Lions Earn Wells Fargo PCH Cup Win at Pepperdine
LMU posted its sixth straight sweep in a victory at PCH Cup rival Pepperdine.
Looking to earn 1.5 points in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup standings on Saturday, LMU volleyball (10-3, 1-0 WCC) earned its sixth straight sweep of the year, handing Pepperdine (6-7, 0-1 WCC) a 25-12, 26-24, 25-16 loss at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.
Junior Sarah Sponcil had another outstanding match, teaming a match-best 13 kills with 14 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. LMU as a team hit .264, as freshmen Jessie Prichard and Tess Reid recorded 26 and 10 assists, respectively. The duo both turned in double-doubles, as Prichard recorded 11 digs to Reid's 10. LMU as a team registered an impressive 69 digs in the three sets, led by Kristen Castellanos with a match-high 18.
Turning in another solid effort on the attack, freshman Savannah Slattery recorded 12 kills while hitting .257. LMU's serving game also proved stellar in the win, as the Lions posted six aces, led by three from Kekai Whitford.
No Wave player finished with double-digit kills, as Nikki Lyons led the way with eight. Lyons nearly amassed a double-double, teaming her eight kills with a team-high 11 digs.
The Lions cruised to an opening set victory, posting a lopsided 25-12 decision while hitting .417 in the first. Sponcil led the way on the attack, connecting for seven kills on eight errorless swings. LMU won the first three points in the match and never trailed in the opening set, eventually winning the final four points and earning the period on one of two aces in the set from Whitford.
LMU held off a valiant comeback effort from Pepperdine in the second, claiming the 26-24 victory. Slattery had her best set in the second, posting six kills on 13 attacks to lead the way. LMU jumped out to an early 9-5 lead on a Nicky Kevorken kill, and extended the advantage to 19-15 late in the set, but Pepperdine managed to draw back even at 23-23 by way of a block from Tarah Wylie and Ashley Harris. The block was one of 10 on the afternoon for the Waves. After trading a point to 24-24, LMU won the set on back-to-back kills from Slattery.
The Waves came out strong in the third, but after falling behind 9-5, LMU took control of the set, winning five straight points to being a run that would eventually burn through both Wave timeouts, with the last coming at 13-10 in favor of LMU. The Lions used an 8-0 run to open up an 18-10 lead before eventually earning the sweep on a Slattery kill. All told, LMU scored 15 of the final 21 points in the match.
LMU will return to WCC action on Tuesday when it hosts #7 San Diego in a nationally-televised ESPNU match at 7 p.m. from Gersten Pavilion. Action for the showdown begins at 6 pm with the Pregame Celebration sponsored by The Loft. The event will be held on the LMU Tennis Courts and will feature free beers (limit two per person) for those over 21, and free non-alcoholic beverages for those under 21. Following the Pregame, come in and cheer on the Lions and the first 250 in the building will get a free CHIK-FIL-A dinner between sets two and three.
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