return to action on September 27 when it welcomes San Diego to Gersten Pavilion at 7 p.m.



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